Mission, Vision & Goals
Our Educational Mission
When the School of Medicine opened in 1970, UMW’s singular educational objective was to provide high quality and accessible medical education to the residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Read More…
Our Public Service Mission
Commonwealth Medicine UMW is distinguished by its unwavering support of public service. Read More…
Our Research Mission
Currently supporting more than 250 investigators, the growth of the UMW research enterprise has led to stimulating advancements in the treatment of disease and injury, as UMW scientists undertake research to discover the causes of and cures for the most devastating diseases of our time. Read More…
The Graduate School of Nursing will be nationally distinguished for the preparation of clinicians, educators, leaders and scientists and for research, practice and service initiatives that are the keystones of education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond.
Prepare professional and advanced practice nurses, nurse scientists and educators to lead nursing and health care delivery to diverse populations through the integration of education, research, practice and service;
Create a research-dynamic environment with faculty to conduct collaborative, multi-methods research that focuses on chronic illness and health outcomes in hospital- and community-based settings where research findings are translated into practice;
Improve health care through faculty practice at UMass Memorial Health Care, UMass Worcester’s public service division, Commonwealth Medicine, and other selected settings; and
Establish community and professional service linkages with vulnerable populations and communities to meet mutually prioritized health needs through innovative approaches in education, practice and research.
When the School of Medicine opened in 1970, UMW’s singular educational objective was to provide high quality and accessible medical education to the residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Through the subsequent openings of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Graduate School of Nursing, UMW has broadened its educational reach to train highly qualified professionals to practice in all arenas of integrated health care and research.
The Graduate School of Nursing offers master’s, post-master’s and doctoral degrees, preparing registered professional and advanced practice nurses within nurse practitioner and nurse educator specialties and for faculty, research and other nursing leadership positions. Subspecialty professional and clinical education is also offered in selected areas. The basis for study includes theoretical foundations of professional and advanced practice nursing, research process and design, societal forces that influence nursing, advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment, clinical decision making, specialty content and clinical education.
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is a faculty-initiated PhD program that trains scientists in a specialty area with a broad background in the basic medical sciences, in preparation for conducting research with direct relevance to human disease. Graduates are trained to collaborate with scientists and physicians involved in clinical investigations and to initiate careers as educators in schools of the health professions or in the biotechnology industry. The program continues to grow and evolve as new frontiers in science are discovered and explored, gaining national and international recognition for excellence. The doctoral program in Clinical & Population Health Research (CPHR) gives students the clinical and health services research tools to conduct research on health care access, screening, treatment, quality and outcomes. The GSBS also offers the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation for health care professionals, addressing the shortage of clinical and translational researchers by fast-tracking MDs, DNPs and PhDs into clinical research careers.
The School of Medicine provides today’s students with an accessible, comprehensive and personally rewarding medical education of the highest quality. The school is committed to training in the full range of medical disciplines, with emphasis on practice in the primary care specialties, in the public sector and in underserved areas of Massachusetts. UMW’s excellence in primary care education is reflected in its consistently high placement in the annual ranking of graduate schools by U.S.News & World Report. The school ranked in the top ten percent of the nation’s 129 accredited schools of medicine in 2008, sharing a spot on the list with Dartmouth Medical School, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Washington University in St. Louis. UMW is the only school in the top 50 to accept only in-state students, underscoring its successes in serving the commonwealth.
The educational mission is enhanced by accredited residency and fellowship programs, some 100 continuing education programs for the region’s health care professionals, cooperative degree programs with area colleges and universities, and community-based education programs emphasizing ambulatory care and the needs of underserved communities and populations. Such numerous and varied offerings contribute to a rich learning experience for all UMW students.
UMW’s Office of Ethics provides high quality ethical consultation and educational programming for the three schools at UMW to foster an environment that recognizes the values embedded in human interactions and to develop the skills necessary to respond appropriately. The office maintains a computerized collection of resources relevant to ethical issues in health care, which is available to all members of the UMW community.
Commonwealth Medicine UMW is distinguished by its unwavering support of public service. The Commonwealth Medicine division works in unison with state and local agencies, and non-profit and managed care organizations to increase the value and quality of publicly funded health expenditures and to improve access and delivery of care to at-risk and uninsured populations. Drawing on UMW’s depth and breadth of academic, research, management and clinical resources, Commonwealth Medicine assists health care providers in the public sector to optimize efficiency and effectiveness.
