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2024 Power 100: Dr. Michael Collins

Photo | Courtesy of UMass Chan Medical School Dr. Michael Collins, chancellor at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester and senior vice president for health sciences at University of Massachusetts
Dr. Michael Collins Titles Chancellor of UMass Chan Medical School, in Worcester; senior vice president for health sciences at the University of Massachusetts Employees 6,729 Residence Worcester Colleges College of the Holy Cross; Tufts University School of Medicine Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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The longtime chancellor of the only public medical school in Massachusetts, Dr. Michael Collins acutely sees the opportunity to spread the school’s wings outside of Worcester for regional, national, and global impact. Under his leadership, the UMass Chan footprint has grown, making space for cutting-edge research, and new partnerships are bringing students to valuable training sites in other parts of the state.

Strategic planning is no small task for an organization of its size. UMass Chan has a $1-billion annual budget and receives about $300 million in annual research funding. The UMass Donahue Institute estimates the medical school’s economic impact to be $2.2 billion.

Collins has led the charge to regionalize UMass Chan. In 2015, the school teamed with Baystate Health in Springfield to create its first regional campus. This year, the first cohort of students will begin training at UMass Chan-Lahey, a partnership with Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington announced in 2023.

In Worcester, new construction on the Lake Avenue campus continues, with the upcoming opening of a nine-story, $350-million, 350,000-square-foot biomedical research building dedicated to education and scientific discovery. With the potential for research to impact global health, it’s fitting that UMass Chan will host World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the keynote speaker at the ribbon-cutting event in June.

Collins, the highest-paid Mass. state employee with $1.3 million in total earnings in 2022, said he learned a lesson as a child, which drives his leadership style.

“My mother used to say, ‘First, you have to want to,’ and it is a notion that I have held closely and reflected on many times over the years. To me, that saying is a reminder to be intentional,” Collins said.

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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