When Dr. Frederick Browne came to New Milford Hospital in 2006, he recalls, he felt fortunate to be selected the hospital's infectious disease specialist.

Since then, Dr. Browne's rise to vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at the hospital by 2010 has been "meteoric," according to Modern Healthcare, a staple among magazines in the medical field.

"Dr. Frederick Browne pairs a unique mix of business acumen and research experience in the areas of infectious disease, microbiology and epidemiology," the magazine's editor, Dave Bruda, said in its Sept. 19 edition.

Dr. Browne was chosen as one of the top 12 outstanding leaders in the country -- "2011 Up & Comers" -- in the magazine's annual recognition program, co-sponsored by Witt/Kieffer, an Oak Brook, Ill.-based executive search firm.

"This is a great honor," Dr. Browne, 38, said recently. "I believe the reason I received this honor is because I'm at, New Milford Hospital. It's an environment where I've been able to blossom."

Deborah Weymouth, executive director of New Milford Hospital and senior vice president of Western Connecticut Health Network, submitted Dr. Browne's name as a candidate for the 2011 Up & Comers program.

He was one of 200 candidates vying for the honor.

"Every single health care executive in the country gets this magazine and receives weekly news flashes on medical policy and legislation," Ms. Weymouth said.

She added Dr. Browne was flooded with calls in to the doctor the day the article came out.

In 2008, Browne received the VHA Inc. (a health care alliance of 1,400 not-for-profit hospitals) Leadership Award for having no ventilator-associated infections in the hospital's intensive care unit.

For more than four years, the hospital has had no cases of ventilator-acquired pneumonia or central line-associated bloodstream infections, Ms. Weymouth noted.

Dr. Browne spearheaded quality improvements at the hospital -- forming a physician advisory council, structuring and mandating a performance improvement peer review process for medical staff, and establishing ongoing focused professional practice evaluations.

"It was my goal to make sure we could tell the community that we are looking at everything that occurs at the hospital," Dr. Brown said, "and always striving to make improvements."

"Having Fred putting the policies and procedure in place to check and double-check, ensuring everything humanly possible is done for success in patient care gives me confidence," said Ms. Weymouth, who came to the hospital in February 2011. "We're a team."

"We just hired Mary Kincart as director of medical affairs under Dr. Browne," Ms. Weymouth added. "She and her quality team are out and upon the floors talking to clinicians and physicians, providing education and reviewing -- then reporting back to Fred."

A Yale University School of Medicine fellow in infectious disease, microbiology and epidemiology, Dr. Browne has written or co-authored 14 clinical books and articles since 2002.

"Having (Dr. Browne) putting the policies and procedure in place to check and double-check, ensuring everything humanly possible is done for success in patient care gives me confidence."

Deborah Weymouth

Executive director of New Milford Hospital and senior vice president of Western Connecticut Health Network