UMMS ASSOCIATE DEAN AND RENOWNED RESEARCHER TO HOLD UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS ENDOWED LEADERSHIP CHAIR

August 17, 2006

WORCESTER, Mass.– With more than 30 years of distinguished service to the University of Massachusetts (UMass) and the Commonwealth, UMass has named University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) Associate Dean and Professor Carole C. Upshur, EdD, this year’s Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Chair. A 1958 graduate of the Lowell Technological Institute, now UMass Lowell, Mr. Zuckerberg has been involved in the institution as a friend, volunteer and donor for more than two decades, and he currently chairs the Investment Committee of the University of Massachusetts Foundation, Inc., which oversees the investment of the UMass endowment.

“The Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Chair is designed to reward people of courage, conviction and selflessness who have devoted their talents to helping the University of Massachusetts accomplish its goals,” said UMass President Jack M. Wilson. “The dedication of individuals such as Dr. Carole Upshur is what makes the University of Massachusetts one of the leading institutions in research and community outreach.”

Established in 2005, The Roy J. Zuckerberg Endowed Leadership Chair honors UMass employees who have significantly contributed their time and skills to the UMass system and have demonstrated exemplary character and leadership within their fields of expertise or in their service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dr. Upshur will receive $35,000 for her research as well as a one-year $25,000 stipend.

“It is an honor to receive this award that acknowledges leadership and institution-building,” said Upshur. “It is very humbling to be recognized for the work I’ve done at UMass and for the Commonwealth. I will continue to advocate for UMass and the importance of public higher education as an invaluable and essential state resource and encourage others to do the same.”

Considering her long history of service to the University as well as her dedication to serving the public sector, Upshur, a resident of Newton, was an ideal choice for the endowed leadership chair. A self-described “child of the ‘60s,” Upshur has devoted much of her professional life to developing and implementing new programs for the Commonwealth’s residents.

“I was very interested in social activism, and I found myself devoted to teaching and applied research to tackle issues that have a direct link in improving health, mental health and education,” said Upshur.

Upshur began her career in public higher education by joining the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) in 1976 as an assistant professor at the College of Public and Community Service. Three years later, she took on her first leadership role at UMB as chair for that college’s Center for Community Planning.

During her 25 years at UMB, Upshur developed several graduate school programs and became a renowned researcher in health policy and developmental disabilities. She gained a reputation as a supporter of interdisciplinary training and collaboration by working with other UMass campuses. As director of the Public Policy doctoral program, she joined forces with UMass Lowell’s Department of Regional Economic and Social Development to create a graduate student exchange partnership. In 1993, the same year she was promoted to professor at UMB, Upshur received a grant from the UMass President’s Office to further the Amherst, Boston and Worcester campuses’ collaboration on mental health research. Upshur continued to contribute to the growth of UMass through her teaching, research, leadership and involvement in developing doctoral programs by joining UMMS in 2001.

“I believe people should use their medical and psychological training for the greater good, and I want to train students to understand the broader contextual issues in people’s lives,” said Upshur. “With this training, our future physicians and clinicians can have a better understanding of their patients. For example, physicians and clinicians can understand why a patient isn’t taking their medicine if they know more about the impact of being uninsured, the high cost of the medication, living and insurance and the type of benefits specific to that patient.”

Since joining UMMS, Upshur has been involved in the planning and implementation of the Clinical and Population Health Research (CPHR) program – the newest doctoral program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

“The campus had a great vision in implementing this program. Right now, it is one of the few in the country that offers a focused-approach on training researchers for clinical and population health research,” said Upshur, who also serves as the program’s director. “We’ve been working very hard to develop all the policies and the programs needed to enhance the curriculum and to ensure the creation of an outstanding doctoral training program.”

Upshur is currently also working on numerous research projects, including social skills curriculum for preschool-aged children with behavioral issues and several focused on depression. She recently finished a study of chronic pain management and primary care. Concerned with improving the quality of care and responsiveness that primary care clinicians provide to patients with chronic pain, she plans to continue her research in chronic pain through pain intervention studies.

“Dr. Upshur’s dedication to the public sector and leadership in public service has not only been an asset to the UMass system, but to theCommonwealth of Massachusetts,” said UMMS Chancellor and Dean Aaron Lazare, MD. “We are pleased to see Dr. Upshur, a person who is devoted to improving health care for all residents of Massachusetts, receive this prestigious honor.”

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About UMMS

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing medical schools in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. UMass Medical School and its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care, attract more than $174 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. Research funding enables UMass researchers to explore human disease from the molecular level to large-scale clinical trials. Basic and clinical research leads to new approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.

Contact: Nicole Soucy 508-856-2000 ummsnews@umassmed.edu