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Jennifer Bradford and Heather-Lyn Haley receive Katharine F. Erskine Awards

At YWCA Tribute to Women, UMass Chan Medical School faculty recognized for achievements in education and health care

By Sandra Gray

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

September 17, 2021

Two UMass Chan Medical School faculty members received Katharine F. Erskine Awards from the YWCA Central Massachusetts. Jennifer Bradford, MD, MPH, assistant professor of family medicine & community health, received the health, science and technology award and Heather-Lyn Haley, PhD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health, received the education award at the annual Tribute to Women held at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on Sept. 14.

The Katharine F. Erskine Awards recognize women of exemplary achievement in their professions and communities with demonstrated commitments to social and racial equality and serving as role models for women and girls. Award recipients show a commitment to the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism; empower women; and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. In addition to education, and health, science and technology, awards are made in the categories of arts and culture; business and law; and community, social service and government.

Jennifer Bradford, MD, MPH
(photo: Erika Sidor Photography)

Board certified in family medicine and addiction medicine, Dr. Bradford earned her Master of Public Health degree while completing her residencies in family medicine and preventive medicine at UMass Medical School in 2015. In addition to teaching medical students, she provides primary care services at Community Healthlink, which serves patients experiencing homelessness, substance use disorder and commercial sexual exploitation. She is medical director of the Community Healthlink Detox Program and, in collaboration with Commonwealth Medicine , she serves as an addiction consultant to the Massachusetts Medicaid program.

“This award encapsulates my drive toward social justice, eliminating racism and providing venues for marginalized individuals to have a voice within their communities and lives,” Bradford said. “I have not considered myself a role model, but it does bring me fulfillment to know that my work with underserved communities and stigmatized individuals may inspire others. The Erskine award shows recognition that the quest for social justice is important and can be a focus in many different career paths.”

Heather-Lyn Haley, PhD

Dr. Haley teaches medical and graduate nursing students about the social determinants of health and interprofessional networks of care. She is project manager for the Diversity, Representation and Inclusion for Value in Education initiative of the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, and is the project manager for the Collaboratory Community Engagement Data Initiative of the Office of Community and Government Relations. The founding director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Student Awards, her work focuses on race, power and privilege, and reflective practice and cultural competence in medical education.

“I thank my colleagues in the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health for recognizing my commitment to community engagement, allowing me to spend time building relationships and learning as much as I’m teaching about the nuances of our community’s rich resource,” Haley said. “And I’m grateful to my colleagues in the Office for Community and Government Relations for believing in the value of engagement and harnessing institutional resources to celebrate and enrich our community engaged projects with social justice goals.”

Katharine F. Erskine, who died in 1990 at 100, spent more than 80 years furthering the mission of the YWCA Central Massachusetts.