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From left: VP Communication Chris DeFrancesco, President Bill Garrity, perfusionist Ron Salonia, and 1st VP Ivonne Hamm represent UHP at the Legislative Office Building Feb. 18.

STATE CAPITOL, FEB. 18, 2020 -- The UHP-led UConn Labor Coalition continues to emphasize its message of keeping UConn Health a public entity for the public good, delivering that message to the legislature's budget-writing Appropriations Committee.

Ron Salonia, a cardiovascular perfusionist, testified about the life-saving work he does at UConn Health and beyond, explaining how UConn Health perfusionists also assist with heart surgeries in Waterbury and at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

"The service we provide to these communities generates revenue and extends the visibility of UConn Health's clinical expertise in our state. We are delivering great care, and UConn Health is at its finest," he told the lawmakers. See Ron's testimony (video courtesy CT-N).

Stephanie Rauch, an administrative program coordinator for the UConn Health Graduate School's Biomedical Science Ph.D. Program, submitted testimony sharing her family's personal experience with UConn Health from the patient perspective. 

"Connecticut's citizens deserve quality health care regardless of their type of insurance -- health care that they receive with dignity and compassion at UConn Health," she wrote.

UHP President Bill Garrity read Stephanie's testimony and added, "UConn Health needs to be here. Any one of us could be a split-second away from being on Medicaid. UConn Health needs to be the lynchpin in the future of Connecticut's public health plans." See Stephanie and Bill's testimony (video courtesy CT-N).

UHP VP for Communication Chris DeFrancesco also spoke to UConn Health's value as a state asset.

"Jeopardizing the future of UConn Health also jeopardizes the future of some of our most vulnerable populations," he said. "And if we truly believe that one of the responsibilities of government is to protect its most vulnerable citizens, we are failing if we fail to invest in the state’s only public academic medical center." See Chris's testimony (video courtesy CT-N).

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