UMMS Student Groups/Organizations


The Student Body Committee (SBC) is the administrative arm of the student government, a liaison between the students, faculty, and administration. The SBC is responsible for allocating the student activities fund that is collected as part of our tuition, for selecting students to represent our school on various school and hospital committees, as well as promoting a sense of unity between all schools here at UMass. We collaborate with many student groups and work with the administration throughout the year on many issues from academic to fund raising. We also plan events to enrich the medical school experience, such as a bowling night or a charity auction.  Please see the Student Body Committee page for policies, funding information and forms.


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Changes to this list should be made by contacting the SBC co-presidents, Judy Holewa at and Lynn Desforges at
in the Office of Student Affairs.


African Community Education Program (ACE)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Andrea Posa
Faculty Advisor:
The mission of the African Community Education Program (ACE) is to educate and support African refugee and immigrant children currently attending grades 5-12 in the Worcester Public School system. ACE aims to achieve this mission by providing academic and extracurricular programming after school on weekdays and on Saturdays. ACE's approach is to provide comprehensive services that meet the students' educational and psychosocial needs, using culturally competent models and addressing common barriers to participation. UMASS students in the ACE student group can volunteer during ACE's Saturday program and/or after school tutoring program as tutors, mentors, classroom aids, activity supervisors, etc. Volunteers are an integral part of the program's success, and the ACE UMASS student group will provide an organized avenue for the UMASS community to contribute to ACE. Students can also participate in ACE activities throughout the year such as field trips, the Holiday Giving Tree, clothing drive donations and the annual ACE Spring Festival. Visit our website for more information at

American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): John Bostrom and Walter Palmer
Faculty Advisor: Michele Pugnaire, MD
AMSA is the American Medical Student Association, the largest independent association for physicians-in-training in the United States. AMSA’s philosophy is that it takes more than medical school to make a physician. Activities focus on Advocacy, Community and Public Health, Global Health, Humanistic Medicine, Health Policy, and Medical Education. AMSA offers students the opportunity to see medicine within the broader context of health care, and it gives students a forum to act on their interests in health care. AMSA has events on a monthly basis, and several opportunities exist for committee and project leadership.

American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Carolyn Buckley and Chelsea Harris
Faculty Advisor: Julie Pilitsis, MD
Women in Medicine is the UMass chapter of the AMWA (American Medical Women’s Association). This is an organization that focuses on ways to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. Its vision is to empower women to lead in improving health for all within a model that reflects the unique perspective of women. Official website:

Anesthesiology Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Kyle Rossi and Courtney Sullivan
Faculty Advisors: Monica Ganatra, MD and Robert Lee, MD
The Anesthesia Interest Group will provide students exposure to a specialty that is somewhat underexposed in the UMass curriculum. This group will introduce this career option by providing workshops on IV insertion and airway management, meals with faculty, shadowing opportunities, informing students of educational experiences, and offering a streamlined approach to connecting students with mentors. Not only will this provide solid technical skills and information to students considering a career in anesthesiology, but it would be inclusive in providing students interested in other specialties a conduit to explore the realm of anesthesiology and become more competent with important aspects of patient care. Students of all years are encouraged to participate.

Asian Community Outreach Organization (ACOO)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): David Wang and Ali Irshad
Faculty Advisor: Pang-Yen Fan, MD
Mission Statement: To serve the Asian communities in the greater Worcester area through health advocacy, community outreach and education. Description: We are a group of UMass medical students devoted to addressing the health care concerns of the local Asian population. We aim to educate ourselves and other health care providers/students about Asian cultural norms, social conditions, and racial differences that influence their experience with medicine. In addition we also aim to educate the local community and help address the health care concerns specific to this minority population by creating and implementing culturally and socially sensitive service projects for the Worcester Asian community. We are the UMass chapter of the nationwide APAMSA network and collaborate with other Boston-area schools.

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Best Buddies
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Justin Pespisa
Faculty Advisor: Joyce Rosenfeld, MD
Best Buddies is an international organization that promotes one-to-one friendships between individuals with intellectual or development disabilities (IDD) and individuals without IDD. Through friendship, Best Buddies aims to increase inclusion of individuals with IDD. Best Buddies at UMass Med matches medical students together with individuals with IDD from the community so that they can form a one-to-one friendship.

Bioethics Interest Group (BIG)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Kathryn Reiser
Faculty Advisor: Brian O’Sullivan, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Core for Bioethics Chair, Institutional Review Board
Our goal is to foster interdisciplinary discussion about ethical issues in medicine and healthcare. In addition, we aim to promote bioethics in the UMass community. We plan to meet formally once per month and also to host casual group discussions on a bimonthly basis. We will provide a forum for the UMass community to engage in the following activities: Evaluation and integration of the ethics curriculum; Analysis of case vignettes that highlight clinical or research ethics, Promotion of the IRB, ethics consult service, and palliative care team, including shadowing and discussion of when these services are appropriate; Discussion of current political and media coverage of bioethical issues; Organization of guest lectures on special topics in bioethics; Application of basic ethical theory to practical problems in medicine; Participation in events sponsored by the UMass Center for Bioethics; Screening movies or TV shows with a bioethical focus; Raising awareness and rates of health care proxy designation; Collaboration with other student groups such as Health Professionals for Human Rights, Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive organization, etc.


Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Josiah Bote, Waldo Zamor
Faculty Advisor:
Tying our religious faiths with the practice of medicine enhances the personal meaningfulness of our future profession. The UMMS chapter of the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA) is an organization that explores the Christian faith and what it means to be a Christian doctor in contemporary society. We strive to become more educated and aware of the spiritual needs of all patients. In partnership with CMDA Boston, we hold events to discuss current ethical dilemmas, the role of faith and spirituality in medicine, and provide a community for those interested in exploring these issues. Weekly Bible Study, bimonthly fellowship outings, community service, guest speakers, the Winter Retreat, and more will be a part of this year’s CMDA activities. Our future plans include the August BBQ, July planning meetings/outings with CMDA Boston, and encouraging one another in faith. If you are interested in becoming involved or just learning more about us please contact student contacts noted above.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Emily Levoy and Ye Li
Faculty Advisors: Emily Ferrara and Anne Gilroy, MA
The Complementary and Alternative Medicine Group brings together students who are interested in learning more about the diverse variety of modalities that are not currently pervasive within the realm of conventional medicine. Specifically, we aim to promote education and awareness on the major types of CAM, including whole medical systems, mind-body medicine, biologically based practices, manipulative and body-based practices and energy medicine. We offer presentations featuring local CAM practitioners, hands-on workshops to experience CAM practices, yoga classes and a CAM elective course open to both medical and nursing students in the fall semester.

