This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page.

  April 2, 2001

Health Center Expands Primary Care Program

In a move to increase learning opportunities for UConn medical students and expand primary care services, the Health Center recently hired 17 community-based primary care physicians.

The physicians, who will see patients in existing offices in West Hartford, East Hartford and Rocky Hill, were previously part of a privately owned practice called Connecticut Health Partners. The newly created Health Center practice is called UConn Health Partners.

"Creating UConn Health Partners enhances the Health Center's mission in several key ways," says Peter J. Deckers, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. "It provides new, on-site learning opportunities for our medical students, and it allows the Health Center to expand the reach of our primary care services in the community, including underserved areas."

Deckers says the addition of the UConn Health Partners practice is a good fit with the goals and objectives of the medical school's curriculum, which places a strong emphasis on primary care medicine and on-site training throughout the four years of medical school.

The move is also beneficial for patients and families who receive care at the UConn Health Partners offices, he says. "Patients will be allowed to maintain their medical 'homes' - they will receive routine care in community offices, from professionals they know and trust."

UConn Health Partners patients will now have access to a range of specialty and hospital-based services at the Health Center. The practice includes physicians working in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, podiatry and dermatology.

Support staff for UConn Health Partners have been hired on an interim basis. Permanent positions will be posted in accordance with the Health Center's collective bargaining agreements.

As part of the agreement to create this practice, the Health Center will use existing community facilities formerly used by the physicians in the three locations, with the intent of buying furnishings and equipment, and entering into direct agreements with the building owners and lease-holders.

The former Connecticut Health Partners was formed in 1999 by physicians and staff who were previously affiliated with Kaiser Permanente, an HMO that has since left Connecticut. There are about 20,000 patients in this practice, and about 10,000 patient visits occur per month.

UConn Health Partners offices are located at 65 Kane Street in West Hartford; 99 Ash Street in East Hartford; and 2080 Silas Deane Highway in Rocky Hill.

Maureen McGuire