I was honored to recently receive the 2010 Community Service Award from the Urban League of Greater Hartford. It was a very moving night. The evening featured talks from men and women whose lives have been touched by the programs and services supported by the Urban League – their stories were truly inspiring.
I was proud to accept my award and spoke of the fact that the University of Connecticut Health Center has become a strong and empowering presence in our greater community – far beyond the Farmington campus.
As I mentioned that night, there are many ways that the Health Center’s faculty, staff and students help our community every day. Here are just a few examples:
UConn Health Network: The bold new initiatives that are part of the UConn Health Network will, in partnership with regional hospitals and healthcare and educational organizations, address pressing healthcare needs including the shortage of primary care physicians and nurses; ongoing health disparities; and the need for advanced simulation training for all healthcare professionals. We are very excited about these projects.
Mentoring Futures Together: Dr. Jo Hawke of the Department of Psychiatry was awarded a significant federal grant this year to launch Mentoring Futures Together. This is a collaborative effort between the Health Center and several local advocacy groups to provide adult role models to children who have a parent in prison or on parole. The program is now up and running – thanks to cooperation on many levels.
Health Career Opportunities Program: One of the best success stories in the Health Center’s history is our Health Career Opportunity Programs which for more than 20 years has developed innovative programs that reach out to talented students from middle school, high school, college and graduate levels and encourages them to pursue careers in medicine, dentistry and allied health.
The Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, M.D., Research Fellowship Fund: About a year ago, my wife and I created the Helen I. Moorehead-Laurencin, M.D., Research Fellowship Fund, in honor my mother. The fund supports UConn School of Medicine students who have demonstrated academic achievement and are involved in conducting summer research projects. Our hope is foster continued mentorship between students and established researchers and/or clinician researchers at the Health Center.
Student-Run Clinics: We are enormously proud of our medical and dental students’ interest and commitment to providing care to the most vulnerable patients in our area through projects like the Outreach Clinic at the South Park Inn, service at free dental clinics and more.
Indeed, there are many more ways we continue to help our community. Please know I appreciate and strongly support all of these initiatives and all the ways our faculty, students and staff use their talent and time to the betterment of our region.