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Taylor Young
Faculty Advisors: Drs. Zhiping Weng and Eric Mick
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics are complimentary disciplines focused on elucidating the underlying biology of healthy and diseased states through the analysis of massive amounts of genomic data. With the push to leverage genomics for the delivery of precision medicine and the growing availability of free genomic datasets, the unique skillsets intrinsic to these disciplines are in increasing demand, particularly among research-oriented physicians. In fact, Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health called computational biologists the "breakthrough" artists of the future and has stated, "If I was a senior in college or a first-year graduate student trying to figure out what area to work in. I would be a computational biologist." The purpose of this interest group will be to 1) bring together students with experience and interest in the disciplines of computational biology and bioinformatics, 2) raise awareness of these fields among other students, and 3) provide hands on experience to budding computational biologists. We will accomplish these goals by organizing regular meetings and hosting featured speakers, holding skill-building workshops, and creating an optional elective to help students develop a core set of computational skills applicable to a broad array of research topics.

Correctional Health Education Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Rahela Aziz-Bose and Julia Randall
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ann Sattler
Partnered with UMass Department Adolescent Medicine staff and the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, the Correctional Health Education Interest Group (CHE-IG) strives to meet the need for comprehensive sexual and health education for the incarcerated youth population. Due to funding cuts of recent years, these students who, if enrolled in public high schools, would be receiving health classes, receive little or no health education.

Workshops we teach at DYS facilities include: Anatomy (male and female), Contraception, STI's, Nutrition and Physical Exercise, Alcohol and Drugs, Healthy Relationships, Teen Pregnancy, Conclusion.

CHE-IG is an opportunity for graduate level health career students to learn about health education techniques, health in a correctional setting, and to work with a population of enthusiastic students, UMass faculty, and correctional staff.

Cuddle Buddies
Student Leader/Contact: Aylin Sert
Faculty Advisor: Wendy Timpson, MD
Cuddle Buddies, founded in 2013, gives medical students the opportunity to volunteer in the nursery at UMass Memorial Hospital as “baby cuddlers”. Baby cuddlers provide companionship and stimulation for babies in the nursery and the NICU, and are an essential part to a newborn’s hospital experience and recovery. At UMass, there is a special need for volunteers to cuddle neonates who are withdrawing from drugs, and babies who are post-operative and have been in the hospital for weeks if not months, in addition to the other neonates. The goal of this group is both educational and enjoyable and is great for anyone interested in neonatology, pediatrics, OB, family medicine, genetics, and more! It’s also great for anyone who just wants to cuddle a baby and de-stress from the hectic life of medical school! Informative presentations will also be planned throughout the year for those interested in learning more about neonates.

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Dermatology Interest Group (DIG)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Waldo Anthony Zamor and Jason Yang
Faculty Advisor: Dori Goldberg, MD
Goals/Objectives: To provide an overview of the field of dermatology, the diseases dermatologists treat and to teach the basics of dermatologic exams, pertinent to all specialties of medicine. We are also starting many community service projects related to skin care, cancer prevention, and increasing access to dermatologists for the uninsured. Lastly, the DIG would serve as a reference for those interested in pursuing dermatology as a career, and would also function as a focal point for those not interested in dermatology as a career but in the field itself for both clinical and basic science research.


Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Kelley Wittbold, Jefferson Barrett, Laurel Dezieck
Faculty Advisor: Katherine Boyle, MD
The goal of EMIG is to introduce the student to the diversity of medical practices/concerns that exists within the realm of Emergency Medicine. This goal is achieved through a series of planned events and social gatherings for the medical student throughout the year; e.g. "Guest Speaker" presentation, hands on training etc. In addition to this, EMIG has a close relationship with the staff and residents of the Emergency Department (ED) at UMass. Through this relationship, an open invitation is extended for students who wish to attend "problem-based" lecture series generally scheduled for EM Residents. This invitation also includes a monthly Journal Club discussion where students can have dinner and interact with Residents to discuss a pre-selected journal article and the impact on medicine. In general, EMIG is dedicated to educate the students on the benefits and diversity of Emergency Medicine.

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Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Callie Comtois, John (Matt) Ducey, Ciaran DellaFera, Jennifer Aborn, Katherine Hicks-Courant
Faculty Advisor:
The Family Medicine Interest Group (a.k.a. F-MIG) is dedicated to creating fun and informative activities centered around family medicine for all medical students. You may be certain that family practice is for you. You may want to be a specialist, or you may just be thankful you got into medical school! Nevertheless, you can benefit from attending the family medicine lunches and workshops. We give presentations on issues that every doctor should know something about—domestic violence, advocating for yourself and your patients, how to have a family and be a doctor. We wrap up each year with "Hands-On Night," where you will learn to draw blood, cast a leg, and suture a wound.

Food Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Victor Liu
Faculty Advisor:
The Food Interest Group (FIG), founded in 2010, aims to please the palates of the UMass community in a fun and enjoyable way. Given the importance of a well-balanced, nutritious diet to the well-being of an individual, we aim to improve access to healthy and delicious food. To achieve these goals, we plan to have guest speaker events, cooking workshops, restaurant reviews, cooking contests, and dinner gatherings.


Geriatric Interest Group (GIG)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Megan Janes ( and Ben Vaughan (
Faculty Advisor: Sarah McGee, MD
One of the earliest missions of GIG was to expose students to active, healthy older adults before they begin their clinical years. That interaction is still considered invaluable because virtually all physicians, regardless of specialty, treat and care for older adults. Aging is a natural process, but modern medicine still has difficultly differentiating between those biological changes and pathological processes. GIG works to educate both nursing and medical students about healthy older adults, as well as the special needs of the elder population through a variety of activities including meetings, guest lecturers, student and faculty dinners, and shadowing programs. GIG is also very active in the community, providing hands-on opportunities for students to interact with older adults. Last year we organized blood pressure, memory, ear wax, and osteoporosis screenings at the Greendale YMCA, which sponsors an Active Older Adults program.

Grace House Wellness and Development
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Sara-Grace Reynolds ( or Margaret Pyle (
Project Community Healthlink's Highland Grace House (HGH) is a residential program for up to 15 adolescent women recovering from substance abuse. The Grace House Wellness project is aimed to improve health outcomes for HGH residents by equipping them with life skills and stress reduction techniques, as well as providing them with student mentorship from UMass Medical School students. Program activities include bi-weekly yoga classes, a fitness buddy mentoring program, art therapy, guided meditations, as well as other targeted workshops that cater to the young women's interests (i.e. sex education, cooking classes, team building). New students volunteers are needed to fill the role of "fitness buddy", which consists of mentoring and walking/running on a weekly basis with girls in the house. Also looking for student volunteers skilled in art, dance, music, cooking, and/or any other talent worth sharing to develop and conduct workshops throughout the year.

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Healing Harmonies
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Xi Chen (
Faculty Advisors:  Suzana Makowski, MD and Stephen Heard, MD
The Healing Harmonies Musical Volunteering Group is a group of medical students dedicated to bringing music to hospital patients. Research has shown that music can have beneficial effects on medical conditions, including reducing blood pressure and decreasing perceived pain. Our hope is that by using their musical talents, students are able to connect with patients outside of their formal medical education, and also work to improve health outcomes! Our target audience is hospitalized patients on the oncology floor and bone marrow unit, with the hope that we will be able to expand this program to the entire hospital. Currently, there are about 25 students already signed up for the program, but we anticipate that more musical volunteers will join once we become an official student group and are able to advertise at the student fair in the beginning of the year.

