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November 21, 2008

Conceptual Framework

Earlier this year the General Assembly passed legislation that charged the University to develop a plan with the areaís 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 August 1. Four responses were received from St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Connecticut Childrenís Medical Center, Bristol Hospital, and a combined response from Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut.

Since then, we have been deeply involved in discussions with the leaders of all the responding hospitals. As you might expect, there are many perspectives to consider, yet we are pleased the discussions thus far have been quite encouraging and productive.

Of the four responses, the one from Hartford Hospital and The Hospital of Central Connecticut was the most comprehensive. Accordingly, we have spent more time in discussions with their leadership. From these discussions, we have developed a Conceptual Framework document. The document identifies Hartford Hospital as UConnís principal partner. This partnership will form the nucleus of a restructured clinical enterprise.

The Conceptual Framework also delineates a Connecticut Health Collaborative, comprised of a broad network of affiliates, including St. Francis Hospital, The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Connecticut Childrenís Medical Center, Hartford Hospital and UConn Health Center. These hospitals, through the collaborative, would seek to support the educational and research mission of all the affiliates. This will be accomplished by expanding interactions with UConnís medical and dental students, interns and residents and broadening access to emerging science through the transfer of new knowledge to each hospitalís workforce. The collaborative will also support efforts to organize and grow biomedical research in the region. A recent correspondence to academic leaders of the affiliates that requests their assistance in determining how best to achieve these objectives, thereby enhancing medical education and research for all affiliated hospitals, may be viewed here: http://www.uchc.edu/about/vicepresident/messages/pdfs/chrec.pdf.

The Conceptual Framework represents our thinking to date and 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. Many difficult issues, including financial, need to be resolved and significant challenges lie ahead. Five Working Groups comprised of representatives from the Health Center and Hartford Hospital have been analyzing several key issues and developing recommended solutions.

We remain convinced that cooperative arrangements among our regionís hospitals as described in the Conceptual Framework provide the best opportunity to transform healthcare delivery, medical education and research while simultaneously generating increased economic activity throughout the greater Hartford area.

We encourage you to read the documents we have provided and consider what they strive to accomplish. Your thoughts and reactions are very important to us. To that end, a Town Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 2 at 5:30 p.m. in Keller Auditorium. It will be a forum for you to ask questions and offer comments. Please plan to attend.

Mike Hogan
President

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine