Lisa Chan, a second-year UMass Medical School student, will be studying addiction care in hard-to-reach populations in Worcester, Mass.
Her study is part of a mobile addiction services contract funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
UMass Memorial Medical Center was awarded $1.75 million over five years. The University of Massachusetts Medical School, its partner, will receive $350,000 annually.
The contract’s planning phase begins in July. The program will operate an RV, donated by the Kraft Center for Community Health’s Community Care in Reach initiative, beginning in early 2021.
The RV will be used to provide addiction treatment to high-risk people in Worcester. Most of the individuals will be homeless.
“I think that this is a unique opportunity because it shows you what diverse impacts you can have as a physician,” Chan, who researched community access to opioid use disorder care while an undergraduate at Boston University, said. “I mostly think of it as a clinical exposure, but I think that learning the components of research and how that can have a greater impact on health care, and reach more people, is really exciting to learn about.”
In Worcester County, there were 265 overdose-related deaths in 2019. Statewide, there were 2,015 deaths.