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Worcester Area Mission Society Joins UMass Memorial in Anchor Mission Work


Becomes second organization in Worcester to pledge to redirect one percent of its investment portfolio toward community investment.

Worcester, Mass.-- UMass Memorial Health Care has a new partner supporting the investment pillar of its Anchor Mission initiative. The investment pillar is a pledge to allocate one percent of the organization’s investment portfolio and redirect those investments into the community to address social determinants of health (SDOH).   

The Worcester Area Mission Society (WAMS) has agreed to allocate one percent of its investment portfolio (approximately $50,000) to be invested directly into the community.  Under the Anchor Mission program UMass Memorial has committed funds from its long-term investment portfolio to support local projects that will improve the welfare of the community by addressing SDOH factors impacting underserved communities. SDOH includes, but is not limited to, access to jobs, housing, food, education and health care. The program’s primary focus is on economically challenged neighborhoods within the UMass Memorial service area.

“The Board of the Worcester Area Mission Society was impressed that UMass Memorial Health Care is demonstrating its commitment to real change in this direct and practical way,” said Karen E. Ludington, Executive Director of WAMS.  “What they have begun is in line with our mission to inspire equity through social change.  We’re proud to join in the Anchor Mission and hope other organizations will invest, too.  One percent is such a small risk for such a big chance to make a difference.” 

Pursuing an Anchor Mission is a commitment of an organization to leverage its full economic and intellectual power in order to make the greatest impact and encourage other like-minded organizations to do the same. Along with investing, the Anchor Mission has three additional pillars: hiring, purchasing and volunteering. Through the hiring pillar UMass Memorial is partnering with other workforce organizations in our community to intentionally hire individuals from some of the most disadvantaged areas of our community. The volunteer pillar will offer UMass Memorial caregivers opportunities to get involved and contribute to the mission of the organization outside of their traditional roles. The purchasing pillar will focus on buying locally whenever possible, again concentrating on areas of social disadvantage or ongoing inequity within our community. 

“We are fortunate to be in a position where we can work collaboratively with organizations like the Worcester Area Mission Society to improve our community members overall social, physical and financial health,” said Douglas Brown, President, UMass Memorial Community Hospitals Inc. and Chief Administrative Officer, UMass Memorial Health Care. “There is a lot of work to do in addressing the problems decades of systemic racism have caused in some of our communities. We look forward to our collaboration with WAMS on this initiative as well as other organizations who have expressed interest in joining in this work.” 

About Worcester Area Mission Society    

The Worcester Area Mission Society (WAMS) began in the early 1800s to provide food, clothing and other forms of assistance to immigrants who came to Worcester. Over time our focus and outreach has adapted in keeping with the evolving needs of Worcester and its surrounding area — from sponsoring and supporting resident-led neighborhood reinvestment to providing transformational educational programming for students in underserved public school classrooms.  A foundational presence in Worcester history, WAMS has been a trailblazer, engaging with the diverse population of Worcester and beyond to create the first congregate housing for senior citizens in Massachusetts and the first housing program for people living with AIDS. 

About UMass Memorial Health Care 

UMass Memorial Health Care is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Central Massachusetts with more than 12,900 employees and 1,670 physicians, many of whom are members of UMass Memorial Medical Group. Our member hospitals and entities include UMass Memorial – Clinton Hospital, UMass Memorial – HealthAlliance Hospital, UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Memorial – Community Healthlink, our behavioral health agency. With our teaching and research partner, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, our extensive primary care network and our cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular, orthopedic and surgery programs, UMass Memorial delivers safe, high-quality and compassionate care.