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Welcome, L+M and Westerly hospitals, YNHHS' newest delivery networks


After months of preparation, Lawrence + Memorial and Westerly hospitals went live on Epic Jan. 19. Leaders symbolically launched Epic with the YNHHS flip-the-switch machine at events at each hospital. From left are: Gayle Capozzalo, executive vice president; Christopher O'Connor, executive vice president; and Lisa Stump, chief information officer, YNHHS; Oliver Mayorga, MD, chief medical officer; Lauren Williams, RN, chief nursing officer; Bruce Cummings, president and CEO; and Denise Fiore, interim chief operating officer, L+M Healthcare.

Last September, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London and Westerly Hospital in Westerly, RI, became the first hospitals to join Yale New Haven Health System since Greenwich Hospital affiliated in 1998. 

But the partnership is nothing new to L+M, which began working with Yale New Haven Hospital more than 20 years ago to provide radiation oncology services to patients in southeastern Connecticut. In the years since, physicians and clinical staff with YNHH and Yale School of Medicine have collaborated with their colleagues at L+M on L+M's elective and emergency angioplasty programs, Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Heart and Vascular Center, Pediatric Emergency program, Pediatric Hospitalist Service and, since January 2016, medical oncology. L+M has also been a longtime user of YNHH's Telestroke service and Y Access transfer center.

Now that Yale New Haven Health System and L+M Healthcare have made their relationship "official," the organizations are working together even more closely to expand existing L+M and Westerly services, including emergency services, surgery, women's health, primary care and behavioral health. Early recruitment successes include adding two neurosurgeons, a chief of psychiatry and a cardiologist specializing in electrophysiology at L+M. 

"L+M and Westerly hospitals have a long history of providing excellent care to the patients in their regions," said Denise Fiore, interim chief operating officer, L+M Healthcare. "The affiliation will make it even easier for patients to access clinical expertise, close to home."

The affiliation also has financial benefits. As part of a larger health system, L+M and Westerly can save on equipment, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, and access capital to update facilities and technology. Last summer, YNHHS' Information Technology Services department launched the Epic electronic medical record in L+M Medical Group; L+M and Westerly hospitals implemented Epic Jan. 19. With Epic, L+M and Westerly patients can go to other YNHHS hospitals – or vice versa – and their caregivers have immediate, secure access to their medical information.

"The Epic launch is just one example of how L+M Healthcare's affiliation with Yale New Haven Health will enhance the clinical coordination and quality of care our patients receive across multiple settings," said Bruce Cummings, president and CEO, L+M Healthcare, and executive vice president, YNHHS.

Fast facts about YNHHS' newest delivery networks:

  • L+M and Westerly hospitals are part of L+M Healthcare, which is also the parent organization of the former L+M Medical Group and the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut (VNASC).
  • Under the affiliation agreement, each hospital and the VNASC will maintain their identities, and the hospitals will maintain separate licenses and medical staffs.
  • L+M Hospital's 2,400 employees and Westerly Hospital's 568 employees will remain employed by each hospital. Over time, L+M Medical Group will merge with YNHHS' Northeast Medical Group.
  • L+M Hospital is licensed for 308 inpatient beds (280 general hospital beds and 28 bassinets); Westerly Hospital is licensed for 125 beds.
  • The hospitals have a number of outpatient facilities in the region, including a large cancer center, several health centers, a sleep center and diagnostic facilities.