things to do

Family Fun! Labor Day Event

This Labor Day, Lawrence Massachusetts will host its 32nd Annual Bread & Roses Heritage Festival. The family-friendly event will feature fun activities, including historic walking and trolley tours, performances by the renowned Bread & Puppet Theater, pony rides, juggling, exhibits, social justice sign painting, a kids-zone, and more, all free of charge.
The event commemorates the historic Lawrence Textile Strike, which involved over 20,000 diverse men and women who worked in the local mills. They spent the brutally cold winter of 1912 opposing, specifically, pay-cuts resulting from a shortened workweek, and, more generally, the deplorable working conditions of the mills.  
We know and appreciate that many SHARE members will be doing important work to keep our hospital and medical school running on the holiday. The Festival will run from 11:30am-5:30pm. Several from SHARE plan to converge at Campagnone Common for the event. We hope you can join us! The drive is under an hour from the main UMass Medical School campus.

Tidbit Time: Week of February 8, 2016

Happy Heart Month! As in, happy Valentine’s. And, more importantly, Heart Health Awareness Month. Here’s our latest roundup of tidbits from our community and the worlds of academia, healthcare, and unions . . .


One former SHARE member, Nancy Whalen, the President of Healing Heart Hospitality House, has just let us know about an upcoming dinner with real heart. And you’re invited! “Our mission is to help families of patients traveling more than 30 miles to be with their loved ones hospitalized in the Worcester area by providing a suite of services that offers emotional and spiritual support and comfort,” Nancy writes. “Just recently a very generous person has offered to buy us a house. After 10 years of working towards this goal, we are excited beyond words. Pub 99 is sponsoring our fundraiser by donating 15% of food purchased on Tuesday, February 9th when anyone presents the voucher from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.”

Healing Heart Voucher.jpg
You can print your own voucher by right-clicking the above image. Save it to your computer, and you can print it from there.


Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. On Friday, February 5th, many SHARE members participated in National Wear Red Day, wearing red and working to raise research funds and awareness about women's heart health. 
Go Red Raffle in the University Cafeteria

The American Heart Association provides this guide to Well-Woman Visits so that you can schedule, prepare for, and understand the kinds of physician visits that will help you protect your own heart health, and encourage other women to do the same.


The number of union members in the US held steady from 2014 to 2015, according to the annual Department of Labor report on the subject.  Studies show that increased union membership strengthens the middle class.


Did you know that the blue whale has the largest heart, weighing in at 1,500 pounds? Or that your heart will beat about 100,000 times today? That will add up to over a million barrels of blood during an average lifetime.


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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and that things are off to a very good start for you this week. See you here next time . . .

Five-Tidbit Friday: November 20, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving! 
Thanksgiving may only come once a year, but there's mounting scientific evidence about the benefits of developing thankful habits. Researcher Glenn Fox at the University of Southern California has been researching how gratitude alters the brain. “A lot of people conflate gratitude with the simple emotion of receiving a nice thing. What we found was something a little more interesting,” says Fox. “The pattern of [brain] activity we see shows that gratitude is a complex social emotion that is really built around how others seek to benefit us.” As you gear up for the big feast, here is some advice to help you and your family be truly thankful at Thanksgiving.


Although copyrighted by celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme in 1986, the Turducken (a kind of “Russian Doll Roast”) traces its roots back to at least medieval times, when animals might be stuffed within other animals for the sake of spectacle. (See also,  “illusion foods,” or “incredible foods.”)

Schott’s Food & Drink Miscellany includes this example of a Russian Doll Roast involving way too many birds: “stuff a large OLIVE with CAPERS and a CLOVE,” and so on, it says. The directions continue stuffing birds, including a bec-figue, ortolan, lark, thrush, quail, plover, lapwing, partridge, woodcock, teal, fowl, duck, chicken, pheasant, goose, and turkey, until ultimately we’re told to “place the TURKEY inside an enormous BUSTARD.”


According to Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Food, at Sea and Ashore, in the Nineteenth Century, Thanksgiving used to be a bigger deal. For roughly the first half of our nation’s history, Thanksgiving reigned as the premier holiday among the Europeans who came to America, and their descendents. (Celebrating Christmas was too “churchy” for the Puritans.) For a fascinating tour of Thanksgiving meals through the ages, including the "Turducken," be sure to check out


Did you know that Jingle Bells was originally written as a song to celebrate Thanksgiving Day? James Lord Pierpont wrote it, quite possibly right here in Massachusetts, some time in the 1850’s, almost certainly at a time when one might expect the heavy snows to begin as early as November.
Placard Commemorating the composition of  "Jingle Bells" in Medford, Massachusetts


Probably all of us have driven along Route 9 in Shrewsbury, past the Worcester County Food Bank. On their website, you can quickly identify the nearest food pantry, learn where to donate funds and food for the hungry, volunteer to help with the distribution process, and learn how to advocate for the hungry in your community.

