Chancellor Michael F. Collins painted an optimistic picture of the future of the academic medical center during his annual Convocation speech on Thursday, Sept. 19, saying, “Why am I optimistic at this new beginning? Because together, we are UMass Medicine.”
“We have an outstanding faculty and a committed staff. We have a long-standing commitment to primary care. With our people working together, no institution has a better chance of being successful into the future,” said Chancellor Collins. “We will need to be smart about the choices we make. But, we have the intellectual capital and can commit the financial resources to succeed. Be optimistic, for succeed we will.”
Collins awarded Chancellor’s Medals to four distinguished faculty members: Richard Glew, MD, professor of medicine and microbiology & physiological systems, who received the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching; Thomas Grisso, PhD, professor of psychiatry, who received the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Scholarship; Richard S. Irwin, MD, professor of medicine, who received the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Clinical Excellence; and Judith K. Ockene, PhD, MEd, MA, the Barbara Helen Smith Chair in Preventive & Behavioral Medicine and professor of medicine, who received the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service.
In awarding the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching, Collins called Dr. Glew “an effective, spontaneous, indelible, dynamic, faithful and charismatic teacher who is viewed as a wise and enthusiastic role model and mentor.” Noting that generations of students and physicians have been influenced by his teaching, Collins said, “With your good cheer and generosity of spirit, you have given dignity and respect to and gained admiration from learners, mentees, colleagues and patients throughout your distinguished career.”
Glew, an expert in infectious disease, is vice chair of the Department of Medicine. As recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching, he will give the Last Lecture at the Educational Recognition Awards in the spring, an event that recognizes faculty singled out for excellence in teaching, research and service by the deans and students of all three schools.
Collins noted that Dr. Grisso, who received the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Scholarship, has made seminal contributions to the field of forensic psychiatry and psychology. “Your research has had substantial, sustained and demonstrable impact on clinical practice, juvenile justice policies and the law. Your work has stimulated thought and empirical designs used by every major researcher in these areas,” he said.
Grisso, who is director of the Law and Psychiatry Program in the Department of Psychiatry, has focused on research, policy development and advocacy related to forensic mental health issues in juvenile justice. Collins noted that in addition to receiving continuous funding from organizations such as that National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, Grisso is co-developer of the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tools, the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study and the Massachusetts Youth Screening Inventory.
As recipient of this honor, Grisso will give the keynote address at the 2013 UMMS Research Retreat.
Collins described Dr. Irwin, winner of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Clinical Excellence as “an accomplished, intellectually curious, highly respected, master clinician with a remarkable record for clinical and educational service to the medical profession and our institution.”
Irwin, who came to UMass Medical School in 1979, is an internationally known expert on chronic cough. He recently received the GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for his support of interdisciplinary collaboration between medicine and nursing.
“Kindness is your standard. Excellence is your expectation. Patient-centered care is your focus,” Collins said. Noting Irwin’s embrace of interprofessional teaching, he said, “Clearly, you recognize and promote the impact of team on the health and well-being of patients in the critical care, acute care and ambulatory settings.”
As recipient of this chancellor’s medal, Irwin will give the White Coat Ceremony address during Convocation 2014.
In awarding the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service to Dr. Ockene, Collins said, “Throughout your career you have exemplified pioneering leadership for our campus community and distinguished service to your profession.”
He noted Ockene’s many roles in her career at UMass Medical School.
“Professor, Smith Chair, chief, interim vice provost, associate vice chancellor for faculty administration, associate vice provost for gender and equity, co-chair of the Clinical Research Advisory Committee, PI and mentor have been many of the positions in which you have ably served,” said Collins. “You have been tireless in that service. Yours will be a legacy defined by the programs and mechanisms you have helped to foster and develop in support of the professional growth and career development of our faculty.”
As recipient of this Chancellor’s Medial, Ockene will carry the mace at formal university functions throughout the year.
After recognizing members of the faculty who were promoted to full professor or received tenure during the past academic year, Collins turned his attention to the future of UMMS and UMass Memorial Health Care, known together as UMass Medicine.
“Our recent five year plan has completed its course and there is much to show for the determination and forethought that we exhibited when it was created. But now we look to the future of UMass Medicine as we create, with purpose and resolve, a new tapestry,” he said. He pledged to work with new UMass Memorial Health Care President and CEO Eric Dickson to acknowledge and capitalize on the two institution’s shared vision for the future.
“As we sharpen our vision toward 2020, there is much to define and even more for which to strive. Together, we can shed the image of the ark we have created on which there is two of everything and come together where appropriate to conserve our resources in furtherance of our mission. We limit such efforts at our own peril and to the satisfaction of those who would prefer our marginal success,” he said.
“Let us engage in a meaningful exchange about what we can become. Let us not limit our imagination by an intense focus on structure at the cost of efficiency and effectiveness. Let us aspire and inspire as we rely on each other in our service to others. If we do so, our success will be without boundary,” Collins said.