Health Professionals for Human Rights
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s):Geoffrey Buckle (, Azmin Kahriman (, Amos Lichtman (, Jonathan Paolino (, Elise Sullivan (, Gina Zarella ( Geoffrey Buckle (, Azmin Kahriman (, Amos Lichtman (, Jonathan Paolino (, Elise Sullivan (, Gina Zarella (
Faculty Advisor:
The Health Professionals for Human Rights (HPHR) is the UMass Worcester student group affiliated with the national Physicians for Human Rights organization (PHR). PHR has the worldwide goal of preventing human rights abuses that cause physical and mental harm to victims. They research, document, and advocate international political groups to put an end to these abuses. HPHR is interested in advocacy and education about this work, as well national issues such as health care equity, access, and discrimination. We welcome student involvement from all of the UMass Worcester schools.

Hematology/Oncology Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Samantha Harrington, Fei Song, Zehra Omer
Faculty Advisor: James Liebmann, MD
The goal of the Oncology Interest Group is to expose students to the diverse world of cancer care and research, including its clinical subspecialties, ethical challenges, and social impact. We will organize guest speakers covering a broad range of cancer-related topics, including moral and ethical dilemmas in cancer care, subspecialty options, cancer’s social burden, the importance of early detection through primary care, and developing cancer research. We hope to establish informal faculty-student lunch discussions and workshops to help students refine their understanding of the field. We will work to network students with oncologists to create not only shadowing opportunities but also facilitate professional connections. As well as providing these opportunities for UMass students, we hope to promote community service initiatives that aim to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Humanities In Medicine Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Laurel Dezieck and Emily Tsanotelis
Faculty Advisor: David Hatem, MD
We believe that to be effective health care professionals, we must also be effective humanists; therefore, we must supplement our scientific knowledge with analysis of the human condition. The intent of the Humanities in Medicine Interest Group is to give students the opportunity to engage with the humanities and to integrate other disciplines into the medical education experience. Our group would be open to everyone who is interested, including all SOM, GSN, and GSBS students. The number of participants will vary depending on the activity: we expect 8-15 participants for discussion-based events and 20-50 participants for guest talks and seminars. Dr. David Hatem, who is also on the UMMS Humanities in Medicine Committee, will be the faculty sponsor. Our plan is to work in concert with the HIM Committee to organize and promote campus-wide event, with the hope that SBC funding will supplement their contributions. Proposed activities include fields trips to the Worcester Art Museum, documentary film viewings, photography exhibits, guest lectures and readings, as well as Tuesday morning Coffee Talks, which are student-led discussions based on an "article of the week," covering a range of topics from current events, philosophy, sociology, and the humanities.


Infectious Diseases Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Jacob Schrum, Nina Suresh, Nathaniel Erskine
Faculty Advisor: Sonia N. Chimienti MD (Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology)
The Infectious Diseases Interest Group (IDIG), we seek to utilize elements of the clinical and research programs at UMass to create dynamic opportunities for medical students to (1) engage with infectious diseases physicians and researchers, (2) gain exposure to infectious disease work in the clinical and laboratory settings and (3) explore community and global aspects of infectious disease.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School for Health Professions
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Reza Hosseini Ghomi (
Faculty Advisor: Eric Dickson, MD (
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School for Health Professions is an interprofessional educational community that gives students the skills to become change agents in health care improvement. The IHI Open School offers online courses written by world-renowned faculty; case studies, podcasts, videos, featured articles; a network of students; and, coming soon, certification to recognize student participation in online courses. We aim to bring the resources of IHI to UMass to train students in quality improvement and to implement projects involving students to improve processes and outcomes here at UMass through speaker events, a lunch series program, and involvement in quality projects across campus. This is an interprofessional group, with members from the nursing school, the graduate school, the medical school, and the hospital. We also want to bring the resources of UMass to the larger world of IHI. Website:

Integrative Medicine Oncology Initiative (IMOI)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): James Doolin, Emily Levoy and Whitney Hendrickson
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Carl Fulwiler (Dept. of Psychiatry), Dr. Susan Zweizig (Dept. of OBGYN)
The Integrative Medicine Oncology Initiative (IMOI) was created in January 2012 to provide free integrative medicine services to oncology patients through the UMASS Memorial Cancer Center of Excellence. The initiative is run and coordinated by medical students with significant integrative medicine training in a variety of modalities. Since May 2012, students have been teaching the 1.5hr long class with a focus on stress reduction for those involved with the cancer experience: patients, families, or providers. There are typically four sections, each taught by a different student: seated breathing meditation, gentle stretching/yoga/tai chi, acupressure teaching and practice, and guided relaxation. All of the modalities used have been studied and supported in the oncology literature as beneficial for the mental health of the oncology population. See either of the following: Speca M, Carlson L, Goody E, Angen M.: Randomized wait-list controlled clinical trial: the effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer patients. Psychosom Med 2000, 62:613–622. Ledesma D, Kumano H: Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cancer: a meta-analysis. Psycho-Oncology 2009, 18:571–579.

In addition the weekly wellness class at the cancer center, students also have been working with the department of gynecologic oncology to develop a research protocol with chemotherapy patients. They are currently working on the IRB proposal for a research study looking at the impact of a recorded meditation intervention (using meditation CDs and self-care journals) on quality of life as measured by changes in the ESAS and the FACIT-SP-12.

The most recent addition to the group’s activities is a collaboration with the Complementary and Integrative Medicine elective at the medical school, an established elective separate from the IMOI that has been in operation for the past eight years. The two groups will be doing some work together during the 2013 fall semester. To complete the CIM elective, medical and nursing students do a final project. This year, the project will require students to attend one IMOI wellness class and then schedule a one-on-one interview with a patient or family member from the class to reflect on their cancer experience, personal wellness, and the impact of the weekly IMOI class. The hope is to improve student and patient well-being through this meaningful exchange of experience.

The IMOI also values national and international forums of learning and sharing, thus presenting the project at two conferences last year (2012 International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Washington DC and the Planetree Annual Conference 2012 in Palm Desert Springs, CA). A feature article in the UMASS Medical School online newspaper was also written, see the following link:

Internal Medicine Interest Group/American College of Physicians
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Rony Berbara (, Nicole Cherng (, Peter Garas (, or Henry Huang (
Faculty Advisor: Mary Hawthorne, MD
Ever wonder what internal medicine is really all about? IMIG (internal medicine interest group) offers an informal and collegial opportunity to learn about and discuss topics in the field of internal medicine. Our aim is to promote internal medicine as a career by encouraging strong relationships with internal medicine practitioners, academic leaders, and fellow student organizations. Explore the numerous subspecialties of internal medicine, listen to practitioners discuss interesting case studies, or learn how physicians face the dilemmas of practice while enjoying a relaxing guest-speaker lunch. Partake in our casual panel discussions as different internists reveal the pros and cons of internal medicine, debate current socioeconomic problems in medicine, or give tips on applying for a residency in internal medicine. In addition, we offer a chance to observe procedures in both the cardiac-catheterization lab or endoscopy unit. UMass division of IMIG is part of the regional and national level of American College of Physicians (ACP).  

