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Summer Community Health Assistantship


Coordinated in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and the MassAHEC Network, the Summer Community Health Service-Learning Program offers rising second-year medical students the opportunity to work in a wide variety of community-based health, educational and human service organizations throughout the Commonwealth during the summer months.

The main goals of the program are to provide unique service-learning experiences for future physicians, help students understand the connection between an individual’s health and a community’s health, enhance students’ understanding of community health care problems and needs of underserved populations, and provide community based organizations the opportunity to benefit from the fresh perspective and energy a student can bring to their agency or program. For the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the program establishes and strengthens relationships with community-based health, education and human service organizations that work with underserved populations across the state.

Click here for the Summer Assistantship information sheet for students. This sheet details the structure of the program and the expectations we hold for student participants, which include participation in regular reflective discussion sessions, completion of a reflection journal and creation of an informational poster, to be displayed at the Summer Student Poster Session along with those completed by students in the University's other summer student programs.

Past years' Summer Posters are available for viewing online (see sidebar on the left) to give you a sense of the types of placements and projects that are possible.  Student directions for completing posters will be placed in the shared folder as the date nears.

We aim to address several community-identified needs each year, so among our opportunities are these pre-defined positions:

  1. Conducting mobile outreach with AIDS Project Worcester
  2. Support breast-feeding education initiative with the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative (Spanish language skills preferred)
  3. Supporting refugee youth programming at the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project and the African Community Education program.
  4. Building an oasis in the food desert with the Black Seed Farmers' Market
  5. Supporting veterans' health with Clear Path at Devens
  6. Contributing to workflow projects for advanced care directives with Vynca

Completed applications are due mid-March to indicate interest for the first round of placements.  Conversations are welcome - don't wait to reach out with ideas and questions. Contact Heather-Lyn Haley  to discuss options in greater detail. Watch this space and the SBC Scholarship Bulletin for opportunities post-deadline.

Past placement sites include:    Elder Services of Worcester, Pernet Family Health Services, the  Family Health Center Worcester, the YWCA of Central MA, the Worcester Department of Public Health, the North Quabbin Community Coalition, the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center, and many others. 

 Funding for this program in 2020 comes from the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education and the MassAHEC Network, which sponsors applicants from the Rural Health Scholars and the Urban Scholars programs. 

The exact schedule will be determined in May. To get a sense of the organization of the summer, here is the general Summer Assistantship schedule:



Mtg 1-Required: Orientation/logistics


Work Plan due


Mtg 2:Organizational mission

Early June

Progress report due


Mtg 3 Required: Online peer review of poster drafts

Early August

Poster files due (24”x36”)

Early August

Required: Poster Session




Carnegie Recipient 2015