My name is Bill Garrity. I’m a nurse, and I have spent the last 22 years at UCONN Health. 16 years working in Bone Marrow Transplant and Oncology, then the Emergency Department for 5 years -- and last year, I was elected President of University Health Professionals Local 3837.
We are approximately 2700 members covering 150 job titles at UCONN Health—a huge chunk of what makes UCONN Health run.
At UCONN Health we see more than 1 million patients a year. We get shut down, those million patients will have to find health care elsewhere.
The nearly 660-thousand outpatients seen by our UCONN Medical Group would need to find new doctors, more than half of them, Medicare and Medicaid patients.
It’s not just our hospital under attack…we are also a biomedical research hub. Nearly 77 million dollars of research funded projects—including 55 million dollars from the NIH—will no longer fuel discoveries, medical advances and new cures for patients with life threatening disease such as cancer, or rare diseases such as those battled by children.
And what about our medical, dental, and graduate schools? We’re just going to stop producing the next generation of physicians, dentists, and researchers? These are professions we need to grow and keep in our state to continually improve health care.
My daughter just started her second year at UConn in Hartford. I follow her on Twitter, Yeah, I’m that kind of dad. She posts, “So my father’s job and my education are in danger”. Nothing I did, nothing she did. 22 years of nursing as a State employee. Yes, there was a promise made, Yes, I feel like I am due this benefit. Do not attack the state employees who have worked their adult lives to provide for their families.
Simply put, this budget—or anything resembling it—will tear apart what the University has built over the years, especially over the last few decades. It will decimate UConn Nation. It will hurt the towns surrounding the UCONN campuses where we all live.
The people of Connecticut—all of us—deserve better than this.