Commonwealth Medicine leads COVID-19 project team to Massachusetts Commonwealth Citation Award

November 19, 2020

(SHREWSBURY, Mass.) An interdisciplinary team from Commonwealth Medicine, the UMass Medical School IT Department, and the Massachusetts Executive Offices of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and Elder Affairs (EOEA) is the recipient of a 2020 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance from the state of Massachusetts.

The citation recognizes these state employees for their extraordinary contributions to public service for their development and launch of the COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Staffing Team intake portal. The project was created in response to EOEA Secretary Elizabeth Chen's urgent request at the height of the COVID-19 surge last spring. The state needed to recruit qualified health care professionals and volunteers across Massachusetts to staff a network of more than 300 care facilities designated to help relieve overcrowded hospitals and stabilize COVID-19 patients.

The team, directed by Leanne Winchester, included Lisa Marschke and Louise Gorham from Commonwealth Medicine; Michael Lamson, David DeForest, Swathi Kandula, Susan Girard, and Bakul Sakhrekar from UMass Medical School IT; and EOEA Secretary Chen and EOHHS Senior Director of Healthcare Workforce Policy Patricia Yu.

Winchester and her team developed and launched the staffing portal in less than a week. Information about the initiative and portal was shared at Governor Baker's COVID-19 press conferences, through the COVID-19 text alert system, and social media.

"Commonwealth Medicine is at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing clinical expertise and program support to health care and human services organizations across the country," commented Commonwealth Medicine's Executive Vice Chancellor Lisa M. Colombo, DNP, MHA, RN. "The staffing portal project demonstrates Commonwealth Medicine's ability to build, develop, and deliver critical support to a client quickly in new and innovative ways."

More than 475 facilities and nearly 5,000 health care professionals and volunteers have already registered for job matches. The portal remains active with 20,000 open positions for health care professionals, health care students, people looking to start a new career, and volunteers. Please visit the COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Staffing Team intake portal for more information.

Commonwealth Medicine continues to provide solutions for state and federal entities. Our teams are developing new protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19, conducting research on federal and state policy changes to support behavioral health providers, producing training videos, and providing strategic planning, project management, data analytics, and resource deployment and implementation.

About Commonwealth Medicine

Commonwealth Medicine is the consulting and operations division of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. It draws on the academic knowledge and public health service expertise of Massachusetts' only public medical school to provide comprehensive, innovative health care and policy solutions. Commonwealth Medicine is guided by a mission to empower its partners – state and out of state agencies and health care organizations – to transform lives by optimizing the effectiveness of health care initiatives that assist the underserved in their communities.  

For more information about our services, please contact our Director of Client Relations, Jorge Sanchez at

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