Health Care News Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:13:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 West Central Family and Counseling Announces New Clinical Leadership Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:13:45 +0000 WEST SPRINGFIELD — West Central Family and Counseling (WCFC) announced the appointment of two new co-clinic directors: Jo-Anne Gaughan-Cabral and Simona Pozzetto. Prior to their recent appointments, both had served as clinic supervisors for WCFC. Combined, they have more than 40 years of clinical social-work experience across outpatient, inpatient, and long-term-care settings.

Aside from their daily operational responsibilities of the clinic, both will oversee the implementation and growth of clinical programs. This past April, Gaughan-Cabral launched WCFC’s Cancer Informed Therapy Program, which provides mental-health treatment specifically for cancer patients, families, caregivers, and loved ones. Referrals for this program are currently being accepted. WCFC has also developed a Geriatric and Family Services Program, which works to provide clinical services to elders and their family members throughout Western Mass.

“Unfortunately, mental-health resources for elders are sometimes difficult to find, and there is an increasing demand due to population growth,” said Vice President of Operations Karen Mozzer. “We plan to use our expertise in working with this group over the last 23 years to provide psychotherapy and psychopharmacological management. In addition, we will be able to meet with family members and caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in order to provide education and behavioral consultation.”

With the development of these programs Gaughan-Cabral and Pozzetto will be hiring clinical staff for therapist and supervisory roles. Part-time and full-time positions are available. Visit for more information on applying.

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Orchard Valley at Wilbraham to Hold Benefit Car Wash on Aug. 2 Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:13:25 +0000 WILBRAHAM — Orchard Valley at Wilbraham will hold a benefit car wash on Wednesday, Aug. 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2387 Boston Road. It is open to the public, and donations will be accepted.

Proceeds will benefit the One Company Fund, a nonprofit organization formed by Benchmark executives for the sole purpose of providing emergency cash assistance to employees and their families during times of unpredictable hardship. This is an employee-supported organization that aims to do the right thing by taking care of each other.

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AMA Online Education Aims to Help Physicians Use Cancer Panel Testing Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:13:12 +0000 CHICAGO — As part of its program aimed at educating physicians and other healthcare professionals on the benefits and limitations of genomics and precision medicine, the American Medical Assoc. (AMA) announced two new online educational modules focused on somatic cancer panel testing. The modules will help physicians determine when cancer panel testing is appropriate for their patients and how to interpret the test results to inform the best treatment options for patients.

“We know that genetic technology is rapidly expanding, often too quickly for physicians and other health professionals to become familiar with new technologies before they become clinically available. In particular, somatic cancer panel testing is a relatively new and quickly expanding type of test in cancer care,” said AMA President Dr. David Barbe. “With many physicians who treat and follow cancer patients unfamiliar with the use of these panels, and little clinical guidance yet available for their use, the new modules will help physicians better understand the factors that should be considered when incorporating cancer panel testing into patient care.”

The two modules provide physicians and other health professionals with a detailed overview of somatic cancer panel testing, also known as cancer genomic panels or tumor molecular panels, and the resources available to assist them as they consider using it to inform patient care.

The first module explores how cancer panel testing can help physicians identify genetic variants driving cancer growth and the targeted therapies that can expand their patients’ treatment options. This module details the types of clinical information that can be gleaned from large somatic cancer panels as well as how to determine which patients are ideal candidates for testing. The second module focuses on helping providers interpret results of somatic cancer panel testing, as well as how to identify key information within the reports that is important for patient care.

Both of these modules are part of the 12-module online “Precision Medicine for Your Practice” series, being developed by the AMA, Scripps Translational Science Institute, and the Jackson Laboratory. Each module in the series is freely available, carries CME credit, and presents interactive case studies for clinicians to practice what they’ve learned — applying genetic information to patient cases, assessing the utility of genetic information, and learning about benefits and limitations of new genetic tests.

