Post Content

Photo Courtesy UMass Medical School Communications

Photo Courtesy UMass Medical School Communications

From the front page of the newspaper to the evening news, there is no avoiding the opioid epidemic facing the Commonwealth. The severity of the public health crisis was ever present at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s commencement on Sunday where Governor Baker was one of the speakers.

“Opioids are a quiet killer, surrounded by despair on one side and loneliness on the other. Through the leadership of our governor, focus has been galvanized to this challenge and our campus has responded with intensity and determination,” Chancellor Michael F. Collins said in his remarks to the graduates. “As the state’s public medical school, we have a special responsibility to act and we have accepted the governor’s challenge. You are the first classes to have experienced content-focused education and training directly as a result of this initiative.”

The graduating students from the School of Medicine and Graduate School of Nursing are the first to be educated in ten core competencies recommended by the governor’s Working Group. In 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration in partnership with the deans of the Commonwealth’s four medical schools and the Massachusetts Medical Society released a pioneering set of medical education core competencies for the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse.

“This place was an early supporter, led by the chancellor and others, on some of the more controversial reforms that we proposed last year to deal with the aforementioned opioid epidemic that’s been gripping the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Baker, who was given a Chancellor’s Medal. “And in particular to the graduates of this year’s medical school, I want to tell you how pleased I am that you graduated, all of you, having passed the core competency in pain management and opioid therapies and prescribing.

“If I had to pick one of the most important elements of our significant level of reform efforts in this state, it would be for us as a Commonwealth to do a better job of preparing all of you, and by the way all of those currently practicing and prescribing, to understand the positives and negatives and the importance of ongoing communication when it comes to opioid therapy.”

Several students spoke highly of their experience with the initiative, including Wei Sum Li of Westford who was a member of the group of students that met with the Governor to help create this new curriculum, who said, “Between November and April, the medical school has been incredibly focused and active” to bring about the initiative. Victoria Creeden of Worcester, receiving a master’s degree in nursing, also described the program positively, saying it “really attacked the (opioid addiction) problem from every angle.” She said the curriculum was particularly effective because it exposed practitioners to all of the people who are tragically affected.

Beyond the opioid crisis, Governor Baker told graduates to make sure their voices are heard in a profession marked by unprecedented advances in technology and access to data (Telegram & Gazette). He also reminded graduates that in a world where symptoms and data are readily available to all individuals, medical professionals must keep in mind the interests and insight of the patients they are working with.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy posted on Jul 25

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has injected $2.8 billion into highway infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, intersection and sidewalk improvements, and bike lanes. Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, MassDOT Secretary Pollack, and Acting Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver visited communities across the Commonwealth highlighting the   …Continue Reading Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito: Infrastructure investments strengthen our communities and economy

Where broadband internet changes everything posted on Jul 5

Where broadband internet changes everything

In May 2017, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined Berkshire County leaders to tour downtown small businesses that are benefiting from upgrades made by Charter Communications and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute’s (MBI) Last Mile Infrastructure Grant Program. The program and investments in broadband   …Continue Reading Where broadband internet changes everything

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking posted on Jun 29

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking

Continuing to prioritize a high level of access to the Commonwealth’s natural resources, and recognizing the economic, recreational, environmental, transit and public health benefits of a state trail network, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito today announced additional funding commitments to further develop   …Continue Reading Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito celebrate 150 Miles of new trails for walking and biking