News & Events

Backus annual meeting highlights ‘Promises Kept’ in 2013

November 21, 2013

NORWICH – The William W. Backus Hospital reported improvements in quality, patient safety and financial performance at its Annual Meeting of Corporators Wednesday.

The meeting, with a theme of “Promises Kept,” included highlights of the year for the not-for-profit hospital ranging from an affiliation with Hartford HealthCare to national recognition for patient care and expanded outreach efforts, including:

  • The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals nationally, named Backus a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, a distinction that recognizes sustained excellence in health care quality measures. In addition, Backus was also one of only eight hospitals in the state to receive the Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval.
  • Backus received the American Hospital Association’s Most Wired Award for the third year in a row, meaning the health system is a leader in integrating technology in patient care.
  • Backus received Blue Distinction recognition for orthopedics from Anthem Blue Cross, meaning its surgical procedures meet the highest quality standards, and is more cost effective than many other hospitals.
  • The Backus Anticoagulation Center received a national award for excellence.
  • Backus Home Health Care received national Home care Elite status, meaning it offers high quality, cost effective care.
  • Colchester and Montville Health Centers achieved Patient Centered Medical Home status, which means patients have access to integrated health care that includes preventative health care, the latest technology and easy access to medical records.

Backus was able to invest in its regional system of care due to its strong financial performance. In fiscal year 2013, revenues over expenses equaled $25.4 million. Based on revenues of $275.7 million, that yields an operating margin of 9.2 %.

“In the midst of a health care landscape that is nothing less than challenging, and even tumultuous, Backus has had a year of strong success – in our communities and at the bedside,” said Anthony Joyce, Backus Board Chairman. “Our margin and our mission remain strong.”

Backus President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Whitehead said Backus success is due to an unrelenting focus on transforming health care delivery through the “Triple Aim”– improving the health of the population, improving patient experience and decreasing the cost of care set Backus apart.

“Year over year, our quality has increased while our cost has decreased,” Whitehead said. “And our extensive outreach efforts are reaching more people, connecting patients who lack providers to medical homes, and – this is the key – providing care proactively that keeps people well, instead of just treating them when they get sick.”

Financial success, a combination of operational efficiencies and clinical innovation, meant the ability to add new programs and services, including the new Boutique at Backus, which offers education, merchandise and resources for cancer patients.

Backus was also able to open new health centers in Norwich and North Stonington; expand its Weight Loss Center to include gastric bypass procedures and complete patient safety training for more than 2,000 employees and medical staff members.

Extensive  community outreach efforts included completion of a health needs assessment; expansion of the Rx for Health program, which involves physicians writing prescriptions to farmer’s markets for children and families at risk for obesity; Healthy Eating Advocate Training (HEAT) to create sustainable community education about nutrition; a Healthy Community pilot program in Baltic  to create sustainable, measureable health improvements among a defined population; and a new CareVan to couple with the Mobile Health Resource Center to bring health care and screenings to people in their communities.

“I want to stress that sound fiscal management – an operating margin that provides an opportunity for true investment in care transformation – is part and parcel of keeping the promise to remain sustainable,” Whitehead said.

For more information about Backus in 2013, please visit to view “Promises Kept,” the Backus online annual report.