University of Massachusetts Amherst: UMass Amherst Receives Two ‘Healthcare Heroes’ Awards from BusinessWest

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Two UMass Amherst groups have been honored as 2022 Healthcare Heroes in BusinessWest’s annual series, which aims to identify and celebrate significant contributions to the health and well-being of the region.

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The Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation and ServiceNet’s Enrichment Center and Strive Clinic and Its Partners at Springfield College and UMass Amherst (department of communication disorders in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences) are two of eight 2022 Healthcare Heroes chosen for their “compelling and inspirational” work in healthcare.

The Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation – led by co-directors Karen Giuliano, associate professor of nursing, and Frank Sup, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering – was honored under the Innovation category. It hosted its first symposium on campus last week.

Business West pointed to the Center’s shared research by nurses and engineers to improve the safety and usability of IV smart pumps in hospitals, most of which are out of date. The Center is a national leader in the effort to develop pumps with a simplified design, using new technology to reduce inconvenience and inaccuracy that lead to medical errors. The Center’s research also is focused on applying robotics to improve healthcare delivery.

Honored under the Collaboration category, the communication disorders faculty and graduate students provide speech-language pathology services at the Enrichment Center and Strive Clinic for adults with a brain injury caused by trauma or medical conditions. ServiceNet’s collaboration with UMass Amherst and Springfield College not only provides outstanding rehabilitation care to people with brain injuries, the Business West article states, but also helps train the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Lisa Sommers, clinical director and clinical associate professor of communications disorders, told Business West that working with the Enrichment Center is a natural match for the first-year graduate students’ clinical training program. In addition to physical, occupational, and speech and language therapies, the Enrichment Center also offers clients support groups, music and dance sessions, arts and crafts, and trips to local museums, movie theaters and other activities to promote social interaction and cognitive growth.

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