Norwalk Hospital will now be affiliated with Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital under the Western Connecticut Health Network umbrella.
Dr. John Murphy, President and CEO of the Western Connecticut Health Network said, "What it mean is currently, Western Connecticut Health Network which historically represents two hospitals - New Milford Hospital and Danbury Hospital - is now joining forces with Norwalk Hospital so that we've created a new three hospital network."
The new affiliation will improve access and strengthen clinical programs in all three hospitals, while using shared resources to better serve each community.
"I think it gives them [community members] even improved healthcare in a sense that there will be greater accessibility across all points of care in our community, it gives them equal or even better quality of service in terms of specialist and provision of internals and primary care and it gives them affordable cost," said Erv Shames, Chairman of the new Western Connecticut Health Network Board of Directors.
Dan DeBarba, newly named Executive Vice President of the Western Connecticut Health Network and President of Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital said, "A vast majority of physicans and specialist will stay in their community. But there are, I'll call them "super specialist", those where there may not be enough volume in that community to keep that person busy. We would ask a few of those "super specialist" to move back and forth to serve the local community."
All three hospital buildings will remain open and expansion plans at Norwalk Hospital and Danbury Hospital will continue.
Murphy said, "With the environment in healthcare today, it puts a great deal of pressure on hospitals to become more and more efficient and produce ever higher levels of quality care. So this network really is a strategy that allows us to remain in place, in our communities, providing that care and we think the network structure and what the affiliation represents, will allow us to do that much more confidently than we could if we tried to do it alone."
"We hope to provide the best care possible. To have a world class community healthcare system, and to provide the same type of care that usually, one might find is a - from an expertise standpoint - in an academic medical center, but to provide it with that compassionate touch that you can only get at a community hospital," said DeBarba.
"That we are able to provide the care that one gets from a good community hospital, with the additional benefits that comes with scale from a large, sophisticated medical provider," said Shames. "I also want to see us be able to reach furthur into the community so that we're able to identify those issues in our community - for instance mental health, chronic diseases and obesity - and have the knowledge and the resources to be able to address those so we improve not only the individual care but the community health that we face."
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