Foundation, Hospitals Push for Dialogue

(On September 12, the Community Foundation, Hospital of Central Connecticut and Hospital for Special Care welcomed more than 60 leaders from the area’s health care, public policy and non-profit communities to a Health Needs Forum that offered stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on the future delivery of health care in Central Connecticut. The following story was published by the Bristol Press.)

Foundation, hospitals push for expanded dialogue

By Christopher Fortier
September 12, 2016

NEW BRITAIN – Looking to shape the future delivery of health care in central Connecticut, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is joining forces with two city-based medical institutions to offer community stakeholders a chance to further the dialogue.

The foundation, along with the Hospital of Central Connecticut and Hospital for Special Care, is inviting the public to the Community Health Needs Forum and Exchange this morning at HSC’s Research and Education Center.

Hospital for Special Care President and CEO Lynn Ricci, who also serves as Vice Chair of the Community Foundation.

Hospital for Special Care President and CEO Lynn Ricci, who also serves as Vice Chair of the Community Foundation.

Each institution will share information about projects being developed that target recently identified community health needs, providing health care providers, policy makers, community stakeholders and others the opportunity to submit feedback, share their own projects and explore potential collaborations.

Participants will include Lucille Janatka, Hartford HealthCare senior vice president and president of the Hartford HealthCare Central Region; Lynn Ricci, president and chief executive officer of HSC; and Jim Williamson, president of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain.

“This event epitomizes the vital importance of collaboration in meeting the needs of our communities,” said Williamson. “Thanks to the recently completed, statewide Community Wellbeing Survey, of which we each were a part, and the hospitals’ own thorough Community Needs Assessments, we have the critical data we need in hand; the challenge now is to share this information with the community and begin the conversation as to how we can collaborate to work better, plan better and achieve our shared goals.”

Much of the forum’s discussion will center on health care-related findings from the 2015 Community Wellbeing Survey, considered the most comprehensive study of quality of life ever conducted in Connecticut.

More than 50 of Connecticut’s leading foundations, hospitals, community institutions and government agencies sponsored the survey, with more than 16,000 state residents taking part.

Also central to the discussion, according to organizers, will be the hospitals’ Community Health Needs Assessments, which identified key health issues and needs of local residents.

“As we begin to address identified issues, it is important to continuously identify and invite new people and groups to the table to develop broad-based solutions. That’s what this forum is about,” said Janatka.

“Such solutions require the community as a whole to determine available resources and deploy them in a logical, impactful manner.”

Ricci offered an example of how information gathered might shape the future delivery of care at the Hospital for Special Care.

“Hospital for Special Care has offered oral health services to uninsured children for nearly 20 years, but our Community Health Needs Assessment showed that a number of adults do not visit a dentist regularly due to lack of funds or fear of dentists,” she said.

“Accordingly, we plan to promote the importance of oral health care to the parents of our patients, and suggest practices that provide care regardless of ability to pay as well as those that specialize in patients with fear.”

The forum takes place from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and is open to the public and targeted to health care providers, elected officials and policy makers, community leaders and stakeholders and others who may have already provided input during the needs assessments process.

Advance reservations are required and can be made by contacting Kimberly Duncan at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain at 860-229-6018.

HSC’s Research and Education Center, where the program will take place, is at 370 Osgood Ave., with the main entrance on Corbin Avenue.