Print

Worcester District Medical Society honors two longtime UMMS faculty

Daniel Lasser recognized for career achievement, Erik Garcia for community service

UMass Medical School Communications

diciembre 14, 2018
  Erik Garcia, MD, (center) with Warren Ferguson, MD, (left) and Michael Hirsh, MD
 

Erik Garcia, MD, (center) with Warren Ferguson, MD, (left) and Michael Hirsh, MD

 

  Daniel Lasser, MD, (center), with Terence Flotte, MD, (left) and Michael Hirsh, MD
 

Daniel Lasser, MD, (center), with Terence Flotte, MD, (left) and Michael Hirsh, MD

The Worcester District Medical Society has honored longtime UMass Medical School faculty Daniel Lasser, MD, MPH, and Erik Garcia, MD. Dr. Lasser, chair and professor of family medicine & community health, received the 2018 Distinguished Career Award. Dr. Garcia, assistant professor of family medicine & community health, was recognized with this year’s A. Jane Fitzpatrick Community Service Award.

The Career Achievement Award honors a district medical society member who has demonstrated compassion and dedication to the medical needs of patients and the public and has made significant contributions to the practice of medicine. Lasser joined the National Health Service Corps, a federally funded program that places physicians in underserved communities, after completing his residency training. His ties to UMass Medical School began in 1979, when he joined the faculty as director of the Worcester Family Medicine residency program. He later served as medical director of the Family Health Center, a federally funded community health center that remains a teaching site for medical students and residents at UMMS. He was appointed department chair in 1998.

Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, nominated Lasser for the award. “Dr. Dan Lasser has built and sustained a nationally regarded academic department in family medicine over his 20 years as chair and is devoted to excellence in primary care and population health,” Dr. Flotte said. “Without his leadership neither the medical school nor UMass Memorial Health Care would be so strongly regarded nationally and internationally for primary care excellence.”

The A. Jane Fitzpatrick Community Service Award recognizes a member of the health care community for contributions beyond professional duties to improve the health and well-being of others. Garcia has served as medical director of the Community Healthlink Homeless Outreach & Advocacy Program since completing his residency at UMass Medical School in 1994. He is a member of the recently formed City Manager's Task Force for Sustaining Housing First Solutions, which has conducted an in-depth examination of Worcester's community needs and resources in addressing adult chronic homelessness and is developing a plan to sustain a long-term system of permanent supportive housing within Worcester.

Garcia was nominated by Warren Ferguson, MD, and Hugh Silk, MD, both professors of family medicine & community health, and UMass Memorial Health Care nurse practitioner Joyce Landers, MS. They wrote, “Dr. Garcia is a champion of some of the most vulnerable citizens of Worcester. He lives by a professional philosophy to embrace patents where they are, when they are willing to be treated, to focus on risk reduction and above all, to treat every individual with dignity and to not contribute to the stigma they often experience.”

The Worcester District Medical Society is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 2,100 physician members and medical students in Central Massachusetts. Lasser and Garcia accepted their awards alongside their nominators and awards chair Michael Hirsh, MD, professor of surgery, at the Society’s Fall District Meeting on Nov. 14.