University of Rhode Island, Care New England ink pact to improve professional education, health of Rhode Islanders

        KINGSTON, R.I. — June 21, 2017 — The University of Rhode Island and Care New England Health System have signed an agreement to improve the education of health professionals and advance the health of Rhode Islanders.

The state’s flagship, learner-centered research University, its Academic Health Collaborative, Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies and its Office of Strategic Initiatives will partner with Care New England, which operates four major hospitals, The Providence Center, VNA of Care New England and the Care New England Wellness Center.

Care New England’s Hospitals are: Butler, Kent, Memorial and Women & Infants.  With 6,580 full-time employees, Care New England is one of the largest employers in Rhode Island. Through its primary care, surgery, cardiovascular care, oncology, psychiatry, behavioral health, newborn pediatrics and women’s health services, Care New England is partnering with its patients to provide the best care possible while working to create a community of healthier people.

“When the University laid the foundation for its Academic Health Collaborative, these are the kinds of partnerships we envisioned. This is a partnership that will help make Rhode Islanders healthier, spark research and clinical work between our faculty and Care New England health professionals and enhance opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students,” said URI President David M. Dooley. “The ability to develop new clinical procedures and create interdisciplinary research teams involving Care New England and the University will benefit both institutions, and ultimately the patient. We believe that this is an important step in an expanding, collaborative relationship between the University of Rhode Island and one of the state’s internationally renowned health systems.”

“URI’s understanding of the important connection between education, research and clinical expertise puts both organizations in a position to further our critical leadership roles by helping to shape the future of health care,” said Dennis D. Keefe, president and chief executive officer of Care New England. “While there remains a good deal of uncertainty regarding the impact of health care policy, these types of collaborative efforts are critical to our collective vision of creating healthier communities and we are excited at the opportunities this presents for clinical staff, researchers and most importantly, the patients and families we serve.

The URI Academic Health Collaborative, comprised of 175 faculty and 5,000 students, formally connects the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and the newly formed College of Health Sciences, it is designed to foster innovation in health education, research and community engagement with a focus on interprofessional education, population health, health promotion and health disparities. The collaborative was formed to foster links with health and hospital systems, community agencies, the Rhode Island Department of Health and other universities. The goal is to develop research, education and outreach partnerships that benefit Rhode Islanders, the nation and the world.

The program planning process, including delivery and evaluation, will be managed by the Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies, its Office of Strategic Initiatives in conjunction with Care New England. Programs will be customized for clinical and non-clinical professionals in supervisory and managerial roles and could be held at Care New England sites, URI or other settings. Credentials would be offered for successful completion of programs. The college could also provide consulting, coaching and grant program evaluation and outreach programs.