The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Lifespan have signed amendments to their affiliation agreement that will improve joint strategic planning, expand investment in the academic medical program, and formally recognize Rhode Island Hospital as “the principal teaching hospital” of the Alpert Medical School.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons and George A. Vecchione, president and CEO of Lifespan, have announced the signing of significant amendments to the affiliation agreement between Brown and Lifespan. The amendments are intended to forge a closer relationship between both institutions, provide a stronger foundation to further the medical education enterprise in Rhode Island and continue to improve the quality of care for patients.

Provisions of the amended agreement bring Brown and three of its seven hospital teaching partners into closer alignment, positioning them to be more competitive nationally for research support; better able to attract and retain the nation’s best medical faculty, students, and residents; and better able to provide medical care of international caliber to the people of Rhode Island.

The three Lifespan hospitals — Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, and Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital — have been affiliated with the University since it established the Alpert Medical School in 1973.

The amendments signed today cover three broad areas:

  • Formal designation of Rhode Island Hospital. Rhode Island Hospital will be formally designated as “the principal teaching hospital” of Alpert Medical School. This new designation recognizes the scope and critical mass of teaching and research activities centered exclusively at Rhode Island Hospital. The other Lifespan teaching hospitals will continue to be designated as “major teaching affiliates.” The enhanced designation for Rhode Island Hospital will help to improve its position in the highly competitive New England health care environment.
  • Increased investment in academic medicine. Lifespan and Brown will raise funds to support a variety of academic initiatives in the Alpert Medical School. They will also establish a fund for the direct support of recruiting the nation’s most talented academic and clinical leaders as department chairs for the medical school and its affiliated hospitals.
  • Provisions for enhanced joint planning and better integration. A new affiliation committee will support more coordinated joint strategic planning. Brown and Lifespan will support efforts to more fully integrate the clinical medical faculty into the academic life of the medical school.

“This is a time of tremendous growth and change in medical education at Brown,” said Edward Wing, M.D., dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown. “As we build a new medical education facility in the Jewelry District, our cooperative programs of medical education and clinical care are stronger than ever.”

“This affiliation agreement further highlights the critical importance of the synergistic relationship between medical schools and their principal teaching affiliates,” said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. “With more renowned physicians and research dollars, we have better opportunities to move research from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside, bringing cutting-edge treatments to our patients faster, ultimately benefitting the people of Rhode Island. Given the coming together of Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals we now have a wonderful opportunity to closely coordinate our strategic planning with The Alpert Medical School, which will greatly enhance research and further the academic mission of both hospitals, and create a vibrant academic medical center on two campuses.”

Alpert Medical School

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University is Rhode Island’s only school of medicine. Since granting its first M.D. degrees in 1975, Alpert Medical School has become a national leader in medical education and biomedical research.


Lifespan, a not-for-profit organization, is Rhode Island’s largest health care system. Formed in 1994, it includes Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Bradley Hospital, and Newport Hospital. Lifespan ( is the state’s largest private employer, with about 12,000 employees, and is affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Lifespan hospitals are among the top recipients in the country of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The hospitals received nearly $71 million in external research funding in fiscal 2009. All Lifespan-affiliated hospitals are charitable organizations that depend on support from the community to provide programs and services.