More than 130 Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) Corporators and community leaders attended the organization’s 125th annual Corporators Meeting at the Mansion at Bald Hill on Wednesday, February 5. Each year’s meeting invites DKH’s corporators together to reflect on organizational achievements from the past fiscal year.
This year’s meeting culminated a yearlong celebration of DKH’s 125th anniversary of providing high quality, compassionate care to the residents of Northeast Connecticut.
“When the Windham County Infirmary, predecessor to Day Kimball Hospital, opened its doors in 1894, it quickly became a landmark in the local community, rooted in strong service and dedicated to health care excellence,” said Joseph Adiletta, Interim President, Day Kimball Healthcare. “Without a doubt, Day Kimball is the hometown health care provider for this proud region. We’re honored to be such an integral part of this community’s history, and we keep moving forward to meet evolving needs, today, and for years to come.”
At the meeting, DKH Medical Staff President Michael Baum, MD, reflected on the growth of DKH’s physician network over the course of the health system’s history. “In its origins, Day Kimball Hospital’s medical staff consisted of only 3 consulting physicians, Dr. George Bowen, Dr. Lowell Holbrook, and Dr. Seldom B. Overlock. Today, our medical staff consists of approximately 80 active physicians, 40 allied health providers, 20 community medicine practitioners, and 150 associated staff,” said Dr. Baum.
For DKH, 2019 was a year of challenges, change and through it all, achievement. Adiletta summarized highlights from DKH’s fiscal year, including the recruitment of new experts to better meet the region’s needs while building a critical mass of services across the full continuum of care including a new urologist, OB/GYNs, oncologists, pediatricians, and primary care doctors; expansion of access to services including the establishment of a new walk-in clinic in DKH’s Plainfield Healthcare Center; and investments in next generation technologies from Stryker’s Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgical System to an advanced pharmacy including a new sterile compounding cleanroom.
Despite sustained financial pressure on health care providers across the country, and especially in Connecticut, DKH recorded another year of solid financial results for fiscal year 2019. The health system posted total revenue exceeding $136 million, ending the year in the black by $564,000. This marked the third out of the last four years that DKH has generated positive operating results.
“This is no small feat for a community hospital in the face of challenging reimbursement levels from third party payers, such as Medicare and Medicaid, increasing wages and drug cost, and flat or declining patient volumes in several key service lines due to increasing competition and insurance companies steering patients away from hospital-based services,” said Paul Beaudoin, Chief Financial Officer and Interim Chief Executive Officer, Day Kimball Healthcare.
Beaudoin also expressed gratitude to the Lamont Administration and House and Senate members for supporting a seven year agreement reached between the Administration and CT Hospital Association. The agreement provides more predictability and sustainability for hospitals in terms of Medicaid payments and the hospital tax.
For Day Kimball, this historic settlement agreement provides over $3 million in one-time payments related to prior year underpayments expected to be made in fiscal year 2020, and addresses the uncertainty related to the amounts of the supplemental payments and revenue tax moving forward. It also provides for annual increases in Medicaid payment rates of roughly 2% through the life of the agreement.
Quality of Care
In his remarks, Adiletta highlighted a number of distinctions and designations for quality care earned during the last fiscal year, including:
DKH leadership also underscored that while the need to partner with a larger healthcare system remains, they will ensure that any future partnerships continue to honor DKH’s local mission and are taking the steps necessary to ensure the organization can remain independent until the right fit is found.
“We are committed to taking the appropriate amount of time necessary to find the right affiliation that will ensure Day Kimball can continue to provide world-class care to Northeast Connecticut and beyond as we deliver on our community mission that began 125 years ago,” said Beaudoin.
“We are poised to become a new breed of community hospital by using our technology and clinical partnerships to bring 21st century healthcare to Northeast Connecticut,” said Janice Thurlow, interim board chairman, Day Kimball Healthcare. “We have worked hard to improve our quality rankings, stabilize our financial position, and invest in technology. These efforts are tangible proof that we are advancing, and our achievements make us an attractive partner for a strategic affiliation.”
Other business conducted at the meeting included approving the election of new board members Dr. Krista Matsen and Dr. Steven Wexler, and the renewal of board members Jeffrey Paul, Shawn McNerney, Dr. Anthony Chieffalo, Attorney Edwin Higgins, and Dr. Paul Matty.
The corporators also approved the slate of board officers: Chairman Janice Thurlow, Vice Chairman Peter Deary, Secretary Kathy Rocha, Treasurer Jeffrey Paul, Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer Attorney Edwin Higgins.
As testament to the dedication of DKH’s staff, the evening concluded with the naming of DKH’s 2019 Employee of the Year recipient, Wilbert Harris, housekeeper.
The following employee of the month recipients were recognized at the meeting: Wendy Blackmar, pre-certification clerk; Katrina Lambert, project manager, Information Technology; Gyuljan Tahirova, RN, Intensive Care Unit; Darlene Sheldon, lead unit receptionist and patient care technician; Wilbert Harris, housekeeper; Vanmaly Sangasy, RN, Oncology; John Ruggieri, technical analyst, Information Technology; Allison Clancy, RN, Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit; Ryan Cowles, electrician; and Cindy Rondini, lead patient services representative, Outpatient Behavioral Health.
At the meeting, DKH also celebrated and recognized 21 of its longest-serving employees who have dedicated 40 years or more to the organization. And, to carry on a new tradition of recognizing corporators who have dedicated 25 years or more to the organization, 12 corporators were recognized for their longstanding commitment and passion to DKH’s vision of community care for over a quarter century.
For other highlights and achievements from DKH’s 2019 fiscal year, view Day Kimball Healthcare’s annual report.