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The Town of Farmington’s Business and Breakfast Series. The University of Connecticut Health Center: A Time of Transformation & Affiliation, A Vision of Excellence. Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. September 23, 2009. Thank you for inviting me:.

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The Town of Farmington’s Business and Breakfast Series

The University of Connecticut Health Center: A Time of Transformation & Affiliation, A Vision of Excellence

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

September 23, 2009


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Thank you for inviting me:

  • I am pleased to address the Town of Farmington’s Business and Breakfast meeting and to be asked to provide an update on the Health Center’s activities and plans.

  • As you all are aware, a little over 12 months ago I stepped into a role containing an inherent set of challenges; challenges I prefer to characterize as opportunities that bode well for our mutual future.

  • I look forward to a long and productive relationship with the Town of Farmington, its business community and the entire Farmington Valley.

  • Farmington and the Farmington Valley are extremely important to us. More than 800 of our employees live in the Farmington Valley and valley residents accounted for nearly 147,000 visits to the UCHC.


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UCHC’S Primary Mission: Education and Research

  • 3 Schools:

    • Medical School (346 students)

    • Dental School (170students)

    • Graduate School in bio-medical sciences (344students)

  • Research: More than $90M per year of innovative research is conducted and discoveries are translated into advances in patient care, e.g. cancer vaccines, hormone therapies for Osteoporosis, new materials for Dental Implants, and Stem Cell research

  • Residency Training:For 675residents (medical and dental) per year who train in local hospitals

  • John Dempsey Hospital (JDH) and UConn Medical Group (UMG), the multi-specialty faculty practice, are sites for learning and represent key elements in attracting talented faculty who want to teach, do research and provide patient care.

  • UCHC represents ½ of the University of Connecticut, ½ of its budget, ½ of its employees and ½ of its research portfolio. We contribute to the health and vitality of the state’s flagship university.


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Times of Transformation

Massey Auditorium

  • We are in the midst of significant transformation

    • UCONN 21st Century projects are literally changing the landscape by

      • Upgrading our education and teaching areas:


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Times of Transformation, cont.

  • Construction of the Cell & Genome Sciences Building

    • Scheduled to open in the summer of 2010

400 Farmington Avenue - View from Front Entry (Schematic Design)

Schematic Design Rendering by Goody Clancy Architects


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Times of Transformation, cont.

  • Enhancing our environment

  • Clinical growth has required relocation of our Dermatology program to new space at 21 South Rd.

  • Landscape rendering by Flad & Associates


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    Times of Transformation, cont.

    • John Dempsey Hospital Emergency Department Renovations

      • Construction work is currently ongoing with a target completion date of 12/1/2009.

        But - no amount of renovation can hide the fact that JDH is a 30 yr old facility with no major upgrades since opening. It is undersized and inadequate to accommodate today’s evolving standards of care and technologies, privacy concerns and patient/ provider expectations.


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    The UConn Health Center Today

    • John Dempsey Hospital (JDH) is a hospital that was never built as planned. The contractual, obligated fringe benefits are higher than market and the payor/ service mix is particularly challenging.

      • 116 of 224 beds are low reimbursement, specialty beds

        • NICU

        • Newborn

        • High-risk maternity

        • Psychiatry

        • Corrections

      • Fewer than half of our licensed beds are available for medical/surgical care.

      • The now aging physical plant was originally planned to have 400 beds.

    • JDH has been running a $22.2 million deficit annually and this is expected to increase.

    • This is why we seek state support and the partnership with Hartford HealthCare.

      • It should be noted that only 22.5% of the Health Center budget is state supported.77.5% comes from other revenues (clinical, tuition, research, philanthropy.)


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    Securing the Future of UCHC and Transforming Health Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region


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    The Affiliation: Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • Affiliation discussions continue with Hartford Hospital and elected officials.

    • This region is prime to become a “Medical Destination.”

      • The goal is to provide a clinical trial base to attract significant industry interest

      • In so doing, awareness is raised about the good things being done in the Farmington medical community

    • We’ve created a Research and Education Collaborative linking UConn, Hartford HealthCare Corporation, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, The Hospital of Central CT and CT Children’s Medical Center, thereby raising the quality of healthcare in the area.


