HAMDEN — Quinnipiac University has successfully negotiated two key accreditation hurdles that place it on a path to welcome students to its new Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine next autumn.

 

On October 3 the state’s Board of Education unanimously approved Quinnipiac’s medical degree program. Said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a statement following the vote, “The state Board of Education’s vote today is a great step forward for Quinnipiac University as it moves towards the creation of a medical school that will be at the forefront of addressing the critical need for more primary-care physicians.

 

In addition, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) has awarded the Netter school preliminary accreditation.

 

“Adding a medical school to Quinnipiac’s existing schools of law, health sciences, nursing, communications, education, business and engineering and College of Arts and Sciences will continue Quinnipiac's transformation into a major national university,” said QU President John L. Lahey in a statement. “When the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine enrolls its first medical students in the fall of 2013, Quinnipiac will join fewer than 100 universities in America that have both law and medical schools.”

Added founding medical school Dean Bruce Koeppen, MD: “Receiving preliminary accreditation from the LCME and approval by the state Board of Education are important milestones in the development of the School of Medicine. These actions are a testament to the efforts of many individuals who have worked tirelessly to build the school. More important, applicants to our school can be assured that they will receive a high quality medical education that will prepare them for the contemporary practice of medicine."

 

The Netter school will be Connecticut’s third institution — along with the University of Connecticut and Yale University — to confer MD degrees. The inaugural class will include 60 students, a figure that is expected to grow to 125 students per class by 2017.

 

The QU med school will be housed on Quinnipiac’s North Haven campus, the site formerly occupied by Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut.

 

The school’s primary clinical partner will be St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. It will also have affiliations with MidState Medical Center in Meriden and Middlesex Hospital in Middletown.

 HARTFORD — Comptroller Kevin Lembo reported last month that the state ended fiscal 2012 with a $143.6 million deficit, which was driven in part by a 7.6-percent increase in Medicaid spending.

The deficit has been eliminated using budget reserves from prior years, Lembo said.

In a letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lembo reported that General Fund revenue for fiscal 2012 grew 4.8 percent or $854.2 million. That growth fell $227 million short of the original budget target.

Meanwhile, Lembo said spending in fiscal 2012 was up $936.9 million or 5.2 percent over the prior year.

The largest component of the increase was from the Department of Social Services (DSS), whose Medicaid caseload grew by 52 percent. That led to a 7.6 percent, or $409.4 million, increase in spending on the health insurance program for the poor.

Additional spending increases resulted from contributions to teachers' retirement, up $210.2 million; debt service payments; and funding for the state employees' retirement.

 NEW HAVEN — Residents of six New Haven neighborhoods are being surveyed this fall about their health status and health habits as part of a long-term project that seeks to reverse worsening rates of chronic disease in the city.

Approximately 1,400 adults in the city’s Dixwell, West River/Dwight, Fair Haven, Hill North, Newhallville and West Rock neighborhoods are being interviewed about their health and health issues within their community, including access to health care, diet, exercise, tobacco use and their neighborhood environment.

The project is spearheaded locally by CARE (Community Alliance for Research and Engagement) at Yale School of Public Health to assess the health status and risk factors of chronic disease. Recent evidence suggests that comprehensive health interventions are an important approach to improving community health and can result in successful outcomes. According to Jeannette Ickovics, a Yale professor of public health and CARE’s director, the surveys will help to lay a crucial foundation for improving health, neighborhood by neighborhood.

 NEW HAVEN — George Lister, MD of Guilford will chair the department of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine and serve as pediatric chief at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he will also serve as physician-in-chief of the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Lister was a member of YNHH’s pediatrics department for 25 years before relocating to Texas in 2003 to become the Robert L. Moore Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Dean for Education at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (UTSW). From 2003-2011, he served as chair of pediatrics at UTSW and pediatrician-in-chief at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

Lister was graduated from Brown University and earned his MD from the Yale School of Medicine. He completed his pediatric residency at YNHH, followed by a fellowship in pediatric cardiology and neonatology at the University of California/San Francisco. He returned to YNHH in 1978, where he rose to professor of pediatrics and anesthesiology, founded the section of critical care and applied physiology at Yale-New Haven and was its chief for more than 20 years. He also created a pediatric critical care fellowship program, which has trained a generation of pediatric critical care physicians across the country.

