AROUND THE VALLEY
Lowell General Receives First COVID-19 Vaccines, Begins Vaccination of Staff
Lowell General Hospital received its first delivery of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning and began vaccination clinics for front-line staff on Wednesday. The first delivery, which came via Federal Express at 8 a.m., contained 1,950 doses of the vaccine. Lowell General and its partners in the Wellforce system — Tufts Medical Center, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Home Health Foundation — conducted an online town hall event for all employees and vaccinated its first five staff members.
In the first two days of clinic registration, more than 900 staff had signed on to get their vaccinations. Each staff member will receive a second dose of the vaccine approximately 21 days later.
UMass Lowell Graduate to be Honored for Research
Karin Loach, an eighth grade science teacher in Auburn, will be presented with the Best Graduate Paper Award for 2020 from the Eastern Educational Research Association at its virtual conference in February. The organization of education practitioners shares best approaches to improve formal and informal education.
Loach completed the study as part of her work toward her doctoral degree in education at UMass Lowell (UML). With her second degree from the university, she became a “double River Hawk,” having earned a UML master’s degree in curriculum and instruction for science education in 2011.
Loach’s dissertation examined how prepared elementary-school teachers thought they were to teach science to students who would soon be moving on to middle school. In her research, Loach studied third, fourth and fifth grade teachers to learn how confident they were in teaching science and achieving the state’s student learning goals.
Her results found that most of the teachers she studied lacked confidence in their ability to teach science but that being part of a teaching team improved their self-assurance slightly. Only two of the teachers in her study had ever taken a professional development course in science education.
Loach’s work has taken on even more urgency amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So far this year, Auburn Middle School students have been taught via a hybrid model of online and in-person classes, she said. She has conducted many experiments and demonstrations for class remotely, but she worries about how primary and middle-school science teachers are managing. If there are no hands-on educational activities taking place, that could hurt students, she said.
Elder Services Awarded National Accreditation Status for Care Management
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore (ESMV-NS) recently received accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). ESMV-NS has received the Case Management for Long Term Services and Supports (CM-LTSS) accreditation from NCQA for their home care program.
ESMV-NS state funded home care program is one of the agency’s largest programs and serves an average of 4,300 consumers monthly. This program supports older adults whose goal is to remain in a community setting, living as independently as possible.
NECC Dean is Leader in Paramedic Research
Scott Lancaster, the interim dean of health professions at Northern Essex Community College (NECC), took top honors at an international conference, hosted by the leading organization for emergency medical services research, on Nov. 20.
Lancaster was selected to give two of the ten presentations at the 2020 International Scientific Symposium, which was delivered virtually by the Prehospital Care Research Forum at UCLA.
Lancaster won the Best Educational Research Award for the first presentation, which focused on the effect of a paramedic’s personality when administering medications to trauma patients.
His second presentation examined the factors in a paramedic program that contribute to a higher passing rate on the paramedic licensure exam. This presentation was named Best Educational Oral Presentation, based on a vote of the 300-plus conference attendees.
A resident of Goffstown, N.H., Lancaster joined NECC in 2014. He continues to work as a paramedic for the Amherst, N.H., Fire Department.
Middlesex Community College Receives $2 Million in Student Aid from Federal CARES Act
As part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of March 2020, Middlesex Community College (MCC) has received several grants totaling $2 million.
The U.S. Department of Education authorized more than $7 billion of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to go towards emergency student expenses related to the pandemic. MCC signed and returned the certification and agreement form to receive funds from the CARES Act.
Middlesex disbursed $997,070 of grant funds to 2,558 eligible students as of September 2020. An additional $1 million in grants was given out in December 2020 to 2,400 students, including $210,800 from the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund (GREER) for 469 students and $15,008 for 34 students from the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutional Fund (AANIPISI).
To be eligible, students must have been enrolled at Middlesex for the Fall 2020 semester, submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA, met Federal Title IV Financial Aid eligibility requirements, and incurred expenses caused by disruption of campus operations related to the COVID-19 crisis.
Enterprise Bank Announces Plans for Londonderry Banking Location
Enterprise Bank will be opening its 27th banking office, within the new Market Basket Shopping Center. The center is located at 10 Michels Way, Londonderry, N.H. Construction is planned to begin in spring 2021 with an anticipated opening in late 2021 or early 2022.
The branch office will feature two drive-up lanes, a drive-up ATM, and 28 dedicated parking spaces. The interior will feature an open-concept banking lobby with pods to provide areas for personalized service. The latest technology including cash recyclers and video teleconferencing will be installed.
Enterprise Bank has 25 full-service branch offices located in the New Hampshire communities of Derry, Hudson, Nashua, Pelham, Salem and Windham and the Massachusetts communities of Lowell, Acton, Andover, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Fitchburg, Lawrence, Leominster, Lexington, Methuen, North Andover, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough and Westford. A new branch location in North Andover, Mass., is slated to open on Jan. 4, 2021.