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Quinnipiac University, Hartford HealthCare form new partnership to grow Conn. health care workforce

Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public

In a new partnership announced Wednesday, Quinnipiac University and Hartford HealthCare officials say they’ll work together to build up the state’s health care workforce pipeline and retain talent in the region.

“It’s a partnership that will greatly expand experiential learning and open up a host of new job opportunities for our students across all disciplines, beyond just health care,” said Judy Olian, university president.

The academic partnership will involve Hartford HealthCare’s investment of $5 million over the next five years into Quinnipiac’s medicine, nursing and health sciences programs. Organization leaders hope the move will eventually help close the gaps in high-demand areas of health care throughout the state.

“So that we have the right numbers of people, the right level of quality and training and credentials in the future to care for all the residents in the state of Connecticut,” said Jeffrey Flaks, CEO at Hartford HealthCare.

Officials said the partnership will expand opportunities for hands-on experience and training by increasing the number of medical residencies and clinical rotation placements for students pursuing careers in family care, psychiatry, occupational therapy, physical therapy and nursing.

Hartford HealthCare will also improve the size and scope of its surgical training programs, and create new programs for students in orthopedics and other specialties.

Flaks said that the health system will build pre-hospital training programs “so that emergency medical technicians can be trained here on the campus of Quinnipiac and at the same time, have those experiential learning opportunities in our facilities.”

He added that Quinnipiac and Hartford HealthCare would work together to recruit and attract more students from minority and underrepresented populations, and support them with academic scholarships.

Quinnipiac has had ongoing academic relationships with health care systems across the state. Olian said those arrangements will continue.

The university president announced that in addition to the academic partnership, Hartford HealthCare will take over the on-campus health care services for Quinnipiac’s 9,000-plus students, “from their physical health and mental wellbeing, to the athletic training needs of our 470 Division I student athletes.”

The transition will happen this summer. Olian said that’s when the university expects to open a new 60,000-square-foot recreation and wellness center, currently under construction on its Mount Carmel campus in Hamden.

Student health care services have previously been managed by the university and its staff. Workers will be offered employment with Hartford HealthCare to continue in their positions on campus.

Nicole Leonard joined Connecticut Public Radio to cover health care after several years of reporting for newspapers. In her native state of New Jersey, she covered medical and behavioral health care, as well as arts and culture, for The Press of Atlantic City. Her work on stories about domestic violence and childhood food insecurity won awards from the New Jersey Press Association.

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