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Jewish Medical Student Association (Jewmass)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Talya Brettler, Leah Grodin, Seth Levin, and Julie Tabroff
Faculty Advisor: Jeremy Golding, MD (
JewMass (also known as the Jewish Medical Student Association) serves primarily as a resource for UMass students to discuss and understand the difficult ethical issues confronting today’s physicians. JewMass-sponsored medical ethics lunches, open to all students, serve to further this end. Topics of discussion may include the Jewish perspective on death, abortion, stem cell research, organ transplantation, allocation of resources, euthanasia, and the right to refuse treatment. Additionally, JewMass seeks to develop a sense of Jewish communal, cultural, and religious identity thereby linking Jewish students at UMass to their heritage. In its efforts, JewMass will draw on Jewish communal resources in Worcester and in the greater Boston area.


Kelley Backpacks Program, The
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Zainab Abdul-Rahim, Anne Barnard, Alexander Christakis, Ashley Faden, Lynne Fiore, Alison Little, Scott Pascal, Aubrey Samost
Faculty Advisor: Phil Fournier, MD 
The Kelley Backpacks Program is a community service project initiated and managed by Kelley House members. The program provides backpacks filled with age-appropriate supplies to children seen at UMass Medical Center who are taken directly into Department of Children & Families (DCF) custody. Each year, many children have their lives turned upside down when they are taken from their home into the custody of the DCF. Many children are taken away from dangerous situations, but regardless of their individual circumstance, they are separated from the only home they knew and are often taken with only the clothing on their backs. Medical students, social workers, doctors, nurses, and case managers are involved in distributing Kelley House Backpacks. When one of these professionals becomes aware that a patient is going to be taken into DCF custody, they contact a Kelley Backpacks student volunteer who delivers a backpack filled with supplies that have been specially selected for the age and gender of the child involved. The program’s goal is to give children something to call their own at a time when the rest of life is changing dramatically, and to help ease their transition to a new living environment. To contact the Kelley Backpacks program, please email:

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Latino Medical Student Association, LMSA
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Sebastian Ramos (sebastian.Ramos@umassmededu)
Faculty Advisor: Maria Garcia, MD (
The Latino Medical Student Association is a national organization whose mission is to increase the recruitment, admission and retention of Latino medical students. The UMMS chapter will be composed of any dedicated UMMS student and faculty working towards the advancement of Latino students in medicine. Like the national organization, the UMMS chapter of LMSA aims to promote: The recruitment, retention, and academic advancement of future Latino healthcare professionals at UMMS; Improving the delivery of health care services to Latinos and medically underserved populations in the Worcester area; Developing a network of Latino students and healthcare professionals to facilitate mentoring opportunities and the exchange of ideas about succeeding in a medical career; Developing a Latino High School Mentoring Program pairing Latino high school students with UMass medical students; Developing a Latino Undergraduate Student Mentoring Program pairing Latino pre-med college students with UMass medical students; Work closely with the Student National Medical Association to foster a diverse community at UMMS; Promote awareness of social, political and economic issues as they relate to Latino health; Serve as a support network for Latino students.


Medical Service Trip to the Dominican Republic
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Caitlin Fogarty, Chris MacKay, Elizabeth Townsley, and Vivek Venugopal, Valerie Valant, Simone Miller, Michaela Tracy, Thanh Ngo, Alexander Boardman
Faculty Advisor: Michele Pugnaire, MD
These trips for MS1 and MS3 students are an opportunity to provide medical services to Haitian immigrant workers in the Dominican Republic, under the direct supervision of UMMS faculty. Students begin preparing for the trip at the start of the school year by researching, fundraising, and collecting medications. Students then spend their Spring break week in the Dominican Republic providing care through traveling clinics in the sugar cane plantations, accompanied by supervising physicians, nurses and other health care professionals participating in this experience. Starting in 2012-2013, the MS3 trip will be a recognized Flexible Clinical Experience.

Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) -
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Nicole Mushero, Diana Thyssen, Cara Weinstein and Ashley Faden.
Faculty Advisor:
Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) is dedicated to ensuring that all women have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare. MSFC recognizes that one of the greatest obstacles to safe and legal abortion is the absence of trained providers. On a national level, we work to make reproductive health care, including abortion, a part of standard medical education and residency training. Here at UMass, we seek to educate our student body about reproductive healthcare options, existing barriers to acquiring reproductive healthcare, and advocate for the right to reproductive healthcare here in Massachusetts. Past MSFC activities have included shadowing at Planned Parenthood centers, visits from educational speakers, participative simulations of reproductive healthcare, and lunchtime discussion groups.

Mentoring Program at Lakeview Elementary School
The Mentoring Program is a collaborative with the Worcester Pipeline Initiative. We mentor sixth grade students for one hour every other week. Our meetings consist of all kinds of exciting science experiments, ranging from learning about composting to building flashlights to making earthquake proof towers out of toothpicks, marshmallows and straws. For additional information please visit;

MOE (Mass Outdoor Experience)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Ben Bier, Jennifer Messina, Anne Barnard, Alex Hart
Faculty Advisor:
MOE (UMass Outdoor Experience) starts the year with a wicked successful rafting /camping trip to Maine. Each year, MOE plans some day trips as well as overnight trips, and possibly a wilderness first aid course. MOE is trying to negotiate reduced rates for group lift tickets to Wachusett Mountain and elsewhere. Check out the Outing Club board near the OME for more details.

Mustard Seed
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Shu Yang, Kimberly Cullen, Jonathan Eisenberg, Meghan Grimes, Charlotte DeLeo, Caitlin Lawrence, and Hung Le
Faculty Advisor:
Mustard Seed is a local soup kitchen that feeds dinner to 150-200 people. Five times a semester, volunteers from UMass prepare and serve dinner. Not only is cooking at Mustard Seed fun and rewarding, but it gives students an opportunity to become involved in the community in which we will soon be providing medical care. Students can volunteer to help with any number of dinners throughout the year. The experience is greatly appreciated and also very rewarding.

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Newspaper, UMass Student - The Medical Examiner
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Sara-Grace Reynolds, Natasha Dolgin, Matthew Sloan, and Rebecca Lumsden
Faculty Advisors: Drs. Mai-Lan Rogoff and Melissa Fischer
Our goal at the student newspaper is to try to bring student awareness to interesting and newsworthy topics and give students an outlet for their own writing. Published monthly, it is a newspaper written by UMMS students for UMMS students. Anonymous and named submissions welcome. We print editorials, creative writing, artwork, science and health news, med student news, humor, around town (events), interviews and social commentary. Submissions can be sent to

Nutrition in Practice (NIP)
Student Leader (s)/Contact (s): Julia Hankin, RN (GSN), Samantha Harrington (SOM 1), Rachel Erdil (SOM1), Zehra Omer (SOM 1), & Micaela Atkins (SOM 1)
Faculty Advisors: Drs. Ira Ockene and David Harlan
The mission of this group is to enrich the nutrition education of medical, nursing, and biomedical students through workshops, lectures, and multimedia events. This group has the goal to provide practical nutrition knowledge and skills geared towards providers. With topics for exploration including the role of the provider, practical nutrition counseling, economics of food, nutrition for special populations including mother infant, and elderly, and special diets, to name a few. This group’s aim is to fill the gap in nutrition education for students. A survey conducted in Fall 2012 found that 165 of the 203 respondents from the SOM and GSN felt that there needed to be more nutrition education at UMass Med. This group plans to meet these needs and to evolve as the interests and needs of the student body changes. Our goal for this spring is to provide a lecture series of topics selected by the student body representatives; these will include a movie screening of Forks over Knives, presentations on topics such as economics of a healthy diet, the role of the provider, and special diets. The leadership will be committee style as to always have the GSN and SOM represented as to keep the group interprofessional.


OB/GYN Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Gianna Wilkie (, James Savage (, and Kevin Abraham (
Faculty Advisor: Dawn Tasillo, MD
Goal: To encourage interest in OB/GYN and provide opportunities for students to learn about women’s health issues. The OB/GYN Interest Group currently offers an OB Observation Program for first-and second-year students including shadowing labor and deliver as well as gynecological surgery; Dinner/discussions usually include topics like: Careers in OB/GYN, Careers in Surgical Specialties, and a Baby Catching Panel. Lunch seminars on a variety of women’s health issues and OB/GYN related topics are also planned.

Ophthalmology Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Huan Meng Mills
Faculty Advisor: Gisela Velez, MD, MPH
The Ophthalmology Interest Group at UMass Medical School aims to raise awareness among health care professionals and the community regarding preventable causes of blindness. We will hold skill sessions throughout the year to learn how to properly conduct an eye exam, use an ophthalmoscope, and use a handheld tonometer. We will then coordinate with local clinics to screen underserved patients in the community for cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. The Ophthalmology Interest Group will also be responsible for establishing the first UMass Chapter with the Unite for Sight Foundation. Through collaborations with Unite for Sight, we will help to prevent and treat blindness both locally and globally through fundraising efforts and by volunteering both locally and abroad. Throughout the year, we will create shadowing experiences for students interested in learning more about the types of surgeries and procedures that ophthalmologists perform. For those interested in pursuing an ophthalmology residency, we will also hold advising sessions on how to successfully apply through the San Francisco Matching Program.

Oral Health Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Timothy Gleeson
Faculty Advisor: Hugh Silk, MD
The Oral Health Interest group helps students appreciate the impact of oral health on overall health by increasing awareness of community health issues surrounding oral disease including local epidemiology, financial burdens, school health programs, oral health issues for those who are developmentally and intellectually disabled, other barriers to care, and personal stories. We also provide hands-on skill learning sessions on fluoride application and thorough dental exams. Students are provided with opportunities to volunteer to help community members that do not have good dental health and hear from public health experts on dental health issues and how they relate to greater medical disease and overall health.

Organization of Student Representatives (OSR)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Judy Wilber at (SOM ‘13 rep), Tom Akie at (SOM ‘14 rep), Molly Wolf at
(SOM ’14 rep), Emily Kaditz at (SOM ’15 rep), or Emmy Smith at (SOM ’15 rep)
Faculty Advisor: Melissa Fischer, MD, MEd
The OSR is the student branch of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The OSR is charged with the representation of undergraduate medical student body of the U.S. to the academic medicine community; the OSR's constituency comprises all medical students. The concerns of the OSR lie exclusively within academic medicine and medical education. The OSR's representatives are from each of the 133 U.S. LCME accredited medical schools in the United States. The seventeen medical schools from Canada are also invited to participate in OSR activities, though they do not have voting privileges. OSR's Administrative Board is comprised of the Chair, Chair-Elect, Past-Chair, five National Delegates and four Regional Chairs. In addition, the OSR appoints students to serve as liaisons to various national committees of import to the AAMC. Each medical school is invited to send up to 4 student representatives to the annual AAMC conference and a regional OSR conference. An OSR Representative has two roles. Firstly, to communicate the opinions of his/her student body to the national officers so that the OSR can effectively represent medical students on a national level. Secondly, to take OSR national priorities and objectives from his/her OSR colleagues and the national level and implement them at his/her own school.

OSR representatives are encouraged to collaborate with groups within their schools who may be well served by access to the latest information from the AAMC, including the SBC, faculty, and various student interest groups. An OSR student interest group is currently being formed, to allow more students to be involved in the frontlines of academic medicine here at UMMS.

Organized Medicine Interest Group
Student Leader(s): Patrick Lowe, Jacob Koshy, Racquel Wells
Faculty Advisor: Michele Pugnaire, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs
The Organized Medicine Interest Group at the University of Massachusetts focuses on advocacy, policy, and service. As an organization, we comprise three medical societies. The American Medical Association is the largest association of physicians and medical students in the United States. We also include the Massachusetts Medical Society, which represents physicians here in the Commonwealth. And finally, we represent our regional organization, the Worcester District Medical Society. As representatives of physicians and students, these organizations frequently lobby on the behalf of our profession with educators, insurers, and politicians here in our State and beyond.

Like any professional society, these organization offer a variety of opportunity for their members, which include many active medical students here at UMass. Students are able to participate with physicians in national, state and local policy-making meetings. Many participate in community service initiatives. Others serve on committees of the various organizations. Students frequently become involved in advocating for policy by making formal trips to Beacon Hill and the Capitol in Washington. Our monthly chapter meetings, as well as those at the MassMed Society's headquarters with students from the other three Massachusetts medical schools (Tufts, BU, and Harvard), offer a great opportunity to network with other students and generate new ideas for involvement.

Over the past year, we have sent students to the AMA House of Delegates meetings in Chicago and Honolulu, welcomed Congressman James McGovern and Dr. Lynda Young as keynote speakers on The State of Medicine, and championed the other three medical schools in Massachusetts during our Miles for Healthier Lifestyles competition. We look forward to another successful year ahead!

Orthopedics Interest Group (OIG)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Alex Kaiser MS3; Chrissy Kane, MS4
Faculty Advisor: David Ayers, MD, Chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation
The Orthopedics Interest Group (OIG) was established to introduce students to the field of orthopedics and provide early exposure and learning opportunities in one of the largest fields at UMass. Orthopedics plays an important role in many areas of medicine and the OIG will work to provide students with knowledge and experience they can take with them to any field they choose. Students will not only be afforded opportunities to become acquainted with the many career paths in orthopedics but also will be presented with many learning activities, including informational sessions, hands-on skills sessions, guest lecturers, faculty/student lunches and dinners, and shadowing options. Additionally, the group hopes to acquaint students with faculty in the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation to explore further, longitudinal shadowing, research, or other learning opportunities.

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Pathology Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): John Madore and Eric Evan-Browning
Faculty Advisor: Kenneth Rock, MD, Chairman, Department of Pathology
The UMass Pathology Interest Group would seek to promote awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the field of Pathology through informational sessions and opportunities for direct exposure to the field. Specifically, the group would accomplish these goals by offering shadowing opportunities, autopsy conference attendance opportunities, informal luncheons with faculty panels, and other yet-to-be-determined experiences to any interested medical student. We feel these experiences would not only serve to help expose students to the field of Pathology but also serve as valuable clinical correlations to topics presented in class. Our target audience would be primarily pre-clinical students (MSI and MSII) but clinical students (MSIII and MS IV) would be very welcome to participate in any activity the group offers. We expect approximately fifty students to participate in any given Pathology Interest Group activity.

Pediatric Theme Day Parties: Peds Parties
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Alison Bialecki
Faculty Advisor: Robert Wing, Director of Child Life, UMass Children’s Medical Center
Peds Parties is a student-run group where medical students help to organize and host monthly theme day parties for the children and families who are admitted to UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center’s inpatient floor. Not only is it an opportunity for students to interact with patients and families in the hopes of brightening up the day of a child who is admitted to the inpatient unit, but it is also a chance for students to work alongside the experienced and expert Child Life staff who are invaluable members of the UMass Pediatrics team. Students work with Child Life staff to draft a party theme, transform the playroom with decorations, music, and various activities, and create theme-related projects for children who cannot visit the playroom so that they can still be a part of the experience. Previous theme day parties include a Hawaiian Luau Party, Red Sox Opening Day Party, a Summer Olympics Party, and more. Peds Parties is a wonderful way for students to be creative, work alongside pediatrics staff, and experience the patient side of medical care.

Pediatric Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Alicia, Alterio, Amanda Bernier, Malessa Diaz, Shannon Fitzgerald, Jennifer Hanson, Pearl Houghteling, Justin Monroe, Kathryn Niro, and Christopher Perrone
Faculty Advisor:
The Pediatric Interest Group brings together students who are interested in learning more about the pediatric medical field. We aim to have several informational lunches and dinners throughout the school year. One of our main events in the fall is the pediatrics diabetic Halloween party. We also currently offer a chance to participate in pediatrics “mini-rounds” with Dr. Gibson-students shadow Dr. Gibson as he introduces you to his patients and their medical conditions on the inpatient floor.

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Sara-Grace Reynolds
Faculty Advisor: Faren Williams, MD
The PM&R interest group aims to introduce students to the wonderful and diverse field of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Interested students will be able to explore career options and form relationships with senior students, residents, fellows and faculty members. Students will gain exposure to physiatry and expand their knowledge through a series of lectures and gatherings. As a group we will review literature, receive hands on training related to PM&R, create a resource network and receive career advising. In brief, the PM&R interest group is dedicated to increasing awareness and supporting students choosing a career in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Ava Chappell (
Faculty Advisor:
Physicians for Social Responsibility has three basic program areas: Environment and Health, Nuclear/Security, and Violence Prevention. PSR shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for its Nuclear/Security work. PSR is a non-profit organization whose membership is made up of 20,000 doctors, nurses and other health professionals who care about making a difference in these areas, with a wide variety of personal involvement. The UMass Student Chapter of PSR sponsors various educational luncheons and events taking advantage of the abundance of local physicians in Massachusetts who are intimately involved in both local and national PSR projects. The focus of the UMass chapter is specifically tailored towards helping our students learn about both community and global health issues that affect their patients, and helping them to get involved, either through personal education or more active outreach.

Primary Care Principles (PCP) Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Jeremy Konstam and Benjamin Vaughan
Faculty Advisors: Barbara Weinstein, MBA, and Mary Ellen Keough, MPH
The mission of the Primary Care Principles (PCP) Group, formerly the Generalist Physician Program, is to support the mission of the medical school in promoting generalist physician principles and those primary care values applicable to all students and to foster collaboration among other student groups. The PCP Group will also support the primary care mission of the medical school in partnership with the Center for the Advancement of Primary Care, the Meyers Primary Care Institute, and other diverse programs promoting primary care disciplines among the student body at UMass Medical School.

Psychiatry Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): John Kelly and Miriam O'Neil
Faculty Advisor: Yael Dvir, MD
The Psychiatry Interest Group was created for students who are interested in potentially entering the field of psychiatry as well as those who are interested in exploring current topics in world of psychiatry to come together. We have hosted faculty panels and lunches and will continue to do so as well as provide for faculty shadowing, group discussions, and speakers.

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Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Nicole Mushero, Diana Thyssen and Beth Baratta
Faculty Advisors: Drs. Jeroan Alison, Joyce Rosenfeld and John Trobaugh.
An organization for straight supportive, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people at UMass. We are student-driven with extensive collaboration with UMass staff and faculty. QMASS is the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) advocacy group at UMass. The group strives to ensure that GLBT health is covered adequately and appropriately in the medical school curriculum and that UMass creates an open and accepting environment for GLBT healthcare professionals, researchers, staff, students, and patients. We also seek to provide a supportive social network for GLBT people at UMass by publicizing local resources for GLBT people. Our activities include collaborating with professors to integrate GLBT health issues into the medical school curriculum, and organizing events designed to educate and to raise awareness about healthcare issues specific to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) patients. We are involved in community outreach, which includes speaking for PFLAG (Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). We are part of their Safe Schools Program that is run through the Department of Education. We are also involved with Safe Homes (an organization for troubled GLBT youth) and gay-straight alliances in the local high schools.


Radiation Oncology Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Matthew Janko
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Thomas J. FitzGerald MD (Department Chair), Dr. Shirin Sioshansi, MD, Dr. Paul Rava MD PhD and Dr. Janaki Moni
The mission of the Radiation Oncology Interest group is to raise awareness and interest in the medical specialty of Radiation Oncology. The group will target medical students of all levels and pre-medical students where appropriate. The audience will be targeted by inviting students to join faculty and staff in the Radiation Oncology Department for informational meetings.

Radiology Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s):Kristopher Daley
Faculty Advisor: Joseph Makris, MD
The mission of the Radiology Interest Group is to foster the interest of pre-clinical medical students in the field of radiology. It is our hope to educate participants about differences and similarities between various specialties in the field, as well as to provide members with a basis of knowledge in regards to issues facing the radiology community now and in the future. We will also provide students with an understanding of the academic expectations and extracurricular achievements which should be pursued in order to obtain a residency position in the competitive field of radiology. We hope to accomplish our mission through providing students with various opportunities such as seminars, workshops, and other experiential activities.


Supporting Education to End Disparities (SEED)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Max Hazeltine
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Diane Blake
SEED's goals are to increase the number of under-represented and disadvantaged students entering into the biomedical and healthcare professions by:

  • Promoting awareness of helatcare and biomedical careers.
  • increasing student exposre to said fields.
  • encouraging academic excellence.
  • supporting students as they prepare for post-secondary education and futrue careers.

Serving the Underserved
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Matthew Ingham
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Diane Blake
The objectives of Serving the Underserved are community outreach, service and education for traditionally underserved populations. Our goal is to provide useful and meaningful services in the local community while supplementing our own medical and ethical goals. Through these proposed programs, we endeavor to form a liaison between the students and the community. Our hope is that this exposure will guide a significant number of students toward active roles in the community, both now and in the future as physicians. The following groups come under the umbrella of Serving the Underserved: Mustard Seed, Flu Shots, Free Clinics, Food/Clothing/Gift Drives.

Sexual Health Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Julia Randall & Safiyah Hosein
Faculty Advisors: Julie Jonassen, PhD & Kate O'Dell, RN, PhD
The mission of the sexual health SIG is to prepare inter-disciplinary healthcare providers to be optimally-equipped to address their patients diverse sexual health concerns. Our goals include educating medical and nursing students about sexual health, and the role of sexual health in patients' lives and in health-care practice. This inter-disciplinary group will use a variety of formats, including discussions, speakers, and interviewing practice to explore issues of sexual health and satisfaction. Collaborations will include healthcare providers within the UMass system and throughout the community, providing our members with first person accounts of caring for people with a wide variety of practices, beliefs, and concerns.

Seven Hills Symphony
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Joanna Chaurette, President, Elizabeth Portnoy, Vice President, Walter Kim/Adonia Lee, Secretary
Faculty Advisor:
The mission of the Seven Hills Symphony at UMass Medical School is to offer a creative outlet for health professionals and students, to contribute culturally to the community by providing classical music performances for medical center patients and staff, and to help raise funds for medical center patients and staff. The orchestra performs a varied repertoire under the leadership of a professional conductor. Multiple performance opportunities are available yearly in orchestral and chamber music settings. We will strive to create a non-competitive, non-threatening musical environment that is welcoming to musicians with a wide range of skill levels . Website:

SideKicks, Umass Medical School Student Sidekicks
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Karen Tenner, Michelle Pruchniewski, Meghan Gibson, Alyssa Goldberg
Faculty Advisor: Naheed Usmani, MD
SIDEKICKS seeks to establish formal, longitudinal connections between medical students and pediatric hematology and oncology patients, encouraging relationships between people facing - either directly or indirectly - the moving trials of serious illness by offering support, perspective and mentorship in and outside the context of formal medical treatment. While the program is intended primarily to provide support and companionship for families burdened with illness, it is also meant as an avenue for exposing medical students to the complex issues of illness and care giving. The questions and ideas that emerge from this service in the community will be used to inspire rigorous discussion within the group, and illuminate important issues surrounding care for the ill, both through primary experience, and exposure to related literature in the sciences and humanities.

Simulation Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Meghan Gibson and David Radcliffe
Faculty Sponsor: Barbara Walsh, MD, Department of Pediatrics – Emergency Medicine
The Simulation Interest Group aims at integrating clinical knowledge and skills that students learn in the classroom and on rotations into real-life medical scenarios using the UMass Medical School Simulation Center. Using state-of-the-art simulation technology and an interprofessional educational framework, students of the graduate schools of UMass Medical School will get to experience collaborative and interactive learning through the guidance and teaching of UMass faculty and residents who will present clinical scenarios that will reinforce key concepts, procedures, and situations that students will likely encounter in their future.

Students for Mental Health
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Lisa Salstein, Sharon Li, and Carrie Wu
Faculty Advisor: Yael Dvir, MD
Students for Mental health was established a couple of years ago as a way for students interested in learning more about mental health, as well as those who are interested in exploring current topics in psychiatry, to come together. Throughout the school year, we will host events such as dinnertime lecture series and movie screenings to promote discussion and learning regarding mental health issues. In addition, Students for Mental Health is involved in the Worcester State Hospital Adolescent Mentorship Program, where a medical student gets to build a meaningful and supportive relationship with a troubled teen.

Student Interest Group in Neurology (SIGN)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s):
Faculty Advisors: William Tosches, MD and Ann Mitchell, MD
Goals and objectives: To provide a forum for medical students to learn more about careers in neurology and subspecialties of neurology through a series of lunchtime lectures. To foster medical student interest in neurology by providing students with opportunities to interact with faculty and other students considering a career in neurology. To provide medical students the opportunity to develop experience, leadership and valuable contacts.

Student National Medical Association (SNMA)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Raquel Wells, Ashley Matthews, Asia Matthews, Jessy Lange & Solange Bayard
Faculty Advisor: Maria Garcia, MD
SNMA Mission Statement: Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is committed to supporting current and future underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians. At UMass, SNMA coordinates refugee tutoring, in which UMass students tutor middle and high school students in Worcester; science hands-on night, which gives local students a chance to experience medical school for a night; a pediatric Halloween party, thrown for children with diabetes; MAPS, the Minority Association of Premedical Students; as well as other activities.

Substance Abuse Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Ella Kipervasser, Wei Sum Li, Kara Lindquist
Faculty Advisor: Eric Baxter,MD
Clinicians often have more awareness of the medical consequences of substance abuse than of the circumstances that lead to the substance abuse, the patient’s experience of addiction and treatment, or the more widespread effects of substance abuse in the community. Through on-site visits to detox centers and residential treatment facilities and on-campus talks, this group aims to provide students with a broader understanding of addiction from the perspective of patients and their families.

Surgery Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Shiva Annamalai (MS2) -; Kyle Wu (MS1)
Faculty Advisor: Mitchell Cahan, MD
The Surgery Interest Group was founded in 2001 to familiarize UMass medical students with the exciting field of surgery. Working closely with the Dept. of Surgery, SIG enables medical students to gain a greater understanding of surgery through a broad variety of programs, from interactive workshops to shadowing in the OR. Events sponsored by SIG in the past included lunch seminars with UMass Memorial surgeons; discussion topics such as the training and lifestyle of a surgeon and exciting new technologies in surgery; laparoscopic workshop; workshop on applying for a surgery residency; shadowing in the OR; and Surgical Advisor program.


Technology in Medicine Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Christopher Libby
Faculty Advisor: Constance Nichols, MD
The goal of the Technology in Medicine Interest Group (TIMIG) is to help students learn how to use the tools that will become the future of medicine.  We anticipate educating students on the latest developments in physician and patient apps, EHR technologies, big data tools, research analytics, quality improvement, and medical devices.  We anticipate being able to provide the UMass community with lunch and learn session with leaders in their field, networking opportunities and education materials to help students become future leaders in the digital healthcare world.

The Healer’s Art
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s):Sara-Grace Reynolds and Benjamin Adler
Faculty Sponsors/s:Becky Spanagel M.D., Laura Lambert, M.D.
The Healer’s Art is a 15-hour course open to all M1 and M2 students that engages students in a discovery model of inquiry focusing on the meaning of physicianhood and the practice of medicine. Originally created by Dr. Rachel Remen in 1991, the course has grown exponentially and is now offered in over 70 medical schools worldwide. The course combines seed talks and experiential exercises in large and small group settings. The course is designed to encourage medical students to trust the power of listening and presence to heal, formulate a personal, comfortable, and compassionate response to loss, experience the healing power of grief, recognize that who they are is as important to the healing relationship as what they know, recognize awe and mystery in the daily practice of medicine, explore the concept of calling, write a personal mission statement, and explore the personal meaning of physicianhood. The Healer’s Art facilitates students in clarifying, strengthening, and making a personal commitment to medicine as their life’s work. Students also have the opportunity to explore their personal values, and commit to developing and preserving their personal values, such as service, harmlessness, compassion, altruism, self-care, equality, justice, respect, and nurturing wholeness. The Healer’s Art course model also allows for continued exploration of these themes for clinical students through additional workshops offered in the 3rd and 4th year.

