Sandra Thomas knows how to use the resources available for employees to grow at the MGH. She began working at the hospital in 1998 as an operations associate on the Central Resources Team and soon wanted to focus on career development and confidence-building. With encouragement from her family and MGH mentors Christine Annese, RN, staff specialist, and Maureen Schnider, RN, nursing director, Thomas was accepted to UMass Boston in 2003.

By taking one class at a time, Thomas was able to use several resources available to MGH staff – the Tuition Assistance Program, the Support Service Employee Grant and the Association of Multicultural Members of Partners (AMMP) Scholarship – to finance tuition costs. This allowed her to avoid taking out a loan and complete her education at her own pace. Thomas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management in 2015.

“Always be positive and look on the bright side of things,” says Thomas, who is now planning to attend the UMass Boston MBA program.

“MGH employees are encouraged to pursue these opportunities and take advantage of the resources to help with career development,” says Christopher Conant, training coordinator, MGH Training & Workforce Development. “The Support Service Employee Grant is not only a financial resource but also is a chance for employees to set up job shadows and learn more about other areas of the hospital.”

Applications for the 2019 MGH Support Service Employee Grant are being accepted through May 15 at 5 pm. The grant is available to eligible non-exempt employees in administrative, clinical, service or technical support roles. For more information about the Support Service Employee Grant, the Tuition Assistance Program, AMMP Scholarship or financial aid workshops, email

This article was originally published in the 05/03/19 Hotline issue.