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Community Programs

Enhancing Health and Science Education

UMass Chan Medical School and its partners carry out a myriad of programs to increase the number of under-represented and disadvantaged students entering careers in health care and biomedical research. Through mentoring, job shadowing, internships, laboratory opportunities, after-school science programs, visiting-scientist programs and academic support for students, each year hundreds of young people from our community are exposed to the excitement and opportunities that health and science careers bring.


The Worcester Pipeline Collaborative, a partnership between the Medical School and the Worcester Public Schools is a national model of teamwork among many constituents to prepare, educate and train a health care workforce that reflects the community’s diversity.


Started in 1993 and funded by the NIH and UMass Chan, the Fellowship Program strives to diversify the pool of biomedical researchers and attract underrepresented groups through hands-on experience and exploration. More than 230 undergraduate students from the local community and around the country have participated in the Fellowship Program since its inception, and 76 of those students have gone on to pursue biomedical research at the graduate school level, enroll in medical school or join the ranks of professionals in research laboratories. At UMass Chan, three former fellows have enrolled at the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences while approximately 20 others have entered the T.H. Chan School of Medicine.


Ensuring Community Health

UMass Chan Medical School strives to have a significant impact in the world—locally, nationally and globally. We accomplish this goal by focusing on current research, knowledge, and capabilities to improve care delivery and health outcomes. 


Coordinating care providers, services and supplies for children with complex, chronic medical problems creates challenges for parents equal to those of the care itself. Community Case Management (CCM), a partnership of UMass Chan Medical School’s ForHealth Consulting division and MassHealth, the state’s public health insurance program, creates a single point of entry for services to these families.


“Students learn language and cross-cultural skills they can use in a U.S. practice by experiencing cultures and medical practices in their indigenous settings,” said International Medical Education Director Mick Godkin, PhD. Dr. Godkin notes that such immersion enhances students’ appreciation of primary care and public health, two areas in which the Medical School is a local and national leader.


The state’s Department of Social Services (DSS) requires that every child entering foster care have a medical exam within seven days of entering a new home and a full evaluation within 30 days. A November 2003 DSS audit documented, however, that these objectives were not being met.


The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), defined as the rate at which infants do not survive their first year of life, is monitored and compared throughout the world as a critical indicator of the health of populations. Although the differences are very small, Worcester has had a persistently higher IMR than Massachusetts and the United States overall.


Injury is the leading cause of childhood death and hospitalization in the United States. Each year in Worcester alone, hundreds of children under age 19 are injured seriously enough to require medical treatment.


Massachusetts is home to more than a half-million Latinos, a vital community that is concerned with the increase in the rate of diabetes among its members, limited access to health care, and educational and professional opportunities that lag behind those available to non-Latino groups. For 25 years, UMass Chan Medical School has taken a leading role in creating partnerships with Latino advocates, community organizations and higher education institutions to address these quality-of-life issues: AHEC, GLFHC.


One thousand Worcester County babies will be born into MassCHILD, the UMass Chan arm of the National Children’s Study (NCS). Their growth and development, and that of 99,000 other babies nationwide, will be followed until their 21st birthdays, as part of the largest-ever examination of child health and environment.


Massachusetts law requires that all newborns in the state be screened for 10 treatable disorders or conditions within 24 to 72 hours of birth. The New England Newborn Screening program optimizes its analysis of samples by creating a profile that more definitively indicates the presence of a specific disorder or disease.


Students of the three schools that comprise UMass Chan Medical School – future physicians, researchers and advanced practice nurses - consider their volunteer efforts as important as their academic pursuits. Students are on the scene at free clinics, homeless shelters and in middle and high school classrooms.

Building a Diverse Workforce

UMass Chan Medical School is one of the fastest growing medical schools in the country, and together with our clinical partner, UMass Memorial, we have built a reputation as a world-class research, teaching and service-delivery institution. By virtue of our distinguished history and promising future, we are uniquely positioned to build the workforce of the future, to serve the needs of our community, the commonwealth and the world.


Nursing remains such a competitive career opportunity that even ninth graders are charting the curricular course of their high school years in preparation for higher education and tomorrow’s job market. Several 14-year-olds and their parents attended the Worcester Nursing Pipeline Consortium’s annual Nursing Schools Expo in November, along with nearly 90 other area high school students and their families, a record turnout.


Through six community based centers, the MassAHEC Network reduces health disparities across the Commonwealth by: enhancing the skills and increasing the diversity of the health care workforce, and facilitating access to culturally and linguistically responsive health care services. The MassAHEC Network addresses quality by ensuring a culturally competent, skilled health care workforce; distribution by ensuring that all residents of the Commonwealth have access to quality health care delivered by a skilled health care workforce; and diversity by ensuring the diversity of the health care workforce reflects the diversity of the populations it serves by supporting community learning experiences for medical and nursing students, training medical interpreters, medical assistants and community health workers, providing continuing education programs, and hosting youth health career exploration programs. MassAHEC centers are located in Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, Lawrence, Boston and Brockton.