(SHREWSBURY, Mass.) A team of Commonwealth Medicine (CWM) employees is the recipient of 2020 Commonwealth Citations for Outstanding Performance from the state of Massachusetts. The honors are for crucial work on two projects completed during the pandemic with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), which provides direct financial and food assistance for one in nine Massachusetts residents.
The pandemic’s devastating economic and social impact rapidly increased the number of Massachusetts residents needing food and financial assistance, many for the first time. Overwhelmed by requests, the DTA turned to Commonwealth Medicine last spring to help the agency’s Centralized EBT Card Printing and Mailing team. Working together, the teams produced and prepared for mailing nearly 100,000 benefit cards in a matter of weeks, accelerating the delivery of the cards when it mattered most.
The CWM team also helped implement the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), a new federal program created in response to school closures. The program enables states to provide food supports for families with children receiving free and reduced-price school meals before the schools were forced to close. By September, Massachusetts provided aid to more than 470,000 students and their families.
The Commonwealth Medicine team members include Todd Chapman, senior associate; Makayla Gallant, SSP program coordinator; Kristin Killeen, director, Massachusetts SSP; Alyssa Lopez, associate; Sarah Malloy. SSP program coordinator; Luis Melendez, supervisor, eligibility operations; Andy Nguyen, SSP program coordinator; Chris Player, data analyst; and Tanya Skypeck, associate. Additional team members who have since left Commonwealth Medicine include Julia Gallop, intake coordinator; Raya Green, SSP program coordinator; and Dan Sullivan, supervisor, eligibility operations.
“We are pleased to see our employees recognized for their exemplary commitment to public service, as they volunteered to make a meaningful difference to folks in need,” said Marc A. Thibodeau, MSc, JD, managing director, Healthcare Finance Solutions at Commonwealth Medicine.
Service on the Centralized EBT Card Printing and Mailing and P-EBT projects was entirely voluntary because the work required some team members to enter state offices during the pandemic, thereby exposing themselves to a higher threat of infection.
These most recent citations follow the announcement earlier this month of a 2020 Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance to 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) for its work in developing and launching the COVID-19 Long Term Care Facility Staffing intake portal.
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 healthcare and policy solutions. Commonwealth Medicine is guided by a mission to empower its partners – state and out of state agencies and healthcare organizations – to transform lives by optimizing the effectiveness of healthcare initiatives that assist the underserved in their communities.