School partners with Middlesex Hospital

Middlesex Hospital (Photo courtesy of John Giammatteo/Middlesex Hospital)
June 27, 2012 - Quinnipiac University and Middlesex Hospital of Middletown are working together to provide better patient care and educational opportunities.

The University's Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine and Middlesex Hospital announced today that they have formed a five-year renewable clinical partnership that takes effect immediately.

"Middlesex was chosen because of the alignment of our primary care focus with the exceptional Family Practice presence (residency and physicians) at Middlesex," said Dr. Bruce Koeppen, founding dean of the medical school. "The partnership will allow Quinnipiac medical students to participate in clinical rotations at the hospital. It will also expose them to positive, committed mentors and role models."

"It's wonderful now with the advent of the new medical school to have an opportunity to collaborate in the education of Quinnipiac medical students," said Dr. Alan Douglass, director of the family medicine residency program at Middlesex Hospital. "We're hoping this affiliation will allow us to be involved in the education of Quinnipiac students in primary care--in particular the area of family medicine."

In addition, the university's School of Nursing is expanding its relationship with the hospital. Although the school has partnered with the hospital for several years, the University, led by Pam Forte, nursing clinical coordinator, and hospital, led by Chris Ann Meaney, North 5 nurse manager, formed a formal partnership to create a dedicated education unit effective immediately that will allow nursing students to work more closely with patients and staff nurses in a specific wing of the hospital.

"The goal of a dedicated education unit is to help nurses learn better," said Jean Lange, dean of the School of Nursing. "Working with a single school and consistent faculty member helps staff nurses to better understand where students are at in their learning. The nurses and administration on North 5 are passionate about teaching, and will be great mentors to our students. It's a spectacular learning environment."

Jackie Calamari, vice president for patient care services at Middlesex Hospital, said the partnership will enable students to play a more direct role in patient care. "When you have a relationship and develop collaboration between students and staff nurses here, they establish a trust," said Calamari. "As a result, they really get to know each other so patients get better care and the staff know the students can care for their patients. Therefore, this helps to establish a strong student- nurse-patient relationship."

Students began working at the hospital on a dedicated floor this summer. Approximately 32 students will work each semester at the hospital beginning with six this summer. The amount and level of student involvement with patients will increase with their skills beginning with learning effective communications and culminating with working collaboratively on patient care with staff nurses.

"It's a beautiful hospital," Rachel Chiulli, a nursing student, said. "I think it's going to be a really, really great experience."

The Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine is currently under construction on Quinnipiac's North Haven Campus, where the School of Nursing has been located since July 2011. Pending accreditation, the School of Medicine is scheduled to start offering classes in the Fall of 2013.