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Hospital network eliminates managers

Layoffs, voluntary resignations and unfilled positions in the Hartford HealthCare network announced this week have reduced senior and middle managers in local hospitals including the Hospital of Central Connecticut, which has campuses in Southington and New Britain. Among the departures was that of Clarence Silvia, president and CEO.

Lucille Janatka, CEO of MidState Medical Center in Meriden, now also leads the Hospital of Central Connecticut as president of the network’s central region.

Job reductions were part of consolidation within Hartford HealthCare aimed at eliminating redundancies among hospitals that are no longer in competition, according to officials. The changes won’t hurt patient care, they said.

“There’s a dramatic amount of change in health care,” said Rebecca Stewart, Hartford Healthcare spokeswoman. The new system “is agile and more productive.”

At MidState and the Hospital of Central Connecticut, 22 managers were laid off, 18 took voluntary resignations or retirements, and 10 positions will be left unfilled.

Throughout Connecticut, Hartford HealthCare eliminated 179 positions through layoffs, resignations and unfilled vacancies.

Stewart declined to comment on what types of jobs were being eliminated other than mentioning that Silvia was no longer with the system but will remain as a consultant for six months.

She also didn’t provide a breakdown of how the reductions in the central region were distributed between MidState and the Hospital of Central Connecticut.

Recent consolidations within Hartford HealthCare have included uniform logos and marketing imagery, as well as centralized services, such as the psychiatric ward that was removed from MidState in favor of a larger unit at the Hospital of Central Connecticut.

In July, Hospital of Central Connecticut officials addressed the Southington Town Council about changes that were underway which might affect the hospital’s Bradley Memorial campus. The officials assured councilors that the Bradley emergency room wasn’t being closed.

Town Council Vice Chairwoman Cheryl Lounsbury said she was sad to see Silvia leave and described him as an excellent president.

Reimbursement rates from the federal government and insurance companies to hospitals have declined and Lounsbury said she wasn’t surprised that hospitals were cutting costs.

“Just like businesses, they’ve got to cut overhead,” she said. “It’s nothing that you like to see but it’s necessary if the system is to stay alive and well.”

Lounsbury said she was assured that Bradley will remain a “vibrant” hospital in Southington.

The most recent public records for local hospitals detail finances for the 2010-11 fiscal year, when both MidState and the Hospital of Central Connecticut reported surpluses.

Janatka earned $756,556 while Silvia received total compensation of about $2.6 million.

MidState ended that fiscal year with a surplus of $8,120,050 to maintain more than a decade of yearly surpluses.

The Hospital of Central Connecticut ended the fiscal year with a $24,050,250 surplus after losses the previous year. Hospital officials said joining the Hartford HealthCare network has helped reduce purchasing and information technology costs. (203)317-2230 Twitter: @JBuchananRJ

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