Feature Story

Health Center Today, May 17, 2011

Gov. Malloy Announces New Bioscience Connecticut Initiative

By Carolyn Pennington

Photo of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Gov. Dannel Malloy during a news conference announcing the new Bioscience Connecticut initiative.

Photo by Tina Encarnacion

The Health Center is part of a new economic revitalization plan being proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. The Bioscience Connecticut initiative aims to make the state a leader in bioscience research and in turn, jumpstart the state’s economy by creating jobs and generating long-term economic growth.

“This proposal represents a new way of thinking about the UConn Health Center and the way in which it can be leveraged to create new jobs now, sustain economic growth and innovation, and improve public health,” said Gov. Malloy. “More than just a medical and dental school or just a hospital – we have to think about the UConn Health Center in its entirety, as an asset that can make Connecticut become a national leader in a bioscience economy.”

Highlights of Gov. Malloy’s proposal include:

  • Create 3,000 construction jobs annually through 2018.
  • Generate $4.6 billion increase in personal income by 2037, including the creation of 16,400 jobs.
  • Doubling federal and industry research grants to drive discovery, innovation and commercialization.
  • Increasing access to high quality health care.
  • Graduating and retaining more physicians and dentists to meet forecasted workforce resulting from health care reform and the state’s aging population.
  • Strengthening and stabilizing Health Center’s finances.
Photo of Dr. Cato T. Laurencin

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and dean of the medical school, answers questions about the new initiative Bioscience Connecticut.

Photo by Tina Encarnacion

“Bioscience Connecticut is different from prior proposals that involved the Health Center,” said UConn President-Designate Susan Herbst. “While they were principally intended to secure the Health Center’s financial footing, this initiative is primarily focused on using the Health Center to achieve state economic and health care objectives.”

The initiative also seeks to address the growing shortage of physicians and dentists being predicted in the years ahead.

“By training more physicians and dentists, the Governor’s plan responds to these dire trends,” said Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and medical school dean. “The increased enrollment, combined with other elements of Bioscience Connecticut is expected to raise our schools into top tier, national status. In turn, this will spur economic growth and lasting public health benefits for our state.”

For the Health Center key components of the plan include:

  • Renovating existing Health Center facilities to increase bioscience research capacity and productivity, increase the number of basic and clinical/translational scientists, and expand small business incubator facilities to foster new business start-ups.
  • Increasing the Health Center’s medical and dental schools enrollment by 30 percent and establish a loan forgiveness program to attract more graduates to practice primary care medicine and dentistry in Connecticut.
  • Constructing the new patient tower and a new ambulatory care facility and increase the number of Health Center primary and specialty care clinicians.

The $864 million proposal will be paid for by a combination of new and previously approved bonding, private financing and Health Center resources.

Photo of incoming UConn President Susan Herbst greeting outgoing President Phil Austin

Incoming UConn President Susan Herbst greeting outgoing President Phil Austin.

Photo by Pete Morenus

Photo of employees in the Academic Lobby

The Academic Lobby was filled with Health Center employees during the governor’s news conference.

Photo by Tina Encarnacion

A Bioscience Connecticut Investment

Capital Expenditures


Renovate Existing Research Facilities $155
Construct New Patient Tower and Garage $318
Renovate Existing Tower Facility $163
Construct New Ambulatory Care Center $203
Implement UConn Health Network Initiatives $25

Fund Sources


New Bonding $254
Private Financing $203
UConn Health Center Resources $69

Previously Approved Bonding

UConn 2000 $305
UConn Health Network $33