UMass Medical School and WPI team up to improve health care delivery

By Jim Fessenden

UMass Medical School Communications

March 21, 2013
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WPI Provost Eric Overstrom, left, and Terence R. Flotte, MD, UMMS executive deputy chancellor, provost, and dean of the School of Medicine, celebrate the agreement between the schools on a joint initiative to improve health care delivery.

UMass Medical School (UMMS) and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have established a new strategic affiliation to foster joint research and educational programs that improve health care delivery.

The five-year affiliation agreement creates a partnership between WPI’s Healthcare Delivery Institute (HDI) and UMMS to bring clinical, scientific, engineering and business management expertise to bear on a range of complex challenges facing the health care system.

“UMass Medical School and WPI possess complementary arrays of talent in the fields of biomedical and health sciences, technology, and engineering. As a free-standing health sciences campus, UMass Medical School benefits from outside research and development expertise in some of these disciplines, and WPI is a natural partner due both to its proximity and our shared visions,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost, dean of the School of Medicine and professor of pediatrics and microbiology & physiological systems.

The new affiliation was announced March 20 at an HDI symposium. As a first step, both WPI and UMMS will appoint members to a joint leadership coordinating committee that will begin to plan, facilitate and ultimately oversee targeted faculty research collaborations and graduate educational programs. The HDI/UMMS program will also include professional education and career development components, such as physician leadership training in specified areas.

“Faculty at our institutions have collaborated on projects for many years. Through this new affiliation we hope to create a dynamic and targeted partnership that leverages our respective strengths to advance new technologies and educational and clinical processes that better human health,” said WPI Provost Eric Overstrom, PhD.

The Healthcare Delivery Institute is a multi-disciplinary organization that includes more than 20 research teams at WPI, external health care providers and industry partners, all working to address the national and global challenge of creating the future of health care delivery. At WPI, faculty researchers affiliated with HDI work in areas such as systems engineering; data analytics; mobile and wireless health applications; information technology; advanced robotics; and portable medical devices for monitoring and imaging.

“We welcome this new partnership with our colleagues at UMass Medical School,” said Vera Tice, managing director of HDI. “Through this affiliation we plan to strategically develop high impact practical research and educational programs that improve the delivery of health care and patient outcomes, not only here in Massachusetts, but nationally and globally.”

Related links on UMassMedNow:
Worcester primed for health care delivery innovation