Press Releases & Announcements

Western Connecticut Health Network and Norwalk Hospital Sign Affiliation Agreement

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - Danbury, CT

Western Connecticut Health Network and Norwalk HospitalTo bring to life their parallel missions of improving health care throughout Western Connecticut, Norwalk Hospital and the Western Connecticut Health Network took the next step today to combine their strengths by signing the final agreement to affiliate.

The new organization - including hospitals in Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk - will include some 784 beds that will be governed by a single board of directors and a unified mission to promote the health and well being of people in the communities it serves.

"Since we announced our exploration of this collaboration in April, we have spent nine months considering the benefits of working together to create a new picture of health for our communities in Western Connecticut," says John M. Murphy, M.D., President and CEO, Western Connecticut Health Network. "We each bring strong legacies in not-for-profit, community-based care to our shared goal to be a beacon of quality care in an ever-changing health care landscape."

"From the first day our new organization begins, people who know each organization will immediately experience the benefits of our collaboration," says Dan DeBarba, Jr., President and CEO, Norwalk Hospital. "Together we will offer easier access to more resources to help people lead healthier lives."

Today's signing follows several months of discussions about how the new organization will operate. With the signing of the final agreements, and pending regulatory approvals, transition planning will begin as the organizations prepare to inaugurate the affiliation later this year.

"With health care reform changing our environment,"Murphy says, "people continue to look for health resources they can trust and care that makes a difference. Together we will build an integrated network of health services for our communities to redefine what a health care organization can offer.

The new organization will be led by Murphy as President and CEO, with DeBarba to remain as the President and CEO of Norwalk Hospital and become the Executive Vice President of the Network. Erv Shames, a current member of the Norwalk Hospital board of trustees, will lead the new board of directors. Other organizational details will be addressed in the coming months.

"For our patients, the new organization will offer expanded access to a wider range of primary and specialty care than either organization offers today. In a changing health care marketplace, we will be a trusted source of quality, reliability and personalized care," says DeBarba, "For our staff, the new organization will continue to offer a great place to work as we strengthen our commitments to medical education and research."

With today's signing, the organizations will begin an extended period of outreach with members of the community, patients, donors, clinicians and employees.

"Over the past months, we have learned how much we have in common, how similar our backgrounds are, and what we can mean to our communities," says Murphy. "Together, we will be the health care organization for the care they need, the resources they want and the health they pursue. We look forward to creating a new picture of health for our communities."

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,Western Connecticut Home Care and The Western Connecticut Health Network Foundations

The hospitals offer emergency medical and Level II trauma services, a corporate occupational wellness and medicine program, and a nationally renowned Biomedical Research Institute.

Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in women's health, cardiovascular and cancer services; minimally invasive and joint and spine surgery; digestive disorders 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.

About Norwalk Hospital

Norwalk Hospital is an acute care general hospital, licensed for 328 beds, and serving an area population of 272,000 in Fairfield County and beyond. The hospital's parent company is Norwalk Health Services Corporation and the affiliates, in addition to the hospital, include the Norwalk Hospital Foundation, Norwalk Hospital Physicians & Surgeons, S.W.C. Corporation and Maple Street Indemnity, Ltd. The mission of Norwalk Hospital is to provide uniquely excellent innovative and compassionate health care with exceptional outcomes. In addition to its inpatient services, Norwalk Hospital also offers a full range of outpatient services including ambulatory surgery, gastroenterology procedures, cardiac and vascular services, wound care, oncology, adult and pediatric clinics, women's services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology and a sleep laboratory. These outpatient services are presently located either on or off campus. For more information about Norwalk Hospital, visit