Southington council opposes HHC’s Bradley Hospital plan

Southington council opposes HHC’s Bradley Hospital plan

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SOUTHINGTON — The Town Council passed a resolution Monday in support of medical services at the Bradley hospital site but not without debate and disagreement among councilors.

The Democratic majority and one Republican councilor supported the resolution. Two Republicans opposed it.

The resolution requests that Hartford HealthCare maintain, at a minimum, existing services at Bradley, such as the emergency room and cardiology, and that they keep them on the Meriden Avenue site.

“This just formalizes (our) position,” said Chris Palmieri, Town Council chairman and a Democrat.

Gary Havican, president of the Hospital of Central Connecticut, called the resolution premature. He asked that the council postpone a vote until more information on the hospital’s future is provided in a few weeks. Hartford Healthcare owns the Hospital of Central Connecticut, which has a campus at Bradley Hospital.

Michael Riccio, a Republican councilor who voted against the resolution, agreed and said the council had no authority over the private hospital group. He said conversations with hospital leaders are more effective at improving health care in Southington than resolutions.

Riccio also questioned why the town should be determined to keep medical services at Bradley, which he described as an “antiquated, outdated building.”

It would be preferable to have “20 observational beds on Queen Street with incredible impeccable service that blows this dinosaur away over here,” he said.

Dawn Miceli, council vice chairwoman and a Democrat, said council leaders have requested information on future options for the Bradley campus and have been waiting for months on Hartford HealthCare to provide it.

Havican said “the current model is simply not sustainable” in Bradley’s case. Razing the building is a possibility due to the cost of renovation.

Bonnie Sica, spokeswoman for the Community Committee to Save Bradley, described Havican’s communication as “patronizing corporate-speak.”

“Their commitment isn’t to Southington. We’re telling them what we want and what we need. Their commitment is to the 93 percent insurance payer rate. The money is here,” she said.

Havican said new trends mandate new models of healthcare delivery. He said Hartford HealthCare is “100 percent committed” to Southington.

“I’m proud to point out Hartford Healthcare’s commitment to Southington,” he said.

Sica and others said Hartford HealthCare reduced Bradley’s capabilities to the point where it isn’t sustainable and hasn’t marketed the local hospital.

During the public hearing, residents spoke in support and in opposition to Hartford HealthCare’s intentions and past decisions concerning Bradley. Some, including Farid Shafik, an eye doctor, suggested Yale-New Haven Hospital take over Bradley.

Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

Morning Record talks about Southington Town Council's Bradely Hospital stance

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