Help UMass Memorial Build Healthier Communities: Participate in Our Community Health Assessment Survey

The communities we serve look to UMass Memorial to help improve health among their residents, and not just through the work we do inside hospital walls. Across our system, we work closely with local public health departments and a range of community partners so we can create the greatest impact on improving health outcomes.

It takes information to develop innovative programs to connect our hospitals’ clinical resources to community initiatives dedicated to enhancing access to care and addressing health disparities among vulnerable populations. That’s why I’m asking you to take part in our current Community Health Assessment (CHA) by completing an easy, quick survey by July 7.

The CHA is a way to gain the information we and our partners need to develop effective programs that promote health throughout peoples’ lifetimes. Right now, the Medical Center is conducting a CHA with the Worcester Division of Public Health and Fallon Community Health Plan to assess the health needs, concerns and strengths of the region.

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Medical Center employees, please help us by clicking here: complete survey.

If you are an employee who works at Marlborough, Clinton or HealthAlliance hospitals but who lives in Worcester, Shrewsbury, West Boylston, Holden, Millbury, Leicester or Grafton, please participate by completing the survey at this link.

UMass Memorial’s presence in Central Massachusetts is significant, so our input is vital to the assessment process. Through the assessment, the Medical Center and partners will develop a community-wide strategic plan that sets priorities for health improvement and engages partners to develop, support and implement the plan.

If you have questions or would like more information, please visit or contact

Great news for workers throughout the state: beginning July 1, 2015, the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law goes into effect. Through this new law, all of our Medical Center and Medical Group employees have the ability to earn and take sick time from work, including part-time, per diem and temporary employees. Last November, UMass Memorial Health Care supported the legislative bill as a way to provide an obvious public health benefit. We are thrilled that this new law ensures that all employees in Massachusetts, including our own, receive earned sick time to take care of themselves and their families.

I want to thank you for your continued support of our Idea System. Our Idea of the Week comes from the Core Leadership team and it involves Benedict Family Medicine at the University Campus of the Medical Center. Led by Laurie Hackett and Shelley Fitzgerald, the team at Benedict used the principles of 5S to organize their supplies. First the team moved everything to one central location. The products were previously scattered around the clinic. Then items were stored and organized in clear plastic containers. A new process was established to distinguish items with expiration dates from those without. Idea1 A red dot on the outside of the container signifies supplies without an expiration date while a green dot signifies items that will expire. This allows the staff to monitor expiration dates without going through every bin. Well done!

You can now find the Idea of the Week archive by clicking the Idea System tab at the top of this page.

Finally, from time to time I receive emails from our people praising the daily contributions of their teammates. A few weeks ago, the 5 East pediatric staff had some kind words to say about Santy Caraballo, a catering associate who delivers trays to our pediatric patients. His teammates say he is very caring and compassionate, exercises great patience and is very accommodating when our patients have a last second meal change. I’m told he has a positive attitude and works very well with the team.

From his co-worker Carleen Patrone, a nurse on 5 East: “An example of Santy’s character was on display recently when a  five-year-old girl had been in the hospital for several days and had not been allowed to eat her favorite meals. She had been telling her mother that all she wanted was a cheeseburger. When she was finally cleared for a regular diet, for her very first meal, Santy brought her a cheeseburger for breakfast! That was one smiling little girl and one very grateful mother. Employees like Santy need to be recognized. He is a perfect example of treating the person, not the patient, not the diagnosis.”

Thanks to Carleen for sharing this story and to Santy for making us proud each day, and thanks to all of you for your great ideas and for taking great care of our patients and one another,