I am delighted to announce that the state’s Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) today approved the Certificate of Need application that was filed jointly by the UConn Health Center and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in early November.
This is a significant step forward in our journey to add more medical-surgical beds to the UConn Health Center’s footprint and to continue to improve care for some of our most vulnerable patients.
In particular, the CON allows for the license transfer of UConn’s 40 NICU and Special Care beds to Connecticut Children’s and the addition of 10 more medical surgical beds to the UConn Health Center’s license. All totaled, this will allow the UConn Health Center to increase its number of adult medical-surgical beds by 50.
This is a key component of the renewal plans for John Dempsey Hospital, and it will go far to support the UConn Health Center’s long-term financial health. The regionalization of NICU services, as you may recall, is an important element of the new UConn Health Network.
Specifically for the NICU, today’s decision means that specialized neonatal care will continue to be offered on the UConn Health Center campus. The difference is that moving forward the unit will become part of Connecticut Children’s. Nurses and other staff in the unit at the UConn Health Center will remain UConn employees and Connecticut Children’s will lease space and contract for services.
With today’s decision, we will work toward a February 1, 2011, “go live” date with a celebration and ribbon cutting to follow shortly after.
To all who made today’s milestone a reality, particularly Governor M. Jodi Rell and the Connecticut General Assembly, I offer my deepest thanks. This is a wonderful addition to the holiday season!
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UConn School of Medicine