Thursday, January 24, 2008

St. Raphael’s to receive $3.4M grant

By Eliza Hallabeck
Special to the Register

The Hospital of Saint Raphael will receive a $3.4 million grant to use toward the purchase of a device that will allow doctors to detect heart disease in earlier stages, a state official said.
State Social Services Commissioner Michael P. Starkowski said the grant is part of an overall $20.3 million package from the state Hospital Hardship Fund to eight hospitals in Connecticut facing financial difficulties.
Paul Storiale, vice president of finance and chief financial officer at St. Raphael’s, said caring for economically disadvantaged area residents has resulted in hospital losses over the last year, and the grant was the hospital’s way of easing the financial burden.
"These awards are further indication of how important our network of nonprofit hospitals is in caring for the residents of Connecticut," Starkowski said.
The state Department of Social Services provided the grant, along with the state Department of Public Health, Office of Health Care Access and the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority.
The $3.4 million award will be used to help purchase of a 64-slice CT scanner and laboratory information system for St. Raphael’s.
The scanner is a noninvasive tool for cardiac diagnosis, and can help doctors detect signs of heart disease in earlier stages by finding calcium deposits.
The scanner helps detect coronary artery disease, which is the most common form of heart disease. The information system will be used to record and report lab results, Storiale said.
St. Raphael’s already owns a CT scanner, but according to Storiale, the new machine will be much better. He said the new scanner should arrive within 30 days.
"To put it into context, we do 38,000 CT scans per year," said Storiale.
The hospitals chosen to receive the grants were selected on the basis of actual and projected revenues and expenditures, licensure and certification compliance history and the care of patients eligible for state assistance programs.
Eliza Hallabeck is a Register intern.

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