December 28, 2016

Inbox [Dec. 28]: UMass nets $2.1M for primary care initiative, Venture Forum seeks pitch contest applicants, WPI groups share Kalenian Award for innovation, Auburn Rotary helps raise polio-fighting funds

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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 given $2.1M to expand primary care in Worcester County

Partnership strengthens pipeline of nurse practitioners into high-need health care settings

The Graduate School of Nursing at UMass Medical School has been awarded a three-year, $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources Services Administration to launch an ambitious project to expand access to primary care in Worcester County.

Wikimedia Commons/Photo by og-emmet

UMass Medical School

The Central Massachusetts Advanced Nursing Education Academic-Practice Partnership will increase the numbers of advanced practice nurses ready to work in health care facilities serving underserved communities.

“The need for new nurse practitioner graduates to expediently transition to real world practice requires preparation through partnerships with health care providers these communities rely on,” said Karen Dick, Ph.D., associate professor and associate dean for advanced practice programs at the GSN and principal investigator for the grant.

“Academic and practice partnerships like ours provide a critical structure to expand learning opportunities regarding access to health care, managing chronic diseases and addressing neglected health needs by substantially expanding real world training opportunities in caring for multiple chronic and complex comorbidities, including behavioral health, in underserved populations,” she said.

Graduate programs at the GSN prepare students for careers in healthcare leadership and clinical practice with diverse populations. The grant will enable students in the Family Nurse Practitioners and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners tracks to conduct their clinical training at the same training sites throughout their entire graduate education. These long-term placements will ensure that the students understand the operations of the particular facility and the needs of the community it serves.

The newly funded collaboration builds on the relationships between the GSN and the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center in Worcester, a federally funded community health center; the Reliant Medical Group in Worcester; and the Heywood Medical Group in Gardner. Additional support will come from UMass Medical School and clinical partner UMass Memorial Health Care via the Massachusetts Area Health Education Center, the Center for Faculty Development and the Center for Integrated Primary Care. The GSN’s Danielle Hebert, DNP, associate professor of nursing, and Anne Reardon will serve as the program and project coordinators, respectively.

Read the entire story on the UMass Medical School website

Applications open for Venture Forum 5 Minute Pitch Contest

The Venture Forum is accepting applications for its 11th annual 5 Minute Pitch Contest! This contest has been so incredibly powerful in getting startups the outlet that they need to take their business to the next level.

On April 25, eight of New England’s finest will be selected to pitch their business to the audience and our team of judges. In addition, the room will have about 20 other businesses displaying their ideas before the event and during networking time. $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded as well as multiple in-kind prizes.

Presentations will start at 6 p.m. Each contestant will have five minutes to tell their story and three minutes to answer judges’ questions, all in an effort to convince you and the judges why their idea is the next great business.

More information and application can be found on The Venture Forum website

Two WPI student groups share Kalenian Award

Innovations in lithium-ion battery manufacturing, autonomous aircraft stand out among 19 entries

Two groups of student recipients of the highly competitive Kalenian Award are looking to improve technologies to make the world a better place on the ground and in the skies.

The award provides seed funds to support and advance the ideas and inventiveness of WPI students, faculty members and alumni, and to encourage similar innovation and entrepreneurship across the academic community.

Each submitted concept is evaluated on its potential in a commercial market; how a business plan could evolve from the idea; and the concept’s likelihood for success. This year 19 proposals were reviewed and narrowed down to the top two. Students working on two novel research projects will share a $20,000 prize purse—one group is developing a new way of manufacturing lithium-ion batteries, the other is developing technology for an autonomous aircraft.

Read the entire story on the WPI website

Auburn Rotary helps schools raise money for Purple Pinkie Campaign

The Rotary Club of Auburn has helped students at Auburn Middle School and Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School to raise $632 for the 2016 Purple Pinkie campaign, promoted by Rotary International’s global drive to End Polio Now. Because the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation matches 2-to-1 every dollar raised to eradicate polio, $1,896 will directly go to the worldwide vaccination effort.

“Auburn Rotary is proud to have played a small but important part in the global movement to wipe out polio,” states club President Steve Jones-D’Agostino, “We are grateful to Auburn Middle and Bay Pay High for their generous support of this noble cause.”

Read the entire story on the Rotary Club of Auburn website

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