UConn School of Nursing

UConn Observes National Primary Care Week (Updated)

  • UConn medical student Jeanne Rolle and UConn dental student Lauren Dulieu staff the welcome station at the Mansfield Senior and Wellness Center during a National Primary Care Week community fair. (Nicole Davoren for UConn Health)
Interprofessionality—patient care from a team representing several disciplines working together—is the emphasis of UConn’s observance of National Primary Care Week.

The annual celebration of the contributions of primary care to community health this week included lunch-and-learn sessions, workshops, and community health fairs.

This year provided more than 1,250 student-hours of educational programming. During Wednesday’s community health fairs, 145 students and faculty members served nearly 400 patients.

UConn medical, dental, nursing, and pharmacy students, along with Quinnipiac University physician assistant students, staff the health fairs, offered free blood pressure and blood glucose screenings and providing health education materials covering topics such as oral health, nutrition, medication interaction, heart health and diabetes prevention.

Primary Care Week aims to introduce health professions students to the importance of community-responsive primary care, encourage their collaboration as members of future primary health care teams, and work to reduce problems in health care access experienced by underserved populations.

The lunch-and-learn sessions are now available via Mediasite:

Oct. 27:

Oct. 29:

UConn Primary Care Week Schedule

Saturday, Oct. 24

Retreat in the Berkshires
Presentation: “Revitalizing Underserved Communities: Principles in the Promise Zones” by Gina Federico Muslim, Community Solutions, NE Hartford

Monday, Oct. 26

Primary Care Dinner
Presentation: “The Future of Primary Care is Interprofessional” by Dr. Luis Padilla, Health Resources and National Health Service Corps

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Lunch & Learn Cross-campus Video Session
Presentation: “Interprofessional Team in Action: Suboxone Clinic” with Dr. Marwin Haddad and Interprofessional Provider Team, Community Health Center

Family Medicine Interest Group
Dermatology Hands-on Night at UConn Health

Wednesday, Oct. 28

Community Health Fairs

  • South End Senior Wellness Center, Hartford
  • Hispanic Senior Center, Hartford
  • North End Senior Center, Hartford
  • Community Health Services, Hartford
  • Hartford Public Library
  • New Britain Police Department
  • Mansfield Senior & Wellness Center
  • Mansfield Parks and Recreation
  • Dixwell-Newhallville Senior Center, New Haven
  • United Community & Family Services, Norwich

Thursday, Oct. 29

Lunch & Learn Cross-campus Video Session
Presentation: “Primary Care Practice 2025: A Mad Max World?” with Dr. Robert Zavoski, Connecticut Department of Social Services

Friday, Oct. 30

Interprofessional Educational Deans’ Afternoon

UConn a National Leader in Pain Education

UConn is now a Center of Excellence in Pain Education, as designated by the National Institutes of Health.

The NIH Pain Consortium, which is tasked with developing an agenda for, identifying key opportunities in, and increasing the visibility of pain research, has awarded funding to 11 health professional institutions as Centers of Excellence in Pain Education. UConn and Harvard are the only ones in New England.

“This topic is very important for medical education and for our interprofessional partners in health education,” says Dr. Suzanne Rose, UConn School of Medicine senior associate dean for education. “Being a Center of Excellence in this area is an outstanding accomplishment and will provide many opportunities for our learners and benefits our patients.”

The 11 centers are to serve as hubs for the development, evaluation and distribution of pain management curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and other schools. The objective is to enhance and improve how health care professionals are taught about pain and its treatment.

Renee Manworren of the UConn Schools of Medicine and Nursing is principal investigator in a grant that makes UConn one of 11 NIH Pain Consortium Centers of Excellence in Pain Education. (Photo provided by Renee Manworren)
Renee Manworren of the UConn Schools of Medicine and Nursing is principal investigator in a grant that makes UConn one of 11 NIH Pain Consortium Centers of Excellence in Pain Education. (Photo provided by Renee Manworren)

The principal investigator for the UConn is Renee Manworren, nurse scientist, assistant professor of pediatrics at the UConn School of Medicine, and assistant professor at the UConn School of Nursing.

“Over 100 million Americans suffer everyday with pain; and our current prescription pain medication abuse epidemic is an unintended consequence of poorly coordinated efforts to treat their pain,” Manworren says. “We’ve known for a long time that the best treatment approach for relieving pain is multimodal and multidisciplinary; but we’ve been training our health care professionals in separate schools.

“In recent years we’ve shifted our thinking: We should be providing interprofessional training—engaging and educating medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, psychiatry and physical therapy students—as a team so we can do a better job partnering with patients to manage their pain and build our pain research expertise.”

Manworren, a nurse practitioner who also holds a doctorate in clinical research, is part of the UConn School of Nursing’s Center for Advancement in Managing Pain and a member of a medical school curriculum redesign task force that focuses on interprofessional education.

“We’ve leveraged the redesign of our curriculum to offer training in new, better, and interactive ways to educate future physicians coming from UConn,” Manworren says.

The initial NIH award to UConn is nearly $78,000, with the potential for up to four annual renewals.

“We are committed to developing and testing interprofessional pain educational methods and modules that will lead to better pain management education across the nation and ultimately, better patient outcomes,” Manworren says.