Officials from the University of Hartford and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center gathered on Thursday, June 24 to sign an affiliation agreement that will provide the framework for developing joint research and educational programs to be offered by the two institutions.
Under the agreement, Saint Francis will become the primary clinical partner for the University in a wide variety of programs, ranging from nursing, physical therapy and prosthetics/orthotics, radiology and respiratory therapy, to engineering. In addition, this master agreement will provide the framework for clinical placements for University of Hartford students, as well as providing advanced educational opportunities for Saint Francis staff.
"Saint Francis and the University of Hartford have collaborated informally for many years on programs that have benefited the community. I am excited to see this new mutually beneficial relationship come to formal fruition after two years of discussions," said Christopher M. Dadlez, the Hospital's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"This is a great day, when two significant Hartford institutions, located a little more than a mile apart, come together to form an important partnership for the future of the Hartford region," said University of Hartford President Walter Harrison. "Healthcare, research, and education: an obvious mix to improve the lives of our citizens. Sometimes the most revolutionary transformations start closest to home."
The wide array of areas where the two institutions can collaborate became apparent the more officials from Saint Francis and the University of Hartford met to discuss this partnership. Initiatives such as working on mobility and balance, as well as orthotics and prosthetics are areas that they hope to begin working on right away.
"In crafting this agreement we have gone beyond outlining simple clinical intersections to fostering collaboration and innovation on an institution-wide basis," said Gregory Makoul, Ph.D., Saint Francis' Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President for Innovation and Quality Integration. "Academic initiatives that essentially bring the University into the Hospital are the key to advancing both teaching and research.
According to Ralph O. Mueller, Dean of the University's College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, "This partnership allows for truly relevant educational and scholarly experiences. Our academic programs, as well as the research initiatives in our newly established Institute for Translational Research in Education, Nursing, and Health Professions, will benefit greatly. In short, we are thrilled by the affiliation with Saint Francis' top-notch staff to better our service to the Greater Hartford community while advancing knowledge in healthcare."
Programs that will be fostered under the affiliation agreement include: clinical experiences and teaching for University students and faculty, educational degree programs for Saint Francis staff; joint faculty and staff appointments; and innovative long-term research initiatives and collaborations. Talks are underway to finalize working agreements in all of these areas and more. Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.
Chartered in 1957 with the mission to be a "private university with a public purpose," the University of Hartford offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts, the humanities, business, engineering and technology, and the health professions. The University's student body of 7,300 represents 45 states and more than 50 countries. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu.