Nuvance Health

A profile of hospitals – and the heads who make them hum – in Westchester and Fairfield counties and their environs.

John M. Murphy, M.D. president and CEO of Nuvance Health

(Editor’s note:  Nuvance Health chose to interpret WAG’s request for hospital information by also having its CEO answer the questions:)

What was your path to becoming a CEO?

“I started my career in health care nearly four decades ago as a practicing neurologist. For 20 years, I thoroughly enjoyed caring for patients with neurological concerns and I continue to see patients at a community clinic. I also developed a passion for health-care administration to affect positive change for even more community members and patients. As a clinician, I held various administrative roles at Danbury Hospital, including president of the medical staff. When I became an administrator, I was executive vice president and chief operating officer, before becoming CEO. Today, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be president and CEO of Nuvance Health. We formed Nuvance Health in 2019 to improve the health and well-being of the people we passionately serve in the Hudson Valley and western Connecticut. Nuvance Health has convenient hospitals and outpatient locations, including Danbury Hospital and its New Milford campus, Norwalk Hospital and Sharon Hospital in Connecticut; Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital and Vassar Brothers Medical Center in New York; and many primary- and specialty-care practices and three urgent care offices. Nuvance Health also has Home Care and rehabilitation and skilled-nursing services affiliates. It is imperative that health care, public health and government agencies collaborate to ensure the health and safety of our communities — which has become increasingly paramount during the Covid-19 pandemic. That is why I am also thankful for the opportunity to be involved with the Connecticut Hospital Association as a former Board of Trustees chair and to participate on the board of the Value Care Alliance, of which I am a founding member.”

 What makes Nuvance Health distinctive?

“As a network of mission-driven, nonprofit hospitals deeply rooted in our communities, Nuvance Health’s foundational values of being personal, imaginative, agile and connected make us distinctive. We have repeatedly proven during the pandemic how our integrated health system has benefited our communities, patients and staff — which was the intention of forming Nuvance Health. Our hospitals, Nuvance Health Medical Practices and Home Care connect daily to leverage each other’s processes, resources and skill sets to provide continuous, personalized care to patients. At the beginning of the pandemic, Nuvance Health quickly implemented telehealth in our primary-care and specialty practices across New York and Connecticut in a matter of weeks to continue caring for patients. During the initial peak of the pandemic, nearly 90 percent of all medical practice visits were remote. Today, Nuvance Health continues to offer telehealth visits at all our medical practices so patients can get the care they need wherever is most convenient for them. Nuvance Health has not been immune to the staffing challenges caused by Covid-19, especially in clinical areas. We reimagined how to get through this tough time by swiftly launching a process to identify and train administrative staff who wanted to volunteer in other clinical areas that needed support. Staff volunteers have prepared hundreds of Covid-19 test kits for employee testing, supported drive-through testing sites and stocked emergency department supplies. The support for each other has been incredible and ensured continuity of care for our patients.” 

What are Nuvance Health’s specialties?

Nuvance Health recruits top medical and surgical talent and collaborates with leading experts to bring excellent services to our communities through a variety of channels, including our cancer, heart and vascular and neuroscience institutes and primary care. Cancer patients have access to a team of fellowship-trained surgical oncologists and skilled medical and radiation oncologists, nurses, dietitians, social services and support groups at each of our six cancer centers. Nuvance Health heart and vascular specialists perform traditional open-heart surgeries. They also perform less-invasive options to give patients who qualify an alternative to open-heart surgery, offering many benefits, including faster recovery. Highly trained neurologists and neurosurgeons provide innovative headache, movement disorders and stroke care, resulting in better outcomes for patients, and treat complex disorders of the brain, spine and nervous system. At the core of our care is Nuvance Health Medical Practices Primary Care, where we focus on effectively managing chronic conditions and prevention and wellness through initiatives like the community Get Fit challenge. Our primary-care clinicians connect patients with specialty outpatient and hospital care. Through our electronic medical record system, teams across the health system have a complete picture of a patient’s medical record to inform comprehensive-care decisions.” 

Increasingly, hospitals are becoming part of health-care systems. What are the advantages of such networks? 

“There are many advantages to operating as a health system, including sharing resources and providing more access to the latest treatments, technology, services and care teams. There are economies of scale and intellect that allow us to provide higher-quality, cost-effective care. We have persevered throughout the pandemic, because we are a seven-hospital health system. We had sufficient capacity for our patients, developed patient-care protocols and playbooks together and shared supplies with each other. Our Nuvance Health Medical Practices greatly helped reduce the overwhelming volume of people coming to the emergency departments for routine Covid-19 testing by offering telehealth visits and testing with a doctor’s order at our labs. One of our intended outcomes of forming Nuvance Health is to provide more affordable care to patients by having a system of clinicians and services in the same network and through volume cost savings.”

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