UMass Medical School disability program honored for helping individuals with mental illness reenter workforce

April 10, 2014

UMass Medical School’s Disability Evaluation Services was honored for its role in helping people with mental illness reenter the workforce at the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition’s 15th Annual Employer Awards Celebration at the State House on April 9.

The Genesis Club Inc., one of more than 30 recovery centers within the coalition, selected the disability program for the award. The coalition is a non-profit that helps individuals with long-term mental illness gain employment, housing, education and support.

Sen. Harriett L. Chandler, D-Worcester, presented the award to staff of UMass Medical School’s disability program, including Senior Director Gus Adams, PhD; Operations Manager Becky Riley, Administrative Manager Michelle Cenedella, and Stephen Mayo, disability assistant. Mayo is a graduate of the Genesis program.

Disability Evaluation Services partners with the Genesis Club to assist its members with transitional employment. Some of those members hold part and full-time positions within the UMass Medical School disability program.

"The DES transitional employment job offers this rehabilitative opportunity to Genesis members – but the best part is the supervisors and managers at DES don’t see this as rehabilitation at all. They trust the Genesis Club staff to hire high quality employees and make sure the job gets done everyday no matter what bumps in the road the employees might experience during their job tenure," Chandler said.

"Gus Adams and his staff at DES have provided supervision, professional direction and workforce development to Genesis Club members as they find their strength to move on with their lives. It is my honor to present this award to Gus and his staff Michelle and Becky at the 2014 Employer’s Celebration."

A program within UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division, Disability Evaluation Services provides disability determination and other disability-related services to Medicaid and public welfare agencies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.