March 9, 2010

New plan for UConn Health Center includes new hospital

Press release from Gov. Jodi Rell:

Governor Rell Unveils Partnership To Establish
UConn Health Network
New John Dempsey Hospital Centerpiece of $352M Initiative
Governor M. Jodi Rell today unveiled plans that would establish the UConn Health Network through a landmark partnership that will transform the delivery of healthcare in the state and lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs.

The Governor said the state and University of Connecticut are building the network in collaboration with Hartford Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and other healthcare facilities and providers. The centerpiece of the partnership is a new state-of-the-art patient tower and totally renovated hospital at UConn Health Center campus in Farmington.

“This partnership will result in a state-of-the-art John Dempsey Hospital and a health network with incredible reach throughout Connecticut,” Governor Rell said. “Together, we will help lift the UConn schools of medicine into the top tier of academics and research and create thousands of healthcare jobs for our economy.

“This is a $352 million investment in a new hospital that will have increased classroom and lab space for more medical and dental students and will help offset anticipated shortages in these professions,” Governor Rell said. “The return on our investment will include a nationally recognized cancer center and specialized institutes and advanced training open to all healthcare professionals in the state. The tremendous benefit, of course, is a more robust healthcare sector that stands to gain 5,000 new jobs in the years to come.”

To pay for the new hospital and related facilities in the network, $100 million of the investment is expected to come from federal funds; $25 million for design and planning will come from already approved UConn 21st Century funding; and $227 million will be in state bonding.

“This is a much lower state price tag than the $450 million original projection, with a far more robust network and partnership and far greater job and economic development opportunities,” the Governor said. 

UConn President Michael Hogan said the partnership puts the UConn Health Center on “firm footing” for a promising future.

“We’re grateful for the Governor’s vision and advocacy. Her proposal will stimulate job growth, promote economic development and improve access to the state-of-the-art healthcare that our faculty and staff deliver every day,” President Hogan said. “This kind of vision is exactly what’s needed as the State of Connecticut looks ahead to continuing its role as a leader in innovation and care for our citizens.”

In addition to the new hospital, the network features: 

·        Nationally recognized cancer center at the Farmington campus. Partners will seek federal designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center to make it the second in the state outside of Yale;
·        Primary Care Institute at St. Francis. Would be open to all healthcare professionals to develop new models of chronic disease management and primary care education and treatment;
·        Simulation center at Hartford Hospital. Open to all healthcare professionals to train on newest equipment and technology in simulated care settings;
·        Transfer of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. NICU will still be at Dempsey, but run by CCMC’s regional children’s system;
·        Health disparities institute in the city of Hartford. Would promote enhanced healthcare research, training and delivery to minority communities;
·        Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences on Farmington Campus. A super-site by network partners would speed lab-to-bedside clinical trials and breakthrough medicine;
·        Establishment of bioscience enterprise zone. Would offer state tax breaks to private companies that create jobs and work with UConn Health Network partners.

Governor Rell thanked President Hogan and all who worked with her on the proposal, including Sen. Chris Dodd, who helped secure the $100 million in federal funds.

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

Is this 100 million in the Senate Healthcare Bill? Not one thing good in this article for Bristol Hospital.

Anonymous said...

Dont worry this will never happen. This OBAMA CARE will never happen - so UCONN can kiss that 100 mil good bye.

Anonymous said...

Bristol has been getting dumped on ever since Ward dissed Rell

JW said...

Kurt Barwis was 10 feet from Gov Rell when this was announced today in Farmington, and introduced as a key contributor of the consortium of hospitals that helped conceive this project. So guess again....

Anonymous said...

Once again, Bristol's politicians prove how impotent they are when it comes to clout in Hartford.

Anonymous said...

Unless Bristol Hospital can drastically improve, patients from Bristol and surrounding towns will continue to travel to other hospitals (including John Dempsey) for care.

I am expecting a baby and almost inevitably the first question people have is, "You aren't delivering at Bristol, are you?" We are uncomfortable with the hospital, especially after hearing horror stories from patients who went to Bristol for other reasons. I'm sure it's no coincidence that a major OBGYN practice that used to only deliver at Bristol has now obtained privileges at New Britain General as well. There was a recent lawsuit against Bristol regarding a badly-botched birth - after reading those court documents I would never set foot in Bristol Hospital voluntarily.

New Britain General does have a special care nursery as well as perinatologists, which is why we'll drive 20 minutes to get there rather than 3 minutes to get to Bristol Hospital.

Like it or not, Bristol Hospital is a community hospital with a lousy reputation - unless it cleans up its act, it will rightfully lose patients to Hartford Hospital, St. Francis, New Britain, and John Dempsey.

It's pathetic that even in its current decrepit condition, John Dempsey would be preferable to Bristol Hospital...