UMass Medical School receives award for innovative use of technology

UMass Medical School Communications

July 19, 2017

UMass Medical School has won national recognition for its use of technology to help connect seniors and people with disabilities with long-term services and supports.

The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) has awarded second place in its Technology in Practice contest to UMass Medical School, its nonprofit business affiliate UHealthSolutions and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA).

The three entities teamed up in 2015 to create MassOptions, a phone support line and website that provides referrals to day services, in-home supports, equipment and supplies, and mental health and personal care services.

“UMass Medical School and UHealthSolutions are extremely proud of the MassOptions program. Together with EOEA, we have brought our resources and technology together to offer a state-of-the-art platform for Massachusetts elders and individuals with disabilities,” said Pamela Roddy, MBA, PMP, associate director of program development at UMass Medical School.

“Of equal importance is that we coupled this technology with a human touch. At MassOptions, the most vulnerable consumers can easily reach a live, highly trained, empathetic person invested in helping them navigate a complex delivery system.”

Before the program was launched, elders, people with disabilities and caretakers had to navigate different state agencies and programs depending on what service or help they were seeking.

MassOptions, run out of the UHealthSolutions Shrewsbury headquarters, replaces this hard-to-navigate maze with a single, central referral source, under one platform providing access via the web, chat and phone for a range of state-wide services and supports.

NASUAD will now work to develop and publish a profile of MassOptions that will be sent to aging and information and referral/assistance programs across the country.

The aim of the awards contest is “to identify and disseminate promising practices on the use of technology in aging and disability information and referral/assistance programs,” according to NASUAD.

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