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Framework announced for hospital collaboration

- December 1, 2008


As part of the ongoing process to explore affiliations with regional hospitals, University officials have released a conceptual framework document that calls for significantly enhanced ties between the UConn Health Center and Hartford area hospitals.

Earlier this year the Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation that charged UConn and its Health Center in Farmington with developing a plan with the area’s hospitals that would, through cooperation and collaboration, transform the greater Hartford region into a hub of health care delivery, medical education, leading-edge research, and biomedical business activity.

In response, the University issued a Solicitation of Interest that sought proposals from interested organizations by Aug. 1.

Four responses were received: from St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Bristol Hospital, and a combined response from Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut.

Since then, University leaders have been involved in discussions with the leaders of all the responding hospitals.

“While there are many perspectives to consider, we are pleased the discussions with all the area hospitals thus far have been quite encouraging and productive,” said University President Michael J. Hogan.

“Of the four responses, the one from Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut was the most comprehensive,” Hogan said. “Accordingly, we have spent more time in discussions with their leadership.”

From these discussions, the University and Hartford Hospital have developed a conceptual framework document that identifies Hartford Hospital as UConn’s principal partner.

This partnership will form the nucleus of a restructured clinical enterprise.

The conceptual framework also delineates a Connecticut Health Collaborative, comprising a broad network of affiliates, including St. Francis Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, and The UConn Health Center.

“These hospitals, through the collaborative, would seek to support the educational and research mission of all of the affiliates,” said Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, UConn’s vice president for health affairs and dean of the medical school.

“This will be accomplished by expanding interactions with UConn’s medical and dental students, interns, and residents, and broadening access to emerging science through the transfer of new knowledge to each hospital’s workforce. The collaborative will also support efforts to organize and grow biomedical research in the region.”

Added Hogan, “The conceptual framework represents our thinking to date. It describes a collaborative model of working with the University that involves and benefits all the responding hospitals.”

“Without question, moving it forward will not be easy,” he said.

“Many difficult issues, including financial issues, need to be resolved, and significant challenges lie ahead. We remain convinced that cooperative arrangements among our region’s hospitals as described in the conceptual framework provide the best opportunity to transform healthcare delivery and medical education and research, while simultaneously generating increased economic activity throughout the Greater Hartford area.”

The conceptual framework is available online.

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