The Rémillard Family Community Fund Announces Grant Recipients to Improve Local Health

Established at the medical school in 2015 with a $3 million gift from the Remillard Family Foundation, the Remillard Family Community Service Fund is dedicated to providing ongoing support to local community outreach programs.

The Remillard Family Community Service Fund announced the recipients of its 2022 funding round, awarding 10 grants to support innovative projects led by faculty and students at UMass Chan Medical School that address local food insecurity, public health, cycling safety, health care for vulnerable populations and diversity of the health workforce.

Established at the medical school in 2015 with a $3 million gift from the Remillard Family Foundation, the Remillard Family Community Service Fund is dedicated to providing ongoing support for community outreach programs.

“When discussing potential fundraising ideas with Chancellor Collins, we were immediately drawn to the concept of a community service fund that would make thoughtful and worthwhile investments in the Central Massachusetts community for many years to come. come,” said Arthur J. Remillard III.

A total of $136,760 in grants of up to $20,000 each has been awarded for this year’s projects:

Nutrition education for young mothers in precarious housing situations in Worcestershire submitted by medical students Lydia Brainard, Samantha Lee, and Sophia Antonioli, and Erin Barlow, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology: A nutrition program for teenage mothers in housing instability will be developed to educate them about eating disorders and introduce them to community resources for access to food. This project will be done in conjunction with student-run Mentors for Young Mothers, which works with You Inc.’s Teen Parent Supported Living Program.

Co-Active Drama Therapy as Adjunct Therapy for Patients with Severe Mental Illness offered by medical students Clara Cabot, Victor Agwu and Amy Cheung, PhD, and Xiaoduo Fan, MD, MPH, Professor of Psychiatry: Members of the UMass MIND Community Intervention Program will conduct co-active drama therapy to assess whether the model, proven effective for other behavioral health disorders, is effective for people with severe mental illness who are unresponsive to traditional therapies.

Helmet safety program Submitted by Fernando Catalina, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and Beth Mazyck, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health: This initiative to improve cycling safety and prevent head injuries will encourage helmet use through health education and provide free helmets to economically disadvantaged children and adolescents in North Worcester County.

The Community Education and Mentorship Program: A Workshop Model of Peer Support for College Students with Mental Illness Nominated by Psychiatry Resident Maite A. Cintron Pastrana, MD, Medical Student Cameron Fattahi and Xiaoduo Fan, MD, MPH, Professor of Psychiatry: This UMass MIND Community Outreach Program project will train a team of student volunteers who are passionate about mental health advocacy, some with their own lived experiences with mental illness, to lead a series of educational workshops to help fellow students. with mental health issues.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Surgery Initiative suggested by Vascular Surgery Resident Emily Fan, MD: In partnership with UMass Chan and Worcester Public Schools Worcester Pipeline Collaborative, this program aims to diversify the surgical workforce to reflect the diversity of the population by engaging local students, starting in high school, to expose them to surgical careers and provide mentorship and advice.

Sunscreen proposed by medical student Christopher Fay: Funding will support and expand Fay’s citywide free sunscreen initiative. As well as supporting more distributors, the funding will enable the installation of sun shade sails in busy city parks and provide educational programs in partnership with Worcester youth organizations.

Fighting food insecurity in Barre and surrounding areas: one farm at a time proposed by Kristina Gracey, MD, assistant professor of family medicine and community health: In response to increasing food insecurity in rural central Massachusetts, medical student volunteers will develop a sustainable program that helps patients enroll in SNAP benefits and pick up locally grown agricultural produce for free at the Barre Family Health Center where they receive their primary care.

Creation of a longitudinal case management program within the Worcester Free Care Collaborative Nominated by MD/PhD student Hye In Sarah Lee, MD students Nikita Joshi and Madeline Schwartz, and James Ledwith, MD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health: The Worcester Free Care Collaborative, six free clinics providing free essential health services to those who are uninsured, underinsured or unable to find care elsewhere, will expand and improve its case management operations so that they are more comprehensive and ongoing and better connected to other social service organizations in Worcester.

Providing thermometers to newborn families at Worcester Family Health Center Nominated by Sara Casey, DO, assistant professor of family medicine and community health, Katherine Price, MD, family medicine and community health resident, and medical students Joyce Tien and Sonal Sharda: This project will provide baby rectal thermometers to all families with newborns who receive care at the Family Health Center. It will also create and distribute information cards and magnets, in the languages ​​most commonly spoken by patients, about childhood fevers and how to measure temperature correctly.

Food for thought: A nutrition awareness program for people with serious mental illness Proposed by Medical/PhD student Hye ln Sarah Lee, medical students Kai-Lou Yue, Pooja Dutta and Marko Stojcevski, psychiatry resident Yumi Kovic, MD, and Xiaoduo Fan, MD, MPH, professor of psychiatry: Expanded offering from a UMass MIND Community Outreach Program initiative will help patients with severe mental illness improve their diets by providing food, healthy recipe cards, and cooking equipment and supplies in community venues, including the Genesis Club and local group homes, and piloting vegetable gardens in multiple locations.

Related Stories on UMass Chan News:
Remillard Family Community Service Fund Awards Nine Grants for UMass Chan Collaborations
Worcester elementary students were greeted with backpacks full of supplies from UMass Medical School
Student-led virtual wellness program offers companionship to older, hospitalized COVID patients
The Rémillard Family Community Service Fund awards eight scholarships to professors and students

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