WEST HARTFORD – Healthcare professionals gathered for a night of light appetizers, drinks and networking as part of the 10th anniversary celebration for the Connecticut Health Council. The celebration was hosted on Wednesday night at the Hartford Golf Club on 134 Norwood Rd. in West Hartford.
Attendees comprised council members and prospective members personally invited by the new executive director, Tiffany Morrissey.
“What we want to do is convene, bring together stakeholders and make sure that we are creating innovative, thoughtful discussions in a very safe space so that the leaders, who are the decision-makers in the healthcare industry, understand what the needs are of the community,” Morrissey said. “So that we can make our communities healthier, we can increase access and we can figure out how to reach those people who need it this year.”What is the Connecticut Health Council?
In 2021, the healthcare industry in Connecticut was the largest workforce sector, making up an estimated 16% of all jobs, according to the Office of Health Strategy.
The Connecticut Health Council was founded in 2012 by the MetroHartford Alliance as a space for professionals in the health industry to discuss topics relating to advancing the development of businesses, initiatives and technology to improve overall healthcare and wellness. The council website reported that the council discusses issues such as access and affordability of healthcare, how to facilitate economic growth and new delivery methods for health and wellness services.
From business partners to researchers to medical providers, Connecticut Health Council members make up the “entire pipeline of healthcare,” said Barry Simon, the Oak Hill president and chief executive officer and the chair of the council’s executive committee. Simon has been a member of the council for nearly a decade.
“[The council] really is the only thing like it, where you have traditional providers, you have technology people, you have payers, you have genomic researchers, you have data analytics, all coming together in one place, to be able to talk about how the different parts of healthcare impact each other,” Simon added. “It’s been a safe space, where we’re able to talk to government and understand how impactful government policies are on the way we operate and how we have modernized.”
Morrissey said that the council’s focus moving forward will be on addressing health equity issues by listening to the community and creating educational programming.Making connections
Wednesday’s celebration offered an opportunity for networking with other members of the healthcare industry.
Ahmed Abdelmageed is the Dean of the School of Pharmacy and Physician Assistant Studies at the University of St. Joseph. He is one of the health council’s newest executive committee members. He said that the council’s values on equitable healthcare drew him to the group and he is excited to start with them.
At the celebration, Abdelmageed spent most of the time connecting with all the “intellectual powers” present.
“I’m trying to meet as many [people] as possible and make some connections and learn as much as I can,” Abdelmageed said.
Meanwhile, Simon spoke with healthcare educators on the future of the industry.
“The fact that all these conversations are happening,” Simon said, “the relationships that are being built, all of this allows for a healthy environment to be able to come into.”
Health Equity reporter Cris Villalonga-Vivoni is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 203-317-2448. Support RFA reporters through a donation at https://bit.ly/3Pdb0re.