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Summer Community Health Service Learning Program


Coordinated in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and the MassAHEC Network, the Summer Community Health Service-Learning Program offers rising second-year medical students the opportunity to work in a wide variety of community-based health, educational and human service organizations throughout the Commonwealth during the summer months.

The main goals of the program are to provide unique service-learning experiences for future physicians, help students understand the connection between an individual’s health and a community’s health, enhance students’ understanding of community health care problems and needs of underserved populations, and provide community based organizations the opportunity to benefit from the fresh perspective and energy a student can bring to their agency or program. For the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the program establishes and strengthens relationships with community-based health, education and human service organizations that work with underserved populations across the state.

Click here for the Summer Assistantship information sheet for students. This sheet details the structure of the program and the expectations we hold for student participants, which include participation in regular reflective discussion sessions, completion of a reflection journal and creation of an informational poster, to be displayed at the Summer Student Poster Session along with those completed by students in the University's other summer student programs.

Past years' Summer Posters are available for viewing online (see sidebar on the left) to give you a sense of the types of placements and projects that are possible.  Questions to guide reflection for essays can be found here. Student directions for completing posters can be found here.

We aim to address several community-identified needs each year, so among our opportunities are these pre-defined positions:

  1. Coordination of Worcester Public Schools’ flu clinics, Worc Division of Public Health 
  2. Supporting the roll-out of Baby Boxes with the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative
  3. Support breast-feeding education initiative with the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative (Spanish language skills preferred)
  4. Supporting refugee youth programming at the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project and the African Community Education program.

You can view the application questions in advance by downloading the pdf here, then complete an application online at  Completed applications are due January 25, 2020 to indicate interest for the first round of placements.  Conversations are welcome - don't wait to reach out with ideas and questions. Contact Heather-Lyn Haley  to discuss options in greater detail. Watch this space and the SBC Scholarship Bulletin for opportunities post-deadline.

Past placement sites include:   AIDS Project Worcester, Elder Services of Worcester, Pernet Family Health Services, the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project, Family Health Center Worcester, the YWCA of Central MA, the Worcester Department of Public Health, the North Quabbin Community Coalition, the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center, and many others. 

 Funding for this program in 2020 comes from the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and the MassAHEC Network, which sponsors applicants from the Rural Health Scholars and the Urban Scholars programs. 

The exact schedule will be determined in May. To get a sense of the organization of the summer, here is the general Summer Assistantship schedule:



Mtg 1-Required: Orientation/logistics


Work Plan due


Mtg 2:Organizational mission

Early June

Progress report due


Mtg 3 Required: Online peer review of poster drafts

Early August

Poster files due (24”x36”)

Early August

Required: Poster Session




Carnegie Recipient 2015