 HAMDEN — Richard A. Gonzalez of North Haven has been appointed to the founding faculty of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. As assistant professor of medical sciences, Gonzalez will teach human gross anatomy, coordinate the school’s medical humanities concentration for the scholarly reflection capstone course and teach medical anthropology-related topics. Gonzalez holds a doctorate in anthropology and a master of science degree in social science interdisciplinary studies from SUNY/Buffalo. He also holds master of arts and bachelor’s in anthropology from Wichita State University. Gonzalez is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, American Association of Physical Anthropologists and American Association of Anatomists.

 HAMDEN — Orthopaedic surgeon Jeffrey M. Klauser, MD of Shelton has joined Connecticut Orthpaedic Specialists (COS). Klauser specializes in arthroscopic and open treatment of shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle injuries. He studied sports medicine under the tutelage of renowned orthopaedic surgeon James Andrews. In mid-September Klauser will launch COS’ new Saturday Morning Injury Clinic at 889 Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton, intended to provide timely care to athletes injured in games the night before.

 WALLINGFORD — Board-certified clinical neuropsychologist Sarah Bullard has been named director of psychology at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, where she will oversee delivery of inpatient and outpatient psychological services as well as conduct neuropsychological evaluations. Previously a staff neuropsychologist at Hartford Hospital, Bullard earned bachelor and doctoral degrees from the University of Connecticut.

 Reproductive-services flap stalls talks

 

 

 

WATERBURY — Merger talks between two Waterbury hospitals and a Texas company have reached an impasse over how to offer reproductive services for women.

 

All parties have pledged to continue meeting, but their previously quiet negotiations spilled into public view early this month when the state's Permanent Commission on the Status of Women objected to the most recent reproductive services plan.

 

The overall proposal under discussion calls for Waterbury Hospital to join St. Mary's Hospital in an acquisition and merger with a private Texas company, LHP Group. The plan calls for building a new, state-of-the-art replacement hospital with 426 beds in private rooms.

 

On September 6, presidents from Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital sounded exhausted and a bit frustrated.

 

"We've been at this now for well over 15 months. Put together, it's a long time to be working through some of the issues," said Chad Wable, president and CEO of St. Mary's Hospital.

 

The main stumbling block has been trying to provide reproductive services while respecting the ethical and religious directives of Catholic Health Services, which prohibit tubal ligations, vasectomies, contraceptive care and medically induced abortions. The joint venture had to be approved by the Vatican because the archdiocese owns St. Mary's Hospital.

 

The merger sought to address that by putting reproductive services in a separate building called the Women's Pavilion across the street from the hospital. The building would be separately licensed.

 

But the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women this week opposed the reproductive services plan, saying it is inadequate to serve the needs of the Waterbury area's women.

 

In a press release, the women's advocacy group said that "any state-of-the-art facility being built — especially with partial support from taxpayers' dollars — should represent the needs of all the residents of the area, should treat all citizens equitably, regardless of gender, religion or socio-economic standing, and should have a far more definitive plan for future financial sustainability. It is unfortunate, therefore, that the dictates of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will derail a much-needed facility."

 

Darlene Stromstead, President and CEO of Waterbury Hospital, said this is the seventh plan that all sides have come up with and said the process is very complicated.

 

"As the non-religious organization, we have been trying very hard to come up with solutions," Stromstead said. "We have consulted the Permanent Status of Women, Merger Watch and others, trying to find something that will work and will address long-term sustainability, demonstrate medical quality and provide services in a non- discriminatory manner."

 

 

 

 

 

This article originally appeared in CTMirror.com.