For the latest COVID-19 campus news and resources, visit

Search Close Search
Page Menu

Learner Emergency Assistance Fund

The LEAF program is a UMass Chan-sponsored charitable emergency fund launched by Chancellor Collins to serve as source of relief for UMass Chan learners (including students from the 3 schools, UMass Chan's postdoctoral scholars, and residents in UMass Chan GME training programs) who have encountered sudden unexpected expenses that are too great to meet with the limited time and resources currently available.

Some examples of expenses that might qualify include sudden car expenses, computer or phone breakdowns, illnesses in the family with high co-pays, accidents, injuries or other unexpected tragic circumstances, loss of housing, or unanticipated travel expenses for family illness or death.

An independent selection committee will be rapidly convened to evaluate the request and provide a response. The committee will process each request within 72 hours of receipt.  The Committee is chaired by the Assistant Vice Provost for Wellness and Health Promotion, along with at least one representative each from the Medical School, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate School of Nursing and the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life.

21-22 academic year committee members:

Chair: Michael Hirsh, MD, Assistant Vice Provost, Wellness and Health Promotion
Vice-Chair:  Alan Acosta, PhD, Assistant Vice Provost, Student Life, Director for Positive Learning Environments


Deborah Demarco, MD, Associate Dean, Medical Education, DIO and Director GME
David Hatem, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Co-Director, Learning Communities
Joan Vitello, PhD, Dean, Graduate School of Nursing
Mary Ellen Lane, PhD, Dean, Graduate School Biomedical Science
Anthony Imbalzano, PHD, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Associate Dean, Office for Postdoctoral Scholars, GSBS

Maximum Funding Request:
Except in highly unusual circumstances, which would require approval by the Provost, funding is limited to a maximum of $10,000/request. 

Apply for the Learner Emergency Assistance Fund:
To apply for LEAF assistance, complete the online request form.  Once completed, you will be contacted by the Chair of the committee for a personal interview.  Upon completion of the interview, your request will be reviewed by the committee. The LEAF program is a charitable emergency relief program, created by the University of Massachusetts Medical School in support of its learners. Funds provided through this emergency program are:
(1) made for charitable purposes, and
(2) not to result in taxable compensation to the learners, some of whom are employees (specifically, residents in GME training programs)