Previous modules have addressed expanded carrier screening and prenatal cell-free DNA screening. Upcoming modules will focus on other applications of genetic testing, including genomic sequencing in the healthy individual, cardiogenomics, neurogenomics, and pharmacogenomics. All future and previously released modules will be available online at the AMA Education Center.

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Baystate Ob/Gyn Group Earns Site Approval for CenteringPregnancy Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:17:41 +0000 SPRINGFIELD — In recognition of achieving quality and sustainability milestones, the Centering Healthcare Institute in Boston recently renewed the site approval for the CenteringPregnancy model of care at Baystate Ob/Gyn Group Inc. Integrated into the practice in 2009, the Centering model of care has become a popular option for patients seeking an innovative, effective group model of prenatal care that encourages long-term health and wellness.

Centering is an evidence-based model of group care that combines health assessment, interactive learning, and community building to deliver positive health outcomes and an exceptional care experience for patients and their providers. CenteringPregnancy brings eight to 12 pregnant women who are due around the same time together for prenatal care. Each of the nine visits is two hours long, giving women more time with their provider team. As part of a cohesive group, patients form a supportive community where they develop skills and confidence to take control of their health.

A recent Centering patient commented, “this is my second pregnancy going through the nurse midwives’ CenteringPregnancy group. The atmosphere is supportive and educational. The bonds you make with the group have helped me feel stronger and less alone throughout the entire experience, while the midwives create and add to the supportive atmosphere.”

Specific clinical target areas of CenteringPregnancy include prematurity, low birth weight, and breastfeeding rates. A review of data from 2015 CenteringPregnancy groups indicated that they exceeded target goals in all three areas (based on the 2014 Massachusetts State Health Improvement Plan).

“We congratulate Baystate Ob/Gyn Group Inc. They join a growing number of dedicated Centering practice sites throughout the U.S. who are creating a movement that is impacting health outcomes, the patient experience, and provider satisfaction” said Angie Truesdale, CEO of Centering Healthcare Institute, the nonprofit that provides implementation support, training, and tools to ensure model fidelity to Centering practice sites.

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Michael Conneely Joins CMIC Group as Director of Finance Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:17:25 +0000 GLASTONBURY, Conn. — CMIC Group, a member-owned medical professional liability insurance company, announced that Michael Conneely has joined the CMIC Group team as the new director of Finance.

Conneely has more than 25 years of business and accounting experience, including 17 years in the insurance industry. He spent the most recent 14 years in financial roles supporting several distinct business lines at Travelers Insurance. Prior to that, he worked in a variety of financial roles in the insurance industry, including roles with a prominent reinsurer as well as seven years with Deloitte & Touche. He received his bachelor’s degree cum laude in accounting from the University of Connecticut.

“Michael brings an impressive and in-depth financial background to CMIC Group,” said CEO Denise Funk. “His vast experience in the financial sector and across various facets of the insurance industry will further enhance CMIC’s long history of financial diligence and stability.”

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American Medical Assoc. Issues Statement on Federal Health Reform Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:16:52 +0000 CHICAGO — Dr. David Barbe, president of the American Medical Assoc., issued a statement this week on the collapse of GOP repeal-and-replace efforts for the Affordable Care Act.

“The health-reform debate is by no means over,” he said. “Congress must begin a collaborative process that produces a bipartisan approach to improve healthcare in our country. The status quo is unacceptable. Near-term action is needed to stabilize the individual/non-group health-nsurance marketplace. In the long term, stakeholders and policymakers need to address the unsustainable trends in healthcare costs while achieving meaningful, affordable coverage for all Americans. The American Medical Association is ready to work on short- and long-term solutions.”

He added, “the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and the 21st Century Cures Act are recent examples of what can be accomplished to improve the health of the nation when Congress works on a bipartisan basis with key stakeholder groups. Success is achieved when patients, physicians, and policymakers work together to improve the health of individuals, families and communities.

 I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of patients, physicians, and other providers for their pivotal participation in the debate on health reform. The grassroots response and their continued involvement moving forward demonstrate the vitality of our democracy.”

