At midnight on September 12, 2012, Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) officially acquired the assets of the Hospital of Saint Raphael (HSR) to become a single 1,541-bed hospital with two campuses. The acquisition makes YNHH one of the largest hospitals in the country and the largest provider of psychiatric services in Connecticut.
According to data filed with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the two campuses had 4,266 combined psychiatric discharges and 45,688 combined patient days in fiscal year 2011.
On Thursday, September 13, YNHH and Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital (YNHPH) administrators held a meet and greet to introduce themselves to Saint Raphael campus staff and explain next steps in the integration of the two psychiatric services.
Marshal Mandelkern, MD, PhD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale and chair of Saint Raphael's psychiatry department, kicked off the meeting by expressing his excitement that all of these top-notch clinicians and staff are "now on the same team."
John Krystal, MD, the Robert L. McNeil Jr. Professor of Translational Research and chair of psychiatry at Yale, as well as YNHH's chief of psychiatry, welcomed the new professionals to YNHH, "This integration of psychiatric services expands our patient base dramatically and presents a number of new opportunities. Each campus contributes strengths that will enhance care for all of our patients in New Haven and the region."
William Sledge, MD, the George and Esther Gross Professor of Psychiatry at Yale and the medical director of YNHPH, expressed his hope that YNHPH could build on Saint Raphael's successful outpatient program. He added, "We have a great opportunity for success in melding these services. After this initial phase, we can move on to grander, strategic visions for providing care to the communities we serve."
Sabina Lim, MD, MPH, executive director of YNHPH and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale, said the acquisition felt like a homecoming to her. Dr. Lim told those assembled that she completed her internship at Hospital of Saint Raphael. "I am very proud to call Saint Raphael's part of our psychiatry service," she said. "Our values and principles are aligned. Both sites practice a team-based approach to care. Now, the team has just gotten a little bigger."
A formal Steering Committee co-chaired by Dr. Krystal and Fred Volkmar, MD, the Irving B. Harris Professor in and director of Yale's Child Study Center and chief of child psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, will be responsible for developing recommendations for longer-term integration of services. In addition, a Transitional Operations Council comprising leadership from child, adolescent and adult psychiatric services at both campuses will be responsible for ensuring effective daily operations.
"There is now a clear path forward for addressing uncertainties in a thoughtful, measured, and process-oriented way," said Dr. Lim. "Decisions will be driven by what is best for patients, and the committees will meet until the work is done."