Press Releases & Announcements

CHEFA Grant Awarded to Danbury Hospital For Simulation Lab

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - Danbury, CT

Ramin Ahmadi, M.D. and Mark Warshofsky, M.D.

Ramin Ahmadi, M.D.
Chair, Medical Education and Research
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Mark Warshofsky, M.D.
Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
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Danbury Hospital announced today that it has been awarded a $71,800 grant from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) as part of its Client Grant Program to obtain Ultrasonography/Transthoracic Echocardiology Simulator equipment for its simulation laboratory to train medical staff to quickly and accurately diagnose various emergent situations.

Danbury Hospital is a teaching hospital serving the needs of residents in Western Connecticut. The hospital trains the next generation of physicians in the provision of high-quality patient care and the ability to quickly diagnose a patient with cardiovascular disease can often mean the difference between life and death. This new equipment will be used to conduct safe and convenient educational opportunities.

Danbury Hospital currently maintains strong training programs in areas such as internal, medicine, primary care, and obstetrics and gynecology, and teaches about 110 residents and 6 cardiovascular fellows annually. Cardiovascular diseases represent the leading diagnoses of patients at Danbury Hospital. Approximately half of hospital admissions and Emergency Department visits to patients 50 years of age and older present with a cardiovascular disease diagnosis. Despite the fact that emergency medicine and internal medicine physicians are the first immediate contact point with patients, they often lack the specific training in echocardiography that would allow them to conduct a cardiac examination. It is widely known that the shorter the time from call to diagnosis and procedure benefits the recovery process-time is recovered heart muscle. The ability to quickly diagnose a patient with cardiovascular disease can often mean the difference between life and death. Training tools such as this Simulator provide variable co-morbidities and scenarios allowing safe and convenient training opportunities.

"As our organization continues to transform care delivery, the importance of training tools such as this Simulation Lab cannot be over stated. This will allow our clinical teams and resident interns an important opportunity to practice their craft using state-of-the-art simulation," said Ramin Ahmadi, Chair of Medical Education and Research at Danbury Hospital. "We are so grateful to CHEFA for this financial support and endorsement of our ongoing approaches to quality improvement.

Patient simulators and validated scenarios are the ideal way to challenge a trainee's clinical and critical thinking skills, providing the best possible preparation for this specialized patient care service, without any risk to patients. While Danbury Hospital is currently planning to develop a state-of-the-art simulation center by 2014, this new simulation equipment allows our clinical teams to address our most pressing medical issues and to foster a culture where simulation methods are used and valued. CHEFA recently announced $1 million in grants to 15 of its nonprofit client agencies throughout the state. CHEFA is a quasi-public agency created by the State Legislature to help Connecticut healthcare and educational institutions, and other not-for-profit entities obtain tax exempt financing. CHEFA is self-sustaining and receives no taxpayer funds.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. The organization is anchored by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the two hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes the following affiliates:

  • Western Connecticut Medical Group, an integrated physician practice with primary and specialty care expertise
  • Western Connecticut Home Care, an agency for home care and community health services
  • The Western Connecticut Health Network Foundations
  • emergency medical and Level II trauma services
  • an occupational wellness and medicine program, providing services for business and industry
  • a nationally renowned Biomedical Research Institute

Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in women's health, cardiovascular and cancer services; minimally invasive joint and spine surgery; digestive disorders, weight-loss (bariatric) surgery, and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for neonatology with a Level IIIb neonatal intensive care unit and accredited sleep disorder centers. Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns. Danbury Hospital was named a Top 100 Hospital by US News and World reports in 2012; a and a Top 100 for Value by Cleverly and Associates. New Milford Hospital is well known as a Planetree hospital and for its Plow to Plate, farm to table food program.

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Imagine Build Transform: The Campaign for Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is conducting a capital campaign to meet patients' changing needs with next generation facilities, resources, talent, and technologies. Our priority areas are the Patient Tower, Emergency Department, and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Danbury Hospital, the Emergency Department at New Milford Hospital, and the Biomedical Research Institute. To learn more, please call the Foundation office at (203) 739-7227 or visit us at