Our 128-year Covenant Stands Strong
Letter to the Editor | Villager Papers | July 8, 2022
On behalf of Day Kimball Healthcare, I would like to share some information about our affiliation with Covenant Health and respond to some concerns that have been raised in recently published letters to the editor.
Local Community Control
Some say this affiliation will result in a loss of local control at the board level. This is simply not true. Here are the facts. DKH will maintain a local board of directors, and they will continue to be responsible for the
oversight of operations at DKH facilities across our region. In addition, the DKH board of directors will benefit from the participation of Covenant Health’s chief executive officer and chief medical officer. Further, and as part of bi-directional collaboration, Day Kimball will place a representative on Covenant Health’s board. In every way, Day Kimball will retain and benefit from the guidance of a board that is rooted within our local community, with deep ties to Northeast Connecticut.
Care for All
We have also heard that Day Kimball will cease to treat patients whose beliefs may differ from those of the Catholic church. This is inaccurate and just plain false. Day Kimball will continue to provide care to ALL members of our community – just as we have always done and just as we always do each and every day. Day Kimball is proud of its history and will continue to support the care needs of all people – paying no mind to age, gender, religious or sexual preference, political leaning or economic status. 128 years ago, a commitment – in fact, a covenant – was made with this community, to provide for and support its health care needs. That covenant remains in place today, and we are working tirelessly to see that it is honored and possible for the next 128 years and beyond. Suggestions and statements to the contrary are completely inaccurate.
Other Potential Partners
We have heard from some in the community that Day Kimball should seek a partnership with others beyond Covenant Health. This warrants clarification. It has been widely known and well communicated for years that Day Kimball has been seeking a partner. The complexities of healthcare, the drive to value, constant evolution of reimbursement practices, intensification of cost pressures across the board, and the realities associated with managing through a global pandemic have made it difficult for all hospitals across the country to support ongoing operations. These pressures are magnified for small hospitals like ours and we now must achieve a partnership with an organization that shares our values to maintain and support our commitment to our community.
In partnership with external advisors, Day Kimball has evaluated potential collaboration with a number of large systems. While each has had its attractive points, none of these larger systems would commit to the preservation of our organization as it stands today. In essence, for there to be any willingness to take on Day Kimball as part of one of these larger systems, DKH would need to go through a formal bankruptcy restructuring. Some may think this pathway is reasonable and would allow Day Kimball to come out of bankruptcy as a better form of its previous self. This simply is not true. It has been made clear that these larger systems would only have interest in maintaining fractional components of what Day Kimball once was, leaving the organization as an outpatient center without true hospital capabilities, thereby requiring patients needing hospital services to leave the area and travel to Hartford, Worcester, Providence, or farther. This outcome would leave Northeast Connecticut without an incredibly important asset – an acute care hospital.
A Pillar of Regional Economic Stability
Taking this a step further, the elimination of an acute care hospital within our region would be disastrous and would result in professionals such as doctors, nurses, and other licensed specialists and providers leaving the area, negatively impacting the economic base of our region. In addition, such a transformation would likely have a negative impact on local businesses and vendors as well as the community at large. Furthermore, for some of our population, such a change would result in an absence of health care access that would inevitably lead to reductions in the overall health status of our community. All of these things would transpire over time and would be profoundly negative for those that live, work, and learn in our community.
What we have found in Covenant Health is a partner that is resolutely committed to the preservation of health care access in Northeast Connecticut, the stabilization of our hospital enterprise, and the advancement of the overall health of those who live across our region. What we concurrently find with Covenant Health is the ability to maintain and advance a promise made to this community 128 years ago.
R. Kyle Kramer
Chief Executive Officer
Day Kimball Healthcare