Published on July 06, 2012

Project SEARCH Students Recognized at Milford Regional


Five local students were recognized for completing their one year Project SEARCH internship at Milford Regional Medical Center recently. During the celebration, it was announced that four of the five students have already found employment, which is the ultimate goal of the program.

Project SEARCH is a transitional program for students ages 18 – 22 with disabilities which provide training and education to acquire the job and life skills necessary to obtain employment.

Milford Regional was the first hospital in Massachusetts to adopt the program. It is a collaborative effort with Milford Regional; Milford Public Schools; HMEA, Inc.; the Milford office of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and The Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative/Riverside Community Care.

In its first year, five Milford Regional departments – central services, clinical engineering, food and nutrition, environmental services and materials management, offered to participate in the program which runs five days a week, six hours a day. Along with work responsibilities in these departments, the students also received daily education and job coaching sessions with an on-site teacher from the Milford Public Schools and a job coach through HMEA, Inc. They rotated to a different department every ten weeks.

“It was great to see the growth and development of the interns as they mastered job skills and became independent in the hospital setting,” says Director of Volunteer Services Elaine Willey, business liaison for the program at Milford Regional. “They became part of the team. We all feel this year was a success.”

Milford Regional administrators were fully supportive of the collaboration and encouraged participation in the community venture. “It has been very satisfying to personally witness the positive impact this program has made in the lives of the Project SEARCH students who interned at Milford Regional,” says President Edward J. Kelly, “The students’ hard work was appreciated by our patients and staff. The Milford Public School system was pivotal in the program’s success and is to be commended for their tireless commitment to the mission of Project SEARCH. In addition, every agency that collaborated in this meaningful endeavor should be recognized for their important role in getting this program off the ground. As president of Milford Regional, I cannot say enough about the good will and dedication shown by our departments and staff, as well, for their involvement in mentoring the students. This program was certainly a “win-win” for everyone involved. Milford Regional looks forward to the continued success of Project SEARCH and working with the Milford Public Schools this coming school year.”

Milford Regional is accepting applications for next year’s Project SEARCH. For more information, contact Elaine Willey at, or Roy Green, Project SEARCH teacher, at

Five local students were recognized for completing their one year Project SEARCH internship at Milford Regional Medical Center recently.

Milford Regional recognizes Project SEARCH interns upon completion of their one-year program. Pictured left to right (front row) Project SEARCH interns Ashley Aldrich, Alicia Carco and Kelly Matters; Chris Kollette, environmental services, MRMC; (Back row) Edward J. Kelly, president, MRMC; Roy Greene, teacher, Milford Schools; Elaine Willey, business liaison, MRMC; Deb Friedman, special education, Milford Schools; Steve Cunningham, clinical engineering, MRMC; Karen Blanchette, job coach, HMEA, Inc.; Katie Clement, food and nutrition, MRMC; Amy Moriarty and Gary Finbow, materiel management, MRMC; and Jen Walsh, special education, Milford Schools. Not pictured: Project SEARCH interns Frances Marlene Pastrano and Cassie Moutinho.

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