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July 20, 2010

New Hospital Tower and Facility Renovation Update

In the short period of time since the General Assembly passed the UConn Health Network legislation in May and Governor M. Jodi Rell came to the Health Center in June to sign the bill into law, there has been steady progress made on the future of the John Dempsey Hospital.

The signing of the bill allowed the Health Center to begin to seek proposals for an architectural firm to work on planning aspects for the new patient tower and for the renovation of certain areas within the existing hospital. We’ve just received the response to the RFP and it has been robust and extremely encouraging. A selection committee has been charged to carefully evaluate the many proposals received and we expect a selection to be made by the end of August.

Once the architectural firm is selected, the real work will begin. The faculty, staff and students at the Health Center will be asked to provide important input at various steps along the way.

I’ve appointed a committee that includes Dr. Mike Summerer, Hospital Director; Ellen Leone, AVP of Clinical Operations and Chief Nursing Officer; Anne Diamond, AVP of Clinical Operations; Tom Callahan, Interim Chief of Staff; John Biancamano, Chief Financial Officer; Carolle Andrews, Chief Administrative Officer; and Tom Trutter, AVP, Campus Planning, Design & Construction. It will be charged, among other objectives, with engaging the Health Center community through the development of several “building committees” that will coalesce throughout the project to provide both conceptual and detailed input. I invite all those interested in this monumental and historic project to join and share ideas and insights.

Thanks to our elected officials, our Boards of Directors and Trustees, our union leaders, and many others who care deeply about the Health Center, we have a remarkable opportunity to grow our clinical, educational and research strengths in the years to come. Again, we look forward to working with you as this critically important project moves forward.

More updates about the John Dempsey Hospital renewal and UConn Health Network will be shared throughout the summer. Visit our new website about the UConn Health Network initiative at http://uconnhealthnetwork.uchc.edu and if you have a specific question, please don’t hesitate to submit questions or comments via my blog.

Sincerely,

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