See you here in two weeks. Hope you have a decent weekend, and a very wonderful Thanksgiving!

Free Film Screening: The Connection

Over the next week, UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Hospital will be screening The Connection, a documentary film about "the remarkable link between your mind, body & health." For a preview, you can watch the official trailer, or the first fifteen minutes of the film free online. For more information about the screenings, see the information from the event flyer below.

  • Learn more about the practice of mindfulness and the numerous resources available at our academic medical center.
  • After viewing the 70- minute video, participate in an interactive discussion and learn about mindfulness programming and new resources to continue or adopt a mindfulness practice. 
  • We encourage you to take the time to learn about the benefits of mindfulness for yourself and our patients.
University Campus
  • Monday, September 21, 12:00 pm (Lazare Auditorium)
  • Friday, September 25, 12:00 pm (Lazare Auditorium)
South Street Campus
  • Monday, September 21, 3:00 pm (Amphitheater)
  • Tuesday, September 22, 3:00 pm (Amphitheater)
Memorial Campus
  • Monday, September 21, 3pm (Amphitheater)
  • Wednesday, September 23, 3pm (Amphitheater)
Hahnemann Campus
  • Monday, September 21, 11:00am (Ann Nemitz Room)
  • Monday, September 21, 12:30 pm (Ann Nemitz Room)

  • Wednesday, September 30, 6:30 pm (Simonds-Hurd Complementary Care Center)

Things to Do: Wright's Chicken Farm Review

Maybe you remember the movie and book reviews from past SHARE-UMMS newsletters? Maybe you've enjoyed something gooey on a SHARE Chocolate Day in one of the previous years? In that spirit--and in an effort to elevate and venerate the creative and cultural soul of the SHARE union--we present the first ever review to appear on the SHARE blog: Kathy Bateman's review of Wright's Chicken Farm! 

Wright's Farm Restaurant, located in Harrisville, Rhode Island, is a home-style, all-you-can eat chicken restaurant and is open year round, but is only open Thursday - Sunday.   The menu contains only two menu items:  Chicken Dinner and Steak.   Adult dinners are $11.75 per person, children’s meals, ages 2 – 10, are $6.75 per person, and children under 2 are free.     The chicken dinner is standard for everyone, salad, rolls & butter, shells and red sauce, hand cut hom-made French fries and chicken.  The steak dinner is a 16 oz sirloin for $20.00 – the steak itself is not all you can eat – but all of the other sides are all you-can-eat.  To make a reservation, you need a minimum of 10 people and, if only 9 in your party show up, you would have to wait your turn to be seated with the rest of the customers who did not have reservations.  I’ve heard the wait can get long.  So we made reservations for 18 people at 4pm for the Friday after Christmas.  

a peek into the dining room

We arrived about 15 minutes early to a very large, nearly empty parking lot.  We entered through the gift shop entrance, went through the waiting area up to the host, and gave our party name to the maitre’d.  We let him know that one car in our party would be arriving a bit late.  He said that was not a problem, told us that our table would still be available but that we could only be seated once the whole party arrived.  He showed us the lounge area that we could wait in or that we could visit the gift shop while we wait for the rest of the group.  The lounge area was large with only one couple sitting at a very long bar having a drink; and, at several tables in the lounge, people were waiting - possibly for the rest of their party to arrive - because the doors had just opened at 4pm and there was plenty of available seating.   

We decided to go into the gift shop and browse.  The gift shop is big with lots of nooks and crannies filled with a huge selection of items!  Christmas decorations just happened to be 50% off when we went!  A huge selection of Fudge made on right on the premises, all sorts of candy - including old-school candy, you could purchase frozen chicken pies,  they sell jewelry, purses, sports paraphernalia, nick-knacks, children's toys, novelty toys, stuffed animals, books, so much stuff you could spend several hours just looking!  We glanced up and noticed the rest of our party had arrived.    It was difficult tearing ourselves away from the gift shop – we were having so much fun and hadn’t gotten a chance to see everything in the store! 

