Rallying around primary care

Students celebrate National Primary Care Week

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

September 30, 2011
National Primary Care Week LOGO

UMass Medical School will celebrate National Primary Care week with a series of activities starting Monday, Oct. 3, highlighting a signature strength of the state’s only public medical school: training in primary care. 

National Primary Care Week was established by the American Medical Student Association and the national non-profit organization Primary Care Progress to highlight the importance of primary care for all, particularly underserved populations. Locally, it is an opportunity for the UMMS and UMass Memorial Health Care communities to spotlight primary care education, in which UMMS is a national leader, and honor its practicing primary care clinicians.

National Primary Care Week was first celebrated at UMass Medical School in 2010 by student leaders of the Primary Care Principles Group (previously the Generalist Physician Principles Interest Group) in collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Primary Care, a joint initiative of the Medical School and UMass Memorial. This year, many additional student, institutional and community organizations (see sidebar) have signed on to support a variety of events.

The celebration begins on Monday, Oct. 3, with a student breakfast, at which primary care doctors will be on hand to chat about training and practice. The annual Steven Putterman Memorial Lecture will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The lecture focuses on primary care in remembrance of the legacy of the late Steven Putterman, MD, an assistant professor of family medicine & community health at UMMS who was a lifelong advocate of health care for all. This year’s keynote speaker will be James O’Connell, MD, president and founding member of Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, the Lamar Soutter Library will host “In Celebration: Primary Care Story Telling,” a Humanities in Medicine event that will feature readings from Thursday Morning Memos, the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health’s growing narrative medicine program. On Thursday, Oct. 6, the Geriatric Interest Group will lead community nutrition screenings for the elderly in the local community. The week will close with a poster session showcasing primary care presentations by faculty and students on Friday, Oct. 7.

For complete details on these and other National Primary Care Week activities at UMMS and UMass Memorial, contact the Center for the Advancement of Primary Care at 774-442-7050 or email capc@umassmemorial.org


A growing cadre of internal and external organizations came together to make next week’s celebration of National Primary Care Week possible. They are:

  • Primary Care Principles Group
  • American Medical Student Association
  • Center for the Advancement of Primary Care
  • Family Medicine Interest Group
  • Geriatrics Interest Group
  • Internal Medicine Interest Group
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology Interest Group
  • Pediatrics Interest Group
  • Rural Health Scholars Pathway
  • Massachusetts Area Health Education Centers (MassAHEC) Network
  • Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers
  • Meyers Primary Care Institute
  • Office of Educational Affairs
  • Humanities in Medicine Committee of the Lamar Soutter Library


Related links:

Primary Care Story Telling: Celebrating National Primary Care Week
UMass Medical School ranks 8th in primary care education
Students focus on health care for all during National Primary Care Week