<p>A new affiliation agreement, signed June 13, 2012, between Brown University and Care New England, will strengthen ties between the Alpert Medical School and Women &amp; Infants and Butler Hospitals, including increased strategic planning.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Care New England Health System today announced a new affiliation agreement that strengthens ties and strategic planning among the school and Women & Infants Hospital and Butler Hospital. It takes effect July 1, 2012.

The new affiliation, signed June 13, 2012, at the Alpert Medical School by leaders from the two institutions, replaces separate agreements between the individual hospitals and the school. Most importantly, the accord establishes an Affiliation Committee, in which the leadership of the Alpert Medical School, Care New England, and each hospital will meet monthly to plan strategic collaborations that encompass clinical and academic opportunities.

“One of the bright spots on Rhode Island’s economic development horizon is the knowledge economy,” said Dennis D. Keefe, president and chief executive officer of Care New England. “This new agreement between Brown and the Care New England Health System assures our community that our organizations will continue in a strong partnership to advance research, medical education, and health care on behalf of women, newborn children, and those afflicted with brain or behavioral disorders.”

The relationship between Brown and Butler and Women & Infants will lead to growth in research and education, said Dr. Edward Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences at Brown.

“This affiliation agreement is significant because it further solidifies the research and education ties between Brown and our teaching partners at Care New England, Women & Infants Hospital, and Butler Hospital. It encourages more strategic programmatic growth for the academic medical center,” Wing said. “We are fortunate to have outstanding specialty clinical partners in the health of women and newborns and psychiatry and behavioral health.”

Under the terms of the agreement Care New England will provide additional financial support for academic programs within the school. The document also defines how trademarks will be used.

Care and collaboration

Nearly 280 Alpert Medical School faculty members are based at either Women & Infants Hospital, designated in the agreement as “the major affiliated teaching hospital for activities unique to women and newborns,” or Butler Hospital, designated as “the major affiliated teaching hospital for psychiatry and behavioral health.”

In addition to regular features of the medical school curriculum such as student clerkships, the school and the hospitals share a number of special research collaborations. One such project is work between the Program in Public Health and the Women & Infants-based Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology to conduct the National Children’s Study. Another example is participation by many Butler-based psychiatry and behavioral health faculty in the Brown Institute for Brain Science.

The Corporation of Brown University approved the agreement at its meeting last month. Care New England’s board approved it in April.

Women & Infants first became affiliated with Brown in 1969, when it was known as Providence Lying-In Hospital and before the Alpert Medical School was founded. Butler affiliated with Brown in 1971.

Care New England Health System

Care New England was founded in 1996 by Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, and Women & Infants Hospital. Care New England is an integrated health care system that offers a continuum of quality care. The system includes primary care and specialty physicians; two teaching hospitals affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School (Butler and Women & Infants); a community hospital (Kent); a visiting nurse and home care agency (Care New England Home Health); and Care New England Wellness Centers.

Warren Alpert Medical School

Since granting its first Doctor of Medicine degrees in 1975, Alpert Medical School has become a national leader in medical education and biomedical research. By attracting outstanding physicians and researchers to Rhode Island for more than three decades, the school and its seven affiliated teaching hospitals have improved the state’s health care environment, from health care policy to patient care.