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July 2, 2009

Financial Update from the Vice President for Health Affairs

While Governor Rell and the legislature continue to work out an agreement for the FY 10 and FY 11 state budget, Iím pleased to say the Governor has signed legislation that will cover the Health Centerís deficit for the FY 09.

The deficit bill includes $22.2 million to help us end this year with a balanced budget. Budget shortfalls in FY 09 stemmed from several ongoing challenges with the clinical enterprise. We have too few medical-surgical beds and our important specialty services, such as the NICU and psychiatry services, are poorly reimbursed.

As you know, these challenges are not new. The Health Center and the University have been actively seeking a long-term solution for our financial situation. We have engaged legislative and executive leaders in these discussions and have closely followed recommendations made by the CASE report, which was authorized by the General Assembly.

Certainly, we are encouraged and gratified by the legislatureís and the Governorís support of our 09 deficit funding. In terms of the FY 10 and FY 11 state budget, the Health Center is watching the special session closely. Joann Lombardo, our Government Relations Director, and others are communicating regularly with legislative leaders on our behalf. I deeply appreciate their work on behalf of the Health Center.

I will share new information with you as soon as it becomes available. Needless to say, we are also awaiting legislative action on the proposed partnership with Hartford Healthcare and will also provide details as soon as possible.

These are certainly busy and demanding times for the Health Center. Please know I appreciate your patience, your support and the great work you do every day.

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