Career Pulse

Kenney Publishes Research on Kyphosis and Scoliosis

SPRINGFIELD — Diana Kenney, assistant professor of Physical Therapy and academic coordinator of clinical education at American International College (AIC), along with Julie Magee and Elizabeth Mullins, recently concluded research for postural screening and evaluation of a student’s posture for early detection of either kyphosis or scoliosis.

The findings of screening in primary and secondary schools were published in the August 2012 edition of Orthopaedic Nursing, and concluded that screening students for possible spinal problems is an important practice and one that should be continued. While the research showed very few children were diagnostically confirmed during the screening process, Kenney said, the program should be continued.

In 1984, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons endorsed routine school screening of children for early detection and management of kyphosis and scoliosis. Kenney said the purpose was to detect postural curves early and prevent progression to severe forms. Subsequently, legislation mandating postural screening in the public schools has been passed in many states in the U.S. In 1980, Massachusetts mandated postural screening for grades 5-9 via a postural-screening statute.

Kenney received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and earned her master’s degree and certificate of graduate study at Springfield College.

Baystate Mary Lane Welcomes Martinez

WARE — Baystate Mary Lane Ob/Gyn recently welcomed Dr. Oscar Martinez to the team, where he will join Dr. Mohammed Ahmed, chair of Ob/Gyn Services, and Lisa Beaudry, certified nurse midwife, in providing a full range of comprehensive care to women in the many communities served by Baystate Mary Lane Hospital.

“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Martinez to our medical staff,” Ahmed said. “He brings a tremendous knowledge of women’s health, and we are certain he will be a great addition to our practice.”

Martinez earned his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University, received his doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va., and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University, in Springfield. He is a member of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Mass. Medical Society, and the American Medical Assoc.

O’Neill to Spearhead Study on Bone Health

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College recently announced that Exercise Science and Sport Studies Associate Professor Elizabeth O’Neill will lead a bone-health study this fall focused on osteoporosis prevention for women between the ages of 25 and 45.

With the help of the Springfield College Center for Wellness Education and Research, O’Neill will study osteoporosis, a disease of low bone mass which leads to increasing susceptibility to fractures, and the impact various modes of exercise have on bone health, body composition, and muscular strength. The study will also analyze whether certain modes of training are more effective at improving an individual’s bone health to help prevent osteoporosis.

“Osteoporosis is a serious health issue in the U.S., afflicting approximately 10 million Americans,” said O’Neill. “Exercise is often recognized for its benefits to bone health; however, some modes of exercise are potentially more beneficial than others. This study is designed to determine the impact various modes of exercise have on bone health in women 25-45.”

Participants in the study will receive free fitness assessments, a bone scan, and guided exercise training twice a week for 12 months at the Springfield College wellness facility. Funding for the study is through the Buxton Professorship, created at the college to support teaching, scholarly, and service activities consistent with the mission of the college, which was awarded to O’Neill for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years. Those interested in participating may contact O’Neill at (413) 748-3485 or

Providence Names Tarail Chief Medical Officer

HOLYOKE — The Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS) announced recently that Dr. Mary Tarail has been appointed to the post of chief medical officer for Providence Behavioral Health Hospital. Tarail is responsible for the medical leadership at Providence, including the coordination of all patient care and safety, quality assessment, risk management, patient satisfaction, and improvement in healthcare programs. She also serves as a liaison between the medical staff and administration at the facility.

Tarail previously served as the associate medical director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Providence and, before joining SPHS, served as the inpatient unit chief for Geriatric Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. She was also the director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital. She is fellowship-trained in the psychiatric treatment of older adults and is subspecialty board-certified.

“Dr. Tarail has been a tremendous asset to the Older Adult Unit at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital, where she has consistently demonstrated clinical expertise, leadership, and compassion. We are fortunate to have her on our team in this expanded role as chief medical officer, where her skills will have a greater impact on our patients throughout the hospital,” said Laura Ames, vice president of Behavioral Health for SPHS.

Said Tarail, “Providence Behavioral Health Hospital provides a wide range of much-needed behavioral health services to patients of all ages and, as a result, plays a vital role in the community. I am pleased to continue my work and further Providence’s shared mission to serve as a transforming, healing presence.”

Four Berkshire Healthcare Staffers Earn Scholarships

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Healthcare recently announced that four staff members have been awarded Mass. Senior Care Foundation scholarships, which for 27 years have supported long-term-care employees with their career goals.

This year’s class of 50 Foundation Scholars, most of whom are seeking nursing degrees, will use their scholarships to further their professional development within the long-term-care profession. The 2012 scholarship winners from Berkshire Healthcare are Amar Bajracharya of Linda Manor Extended Care Facility in Leeds, Sarah Bohl of Williamstown Commons in Williamstown, Amber Gamello from Mt. Greylock Extended Care Facility in Pittsfield, and Sharon Lee Malek from Charlene Manor Extended Care Facility in Greenfield.

“The scholarships provide a real boost to staff, helping them to complete the education required to reach their professional and personal goals,” said Mass. Senior Care Foundation Executive Director Carolyn Blanks. “Many of our scholars have been promoted multiple times, steadily progressing from certified nursing assistant to licensed practical nurse to registered nurse and beyond.”

The foundation — the education and research arm of the Mass. Senior Care Assoc., has awarded more than $2.1 million in scholarships to more than 1,300 scholars since it began supporting long-term-care workers in 1985.