Western Connecticut Health Network announces new pediatric care partnership
A new partnership will bring new and specialized pediatric health care from the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to hospitals in Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk.
The Danbury-based Western Connecticut Health Network and the Hartford-based children’s medical center — the only hospital in the state dedicated solely to children’s care — announced the partnership early Monday.
Through the new program, WCHN’s three hospitals will have round-the-clock access to CCMC’s specialized and subspecialized pediatric services, along with more pediatric consultations in the Danbury and Norwalk emergency departments, according to a news release.
“It’s a great institution to work with,” said Raul Arguello, the pediatric chairman of Danbury and New Milford hospitals and one leader of the new partnership. “Over the years, we’ve met more and more of their physicians and the community has been really impressed, so we just wanted to bring it to a new level.”
Connecticut Children’s pediatric hospitalists — doctors who specialize in inpatient medicine — and physicians’ assistants began providing inpatient care at the beginning of the year for children at the health network’s Danbury and Norwalk hospitals, and neonatologists will start caring for newborns at each hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit starting in July.
“There are still people who travel to Hartford, New Haven and New York City for this care, and that doesn’t make sense to me … now we can provide these must-have services within our community hospitals,” Arguello said.
The program creates a new team to lead local efforts at each hospital, including two physicians from Connecticut Children’s and three WCHN providers, along with a new consultant for each emergency department. The health network now will adopt Connecticut Children’s standardized best practices at each hospital.
The partnership will directly connect patients with an even broader range of specialists and subspecialists, at in-person office hours at the WCHN locations and over video conferences, said Arguello and Alicia Briggs, another leader of the partnership and interim pediatric chair for Norwalk Hospital.
Although pediatric patients will remain Danbury and Norwalk hospital patients, they now have access to Connecticut Children’s main campus in Hartford, hospital spokeswomen said. Connecticut Children’s providers will participate in the same WCHN health plans and will bill in-network.