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UHS prepares for revisions on 20-year-old mission statement

Justin Surgent/Collegian

A survey regarding proposed changes to the University of Massachusetts Health Services’ mission statement was sent out to students, faculty and staff this week to get their opinions on how the new mission statement should be crafted.

“This survey will allow us to assess our current services, use of UHS by undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff, and interest in services that are not available at this time,” James Sheehan, vice chancellor for administration and finance, wrote in an email to the UMass community.

Sheehan said in a press release that the current mission statement is 20 years old, and advances in the health care industry over the past two decades are not reflected in it.

“We’re asking the campus community to identify what’s important to them,” he added.

A revised mission statement will help to clarify the role of UHS on campus, Sheehan said in the release, but this survey is not meant to address immediate overall changes to the facility.

“We don’t intend to pursue any master plan for UHS until there’s a full-time medical director in place,” he said in the release.

The survey is being conducted by UMass Boston’s Center for Survey Research. Questions ask the group of respondents to rate the different services currently offered by UHS in order of importance to themselves and others at UMass.

Services included on the survey are walk-in or same-day appointments, routine care, pediatric care, night and weekend walk-in hours as well as the pharmacy. Radiology, physical therapy, mental health, sports medicine, acupuncture and eye care services are also included on the survey.

The survey also asks about how the community would feel about a separate women’s clinic, chiropractic care and a dental clinic – three services not currently offered by UHS.

In addition to the survey, UHS employees will work with Workplace Learning and Development in focus groups regarding services offered.

Sheehan said in the press release that information gathered from the survey and the focus groups will be analyzed by an advisory board that will then craft the new UHS mission statement. The board includes Dean of Students Enku Gelaye; Christine Rogers of the University Health Council and Environmental Health and Safety; Associate Budget Director Lynda Kamik; Harry Rockland-Miller of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health; Student Government Association President Akshay Kapoor; UHS physician Rochelle Weber; Ann Becker, a public health nurse at UHS; Cheryl Sherry of UHS patient accounts; and Adina Giannelli of the Graduate Student Senate.

After the advisory board finishes, it will submit a report to the UHS director’s team, which will revise the mission statement and send it to Sheehan for approval by early summer. The director’s team is composed of medical director Alan Calhoun, associate directors Maria Coach and Donna Yezierski, and assistant medical director George Corey.

Calhoun is set to retire this year, and amid the mission statement revisions, a search is under way to find a replacement medical director. The successor “needs to be an integral part of strategic planning” for UHS, Sheehan said in the press release, which is why an overhaul of UHS functions is not part of this mission statement process. Once a new medical director has been chosen, a broader assessment of UHS will be made using current health care industry standards and practices.

“The results of this survey will be used to develop a new mission statement that will guide the future direction and focus of UHS,” Sheehan said in the email. “I encourage [the campus community] to complete this survey and share your insights so that UHS can provide the best quality care in the years ahead.”

Patrick Hoff can be reached at pphoff@student.umass.edu.

 

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