An ambassador for Work Without Limits, a UMass Medical School initiative to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities, was featured in today’s Boston Globe as an example of how a disability does not have to be a barrier to employment. Bo Tanner, the aquatics director at Eaglebrook School, has found success as a swimming coach, teacher and motivator of students while enjoying an active athletic life, despite relying on a wheelchair and crutches for mobility.
What started as an informal way to get to know colleagues, and maybe learn a new skill during a lunch break, has turned into an effort that will bring warmth to those in need. About a dozen employees from Commonwealth Medicine’s Disability and Community Services (DCS), under the guidance of skilled knitter—and patient teacher—RoseMary Scala, have been busily knitting while enjoying each other’s company and helping the community.
Fourth-year medical student Heather Busick and second-year medical students Alison Little and Anne Barnard talked about the Kelley Backpack program in a Worcester Telegram & Gazette article on Monday, Dec. 19. Members of Kelley House prepare backpacks filled with age- and gender-specific items and toys to be given to children who are taken from their homes and placed in foster care.
The third annual Winter Ball proved to be bigger and better than ever this year, with more attendees, more sponsors and more sponsorship money raised to support research and patient care at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center. Approximately 350 people attended the gala at Mechanics Hall on Friday, Dec. 9.
The UMass Board of Trustees came to UMass Medical School on Wednesday, Dec. 7, for its regularly scheduled meeting and voted to approve a $502 million state budget request for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. UMass President Robert L. Caret said that the University and its students need to return to a posture where the state is subsidizing at least 50 percent of the University’s general educational expenses. The $84 million increase over this year’s $418 million in state funding would bring the University close to achieving the 50-50 funding balance.
Free groceries delivered to their home and discounts at local restaurants and retail stores are among the rewards earned by members of the UMass Medical School community this year who are participating in a program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion by promoting alternatives to a solo trip in an automobile.
For more than 20 years, the UMass Medical School community has been helping needy children in the area enjoy Christmas a little bit more through participation in the annual Toys for Tots drive. Coordinated at UMMS by the Public Safety Office, Toys for Tots is a national drive that was founded in 1947 by the U.S. Marines; in 2010 it collected 16.7 million toys that were distributed in the communities in which they were collected to 7.2 million needy children.
The Worcester Refugee Assistance Project (WRAP) is holding a coat drive to benefit the population it serves—refugees from Burma who have settled in the Worcester area. WRAP is a network of volunteers committed to helping these refugees achieve self‐reliance through mentoring, advocacy and material support. It was co-founded by GSN student Meredith Nash and includes many volunteers from all three UMMS schools.
Building on the Promise: Learn and Serve UMass will for the second year sponsor the MLK Semester of Service Student Awards, a community service initiative designed to support student-driven service projects in the communities that surround the UMass Medical School campus. Students from all three schools are invited to submit proposals outlining community service projects they hope to undertake in the spring 2012 semester. The top three ideas will receive funding awards of $500 with which to carry out these projects. Brief proposals are due to UMass Learn and Serve by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23.