Inbox [April 19]: News and notes from Thrillist, Rachel’s Table, Assumption, Worcester Public Schools, MassDiGI and WCAC

Worcester most underrated place in Mass.

In its ranking of the most underrated place in each state, the website Thrillist has chosen Worcester as the most underrated place in Massachusetts.

The site noted: “From the Berkshires to the Cape, Newburyport to Northampton, the Bay State has no shortage of amazing places to visit. But are any of them really considered underrated anymore? Hell, even Lowell’s had its day in the sun (until “The Fighter,” of course, undid several years of effective public relations). But the Woo… no, Worcester is the spot you’re gonna be talking about.

Worcester Sun, April 19: Mariano on Petty’s PCBs response, Valentino’s vies for heart of Shrewsbury Street + more

It’s a jam-packed Wednesday, April 19, Worcester Sun. Get in there!

Inbox [March 5]: Becker panel to talk refugees and immigration, Assumption adds addiction counseling certificate, MassDiGI Game Challenge a hit, Bravehearts sign six

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Panel discussion on refugees and immigration Monday at Becker

What are the practical implications of the Trump administration’s immigration measures? What impact do foreign-born workers have on the economy at the local, regional and national levels?

Deborah Becker

Courtesy WBUR

WBUR-FM (90.9) senior correspondent Deborah Becker

WBUR-FM (90.9) senior correspondent Deborah Becker will moderate a panel of community leaders who span higher education, international relations, health care and refugee assistance. The event is 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, March 6, in room 210 of the Weller Academic Center, 61 Sever St. on the Worcester campus of Becker College.

The panelists are scheduled to be Becker College President Robert E. Johnson; David Jordan, president and CEO of Seven Hills Foundation and professor of practice in social innovation at the Yunus Social Business Centre at Becker College; Dr. Olga Valdman, family medicine physician at Family Health Center and assistant professor at UMass Medical School; and Meredith Walsh, executive director and co-founder of the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project.

This event is presented by the Becker College Center for Global Citizenship.

Read the entire story on the Becker College website

Assumption announces grad certificate in addiction counseling

Assumption College has announced that beginning in fall 2017 it will offer a new Certificate in Graduate Studies in Addiction Counseling, which aims to raise the standard for the educational preparation of addiction counselors. The new certificate program is a one-year, six-course curriculum that consists of four content courses and two addiction counseling internships.

Worcester Sun, March 5-11: Mariano’s mayoral musings continue + an update to one of the Sun’s most popular stories … and more

Hitch checks under the hood at the RTA. Sinacola liberally bashes ubiquitous Seattle left-leaners. Our two cents on charting progress at Worcester Public Schools. And that’s not all. Check out your March 5-11 Worcester Sun.

Inbox [Dec. 18]: UMass Medical gets $3.1M for heart study, WorcShop shares in $242K in state grants, WPI researchers make cancer breakthrough, Health Connector deadline looms

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

UMass Medical School awarded $3.1M to monitor, improve heart attack care in Worcester

UMass Medical School has been awarded a four-year, $3.1 million grant by the National Institutes of Health for Community Surveillance of Coronary Heart Disease. The new grant, previously known as the Worcester Heart Attack Study, continues four decades of monitoring local heart attack patients to improve treatment and outcomes under the direction of Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., founder and principal investigator.

“We’re going to study contemporary trends in the magnitude of heart disease in the greater Worcester community. We’re going to monitor changing and current trends in the in-hospital and long-term outcomes of patients hospitalized with heart attacks, also called acute myocardial infarctions. And we’re going to look at changes taking place in patient management,” said Goldberg, professor of quantitative health sciences.

UMass Medical School

Wikimedia Commons/Photo by og-emmet

UMass Medical School

“What we want to learn is, will these trajectories continue: Will [the] incidence of heart attacks continue to decrease? Will patients’ prognosis continue to improve? And how much more effectively can patients be managed?”

Funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute since the mid-1980s, the community-based study provides 40 years of data about the number of heart attacks among residents of the greater Worcester community and outcomes of their medical care during and after hospitalization. It also provides insights on how patients who experience heart attacks are treated by physicians in the community.

