Hartford HealthCare to Provide On-Campus Health Services


Olivia Kettell

Hartford HealthCare Medical Group (HHC) will be the new provider for on-campus Student Health Services, replacing Quinnipiac University on Aug. 1, as part of the university’s new partnership. 

HHC’s campus clinic will be located in the new recreation and wellness center and will provide students with access to many medical specialists and services. Other new additions include daily prescription deliveries to campus as well as a mobile app for students to use and the nationwide electronic medical records system, EPIC MyChartPLUS platform. HHC Vice President Eric Smullen explained the advantage of this system for students.

“EPIC is one of the largest, most comprehensive medical record platforms that health systems are using across the country,” Smullen said. “So if a student came in with a rash or something that needed a dermatology consult, we have secure messaging back and forth with dermatologists. And during that visit, that provider in your health center is able to take a secure picture of that it’s all part of our health record system.”

Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett said that the EPIC system is a “game changer” for students.

“All previous history of providers that you’ve gone to or hospitalizations that have used the EPIC system will then be tied into your records at Quinnipiac,” Ellett said.

Smullen also noted Hartford HealthCare’s connection to a local urgent care, GoHealth Urgent Care, which allows for the ability to provide students with even greater care.

“The partnership GoHealth Urgent Care is about two to three miles away from campus. We can do almost everything on campus, but we don’t have an X-ray machine,” Smullen said. “Students… should not be going to the emergency room, that’s a huge cost. So we have an urgent care which actually can meet all those needs at a much lower cost.”

Hartford HealthCare’s on-campus coverage also allows for more efficient care for students as well as opportunities for health science students.

“There’s so many other pieces… the prescription delivery system and also the part-time job opportunities that will be set up for students, the internships, research opportunities and all of these things that we’re working on will be rolling out in the next month,” Ellett said.

Ellett also noted Quinnipiac’s plans to collaborate with Hartford HealthCare in providing various wellness services for students, including bringing in guest speakers and nutritionists.

“We want to work with the behavioral health expertise of Hartford HealthCare and really think about proven strategies in mental health, anxiety and depression, and how we can give preventative opportunities for our students through orientation programs, through our day to day operations, especially being co-located in a rec and wellness operation,” Ellett said.

Gov. Lamont has instructed colleges and universities in Connecticut to develop committees to determine the most effective ways for Quinnipiac and HHC to help students “broaden their thinking on wellness,” according to Ellett.

“It’s really something that we’re really starting to think about… anxiety, depression and other mental health illnesses, and so this is a really important issue for us to be focused on as an institution,” Ellett said. “And with Hartford HealthCare’s partnership, I think we will be much further along than we had been solo.”

Regarding mental health specifically, Ellett noted that the counseling spaces in the new rec and wellness center will be “three to four times larger” than the old space, and will offer telehealth counseling for students.

“We saw this beautiful new health and wellness space specifically enlarged and dedicated to counseling. I can’t tell you a single person within Hartford HealthCare that was not extremely impressed with the thoughtfulness that went into the space, the design, privacy, the comfort that that building is going to offer students as they access behavioral health services,” Smullen said.

Hartford HealthCare also contains many specialty programs that can be accessed by students from campus. For example, HHC offers specialty clinics for the Spanish-speaking community as well as a wide array of womens’ health programs such as cardiology and sports health.

Ellett and Smullen are pleased with what this partnership will be able to provide for students on campus.

“Having worked very closely with Eric and his team, we now have an exceedingly agile, motivated, innovative partner as it relates to student health and wellness,” Ellett said. “So I couldn’t be happier with Hartford HealthCare and all that they will bring with our team together to enhance the student experience at Quinnipiac.”