Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

April 19, 2017

Hartley Leads Passage of Law to Make Bioscience Collaboration a Permanent Fixture in Connecticut

SB 968 makes permanent the Connecticut Health Data Collaborative

Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) today led the unanimous, bipartisan passage of legislation that will ensure the continued work of the Connecticut Health Data Collaborative (CHDC) working group. The CHDC is tasked with developing and implementing a strategy by which Connecticut can establish itself as a worldwide leader in bioscience and precision medicine. Senator Hartley served on the CHDC with representatives from Yale, UConn and Connecticut’s other bioscience stakeholders, as well as with representatives from the insurance and technology industries.

“The CHDC has done remarkable work in its first year, and its members are energized and committed to working in a public-private collaboration to make Connecticut a global leader in bioscience and performance medicine,” said Senator Hartley. “Bioscience is already expanding rapidly in our state, and having the CHDC acting as a permanent advisory board will be invaluable to ensuring the state leverages this opportunity. This kind of work can be truly world-changing and also serve as a powerful economic engine that will lead to business startups which create skilled job opportunities for generations to come. Connecticut needs new businesses to form and grow here in order to succeed, and continuing the work of the CHDC is a critical tool to accomplish that.”

A 2015 economic competitiveness diagnostic of Connecticut found that the state has great assets and economic drivers in research and development, bioscience and health data. In response to those findings, Senator Hartley and her colleagues on the legislature’s Commerce Committee passed legislation establishing the CHDC and tasking it with creating stronger partnerships and networks amongst the major stakeholders in Connecticut’s bioscience, healthcare and education fields. The CHDC worked to determine ways in which stakeholders can and should collaborate in order to further mutual goals and drive the industry forward.

Earlier this year, the CHDC released a status report identifying the four major areas of collaboration that members believe Connecticut should adopt. If these four “guiding pillars” are embraced, Connecticut would become be one of the first in the nation to adopt a statewide initiative which would leverage the state’s world class academic and research institutions, the insurance industry, and an emerging tech industry.

Now that this bill has passed the Senate, it moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.