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UMass Medical School rises to ‘health sciences moment’ in COVID-19 pandemic

Voices of UMassMed podcast season begins with Chancellor Collins interview on campus updates

By Sarah Willey and Bryan Goodchild

UMass Medical School Communications

August 19, 2021

Chancellor Michael F. Collins reflects on how the UMass Medical School community came together in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the commitment of faculty, students and staff, in a new Voices of UMassMed  podcast.

Chancellor Collins discusses the formation of the Vaccine Corps, the 7,000 volunteers who have helped to deliver vaccines and the great progress researchers continue to make in the fight against COVID-19.

“If you look at what’s happened to the world with this pandemic, it really cries for the health sciences moment,” Collins said. “Our medical school, nursing school and graduate school classes are among the most competitive that exist anywhere in the nation. It’s a very special time for the Medical School.”

The podcast was recorded shortly after Collins delivered his welcome remarks to the School of Medicine Class of 2025. He addresses how a COVID-19 vaccine requirement on campus will provide students, faculty and staff the opportunity to be together in a safe, effective learning environment.

“That is the best way for us to go after any variant: Delta, Lambda or Gamma,” he said.

He also reflects on how the pandemic has provided a moment to stand back and recognize the challenges with racism in the United States, address inequity and disparities in the health care system and community.

“We’re investing millions of dollars now to recruit more diverse classes to be sure we’re more present to diverse communities, to be sure that we can address some of the inequities that exist,” Collins said.

To listen to the full podcast, including details on the opening of the VA outpatient clinic, construction on the new education and research building slated to open in late 2023, and how UMMS has soared in NIH funding, click here: umassmed.edu/news/voices.

You can also listen on SoundCloudApple PodcastsSpotify or anywhere you get your podcasts.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
UMass Medical School statement on COVID-19 vaccination requirement for faculty, staff and students
Chancellor Collins welcomes SOM Class of 2025 to ‘an exciting time to be coming into medicine’