Malloy meets with HHS secretary over UConn Health grant

It’s too early to know if he can bring home the goodies, but Governor-elect Dan Malloy is showing he can get a meeting in Washington D.C.

Malloy met today with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss the UConn Health Center’s bid for a grant that is central to the expansion and modernization of the campus in Farmington.

“Receipt of this grant is critical to the future of our state’s only public medical and dental schools and their pivotal importance to the delivery of health care in Connecticut,” Malloy said in an emailed statement. “A contribution from the federal government, partnering with our state and the University of Connecticut, is the only solution to addressing the long-term financial challenges that have confronted the UConn Health Center.”

Malloy is in D.C. to also attend a meeting of the Democratic Governors Association. He was to stop by a farewell party last night for retiring Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, who created the competitive grant that UConn is seeking. At the time, Dodd was still thinking about seeking re-election, and the grant program offered him the chance to bring home $100 million for UConn.

Now, UConn is competing with facilities in other states. The grant is expected to be awarded in the next two weeks.

“Without a financially viable Health Center, Connecticut could fail to meet the expanding workforce demand for physicians and dentists, be unable to respond to the increasing need for access to care for low-income and special populations, and lose the ability to recruit and retain quality students, residents and faculty,” Malloy said.