It has been over three years since Norman Roth took over as president at Greenwich Hospital. And since that time, he and his team have made a number of changes and updates to the over a century old hospital. We recently talked with Roth about that, what initiatives he’s working towards now, and what’s on tap for the future.
You’ve been at the helm of the hospital since 2015. How have things changed during your tenure?
We are seeing tremendous growth in our outpatient services and not just in Greenwich, but in surrounding communities as hospitals seek to keep patients healthy and provide that care closer to home. We opened an outpatient facility in Stamford in 2016—a collaboration with Yale Medicine and our physician group Northeast Medical Group. The site offers musculoskeletal care, radiology, physical therapy, infusion services and primary care physician offices. It’s a great formula to bring comprehensive outpatient care to patients in a comfortable accessible location. Earlier this summer we expanded to another outpatient location in Rye Brook, NY to provide pediatric and primary care, walk-in services as well as radiology and lab services.
In addition to those outpatient facilities, we have increased the number of cardiologists on staff from two to seven. Last year, we opened an outpatient women’s cardiology center in collaboration with Yale Medicine to house all the relevant providers in one location. The goal is both to help prevent problems before they happen and treat any concerns women might have about their heart health. In 2017, we opened Yale Medicine Neurology at Greenwich at 55 Holly Hill Lane to bring a broader range of neurological subspecialties to surrounding communities at a time of growing demand from an aging population.
Our pediatric patients now have expert emergency care if they have to come to the Emergency Room. Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital pediatric emergency physicians are now onsite during those critical hours when pediatricians’ offices are closed. Parents can be fully confident coming to Greenwich in an emergency that we will have the expert care they need. In addition, we have pediatric hospitalists who specialize in inpatient care for children who have to stay overnight in the hospital. A pediatric patient isn’t just a small adult and these experts ensure that our young patients get the expert care they need.
Are there specific initiatives you are working on or towards?
A significant objective of mine has been to bring more specialized services to the Greenwich community. It is so important that patients have access to top medical specialists near home and, thanks to our affiliation with Yale New Haven Health and Yale Medicine, we are delivering on the promise to grow Greenwich Hospital from a small community hospital into a regional medical center. More than a dozen pediatric specialists from Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital now provide expert sub-specialty care in areas such as pediatric endocrinology and gastroenterology. This complements our ability to provide a higher level of care for our pediatric inpatients.
We are making a large investment in the area of neurosciences, including advancing stroke care. In the past, if someone needed critical clot extraction intervention, they would be transferred to New Haven. Soon we will have the ability to perform that care at Greenwich Hospital when medications alone are not effective.
We will be expanding the current urology and surgical oncology programs to increase their clinical complexity and provide a wider range of services. In cardiology, we will be opening a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) clinic to evaluate whether a patient will need this procedure performed at our partner organization, YNHH (TAVR is a less invasive procedure for patients with severe aortic stenosis and avoids open heart surgery.) We will also soon have a post-cardiac surgery clinic so that patients who must undergo open heart surgery can get their post-operative care in Greenwich rather than traveling to New Haven.
What are some ways the community can continue to be involved?
We are very fortunate to be a part of the Greenwich community and beyond. As evidenced by our wonderful turnout Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Annual Gala for Greenwich Hospital, we receive tremendous support from the community. Not only did we raise nearly $1.1 million from that event, but we were able to honor some of our dedicated supporters: the Bennett/Kanarek Families, the Greenwich Hospital Auxiliary and the O’Malley Family.
We invite anyone interested in volunteering to contact Stacey Green, director Volunteer Services (Stacey.Green@greenwichhospital.org), or Noël Appel, chief development officer Greenwich Hospital Foundation (Noel.Appel@greenwichhospital.org), for opportunities to assist patients in the hospital or plan an important fundraising event. Another way to volunteer with the Foundation is to join the Women’s Health Initiative Advisory Board to provide health education for women and their families.
What is next on the agenda for the hospital?
Next on our list is to create more private hospital rooms. We are among the top 5 percent in patient satisfaction and patient experience in the country, but where we get lower marks is from patients who receive care in a semi-private room and have a roommate. No one wants to share a room when they are sick. To address this, we will begin renovations within the next several months to move departments around, including Administration, and give patients the space and privacy they deserve.
We want to expand further on our oncology care. While we have outstanding breast surgeons, medical oncologists and radiologists, in the near future we will expand our services to add more specialty oncologists and diversify the kinds of cancer we treat. We will do this aligning more closely with Smilow Cancer Hospital. We also plan to expand upon and open additional outpatient locations in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I would like to thank Serendipity for their continuing support of Greenwich Hospital—and especially to Suni Unger who served as our master of ceremonies at the recent Gala.