Less than a year after he signed the Bioscience Connecticut bill, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was joined by UConn leaders, state officials, and the UConn Health Center community for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of a series of construction projects on the Health Center campus.
“What we’re doing is inviting the finest scientists in the world to come to Connecticut, the finest teachers in the world to come to Connecticut, the finest medical students and dental students in larger numbers to come or stay in Connecticut,” Malloy said. “Let us build together a new and brighter future for this institution, for this university, for this state, and all of the prospects of all of its people.”
Bioscience Connecticut calls for several capital projects and program investments at the UConn Health Center and other health care institutions in the region. Malloy introduced the proposal in May of 2011 as a way to generate sustainable economic growth through short- and long-term job creation while continuing advances in health care and health care access, ultimately positioning Connecticut as a leader in biomedical research.
“We have come here today to celebrate a critical connection between our students and our patients on the one hand, and on the other hand, the medical science that drives and shapes their education and their care,” said Dr. Frank Torti, UConn Health Center executive vice president for health affairs and medical school dean.
As Bioscience Connecticut evolved, so did a partnership with The Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Me. Construction of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine on the Health Center campus is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
“Together these initiatives are the building blocks that will transform our state by creating jobs and strengthening our ability to meet future health care needs,” said UConn President Susan Herbst.
Jackson Lab Vice President for Advancement Mike Hyde said the construction will create “the facilities where we hope, together with our good friends at UConn Health, we’ll be inventing the future of medicine.”
The first of the construction projects is a parking garage in front of the main entrance, scheduled to be completed by next spring, according to the Health Center’s Bioscience Connecticut timeline.
“We pledge to expand and maintain all those things we’ve done so well for so many years: to teach and educate, to do research, to care for patients, and to care for the community through outreach,” said Dr. R. Lamont MacNeil, dean of the UConn School of Dental Medicine.
Bioscience Connecticut also will expand both the medical and dental school enrollment by 30 percent.