Tackling chronic diseases begins with coordinated care

A message from the president of Greenwich Hospital

Six in 10 Americans live with at least one chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer. Chronic diseases – long-term medical conditions that require ongoing medical attention – are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States.

Fortunately, many people can prevent or manage chronic diseases by eating well, staying physically active, avoiding tobacco and excessive drinking, and making sure they visit their primary care physician for routine health screenings.

Take Allen Richardson of Old Greenwich, for example, who is managing diabetes and heart disease under the guidance of his Greenwich Hospital endocrinologist and the diabetes self-management team at the hospital’s Center for Behavioral and Nutritional Health. He quit smoking, exercises several times a week, enjoys a healthy diet and checks his blood glucose levels regularly without fail.

Richardson’s success underscores the importance of having coordinated health care with a team of professionals. In his case, the team included an endocrinologist, cardiologist, cardiac surgeon, psychologist, diabetes educators, registered dietitians, exercise physiologists and many others, all of whom are part of the same healthcare delivery system.

When Richardson turned to Greenwich Hospital for care, he was actually tapping the resources of Yale New Haven Health, Connecticut’s largest healthcare network.

Everyone on Richardson’s care team has access to the same medical record, allowing them to easily communicate with each other and stay abreast of his health status. So when Greenwich Hospital experts determined Richardson had blocked arteries, he was seamlessly transferred to Yale New Haven Hospital for a quadruple bypass. He’s getting all his follow-up care close to home at Greenwich Hospital.

That’s the beauty of turning to an integrated team of healthcare professionals at a single world-class health system.

Norman G. Roth, President and Chief Executive Officer