Our Mission: Getting Back to Basics

As often as I can, I try to go to our New Caregiver Orientation and welcome our new caregivers to the team. When I’m there, I talk about who we are, what we do and how this helps us achieve the mission of the organization. It is a great way for me to start my week – talking about why we exist and the critical role we play in central New England. For those of us who have been here a while, it is a good exercise to revisit our mission from time to time to remind ourselves why we come to work day in and day out.


Recently, I greeted new caregivers at orientation.

An organization’s mission is a statement describing why it is in existence. If you haven’t read our mission statement lately, here it is:

UMass Memorial Health Care is committed to improving the health of the people of our diverse communities of Central New England through culturally sensitive excellence in clinical care, service, teaching and research.

We achieve this mission in several different ways:

  • First, we take care of the sickest, the most vulnerable and the poorest patients in the region. As the region’s only level 1 trauma center, level three NICU, Joint Commission certified stroke center and liver transplant center, amongst other things, we are the difference between life and death for many patients in the region.
  • Second, we are the hub for preventive medicine and primary care for the region. The better job we do with this, the less work we have in meeting the first objective above.
  • Third, we are the epicenter of medical education for the region. Our medical group physicians, in partnership with UMass Medical School, have trained the majority of physicians in the region and almost all of our other clinical caregivers are involved in teaching.
  • And fourth, we are working to improve the health and wellbeing of the entire population of the region by addressing social determinants of health through our community benefits and anchor mission programs.

It is a delicate balance to achieve all of the aspects of our mission while also trying to assure our long-term financial viability. It costs a lot of money to support all four of these elements of our mission, but in the end it is worth it. Think about what medicine would be like in Central Massachusetts without UMass Memorial.

I know you are working incredibly hard, often with less resources than other places that don’t have as many mission-driven responsibilities to fulfill. Please know that what you are doing is making an enormous difference in the lives of the people of Central Massachusetts. You save lives every day.

I usually close my presentation at New Caregiver Orientation with an invitation for everyone in the room to reach out to me and let me know how they are doing, what they’ve observed in their first few weeks on the job and if they feel we are doing a good job in supporting our mission.

I’d like to ask the same of all of our caregivers – let me know how you feel about our mission and what we could do better. You can send me a message through the link below or send me an email at Eric.Dickson.System.CEO@umassmemorial.org.



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