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Advocacy and Outreach

Our program offers robust opportunities to learn about and participate in advocacy and outreach in Worcester and its surrounding communities. Interns have unique access to advocacy opportunities during their primary care blocks and share insights with their classmates during the “Our Town” celebration. Our department is also home to the new Child Health Equity Center, and its associated PATH Fellowship, that strives to address adverse social determinants of health and improve the health of our patients. Residents learn from clinicians and researchers who are champions in this field.

Advocacy 

Advocacy for individual patients and children in the community is an integral part of the UMass Chan Medical School mission. Our residents participate in an advocacy curriculum through which they meet with community agency representatives and consumers to develop skills in patient and community advocacy. Recent topics have included mental health reform, SCHIP, working with school systems, collaboration with legal aid, and how to effectively draft written correspondence to community agencies. We also participate in Residents and Fellows Day at the State House where residents learn how to advocate on a legislative level.         

Outreach

Many residents, staff and faculty participate in outreach projects in both the greater Worcester community and the state as a whole. Some of the projects in which we are involved are highlighted below:  

  • UMass Memorial Medical Center co-sponsors and staffs the Goods For Guns gun buy-back program, which seeks to get unwanted and unsafe firearms off the street by providing people who surrender them with gift certificates to local establishments. 
  • The annual Teddy Bear Clinic is staffed by residents, faculty and volunteers. The clinic provides children with an opportunity to have a stuffed animal examined and awarded a certificate of “Beary Good Health” while also exploring kiosks with interactive health information from pediatric subspecialty departments. 
  • Worcester Public Schools regularly invites residents to speak with students on a variety of health maintenance and prevention topics and to run medicine exploration programs.    
  • In conjunction with the Departments of Surgery and Emergency Medicine, pediatric residents and faculty participate in projects via the Injury Prevention Center, including bike helmet safety clinics and Mobile Safety Street
  • Residents lobby at both the local and state level for legislation that protects children and adolescents and fosters healthy development.