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MLK Semester of Service awardees will address local health and education needs

UMass Chan students will accept awards at Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance on Feb. 25

Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his  'I Have a Dream' speech on Aug. 28, 1963. Photo: Rowland Scherman courtesy  of the National Archives
Martin Luther King Jr. delivering his
'I Have a Dream' speech on Aug. 28, 1963.

Four teams of UMass Medical School students have been awarded Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Awards to implement community service programs. They will use the $500 awards to help improve access to cervical cancer screening, train youth in a lifesaving emergency intervention, integrate medical health records into free medical care, and expand tutoring opportunities for high school students.

The MLK Semester of Service Student Award program is a community service initiative that enhances health care education for UMMS students as they expand the institution’s impact and reach in the communities that surround the Worcester campus.

The 2020 MLK Semester of Service Student Award projects are:

Cervical Cancer Screening: Understanding Barriers to Access and Implementing Free Screening at Organized Medical Programs

Students: Katherine Cooper, SOM ’22; Rachel Anderson, SOM ’22; and Grace Masters, MD/PhD candidate

Project description: A multistep approach that will evaluate the need for and barriers to cervical cancer screening. Findings will be used to implement free pap testing at Worcester free medical programs.

Community partner: Worcester Free Clinic Coalition

Worcester Stops the Bleed

Students: Michael Wang, SOM ’23; Lucinda Chiu, SOM ’21; and Elya Reznichenko, SOM ’22

Project description: Train youth workers to save lives by raising awareness of basic actions to stop life threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies and man-made and natural disasters.

Community partner: Recreation Worcester

Bringing Electronic Medical Records to the Worcester Free Clinic Coalition

Student: John Romano, SOM ’22

Project description: Pilot the implementation of electronic medical records that will improve continuity and quality of care by allowing outside providers to log in and access records of care.

Community partner: Worcester Evening Free Medical Service Program at the Epworth Church

Tutoring and Mentoring Initiative

Students: Cindy Le, SOM ’23 and Thomas Kania, SOM ’23

Project description: Build a program to give students tutoring in the fundamental subjects they need, including math and science, as well as SAT exam preparation, while helping them establish relationships with people who have successfully navigated the journey already.

Community partner: North High School

The awards will be presented at the 31st annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. at UMass Medical School on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The celebration of service focuses on the legacy of Dr. King by highlighting the importance of service.