Saint Francis and UConn School of Medicine Open The Connecticut Institute For Primary Care Innovation (CIPCI)

State-of-the-Art Space for the Collaborative Enterprise – Part of Bioscience Connecticut

(Hartford, Conn. November 16, 2012) – Today officials from Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine celebrated the opening of the Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation (CIPCI), located on the main Saint Francis campus in Hartford.

The Institute is based in a newly dedicated and completely redesigned facility, "The Innovation + Learning Center at Saint Francis," which also includes state-of-the-art conference and training rooms, research space, and the Health Sciences Library.

The CIPCI space includes:

  • A Collaborative Theatre to support teaching and training for clinicians and their teams
  • A Simulation Studio with a flexible floor plan for patient flow and office redesign analyses, as well as simulations to improve procedural skills, communication and teamwork
  • Multiple locations for interactive learning, debriefing and high-definition videoconferencing

"We believe that -- by conducting research on healthcare delivery systems, developing partnerships, and optimizing educational opportunities for both trainees and current providers -- CIPCI can become a regional and national resource to enhance primary care," said Christopher Dadlez, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

While CIPCI will not directly deliver healthcare services to patients, the ultimate focus is on helping patients by:

  • Improving primary care education for medical students, residents, and other providers
  • Increasing retention of primary care trainees and providers
  • Conducting groundbreaking research on of the best ways to deliver primary care
  • Providing service to the community of practicing primary care providers by helping them keep pace with change
  • Leading dialogue that builds relationships and enables local and national networks to work together to design, test, and disseminate innovation

Saint Francis was awarded $5 million by the State to develop CIPCI under the auspices of Bioscience Connecticut. The money is part of $25 million in funds for the improvement of multiple hospitals and health centers in the Hartford area. Governance of CIPCI is shared jointly by Saint Francis and UConn School of Medicine; leaders from both organizations are represented on the Governing Board.

"This funding has allowed us to create a unique venue for bringing clinicians, staff, patients, families, researchers, and organizational experts together to focus on designing a system of care that delivers value, not on flip-charts, but in everyday practice," said Gregory Makoul, Ph.D., Saint Francis' Senior Vice President for Innovation and Chief Academic Officer, and a Professor of Medicine at UConn School of Medicine. "We can help make Connecticut a model for working toward sustainable, coordinated primary care," added Makoul.

"We are dedicated to facilitating efficient, effective, integrated communication between primary care physicians, community and hospital-based specialists, and allied-health professionals, so together, they can better serve patients," said Dr. Frank Torti, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs of the UConn Health Center, Dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

"Effective use of health information technology will be a key focus of CIPCI activities. Information technology can help physicians keep real-time track of what their patients are doing in terms of prevention and treatment. True innovation brings value. One of the properties of CIPCI is a commitment to results that matter to patients, providers, and the community," said Crystal L. Clark, MD, MPH, Director of CIPCI.

CIPCI is staffed by section leaders who will spearhead work in education, research, informatics, and outreach. An Advisory Board composed of leaders from primary care practices, educational institutions, and government agencies is in place to provide interdisciplinary that will guide the Institute's initiatives.

A Primary Care Policy Council, made up of representatives from large employers, insurers, foundations, and academia has also been established to provide national perspectives on relevant issues and help CIPCI remain at the forefront of primary care.

About UCONN 

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

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

About Saint Francis 

Saint Francis Care is an integrated healthcare delivery system established by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, an anchor institution in north central Connecticut since 1897. Licensed for 617 beds and 65 bassinets, it is a major teaching hospital and the largest Catholic hospital in New England. Other major entities of Saint Francis Care include The Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital, the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Saint Francis/Mount Sinai Regional Cancer Center, and the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research. Its services are supported by a network of five major Access Centers and eight additional medical office centers sited throughout the region. For more information, visit