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    The Affiliation: Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • We will create an economic powerhouse with UCHC, and therefore the Town of Farmington, at its core.

      • Economic drivers exist in the areas of biomedical research, including stem cells, and medical devices

      • The Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering (CASE) study was very clear that we have room to grow in this area.

        Theone area in our state growing jobs is healthcare. The UConn/ Hartford Hospital proposal provides a chance to enhance our health care system and an opportunity to turn around our struggling economy by generating new jobs, increasing personal income, adding research funding and providing a significant net economic impact to the state and region.


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    The Partnership Proposal Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • The partnership would create one University Hospital on 2 campuses (Hartford and Farmington) with no increase in licensed beds in the region.

    • This calls for the replacement of JDH on the Farmington Campus with the state contributing $475M in bond funds to fund the hospital. The hospital remains a state asset. The state would also pay the fringe benefit differential for state employees of JDH.

    • Once vacated, the old JDH would be repurposed for research/ lab/ academic use.


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    The Partnership Proposal Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • Hartford Hospital would contribute financially to UCHC over the next 10 years, including:

      • $60 M for the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine

      • $65 M in working capital (transition dollars) and tech transfer

      • Up to $100M in research support.


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    Benefits of the Partnership to Farmington Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • The continued presence of a hospital and continued access to essential healthcare services for Farmington residents

    • Clinical programs are protected at the Farmington campus

      • One short-term acute care hospital maintained at each site in Farmington and in Hartford

      • Any changes in services at Farmington site require approval by the University Hospital Board, where UConn is represented

      • Most changes would require review and approval by the Office of Health Care Access.


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    Advantages for the State Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • The state gains predictable financial stability at its academic hospital , with Hartford HealthCare absorbing the financial risk going forward.

    • The academic health center moves into top tier status among the nation’s medical schools.

    • Expansion of class size, mitigating the state’s upcoming shortage of doctors and dentists.

    • Not only are 1,300 state jobs at JDH secure, but by 2040 18,000 new jobs will be created, generating over $3 billion annually in new personal income. (Verified in report by the CT Center for Economic Analysis)

    • The operations of UCHC and University Hospital will generate over $1.3 billion in new spending each year and over $1.9 billion in new tax revenue by 2035.

    • This amounts to a return on the $475M investment of over

      $900 M.


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    Economic Impact Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • Connecticut is caught in an economic “perfect storm.” The traditional economic engines – defense, manufacturing, finance- are areas losing jobs.

    • Between 2/2008 and 2/2009, CT lost over 50,000 jobs, a number equal to the population of New London and Farmington.

    • The question becomes whether CT is poised to participate in a recovery that will build a better long-term future for our citizens.

    • The health services sector, including the biosciences, is the only area of state economy to experience job growth in the last year. We know that every $1M in NIH sponsored research generates approximately 18 jobs.

    • As we look to the future, immediate and long term, it is clear that the healthcare sector, biomedical research and UCHC have the potential to be a means to economic recovery in the short term and a major building block in the state’s long term economic future. The UCHC is the mechanism for that to occur.


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    Vision for School of Medicine Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • We’re developing a vision of School of Medicine

    • (SOM) to be in the top 30 nationally.

    • The plan is to catapult the SOM from the 2nd

    • smallest academic medical center hospital to one of

    • the largest.

    • To achieve this we need to grow our research portfolio

    • from $93 million to $300 million. This requires

    • significant resources and space.

    • This ties back to the Hospital Affiliation discussion,

    • since the affiliation will allow an increase in class size

    • in both the School of Medicine and the School of

    • Dental Medicine. This will help with replacement of

    • aging practitioners in the state.


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    In Conclusion: Education, Research and Clinical Care in the Region

    • I am both a realist and an optimist

      • As a realist I recognize that these are tough times and we must make difficult decisions

      • However, the optimist in me knows that our vision is great and our opportunities are even greater

    • I look forward to working with each of you to achieve our vision.


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