Several programs illustrate the scope of Commonwealth Medicine’s work in health policy, research, health care service delivery and education. The annual Health Policy Academic Conference showcases scholarly academic research projects on health care in the public sector with presentations on diverse topics including the future of research-based policymaking, child mental health, health care in the criminal justice system and health information technology. And, since 2004, Commonwealth Medicine’s Mini-Grants program has made seed money available to UMW investigators for innovative projects that address public sector needs, further exemplifying the division’s ongoing support of the research mission.
Commonwealth Medicine facilitates educational opportunities for UMW students. The division was instrumental in launching the Graduate Entry Pathway program in the Graduate School of Nursing as a response to the growing need for professional nursing staff. This program includes cooperative training opportunities such as rotations at state hospitals and prisons—learning experiences that encourage public service. In addition, Commonwealth Medicine partnered with the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences to develop the PhD program in Clinical & Population Health Research, one of the first in the nation to promote graduate study that fosters the analytic skills and methods necessary to conduct both health services and clinical research.
The division’s programs initiate early intervention for special populations including young patients who face obstacles in obtaining necessary health care. One example is Foster Care Evaluation Services (FaCES), a partnership among Commonwealth Medicine, the Department of Pediatrics and the Massachusetts Department of Social Services that coordinates medical care for area foster children. Another is the Community Case Management program, which coordinates needed services for children disabled by complex, chronic medical problems. This partnership between MassHealth, the commonwealth’s Medicaid program, and Commonwealth Medicine turned the state agency’s vision for coordinated health care service delivery into a reality—now serving more than 600 families of medically complex children across the state with a single point of entry for care management. Worcester Nursing Pipeline Consortium
The GSN is a founding member of the Worcester Nursing Pipeline Consortium (WNPC), which increases enrollment, retention, graduation and academic advancement of qualified nursing students and nurses committed to improving health care in Central Massachusetts. In partnership with nursing schools at all levels of nursing education within Central Massachusetts, as well as clinical and community partners, the WNPC seeks the recruitment and retention of qualified prospective students committed to improving health care; promotes the image of nursing as a health career through the WNPC in partnership with health care agencies, institutions, schools and communities; and links nursing schools within Worcester and Central Massachusetts to expedite career advancement among qualified and talented students.
Currently supporting more than 250 investigators, the growth of the UMW research enterprise has led to stimulating advancements in the treatment of disease and injury, as UMW scientists undertake research to discover the causes of and cures for the most devastating diseases of our time. Accomplished faculty members include a Nobel Prize winner; two members of the National Academy of Sciences; a member of the Royal Society; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators; Banting Medal awardees; Pew and Keck scholars; MERIT awardees; a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; cancer research award recipients, and many other winners of scientific accolades. Capitalizing on a collaborative environment, UMW research expertise lies in both basic and clinical areas with concentrations in diabetes, molecular genetics, immunology, virology, HIV/AIDS, cancer, signal transduction, structural biology (with attention to innovative drug design), bone cell biology, chemical biology, gene function and expression, neuroscience, imaging, and occupational and environmental health.
UMW is at the forefront of the commonwealth’s life sciences initiative. The institution received funding in 2007 and 2008 to establish an Advanced Therapeutics Cluster on campus that will bring together an interprofessional group of research faculty and physician scientists in three interconnected research clusters—stem cell biology, RNA biology and gene therapy. To direct gene therapy initiatives, UMW recruited an internationally recognized researcher in 2008, and in the realm of stem cell biology, the institution launched the Stem Cell Bank and Stem Cell Registry, two separate but complementary infrastructure programs that are fundamental to the advancement of today’s cutting-edge biomedical research.
A testament to the Medical School’s demonstrated ability to conduct exceptional public health and epidemiological research and its capacity to engage the community in such studies, UMMS was awarded a competitive contract from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to participate in the landmark 20-year National Children’s Study (NCS). The NCS is the largest study to be conducted in the United States to assess the effects of environmental and genetic factors on child and human health.
The Graduate School of Nursing advances the scientific foundation for professional nursing practice through intra- and interprofessional research endeavors and the dissemination of such research. By doing so, the GSN also acknowledges and accepts the responsibility to contribute to the improvement of the public’s health through the delivery of health and illness services grounded in both theory and research.
Over the past ten years, the GSN has experienced dramatic growth in research funding and interprofessional/collaborative research projects with an emphasis on improving quality of life and health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. Independently, and together with UMW’s campus-wide research growth, scientific research plays an ever-larger role in fulfilling the complementary missions of UMW and the GSN. Master’s and doctoral students alike will find abundant opportunities to work with distinguished faculty as they frame and refine their own research interests. Areas of research emphasis include chronic disease management and support for individuals and families with HIV/AIDS and other infectious conditions, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disorders and workforce development for high quality health care.