Connect to Healthier: Highlights of Backus Hospital's 2015 Annual Meeting

Increased Access to Care, Improvements to Quality and Patient Safety, and Advancements in Robotic Surgical Technology Highlight Backus Hospital 2015 Annual Meeting
Nowich, CT – Backus Hospital reported expanded outpatient offerings and strategic growth, including a new family health center in Ledyard and construction of a 40,000-square-foot Center for Specialty Care in Plainfield, during its Annual Meeting of Corporators held on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The meeting with the theme “Helping Our Community ‘Connect to Healthier,’” held at the Hartford HealthCare East System Support Office on Stott  Avenue in Norwich, announced highlights of the year for the not-for-profit hospital including:

  • Breaking ground for the Backus Center for Specialty Care—a planned two-story, 40,000 square foot center that will be home to an array of services, including physical rehabilitation, women's health, cardiology, medical oncology, infusion and a surgery center.
  • Opening the Backus Family Health Center in Ledyard offering urgent and primary care.
  • Launching a first-of-its-kind Preventive Medicine Initiative to help manage the health of Eastern Connecticut residents and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency department visits and readmissions.  The initiative includes a new entity -- the Community Health and Care Coordination Department – which includes embedding a licensed clinical social worker in health centers in Colchester and Norwichtown to address behavioral health needs and nurse care managers in all Backus health centers to work with provider teams to identify patients who are high utilizers of healthcare services and coordinate their care to prevent hospital readmission.
  • Becoming the first hospital in Eastern Connecticut to offer MAKOplasty® for partial knee resurfacing and total hip replacement procedures—performed using the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System—and the first hospital in the Hartford HealthCare system and only the third hospital in the state to own and utilize the very latest da Vinci surgical robot for minimally invasive procedures including genitourinary, gynecological, colorectal, and some bariatric procedures.
  • Being honored with The Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) Leapfrog Hospital award for “dedication and commitment to improving patient safety and quality—“ one of three hospitals in the New York metro area to receive an “A” Hospital safety score rating. 
  • Named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by the Joint Commission for achieving key measures for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care.
  • Backus Health Centers in Colchester, Montville, North Stonington, Norwichtown, and Waterford received Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)--the highest level of recognition given for primary care practices for enhancing access and continuity of care; identifying and managing patient populations; planning and managing care; providing self-care support and community resources; tracking and coordinating care; and measuring and improving performance.
  • Earning a full three-year reaccreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) with the surveyor also selecting the program as a “Best Practice Repository” for other programs to follow and establishing Backus as a national leader in breast care.
  • For the fifth straight year, being recognized as one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the nation with a “Most Wired” award by Hospitals and Health Networks, a health care publication of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
  • Applying to the state Office of Health Care Access to offer primary and elective angioplasty procedures.
  • Increasing community outreach and education activities including multi-cultural health fairs with free health screenings; RX for Health—a collaboration with local pediatricians designed to make fresh fruits and vegetables available for children who are overweight or at risk of being overweight; and teaming up with several community organizations to promote healthy living and nutrition for a series on healthy eating and meal planning. 
Backus President Dave Whitehead said despite state and federal cuts and rapid changes in healthcare, the hospital continues to build on its strong track record of sustaining and improving the level of care for all residents.

“In the face of these headwinds, Backus has completed another highly successful year. We measure that success — and we are held accountable to achieving it — in terms of quality, patient safety, access to care and financial performance to allow for reinvestment in our system of care,” said Whitehead.

The financial performance in Fiscal Year 2015 produced a difference of net revenues minus expenses of a positive 40.9 million.  Based on net revenues of $292,530,000, that yields an operating margin for FY15 of 14%.

“While this sounds good, and ranks Backus as one of the most successful health care organizations in the state financially-- the state and federal cuts we are facing, and rapid changes in healthcare, threaten our ability to remain competitive and successful,” Whitehead said.

“I want to stress that sound fiscal management — an operating margin that provides an opportunity for continued investment in care transformation — is an essential way for us to deliver on our mission of improving the health of our community, by “connecting our community to healthier,’” Whitehead said.  “It is a testament to the hard work of our dedicated staff and the unwavering commitment from our community partners that—even during these trying economic times—we are able to deliver on our promise to the community.”

For more information about Backus in 2015, please visit to view “Helping Our Community ‘Connect to Healthier,” the Backus online annual report.