News Release

January 6, 2010

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

Health Center Meets Goal

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Following a year of intensive efforts to implement far-reaching quality and safety initiatives, officials with the University of Connecticut Health Center today learned that the John Dempsey Hospital has been removed from licensure probation by the state Department of Public Health ahead of the expected schedule.

Though the probation could have lasted two years, the Health Center met its goal to achieve early removal.

"We are certainly gratified by the DPH’s action and see this as an important step forward in the hospital’s continuing improvement," said Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for health affairs and dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

Laurencin credited Hospital Director Mike H. Summerer, M.D., FACPE, who has made safety and quality improvement a 24/7 priority since taking the helm at John Dempsey Hospital in early 2009.

"We have excellent clinicians, staff and administrators throughout the Health Center who have remained completely focused and proactive about safety issues. Today’s action is a result of their work and dedication," Summerer said. In particular, he praised the work of the Health Center’s Department of Quality Programs and the mandatory, daily safety meetings for hospital staff.

"This has been, and will continue to be, a team effort," Summerer added.

Today’s announcement follows several acknowledgements from outside organizations. The Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center, which is part of the hospital, recently received the Get With The GuidelinesSM–Heart Failure Bronze Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that the Health Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients for at least 90 days with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

Another recent study by a national alliance representing the majority of university hospitals in the U.S. ranked the Health Center in the top 10 for several key measurements of quality care in intensive care units (ICUs).The University Health System Consortium looked at specific metrics related to care in hospital ICUs such as length of stay, cost, and mortality for patients needing specialized services, including ventilators. The Health Center was ranked among the top 10 nationally in four out of six specific measurements and was among only three academic hospitals which ranked in the top 10 for four or more measures.

"Over the last few months we’ve received a good deal of praise for our hospital and its amazing staff. We are very proud to offer world-class care to all the citizens of Connecticut," Dr. Laurencin added.

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

Note: News professionals are invited to visit the UConn Health Today news page ( for regularly updated news and feature stories, photos and media stories. News releases are archived at UConn Health news and information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.