You are using an older version of Internet Explorer that is not supported on this site. Please upgrade for the best experience.

Springfield Community Activist Charlie Holmes Wins UMass Medical School Teaching Award

May 21, 2020
Charlie Holmes, Community Faculty Member, at the 2019 PURCH Transition Ceremony

Springfield resident and community activist Charlie Holmes received the UMass Medical School "2020 Patient Teacher Award," which acknowledges the contributions of an individual patient to undergraduate medical education.
(Photo: Charlie Holmes being congratulated for his role in Baystate Community Faculty by Dr. Andy Artenstein, Executive Dean, UMMS-Baystate)

Mr. Holmes is an inaugural member of UMMS-Baystate's non-clinician Community Faculty, and an integral part of the team that administers the PURCH (Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health) Track for UMMS medical students.

He is helping to shape how students learn about social determinants of health and health inequities in Baystate's region through his involvement in the design and implementation of several educational sessions.

Dr. Hinchey says the PURCH team is lucky to have Mr. Holmes because of  his passion for teaching, his authenticity, and his willingness to share who he is.

In fact, he is on a first name basis with the students, according to Sarah Perez McAdoo MD, MPH, Population Health Capstone Director, who nominated him for the award.

“It is a privilege to work with Mr . Holmes to create educational experiences for our medical students that better prepare them to build trusting relationships with the vulnerable and marginalized communities that we care for,” added Dr. Perez-McAdoo.

Charlie Holmes is a small business owner in Springfield, MA. He works with the SEIU Community Local Union which does advocacy on behalf of Springfield residents and workers. Mr. Holmes was recruited for the Community Faculty after participating in a poverty simulation exercise for medical students. He is also a trained Standardized Patient for UMMS.

About Baystate Community Faculty

Composed of urban and rural community residents and representatives of local and regional community-based organizations, Baystate Community Faculty seek to help achieve the goal of developing culturally humble physicians as community advocates.


PURCH (Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health) is a special track for UMass medical students—emphasizing population health, patient-centered community-based care, and innovative, immersive learning experiences.