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News : Health Jan 23, 2014 - 8:56:00 AM

Affiliation of Western Connecticut Health Network and Norwalk Hospital Promises Ongoing Commitment to Community

By Western Connecticut Health Network

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Danbury, CT - With State approval for their affiliation now secured, Western Connecticut Health Network and Norwalk Health Services Corp. will move ahead with their promise to create a healthier future for the communities they serve. By joining forces, the new Network can improve access, strengthen clinical programs, broaden the physician platform, expand the scope of career opportunities and use resources more efficiently.

The new organization - comprising Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital and their affiliates - includes some 822 beds that will be governed by a single board of directors and a unified mission to promote the health and well-being of people in the communities it serves.

"We are thrilled to begin this affiliation,” said John M. Murphy, M.D., who will remain President and CEO, Western Connecticut Health Network. “Our exploration of this collaboration began nearly two years ago, when we started considering the benefits of working together to improve health care for our communities. We each bring strong legacies in not-for-profit, community-based care to our shared goal: providing greater access to a broader range of resources to help people lead healthier lives. Together we will build an integrated network of health services for our communities to redefine what a health care organization can offer.”

Teams comprising staff from both hospitals are working to implement plans to integrate operations. The complete transition will likely take some time. Said Dan DeBarba, Jr., former President and CEO of Norwalk Hospital and newly named Executive Vice President of the Network and President of Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, "Even in the short term, patients in our communities will experience the benefits of our collaboration. The new organization will offer greater access to a wider range of surgical and specialty care than either organization offered on its own. For staff, the new organization will continue to be a great place to work as we strengthen our commitment to medical education and research across all entities."

Patients will also benefit as the network migrates toward a single system of patient information, enhancing safety and the overall patient experience.

In addition to the Network leadership of Murphy and DeBarba, Erv Shames, a current member of the Norwalk Hospital board of trustees, will be Chairman of the new Network board of directors. “As a longtime member of this community, I am encouraged about the State’s decision in favor of our affiliation. I am pleased to be a part of a team that will shape the future of health care for our communities,” said Shames.

“In this changing environment of health care, people want physicians and medical services they can trust to be there for them," said Murphy. "Together, we will be the health care organization for the high-quality care they choose. We will provide the access and the resources they need to achieve and maintain the health they cherish. Our organization is beginning an important journey: creating a new picture of health for our communities."

About the “New” Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is the region’s premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. With this recent affiliation, the organization is now anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the three hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes numerous medical practices and sub-specialties across the region, home health care services, a nationally renowned biomedical research institute, the Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation, the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and other affiliates.

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