“We’re going to have a 40-year picture of heart disease, which is unique. What we’ve learned since 1975 is that even though Worcester heart attack patients have become older and sicker, often having multiple diseases, the incidence of heart attacks is declining, and patients’ [prognoses] both in-hospital and post-discharge is getting better,” said Goldberg. “We think this is because patients are being much more aggressively managed with evidence-based care.”

Read the entire story on the UMass Medical School website

State announces inaugural round of Collaborative Workspace Program Awards

At an event last Thursday at The WorcShop in Worcester, the Baker-Polito Administration awarded over $950,000 in grant funding to 23 organizations across Massachusetts to strengthen community-based innovation and entrepreneurship in the commonwealth’s cities and towns.

Local Business Spotlight: That Breeze you feel is the momentum behind Zephyr Workshop

The Worcester-based startup has harnessed some magical powers — for instance, childhood passion for Japanese anime and business acumen that focuses on the customer — to rise in the gaming world. If real-world (tabletop) playability with fantastical characters appeals, check out “AEGIS” and look for new creations ahead from this team of Becker grads led by Breeze Grigas. Sean Haley has the story.

Inbox [Nov. 13]: MassDiGI game gurus team up against income inequality, Assumption talks religious freedom, Unity in the Community hosts Thursday event, shred documents at Sutton UniBank

Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

Becker, MassDiGI collaboration makes game to start national conversation

Becker College and MassDiGI have collaborated with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to build the free, fast-moving and fun social-impact game, “Lotto Boxes,” to address income inequality, what President Barack Obama has called “the defining challenge of our time.”

The mobile game’s development team, which also includes Worcester-based startup Petricore Games, led by Becker alumnus Ryan Canuel, and Becker senior Rejon Taylor-Foster, publicly launched the open beta version of “Lotto Boxes” at the SVCF Innovation Conference in San Francisco, Calif., last month.

“Working on ‘Lotto Boxes’ with Becker, MassDiGI and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation was a great opportunity for us,” said Canuel. “The high level of communication and collaboration that went into the effort was the key to finding the right way to balance the social impact message with gameplay.”

Worcester Sun, Nov. 13-19: Mariano & Co. answer the burning Trump question(s) + Ashley Jordan and a Powerful remembrance

We’ve been bringing readers the best commentary in Worcester for some time now, so we figured this week was as good a time as any to release the hounds! Ray Mariano and Chris Sinacola put their unique perspectives to work to tell us what’s next for America, while veteran journalist Richard Nangle thinks he knows why Trump won and how to fix it. Maybe? All that and much more in your Nov. 13-19 Worcester Sun.

Inbox [Oct. 30]: MassDiGI and Pacheco honored, ‘Ice Storm’ author at Clark, Delta Dental pledges $20K to mobile effort, Bravehearts named top organization, WCLOC holds auditions

Have a release or a photo you or your group would like to share? Let us know by emailing it to Be sure to include a link to the full release on your site or Facebook page so we can include it and send Sun members your way.

MassDiGI, Pacheco earn EforAll Summit Awards

Kyla Pacheco of Action! Worcester and the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute at Becker College will be honored on Thursday at the Entrepreneurs for All Summit.

Pacheco has been named top entrepreneur, and MassDiGI won the group’s innovation award.

Kyla Pacheco speaks at a Worcester IdeaLab event.

Kyla Pacheco speaks at a Worcester IdeaLab event.

In the two years since Action! Worcester was founded, Pacheco has been a champion in the growth of the city of Worcester and has helped empower people and organizations to continue working together to revitalize the city. As an economic development-focused nonprofit with two foundational pillars — Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Lifestyle Development — the organization has its hand in many areas of development in the city.

Worcester Sun, Oct. 30-Nov. 5: Ray Mariano is back for round 2 — and this time the gloves are off!

Ray Mariano has a few words for the mayor and City Council — and they’re not: “great job!” We fire up the debate surrounding Question 4 and legal recreational marijuana. Sinacola tackles the creepiest of clowns. Hitch is all wet. Patrick Sargent gets in tune with Sam James. And much more in your Oct. 30-Nov. 5 Worcester Sun.