News Release

January 14, 2009

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

HealthEcademy – Getting the Most from Health Care

Unique On-Line Course is Free and Easy to Use

FARMINGTON, CONN. – An on-line course designed to help you maximize the quality of your health care is being offered through the University of Connecticut Health Center. HealthEcademy is a free, convenient program that can be accessed by clicking on any time of day or night from anywhere Internet access is available. HealthEcademy features several video presentations by UConn School of Medicine faculty and other Health Center experts who provide practical information on a number of health-related topics so you can become a better, more successful patient – and patient advocate.  

“The task of navigating today’s complex health care system is becoming more challenging and frustrating for patients everywhere,” says Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, vice president for health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine. “Patients continuously seek practical information to help them achieve better outcomes. The demand for such information continues to grow, yet people often do not know where to turn to receive information that is current and credible. As leaders in academic medicine, the University of Connecticut Health Center has established the nation’s first HealthEcademy to address this growing public health need.”

HealthEcademy participants will be able to identify their rights and responsibilities as a patient or patient advocate, employ strategies to optimize doctors’ office visits and hospitalizations, and find and use reliable sources of health information to increase their understanding of medical conditions and treatment options.

Course topics include:

  • “Questions You Were Never Asked ….But Should Have Been” – how to optimize doctors’ office visits and make efficient use of time spent with health care providers.
  • “A Roadmap to Reliable Health Information” – how to find reliable and accurate sources of health information and evaluate websites.
  • “Understanding the Results of Diagnostic or Screening Tests” – how to interpret diagnostic and screening test findings and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the diagnostic process.
  • “Legal and Ethical Issues at the End of Life” – provides practical information about treatment decisions at the end of life which is consistent with the patient’s goals and values.
  • “Understanding HIPAA Privacy” – learn about the many facets of privacy protection patients are entitled to under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

“We believe HealthEcademy can significantly help people become wise and savvy health care consumers by providing the tools they need to negotiate today’s health care environment with confidence,” says Dr. Scott Wetstone, Department of Community Medicine and Health Care. “Knowledge and information are the foundation for maximizing patient care and being your own best advocate, and direct instruction from professionals is the best way to build that foundation,” he said.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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