Tobacco Treatment Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s):Wei Sum Li & Caroline Royer
Faculty Sponsors/s Lori Pbert, Phd, Denis Jolicoeur, MPH, CHES
The goal of our group is to support student events that will help support student skills in Tobacco treatment counseling.  our curriculum provides a very basic understanding during our formal curriculum.  This group will help support hands-on workshops and guest speakers to develop skills that simply require practice.  The group will also support efforts to celebrate and create awareness for the Amercian Cancer Society's annual "Great American Smoke Out" held every third Thursday in November. 


UMass Cycling Club
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s):Andrew (AJ) Piper, Jonathan Smits, and Abhishek Satishchandran
Faculty Advisor: Hardy Kornfeld, MD
The goal of the UMass cycling club is to bring together the UMass Medical, Graduate and Nursing Students interested in the wonderful sport of cycling. We would also like to register with USA Cycling in order to participate in collegiate competition events. Road Cycling events take place in the spring and mountain and cyclocross seasons take place in the fall. Registration with the USA cycling club is good for one year. In addition, the club is open to anyone interested in cycling at UMass and who would like to ride with us as part of our group. After all, riding a bike with someone is just that - riding bike and having a good time!

UMASSMed Community Mural Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Victoria Winslow, David Liu, Jane Malinkovich, Jon Miller
Faculty Advisor: Thomas Guggina, MD
The UMASSMed Community Mural Group strives to make Healthcare facilities More inviting By painting murals on their walls. Select student leaders plan and sketch out the murals while volunteers are guided through the rest! We provide medical students and patients with a creative outlet, allowing everyone to discover their own artistic talents while making lasting contributions to the community.

UMass Medical Islamic Society
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Safiyah Hosein and Zehra Omer
Faculty Advisor: Naheed Usmani, MD
The UMass Medical Islamic Society wishes to serve as a resource for all individuals interested in the Islamic faith both personally and professionally. The goals of this organization are social, community service, interfaith activities and community unity. It will meet social needs of its members by hosting Ramadan iftaars (dinners to break the fast during the month of Ramadan), and Eid (End of Ramadan celebration) events. It will support the community through volunteering at the local Muslim schools for mentoring and meeting the needs of the greater Worcester community through work at food banks and other projects. It will seek to demonstrate a positive representation of Islam while working in partnership with other faith based organizations. Lastly, it will foster community unity by providing relevant religious information to new members of the UMass community.

UMass Med School Running Club
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Elizabeth Rosen and Valerie Valant
Faculty Advisor: Phillip Fournier, MD
The UMass Medical School Running Club will, most simply, be a community of students who enjoy running. The group will plan weekly runs, participate in races (2-3 per year), volunteer at local running events (2 per year) and host presentations on sports medicine, fitness and nutrition (2-4 per year). Additionally, it will connect students with a shared interest in running, enabling them to plan group runs and social events as well as providing a network of encouragement (because sometimes running before class just doesn’t sound like that much fun). The group’s larger mission will be to encourage health and fitness within the student population and, in time, within the UMass and Worcester communities at large. The group will be open to runners of all abilities, from those who run occasionally to those who train and compete in running races often.

UMass SNaHP (Students for a National Health Plan)
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Miriam Meades, Ismael Rivera, Jorge Rivera
Faculty Advisor: Michael Ennis, MD
UMass SNaHP will work to enact the goals of the Nation al PNHP organization. In particular, enacting a single-payer system of healthcare funding that will benefit both patients and physicians by significantly lowering insurance administration costs in money and time.

UMMS A Cappella Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s):Jacqueline Pires
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Doug Cotanche
The idea behind forming an a cappella group is to have fun and meet others that have similar interests. I am hoping that this group will unite people that not only love singing but people that can work together to make a an endproduct worth listening to.  In the far future, the hope is that we will be able to perform around campus pieces that have been rehearsed in group settings to members of the UMMS community. While people of all talent levels will be encouraged to show up to the first meeting I am hoping to find at least 3 people per voice-type in order to begin rehearsing pieces with a functional a cappella group.

Urology Interest Group
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Jennifer Fantasia & Achankeng Afiadata
Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Yates, MD
The UMass Urology Interest Group was created to provide medical student the opportunity for meaningful exposure to this exciting surgical subspecialty.  The field of Urology is broad in scope and encompasses multiple disciplines, including oncology, stone disease, infertility, pediatric urology, female urology and more.  Since there is little mandated exposure to the dynamic field, student have limited meaningful experiences.  The goal of the Urology Interest Group is to improve student exposure by arranging shadowing opportunities with faculty members, both in the clinic and the OR, as well as arranging networking opportunities within this small professional community by connecting student with faculty mentors, successfully matched UMass graduates and helping student find o-going research opportunities, the Urology Interest Group hopes to attract more medical students to the specialty early in their medical school careers. 


Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Adam Chin, Matthew Dewolf and Mitchell Li
Faculty Advisor: Stephanie Lemon, PhD
WooFood is a group in Worcester that certifies restaurants that make the healthful choice the easy choice. They have devised a set of criteria that pulls concepts from behavioral psychology, economics, and food science to ensure that healthful options are available and desirable to order. The robust nature of the organization will attract people from all three schools: the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Worcester Free Clinics Coalition
Co Presidents: David Ma and Gianna Wilkie
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jay Broadhurst
Ever wonder how long it will be between the time you enter medical school and the time you can actually make an impact on someone’s health? Come be a volunteer at one of the free care clinics and you’ll find out the answer: not very long! The Worcester Free Clinic Coalition oversees 5 clinics that offer medical services to the underserved and uninsured of the greater Worcester area. The Epworth Clinic, St. Anne's Clinic, Greenwood St. Clinic, India Society of Worcester Health Stop, and Akwaaba Health Initiative all work to provide healthcare to the various populations of Worcester on different nights of the week. All clinics are staffed by volunteer physicians, physician’s assistants, nurses, and social workers, and they rely mainly on the participation of medical students to help meet the enormous need for their services. Every student in the preclinical years has the opportunity to volunteer their time at any of these clinics. Aside from an opportunity to practice taking a patient history, performing portions of the physical exam, and doing phlebotomy, what keeps volunteers coming back is the experience of making an immediate difference in the lives of patients. In one evening you may see a variety of patient complaints ranging from headaches to minor muscle trauma to systemic or local infections, or patients trying to manage a variety of chronic diseases. You are guaranteed to learn something about the reality of our health care system! See you at the free clinics!

Worcester Refugee Assistance Program (WRAP) Teen Mentoring Program
Student Leader(s)/Contact(s): Courtney Temple & Jennifer Perez
Faculty Advisor: Meredith Walsh, NP
The goals of this student group include: Promotion of one-on-one mentoring relationships between UMMS students and refugee youth (ages 12-19) at the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project (WRAP), a local organization serving local refugees from Burma.  These relationships will be fostered through funding to support one-on-one activities and group activities, which would serve to promote planning, reflection and group support.  We also aim to promote a means for UMMS student to learn about and appreciate the Burmese culture and the unique challenges faced by refugee youth. 

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