News: Press Releases

June 19, 2014

Chairman Henry M. Thomas III calls UMass Medical School 'an epic success'

  • The UMass System

Lauds school's academic, research and economic impact

WORCESTER - On June 19, the Chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees described that UMass Medical School as "an epic success," saying the school's impact has exceeded expectations on every level.

"The effect that the University of Massachusetts Medical School has on this region is truly profound. And to think that only a matter of decades ago, this institution didn't exist. And in the veritable blink of an eye here it is, and its impact is so phenomenal. It's hard to imagine Worcester without UMass Medical or UMass Medical without Worcester," Board of Trustees Chairman Henry M. Thomas III said in a speech to the Worcester Area Chamber of Commerce.

Thomas noted that UMass Medical School annually rates as one of the top medical schools in the nation for its primary care program, has seen faculty researchers win prestigious awards including the Nobel Prize, is globally recognized for the quality of its research activities and attracted more than $240 million in federal and private research grants and contracts in fiscal year 2013.

"The list goes on and on and the achievements are a testament to the diligence and brilliance of the people who have flocked to work here. It truly is an epic success story. When people say that government doesn't know how to get things right, tell them to come out to Worcester," said Thomas, who is a lawyer and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Springfield.

"Every region of the Commonwealth should envy what you have here, as UMass Medical School touches this city and region and then goes on to touch the Commonwealth, the nation and the world in so many ways," he added.

"The great success we are seeing at the Medical School is a testament to the leadership, hard work and vision emanating from Chancellor Michael F. Collins and the members of his team," Thomas said.

Thomas, who lives in Springfield and has served on the UMass Board of Trustees since 2007, also noted that a recent UMass Donahue Institute report found that UMass Medical School produced $42 in economic activity for every $1 the school receives from the state.

Overall, the study found that the five-campus University of Massachusetts system contributed $6.1 billion to the Massachusetts economy in 2013, which was 25 percent more than the $4.8 million a similar study found UMass generated for the state in 2010. The study found that the UMass system as a whole produced $12 in economic output for every $1 it received from the state.

Thomas, a graduate of American International College and Western New England University School of Law, serves as Chief Executive Officer of the historic Camp Atwater -- the oldest African American overnight youth camp in the United States, which he reopened in 1980 following a six-year hiatus. Camp Atwater, located in North Brookfield, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073