On Sept. 24, the UConn Medical Group opened its latest UConn Health satellite facility on Connecticut Boulevard in East Hartford. Though the main campus of UConn Health remains in Farmington, satellite offices offer a diverse range of services and facilities, which are convenient and needed in many of Connecticut’s urban or lower-income areas.
This new office provides “adult and pediatric primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, nephrology, rheumatology, diabetes education and a blood-draw station” according to a report from the Hartford Courant. This sort of direct exposure and benefit to the people of Connecticut provides the tangible benefits a public university should be sure to plan and promote.
Public universities are meant to provide an affordable, post-secondary education as well as a means for boosting the economy of their host state. Connecticut is an extremely wealthy state, maintaining some of the most prominent hospitals and health care facilities in the nation.
The state is also home to many of the nation’s top universities, such as Yale University in New Haven, as well as UConn, which is ranked No. 19 among public universities. UConn Health provides a vital link between these two aspects of the state, synergizing research and healthcare.
While the main Farmington location of UConn Health provides a top-level medical school and facility, branching out into smaller regional facilities throughout the state, will help to spread the fruits of this public investment to the tax base.
Providing publicly backed health services to the people of Connecticut expands job opportunities for UConn Health alumni and other state healthcare workers. Without satellite offices, all of the UConn Health Center’s innovation would be concentrated on one site; satellite offices ensure that all corners of the state have access to UConn Health’s top-level services and resources.
The East Hartford branch joins six other current or planned satellite facilities across the state. The Hartford Courant quoted State Rep. Henry Genga as saying, “The facility reportedly generated 29 new jobs in the community.” Such real benefits should be chief amongst the state’s concerns when investing resources in the UConn system.
Though UConn generates a great deal of revenue for the state, approximately $3.4 billion according to the latest study, direct results of UConn’s broad resources and presence are even more impactful. Providing funding and budgetary increases to the state should be seen as supplying the catalyst for direct economic benefit as well as improving the quality of life for state residents.