Hartford Healthcare executives are considering making changes to The Hospital of Central Connecticut Bradley Memorial Campus in Southington, but some people in Southington along with some town council members are not on board with the proposed changes.
One possibility is closing the in-patient portion of the hospital, according to Gary Havican, the president of the Hartford Healthcare central region. Havican said healthcare is changing, it is becoming more specialized and services are moving from community hospitals to larger hospitals.
“Closing the in-patient operations is on the table. We see less than four patients a day on the inpatient side. So we need to come to the realization that that’s not sustainable long term,” said Havican.
In-patient services are when people stay overnight at the hospital for things like observation or an infection.
Havican said he is also looking into maximizing the emergency department. Chris Palmieri, the Southington Town Council chairman, said the two discussed Havican’s desire to move the emergency department to Queen Street, but Palmieri said he wants the ER to stay at the Bradley Campus because it is centrally located and there is too much traffic on Queen Street.
The town council chairman also said he wants Hartford Healthcare to keep inpatient services in Southington.
With 42,000 people living in Southington, Palmieri said he feels the town should have a hospital. Palmieri said he suggested alternatives to Havican, like the hospital expanding the senior rehab facility, Southington Care Center, because there’s always a long wait list for that facility.
Other community members, like Bonnie Sica, are also against the proposed changes. She is the spokesperson for the “Community Committee to Save Bradley,” a group made up of about 300 people. She has been fighting the changes proposed by Hartford Healthcare over the last four years.
Sica said the Bradley Campus is a large part of Southington’s history as the money used to build it was donated. Sica also feels people in Southington need this hospital, especially the large senior population.
“Southington is growing as it always has but the spirit of Southington is that of a small town and that’s what they don’t understand,” Sica said. “We will not lose our hospital, we will fight them, every legal and ethical way. We will picket, we will rally.”
Hartford Healthcare has recently built new doctors’ offices in Southington, a new urgent care facility and a new behavioral health center.
The chairman of the town council is waiting to hear back from the hospital president about their recent discussions.
Even after the town reaches an agreement with Hartford Healthcare on changes to Bradley Campus, the changes would still need state approval, which could take up to two years.