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To the Editor:
I am penning this letter to you in support of the University of Connecticut, especially UConn Health. The quality and competitiveness of the university has risen steadily over the years so that now it is recognized as one of the best in the nation. And yet, most of our students are from Connecticut, and go on to stay in the State. It is vital that that we continue this investment in the future of our state, and avoid the drastic budget cuts included in the budget that was recently passed by both houses of the legislature.
As for UConn Health, both medical and dental schools rely on John Dempsey Hospital and outpatient clinical facilities for their all-important clinical training. The hospital and clinics enable our faculty to provide excellent quality of care and serve simultaneously as teachers and models for tomorrow’s doctors. Without the hospital or clinics, the Medical School would lose valuable clinical teaching and would be severely negatively impacted. The School of Medicine needs UConn Health’s hospital and clinics.
Equally important are the cutting-edge innovations and discovery that are occurring every day at UConn Health. With nearly $100 million research grants and contracts from outside the state, UConn Health contributes to the economic engine and growth in Connecticut through job creation and innovation. Novel technologies are invented which serve as the basis of new entrepreneurial companies that form part of the Farmington biomedical hub. Our incubator space is 70% full with companies from both within and outside the state. We are inventing some of the cures such as immunotherapy for cancer, new medicine to treat patients with advanced heart failure, regeneration of limbs, to name a few examples.
Our clinical experts are using state-of-the-art approaches to save lives and cure diseases. They are leaders in their fields such as cardiology, cancer, bone and muscular disease, geriatric conditions, as well as surgical, neurological and mental illnesses. UConn Health’s John Dempsey Hospital is among the safest hospital in the state with an A grade by Leapfrog, American Heart Association, Joint Commissions, to name a few.
The proposed cuts to UConn Health would take away a vital contributor in UConn Health for CT. I urge you to lend your support to UConn Health and not cut the investment that is critical for Connecticut’s growth.
Montgomery Douglas, MD
West Hartford, CT