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Juan Carlos Estupinan, MD, Named New Milford Hospital Physician of the Year

Friday, December 10, 2010 - New Milford, CT

Even in the era of health care reform and falling reimbursements, the importance of “bedside manner” still carries a lot of weight at New Milford Hospital, where physicians and staff recently selected their first Physician of the Year.  After more than 60 nominations for 14 different physicians, Hospitalist Juan Carlos Estupinan, MD, was selected as the medical staff member who best personifies the Hospital’s core values and the spirit of Planetree, a patient-centered model of care focused on nurturing mind, body and spirit. Other physicians who were nominated for the honor include:

Nominations were sought from employees, volunteers and medical staff, and reviewed by the Hospital’s Planetree Steering Council and Nursing Leadership. The winner was selected by the recommendation of the two groups and was officially announced at the Medical Staff Annual Meeting on December 9.

Richard J. Henley, Interim Senior Vice President and Executive Director at the Hospital, said, “We have a tradition of excellence and longstanding service by more than 120 physicians who represent primary care and specialty services in the community.  It was a very challenging endeavor to decide upon, but we were very pleased with the level of participation and the quality of the nominations to highlight areas of achievement that translate into high-quality care for patients and their families.”

Dr. Estupinan

Dr. Estupinan joined the NMH medical staff in 2008 as hospitalist, which is a specialist in inpatient medicine, following an internal medicine residency at St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City.  He completed internships at Hospital Universitario de San Ignacio, Mexico, Hospital Regional de Garagoa, Colombia, and the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City.  He graduated from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Medical School in Bogota, Colombia, and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He also served as a fellow and research assistant at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, prior to his medical studies. A native of Brazil, Dr. Estupinan is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Appreciation Expressed by Physicians, Nurses, Staff

Lindsay Burke, RN, Assistant Nurse Manager, Medical/Surgical Nursing, said Dr. Estupinan is “very approachable and willing to listen to the nurses.  He respects their professional judgment, and is calm and professional.  He is very kind to all of his patients.  He has gained the trust of this community.  We would all trust him with our lives!”  Many of her colleagues echoed these sentiments.

In one nomination submitted collectively by 20 staff members, Dr. Estupinan was cited as reflecting “all of the skills and qualities that patients and colleagues expect from a doctor and hospitalist: confidence, empathy, humane, personal, forthright, respectful, and thorough. He responds quickly when there is a crisis; he is rational and clear, logical in thinking, and warm with a sincere heart.”  The group concluded that “good doctors should be nurtured.  Dr. Estupinan is not only a good doctor with skills, knowledge and empathy, but also has the right attitude.  He obviously likes people and genuinely wants to help them.  He always makes the extra effort to care for his patients."

In the Intensive Care Unit, Tammy Marquis, APRN, explained, “Dr. Estupinan’s consistency with care enhances the NMH community. He is very considerate and maintains control under difficult circumstances.” Her colleague, Carol O’Dowd, RN, said, “He is always there for the people he works with, never too busy. Dr. Estupinan sets such a good example for his colleagues and this institution. He is always kind and treats every situation with care.”

Others expressed great appreciation for Dr. Estupinan’s behavior as a team player.  Andrea Olivera, LCSW, Social Work, said, “Dr. Estupinan sees each patient as a unique individual and values the important role of family.  His is always willing to share during multi-disciplinary rounds to seek input from other members of the team.”  April Duncan, RN, noted that Dr. Estupinan “shows tremendous patience, tolerance, understanding and a willingness to include the patient, family and staff in important discussions about patient needs."

The Hospitalist Program

As a hospitalist, Dr. Estupinan represents one the fastest growing specialties in American medicine designed support the unique needs of patients during their hospitalization. He is part of the 24/7 physician team at NMH working to promote the highest quality of care for hospitalized patients, and enhance the practice of hospital medicine through education, research and advocacy.  According to the Society of Hospital Medicine, studies have documented improvements in outcomes and decreases in length of hospital stays when care is managed by hospitalists.  At the same time, hospitalists allow community-based physicians to spend more time in their offices, be more accessible to their patients, and remain at the top of their game in the equally dynamic field of primary care. Because hospitalists are less familiar in New Milford than in other areas of the country, where the movement has been in place longer, patients are sometimes confused when their PCPs don’t appear at the Hospital.  The Hospital is working to ensure that patients and their primary care physicians receive the timely care and support they need, and to help them understand the many advantages that hospitalist medicine represents to their health care.

About New Milford Hospital

New Milford Hospital, established in 1921, is an 85 bed hospital well known for its Planetree approach to patient care and strong community commitment. It provides centers of excellence in acute care, orthopedics, cancer, family birthing and other services.




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