Michele Pugnaire, MD
As Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs, Dr. Michele Pugnaire is responsible for providing leadership and oversight for the education mission of the School of Medicine across Undergraduate Medical Education, Admissions, Student Affairs and Continuing Medical Education. During the past 20 years, she has held a variety of school-wide educational leadership positions at UMMS including Associate Dean for Admissions, Assistant Dean for Student Advising, and Director of the Family Medicine Clerkship. She currently serves as Director of the UMMS Simulation Center and is overseeing the planning for the new and expanded simulation programming in the Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation in the Albert Sherman Center. She has lead a number of major grant-funded initiatives to advance educational programs and curricular innovation and currently is Co-Principal Investigator for the Reynolds Foundation’s Comprehensive Program to Strengthen Physician’s Training in Geriatrics. Most recently, in her institutional leadership role for education, Dr. Pugnaire has been responsible for overseeing the accreditation processes for both the LCME and NEASC.
As a professor in Family Medicine and Community Health, Dr. Pugnaire has maintained an active family medicine practice in North Worcester County for over 25 years, serving vulnerable populations in rural and urban communities and teaches UMass students, with a focus on women’s health, geriatrics, adolescent medicine, and global health. She has published widely on diverse topics in medical education and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. In 2007, she became the first UMMS graduate of the ELAM program.
For over 10 years, she has travelled to the Dominican Republic to care for impoverished Haitian migrant workers and their families on the sugar cane plantations, and she serves as the faculty- sponsor for the UMass students’ DR Spring Mission Trip. For Dr. Pugnaire, this annual trip is the highlight of her year, combining what she loves most about doctoring: providing primary care to the underserved; care for diverse, multi-cultural populations; volunteer service to those most in need and the opportunity to teach and work with outstanding UMass students, one on one, in the direct care of patients.