Collaborative program would mark UMass Chan’s second regional campus and feature a focus on leadership, health systems science and interprofessional education.
UMass Chan Medical School and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (Lahey or LHMC), part of the Beth Israel Lahey Health system, announced that they have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to establish a regional campus of the commonwealth’s only public medical school at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington to help train, develop and support the next generation of health care leaders. If approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accrediting body for medical schools in the United States and Canada, and the New England Commission of Higher Education, the regional campus of UMass Chan at Lahey Health would be the medical school’s second regional campus in the commonwealth, joining the highly successful UMass Chan-Baystate regional campus in Springfield.
“UMass Chan and Lahey share a common vision of training future generations of physicians grounded in evidence-based, patient-centered, multispecialty and interprofessional practice,” said Michael F. Collins, MD, chancellor of UMass Chan and senior vice president for the health sciences for the University of Massachusetts. “We look forward to welcoming Lahey Hospital & Medical Center as one of our outstanding clinical affiliates.”
Terence R. Flotte, MD, provost of UMass Chan and dean of its T.H. Chan School of Medicine, added, “Our potential partnership could greatly enhance our medical students’ educational opportunities and health care for people across the commonwealth.”
“Training the next generation of health care leaders and meeting the diverse needs of our patients and communities long into the future require that we approach medical education in new and innovative ways,” said David Longworth, MD, president of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. “UMass Chan is equally committed to redefining the future of medicine and is an outstanding cultural fit to build on Lahey’s commitment to interprofessional, team-based care that is centered on the patient and reflects a culture of inquiry and innovation.”
Pending the successful completion of discussions and a formal agreement to establish the regional campus, as well as approval by the Medical School’s accrediting bodies, it is anticipated that the first UMass Chan-Lahey students would matriculate in the summer of 2024. A joint task force, co-chaired by Anne Larkin, MD, vice provost and senior associate dean for educational affairs at UMass Chan, and Anne Mosenthal, MD, chief academic officer at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, will come together to initiate a planning process to develop programs specific to this regional campus with the goal of reaching a formal affiliation agreement.
As part of that agreement, Lahey and UMass Chan also seek to form a new research collaboration, together creating a new institute for health care delivery science and quantitative science research hub, to advance innovation in digital medicine, population health and health care delivery.
The new partnership would advance health sciences research and medical education priorities critical to the needs of the commonwealth, including addressing the shortage of primary care and specialty care physicians, which the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts to be between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034. Further, it will increase access for students seeking an affordable, high-quality medical education and apply evidence-based care and proven academic research to reduce health disparities and improve health care delivery.
“This partnership would bring together two world class institutions dedicated to preparing medical students to excel in a fast-changing health care environment,” UMass President Marty Meehan said. “Lahey will join a family of UMass Chan clinical affiliates that are providing excellent training to a new generation of physicians in every region of the commonwealth.”
In 2015, UMass Chan announced plans to open its first regional campus in partnership with Baystate Health in Springfield. The first medical students began training at the UMass Chan-Baystate campus during the 2017-18 academic year. Currently, approximately 25 medical students in each medical school class of 175 students are enrolled in the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health track, which follows the core curriculum of the T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass Chan with a focus on population health, health care disparities, and health issues that are specific to urban and rural communities.
UMass Chan is perennially ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best medical schools in the nation for primary care education and attracts more than $300 million in biomedical research funding annually. Lahey Health, which is now a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, offers nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals and more than 1,900 physicians close to home.