Bigby: May Dr. Martin Luther King’s spirit live on through service

By Ellie Castano

UMass Medical School Communications

January 24, 2011

mc awardAt today’s MLK celebration, Chancellor Michael F. Collins presented the Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity to Warren Ferguson, MD.  

Amidst a standing-room-only crowd attending today’s 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, keynote speaker JudyAnn Bigby, MD, secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services, urged members of the UMass Medical School community to reflect on the true meaning of service, saying, “We are all in a position to lead, to work together to serve, to achieve what we want for the state of Massachusetts . . . through equality, justice and service. May Dr. King’s spirit live on.”

Remarking that service is deeply imbedded in the institution’s mission and goals, Chancellor Michael F. Collins presented two new awards that reflect institutional priorities that are cornerstones of UMMS—diversity and civility.

The Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Civility was presented to Lori Pbert, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training, who “provides a stellar example to us all of UMass Medical School’s Civility Statement in action.” 

The Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity was given to Warren Ferguson, MD, associate professor of family medicine & community health, who has been “passionate about diversity throughout his entire career and in myriad ways.”

The 2011 Martin Luther King Semester of Service Student Awards were also presented. School of Medicine Dean Terence R. Flotte recognized four project teams that received funding for commuity service partnership proposals that will be funded by the Building on the Promise: Learn and Serve UMass project. 

GSN student Toy Lim will work with the African Community Education organization on a culturally and age-appropriate nutrition and obesity prevention education program; medical student Sarah Tracy and GSBS student Nang Maung will help teens and young adults from Burma become leaders in health education in their refugee community; SOM students Micaela Bayard and Matthew Zanghi will partner with Worcester’s North High School to offer a reading group for their college awareness and readiness program; and SOM students Mitchell Li, Matthew DeWolf and Adam Chin will team up with the Worcester Department of Public Health and the Hunger Free and Healthy Coalition to help local restaurants learn how they can voluntarily eliminate trans fats from their menus. 

For complete coverage of the event, including new video that highlights members of the UMMS community in service, visit UMassMedMed again tomorrow.