Chancellor’s Message on Changes to University Health Services

From: “UMass Chancellor’s Office” <>
Date: December 21, 2011 2:34:37 PM EST
Subject: Special Committee to Study Proposed Changes at UHS

To the Campus Community,

In recent weeks, you may have heard about proposed changes at
University Health Services (UHS). To respond to concerns raised by some
staff, students, faculty and the community, I am creating a special
committee that will undertake a comprehensive review of the proposed
changes at UHS.

Chaired by Associate Chancellor Susan Pearson, the 15-member
committee’s charge is to identify cost savings that will enable UHS to
develop a financial plan to build a new health services facility for
patients that meets 21st century needs while maintaining a sustainable
operating budget.

We have no choice but to move ahead and construct a new facility so we
can deliver the best health care possible to students. Currently,
health services are located in three separate buildings, all outdated,
inefficient and in disrepair. The changes announced by UHS, following
extensive study and data gathering, cut expenses to improve the
financial picture and enable the development of a new facility. The
committee will work to reach the same bottom line, but if savings can
be achieved in different ways while sustaining the integrity of the
operations, then they should be explored. This committee will expand
the discussion to ensure that our process is open and inclusive as we
implement changes.

The proposed changes announced by UHS, which will be reviewed by the
committee, include a reduction in holiday, night and weekend hours;
elimination of the pharmacy, and reduction of in-house laboratory work
with more tests performed by an external lab. The changes would cut
21.5 full-time equivalent positions, or about 10 percent of the UHS

In addition to Susan Pearson, the special committee will include:

• Bernette Daly, executive director of Health Services
• Donna Yezierski, associate director, UHS
• Three physicians from UHS
• Two UHS staff members
• Three undergraduates named by the Student Government Association
• One graduate student named by the Graduate Student Senate
• One representative from Administration and Finance
• One representative from Human Resources
• Nancy Buffone, executive director of External Relations and
University Events

The appointments to the committee will be completed soon, and the first
meeting is expected to be held in January. I look forward to receiving
the committee’s recommendations during the spring semester.

Robert C. Holub

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