SOUTHINGTON - The Southington Town Council passed a resolution Monday to support keeping emergency services at the Bradley Memorial Campus of the Hospital of Central Connecticut.
Six councilors voted in favor with two councilors - Mike Riccio and Tom Lombardi - voting against it. Victoria Triano abstained from the vote since she is employed by Hartford HeathCare.
Gary Havican, Hartford HealthCare’s president of the Central Region, urged the council to postpone passing a resolution until he and local healthcare experts could present to the council. They had aimed to do so in late September.
“We have not had the opportunity provided to us yet and a resolution without fact toward a subject so important as healthcare in your community can be misleading,” he said.
When discussing the Bradley Campus’ future, Havican continued to argue that the facility can no longer deliver optimal care.
“It’s becoming increasingly apparent that investing in maintaining the current services at the Bradley Campus is not consistent with best medical practices and providing world-class healthcare in Southington,” he said. “This has nothing to do with the quality of our physicians or services offered, it has to do with the rapidly evolving changes in the delivery of healthcare services. We need to embrace these changes and adapt in order to continue to provide world-class healthcare in Southington.”
Lombardi said he voted against the resolution because it is “unnecessary and unprofessional” to pass it before Hartford HealthCare has a chance to present its case before the council.
“Why are we even putting this forth when we don’t control the decision that Hartford HealthCare makes for Bradley?” he said. “I think that sitting down with them is our best option. We need to keep our emotions in check and think about the future.”
Riccio said that Monday’s meeting was “the worst political pandering” he’d seen in all his years of politics.
“That resolution wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on,” he said. “You don’t make demands of a private business, you work with them.”
Councilor Chris Poulos said that Council Chairman Chris Palmieri and Councilor Dawn Miceli met with Havican June 4 and requested an analysis of what a renovation of Bradley Hospital would cost versus relocating services or building a new hospital.
“I met with Gary on July 5 and I also asked for a traffic study of Queen Street and Meriden Avenue,” Poulos said. “I was told that I would have it a week before this meeting. It was never sent to me. This resolution was a way for me to state how I feel on the record, because who knows if they are listening to me. This resolution would be the optimal outcome for the town; keeping Bradley going as a quality microhospital.”
Miceli, who wrote the resolution, said that she considers Bradley Hospital a community gem and part of Southington’s culture. She said that she got the idea of the microhospital from Havican during their last meeting.
“He holds up the microhospital in Westbrook as state of the art,” Miceli said. “I asked him how many people are in that community and he said 50,000. I said ‘perfect, we’re 45,000.’ To me, it fits hand in hand and so I asked him to look into it.”
Bonnie Sica, who heads the Community Committee to Save Bradley that came out in force at Monday’s meeting, said that the council passing the resolution was a big win.
“If Hartford HealthCare goes to the state office of Health Care Access then this resolution will help our cause,” she said. “They can no longer say they are working with the council.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or .