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HMC Promotes Dr. Jennifer Mark to Chief Medical Officer Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:02:44 +0000 HOLYOKE — Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems, announced the promotion of Dr. Jennifer Mark to chief medical officer at Holyoke Medical Center.

“Dr. Mark is a highly skilled physician with a proven track record and expertise in leading a team to success. Her focus on patient satisfaction, in conjunction with high-quality care and open communication style, will continue to be an asset to HMC as she enters this new role,” said Hatiras. “Dr. Mark’s knowledge of the culture within the organization will continue to be appreciated and allow for a smooth transition to this position.”

Added Mark, “I really like the fact that Holyoke Medical Center is very focused on patient-centered care in terms of our overall strategy and how we make improvements in safety and quality. The administration is aligned with providers and other caregivers, all of whom want what’s best for our patients.”

Mark, whose extensive background includes both primary and emergency care, has been with HMC since 2008, serving for the past five years as Emergency Department (ED) medical director. During that time, patient satisfaction has increased by 85% for overall care in the ED, and the length of stay for discharged patients has decreased by about 30 minutes. These changes have been made despite increasing patient volumes and severe space constraints, which should improve in the new ED that opened earlier this month. “It is a beautiful new facility that will be wonderful for our patients,” Mark said.

As director, Mark worked closely with the ED nurse manager to direct operations of the facility that treats over 44,000 patients per year, with oversight of 14 doctors and 12 mid-level providers. She also went through intensive communication training and then helped teach those skills to her team in the ED in order to raise patient satisfaction.

Previously, Mark, who graduated from Yale University School of Medicine, served in various emergency and adult-medicine physician roles throughout Massachusetts. She was also a founding partner of a private Emergency Department physician group where she served as assistant medical director for five years.

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Cancer House of Hope Seeks Volunteers Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:02:27 +0000 WEST SPRINGFIELD — Cindy Sheridan-Murphy remembers walking into the Cancer House of Hope three years ago like it was yesterday.

“I was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was petrified,” she recalls, “and I was greeted with such warmth and compassion. One of the volunteers scheduled me for a Reiki appointment and pointed me towards one of the many support groups. Throughout the next several months, I visited weekly and was always greeted with a smile by someone who’d listen. The volunteers would put aside hats and scarves they thought I would like. It was the unselfishness of these volunteers that made me want to join them someday.”

And join them she did: Cindy now volunteers at Cancer House of Hope. “The feeling I get when someone walks in the same door with panic on their face, just like I did, and knowing that giving them a few minutes of my time gives them hope, that’s priceless. That is what motivates me to make a difference in the life of a cancer survivor.”

Cancer House of Hope, located at 1999 Westfield St. in West Springfield, enhances the lives of people with cancer and those who care about them. The house provides emotional, educational, social, and spiritual support services and relaxation programs free of charge.

“It is our mission to be a supportive, caring and hopeful place of healing,” said Program Director Joe Kane. “We serve 400 guests a year, and every penny of every dollar donated to the house directly supports programming and the people we serve.”

He describes volunteers as the “beating heart” of the facility, and those interested in volunteering should contact him at (413) 733-1858 or

“Their commitment to provide a welcoming place where people feel at home is crucial to our mission of service,” he said. “And it doesn’t take much time. Most volunteers work a regular three-hour shift each week, and we try to be flexible to accommodate personal schedules.”

Who is a good candidate to volunteer? “Anyone who has personal, lived experience with cancer and its effects on individuals and families,” Kane said. “Someone who has been through a cancer experience themselves is in a unique position to be a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on. These people are often highly motivated to give something back, too. Some volunteers are people whose lives were impacted by the cancer diagnosis of someone they care about. And some volunteers are just people with compassionate hearts.”

Kane encourages prospective volunteers to think about their own passions and talents so they can put them to productive use in service to others. He also noted that about 80% of the people who walk through the door at the house are women. “I think that might reflect the nature of the services we offer and also the social nature of women, but men seek out our services, too. It would be great to have more male volunteers to provide the kind of connection that comes when two men talk to each other.”

