In a variety of ways and on many different levels, this was an inspirational year at Hospital for Special Care (HSC). Since our last Annual Meeting, we have opened new buildings, pioneered new technologies and have received national recognition for the superior care we provide our patients on a daily basis.
Following many years of planning and fundraising, the Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Outpatient Center saw its first patients last May. The $7 million facility not only houses our many clinics and a new Little Store, but it also provides a beautiful new frontage for the hospital. Shortly after the outpatient clinic opened, construction was also finished on our indoor riding arena at Manes & Motions in Middletown, CT. That $600,000 facility now allows us to operate our therapeutic horse riding program year-round and in just about any weather.
In October, HSC went live with our first Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system at our Autism Center and throughout our outpatient programs; we are hopeful that with continued support from the State of Connecticut, we will be able to expand EMR to all inpatient units as well in the coming year.
The Autism Center at HSC continued to grow at exponential rates. We started the year by launching our on-line “Spectrum of Kindness” campaign, and we ended the year by celebrating a Program of Promise award from Jackson Healthcare. Most notably, Governor Dannel P. Malloy visited us in March to announce that The Autism Center at HSC was designated as the first patient-centered specialty practice (PCSP) for autism in the country!
To me, the most impressive aspect of our success is that it was achieved amid the most difficult of financial circumstances. Federal cuts to Medicare and flat-funding of state Medicaid rates have caused us to rethink how we deliver care; but instead of changing our mission, we adapted to these difficult times. Every member of our Board and every member of our staff was – and continues to be – committed to running a cost-effective operation, without impacting exceptional quality of care.
This truly was an inspirational year at HSC. Nothing inspires us more, though, than the sustained success of the very people we are all here to serve: our patients. Both on the cover and throughout this annual report, we have highlighted just four of the many thousands of patients we have treated here at HSC. Their stories are each unique, but the inspiration they provide us as caregivers is unquestionably universal.
I would also like to remember Sister Mary Mark Pizzotti, DM, a longtime HSC Board member and friend, who passed away this year. She is missed already by the HSC community.
Thank you all for your friendship and for supporting HSC during the past year!