New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to help recover retirement benefits for over 1,100 former hospital workers, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Connecticut, New York, and Utah.
- Connecticut: Hartford HealthCare this month launched a pilot program that will help expand access to healthy food for roughly 200 patients and their families during its first year. Through the program, participants can shop for healthy food options free of charge at Hartford HealthCare's downtown Hartford campus. "We do believe that food is medicine. You are what you eat, you can live a healthier life if you consume better food," said Greg Jones, VP of community health and engagement. "The concept of a food pantry is not unique. The concept of food for health is unique," added Dave Fichandler, senior director of clinical operations. (Caffrey, NBC Connecticut, 5/23)
- New York: Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday filed a lawsuit to recover retirement benefits for over 1,100 former employees of St. Clare's Hospital, who lost their retirement benefits because of the alleged "negligent and intentional actions" of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. In the lawsuit, James alleges that the Diocese neglected its legal and fiduciary obligations to the former hospital's employees when it failed to manage the pension that was placed in its care. Of the more than 1,100 workers who lost their benefits, 650 retirees lost all pension rights, and almost 450 received 70% of their pension's value in a single payment. The lawsuit aims to hold the Diocese liable for their actions and recover the former employees' pensions. "These former hospital workers nobly served their community and cared for the sick, elderly, and vulnerable. But when they retired, they were left with nothing," James said. "No one should ever have to deal with the financial and emotional trauma of losing the resources they were counting on to survive," she said. "With this action, we're standing up for New Yorkers who deserve to retire with dignity, and I will do everything in my power to make sure they get the pension benefits they're owed." (Davis, HealthLeaders Media, 5/24)
- Utah: Intermountain Healthcare on Monday announced the expansion of its Stabilization Mobile Response program to Wayne, Piute, Severe, Millard and Sanpete counties. The program operates as a mobile and telehealth platform designed to expand access to mental health resources outside of an ED. To access the program, an individual can call 1-833-SAFE FAM to speak to a trained professional who can help family members with de-escalation and determine which services will best fit the family's needs, according to Lisa Giles, from University of Utah Health and medical director of behavioral health for Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital. After the initial call, behavioral health specialists can visit the home and develop a support plan, if necessary. "This is part of an ongoing effort to grow and provide these additional resources to children and families throughout Utah," said Kim Kettle, director for the Office of Coordinated Care & Regional Supports with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. "This is still in the beginning stages, and while capacity will be limited, it is an important step forward to ensure all Utahns have access to mental health services." (Fredde, KSL, 5/23)