One crucial job performed by volunteers is answering the phone. “Since we most often make our first connection with guests on the phone, this is a very important job,” says Kane. “You also could make sure the house is clean and presentable, greet guests who walk in our door, and give tours. You could schedule and update appointments. You could listen to a guest’s story and offer support, or aid a guest in finding a wig or prosthetic.”

The house is always interested in volunteers who speak a language in addition to English. People with experience in fund-raising, event planning, office management, or building maintenance can help with the operation of the house. Certified massage therapists, Reiki practitioners, and yoga instructors are sought after as well.

“The satisfaction that comes with volunteering is immeasurable,” Kane believes. “The Cancer House of Hope provides a volunteer-orientation program to help you understand our mission and values, and get you started right. If you think you’d be a good fit, or if you just want to learn more about the opportunity, please contact me today.”

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CFO Transition Announced at athenahealth Inc. Wed, 19 Jul 2017 13:02:04 +0000 WATERTOWN, Mass. — athenahealth Inc., a provider of network-enabled services for hospital and ambulatory clients nationwide, announced that John “Jack” Kane, a member of the athenahealth board of directors and current chair of the board’s audit committee, will serve as interim chief financial officer, effective July 21.

Karl Stubelis is stepping down as chief financial officer to pursue other opportunities. To help ensure a smooth transition, Stubelis will continue to support the company through the reporting of athenahealth’s 2017 second-quarter results. athenahealth has initiated a search to identify a permanent CFO and has retained DHR International to assist in the process.

“This CFO transition reflects our commitment to ensuring that athenahealth has world-class leaders to support the company and our increased scale and scope,” said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO of athenahealth. “We intend to focus our CFO search on leaders who bring a record of operating discipline and value-creating capital allocation. I look forward to working closely with the athenahealth board, especially Jack Kane and Tom Szkutak, former CFO of Amazon, to identify the best individual for the role.”

Bush added that “Jack’s knowledge of athenahealth and his experience serving as the CFO of another public healthcare-technology company make him well-suited to serve as interim CFO during this transition. We are pleased to benefit from his expertise and counsel in this expanded role.”

Added Kane, “I look forward to working closely with the athenahealth team as I take on these additional responsibilities. We share Jonathan’s confidence in athenahealth and his focus on identifying a CFO who can serve as a strong partner to the senior management team in guiding the company’s success.”

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HMC Receives $100,000 from Hazen Paper Co. and the Hazen Family Tue, 18 Jul 2017 12:52:32 +0000 HOLYOKE — The Hazen Paper Co. and the Hazen Family contributed $100,000 toward the Holyoke Medical Center capital campaign — titled “Care. Community. Commitment.” — for the new Emergency Department and Medical Office Building. The contribution will fund the Emergency Department gardens.

“Hazen Paper employs more than 200 people in Holyoke, and we view Holyoke Medical Center as a vital resource for the health and safety of our employees. My father, my siblings, and I were all born at Holyoke Hospital. The Hazen Family has deep ties in the community,” said John Hazen, company president. “Hazen Paper believes in supporting our community, which we also do by offering the World Is Our Classroom program, inviting every fifth-grade student in Holyoke to spend the day in our factory learning how to make paper.”

The new Emergency Department, which opened on July 6, is a 21,460-square-foot facility featuring the Center for Behavioral Health Emergency Services, 40 treatment areas, multi-patient trauma rooms, advanced life-saving equipment, and a patient-navigation service. The expanded facility is allowing the hospital to treat patients in a more efficient and private way.

“We are very appreciative to the Hazen family and the Hazen Paper Company for the continued, multi-generational support provided to the hospital,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems. “Generous contributions from families and area companies allow us to make these types of investments in state-of-the-art facilities and new technologies.”

In support of the Emergency Department project, the Holyoke Medical Center capital campaign has reached $2.25 million of its $3 million goal. Anyone interested in helping with the campaign is invited to call the hospital’s Development Department at (413) 534-2579.

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