We approached the maitre’d to inform him we had all arrived and were seated immediately - towards the back of the restaurant.  We told them when we made the reservation that we had about 6 children, so we were seated just outside of the main area.   It worked out well - the children were able to get out of their seats stretch their legs and not disrupt anyone in the restaurant.  The dining room was large, clean, well lit and nicely done.  Our rectangular tables were set side by side in two rows, and each row had its own waiter.   We were welcomed quickly and the drink order was taken first - drinks are not included in the price of the meal.   Soda can be purchased by the pitcher, by the glass or a beverage can be ordered from the bar.   Our salad and rolls arrived at the same time the drinks did.  The salad was nothing fancy, just a regular garden salad with Wright's Farm dressing and came with lots of rolls and butter - and so far, it was all good.      We had anticipated that all of the food items would be brought to our tables at the same time as the salad and rolls, but the waiters stood by our tables, and offered us more salad and rolls.  I admit that I was a little disappointed because I thought that everything was going to be brought out to us all at once and that empty bowls would be refilled as soon as they were empty, but it soon turned around quickly.   When everyone had their fill of salad and rolls, the rest of the meal was put out on the table all at once, baby shells in red sauce - (no meat in the sauce but plenty of thick red sauce that clung to the pasta just right - and cheese to sprinkle over it), French fries, and chicken.    

I reached for the French fries first. The French Fries were like none I had ever tasted before.  Homemade from a white Russet potato, fried to a dark golden crispy outside and soft on the inside with an indistinguishable sweet flavor.  The malted vinegar, used in place of ketchup, finished the fries off!  Next, the chicken - it was cooked golden to medium dark brown in color and looked moist, tender and scrumptious!  My first bite was of a piece of the skin – (admittedly, it’s my favorite part of the chicken!).  Immediately I thought, "Uh Oh, this is too salty", but the meat itself was not salty at all - it was only the skin that was salty from the spices that the chicken marinated in and then gets baked.  The meat was very moist and delicious, not greasy at all!  I really loved the flavor and texture chicken.  It was prepared in quarters - the leg and thigh together and the breast and wing together.  During the 1 hour and 15 minutes that we spend eating dinner, our waiters stood by our table the whole time just waiting to serve us more, and we did eat. . .

 Once we ate our fill of the meal, one person ordered dessert - my 3 year old granddaughter, Lexi.  It was a slice of ice cream roll, and it had crunchy chocolate bits surrounding the outside of the roll of vanilla ice cream with chocolate ice cream in the center of the roll, shaped as . . . you guessed it, shaped as a chicken!  The restaurant offers only ice cream for dessert at a reasonable cost of $1.00.

 Everyone in our group really enjoyed the Wright's Farm Restaurant and we all plan to go back again sometime in the future.  I think it might become a tradition.

PS  - just to let you know how busy it is on a Friday, when we arrived in the large parking lot at 3:45 pm- it was mostly empty -   at 5:30 when we left - the parking lot was so full that cars were driving around waiting for people to pull out of spaces so they could park.   The restaurant was completely full and the waiting area was packed.  It is a must to put on your bucket list if you have not been there yet!

 Kathy Bateman, Pathology

Incidentally, I have it on good authority that Kathy makes a mean batch of brownies, too. And yes, you read that right: this is a review from over the Winter holidays. Now that we've got our new blog up and running, we're looking for more. If you'd like to share with SHARE a restaurant review (or a book review, or a movie review, or a roller-coaster review, or other idea) please send it to (I'm also on the hunt for other food-related writing from SHARE members . . . for example: recipes, holiday meal remembrances, brown-bag lunch tips, notes on recent nutrition research--and, especially--fun tales of kitchen disaster. Thanks!) 

Coincidence at Nu Cafe

Do you like science and beer? Yes? Then here's a thing that will be fun: Science Cafe Woo (#2)!  

This talk, "Accidents Happen: Serendipity in Biomedical Discoveries," will be the second installment from our local neighbors in the Science Cafe Woo group, which meets occasionally at the Nu Cafe on Chandler Street. 

On their Facebook page, the SCW writes: "Join us in conversation with Dr. Allan Jacobson from UMass Medical School. Dr. Jacobson will discuss why it is worthwhile to study basic science. Using his own career as an example, he will explain how the discovery of a promising new drug for the treatment of genetic disorders began with simple experiments."

The event will be held this Monday, June 17th, at 6pm. Nu Cafe is at 335 Chandler St. in Worcester. Hope to see you there!

For more details about the Science Cafe Woo, check out their page on Facebook.