UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael F. Collins presented the employer engagement team of Commonwealth Medicine’s Work Without Limits with the 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Advancing the UMMS Mission at the 37th annual employee service celebration Oct. 22.
The Chancellor’s Award for Advancing the UMMS Mission is bestowed annually upon an individual staff member or team whose actions make a substantial impact in advancing the mission of the institution through public service, research, teaching, and health care delivery.
“Our Commonwealth Medicine division has proven to be especially productive ground for initiatives that reflect and advance our public mission, while also helping to protect the most vulnerable, underserved and underrepresented populations in Massachusetts,” said Dr. Collins, MD, FACP. “Work Without Limits has emerged from such a dynamic environment, and represents how all of these elements can seamlessly come together to advance our mission and the public good.”
Work Without Limits was established in 2008 with the fledgling Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative and Business-to-Business Network, a consortium of public and private companies that value an inclusive work environment and learn best practices from one another. The program has since expanded its reach with an annual conference and job fair called “Raise the Bar Hire!” that connects individuals with disabilities who seek employment with employers who seek their talents. The next conference is Oct. 27 and 28 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.
The award was accepted by Work Without Limits employer engagement team members Alexis D. Henry, ScD, OTR/L I, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Disability, Health and Employment Policy Unit; Kathy Petkauskos, director of Work Without Limits; Kathy Muhr, project director for the Center for Health Policy and Research; and Megan Northup, project assistant for the Center for Health Policy and Research.
“Our entire team is thrilled and incredibly honored to receive this award. Increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Massachusetts is the mission that drives our work. It’s exciting to see the commitment and the efforts that the Medical School is making to become an employer of choice for people with disabilities,” Henry said.
The event also recognized nearly 300 employees, including more than 80 from Commonwealth Medicine, marking milestone anniversaries of 10 or more.