Doctors from Yale and Saint Raphael’s mingle at a special reception

January event for medical staffs drew a robust, collegial crowd

alt textThe January reception drew more than 300 doctors. 

The January reception drew more than 300 doctors.

More than 300 doctors from Yale Medical Group and the Hospital of Saint Raphael (HSR) came together for an evening cocktail reception on January 19, and many had similar comments: they were pleased by the turnout, excited by the potential and happy to be mingling.

The reception was sponsored by the New Haven County Medical Association to give doctors from the two hospitals an opportunity to get together in light of the Definitive Agreement to merge the two health care organizations.

The Definitive Agreement would provide for a two-campus hospital that will deliver care across a wide spectrum of primary and specialty services, and provide Yale-New Haven Hospital with the capacity necessary for growth.

It was a large crowd—despite a last-minute location change to the elegant marble lobby of a former bank in New Haven after a pipe burst at the New Haven Country Club, the original location.

Air of anticipation

alt textDavid J. Leffell, MD, and Alan Kliger, MD.

David J. Leffell, MD, and Alan Kliger, MD.

Attendees included Robert Alpern, MD, dean of the Yale School of Medicine (SOM); David Leffell, MD, Deputy Dean for Clinical Affairs at SOM; Christopher O’Connor, President and CEO of HSR; and Marna Borgstrom, President and CEO of YNHH. Department chiefs and physicians from both hospitals attended.

“I was delighted to see that physicians from St. Raphael’s and Yale felt it was important enough to come here and spend time with each other after a long day,” said Dr. Leffell. “This is a first step in developing the collegiality and cooperation that will be necessary in bringing physicians in New Haven together.”

“This is an opportunity to have a new vision of what medical care in our community can be,” said Alan Kliger, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for the Saint Raphael Healthcare System. Dr. Kliger said that while it’s natural to be concerned about change, “I’m also feeling an air of anticipation and excitement. That’s why so many people are here tonight.”

Strong relationships

Two chiefs of anesthesiology, old friends who both trained at Yale, commented that there are many strong relationships between the two staffs. “We are looking forward to building upon our long standing relationship and advancing to the next level,” said Roberta Hines, MD, who had a long chat with HSR’s chief of anesthesiology, Alan Ruskis, MD. “A lot of our anesthesiologists trained at Yale. Many are contemporaries. We have the same values about clinical care, about the specialty and about moving the specialty forward.”

Ralph De Natale, MD, medical staff president at HSR said, “I’m very pleased that there was such a great turnout. Physicians at HSR and Yale getting together is a very good thing. We can take the best of both worlds, and that can only benefit patients.”