Career Pulse

Raghunathan Joins BMLH Medical Staff

WARE — Dr. Uma Raghunathan, a board-certified neurologist and member of Baystate Neurology specializing in the treatment of adult neurological diseases, has joined the medical staff at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital. He will provide outpatient neurological consultations at the hospital.

Raghunathan earned her medical degree at Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical College in India, and completed her residency in Neurology at SUNY Health Sciences Center in New York. She also completed her fellowship in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

“Dr. Raghunathan is part of the team of neurologists, many of whom are nationally recognized for their expertise in patient care, clinical research, and medical education, that serve on the faculty of Tufts University School of Medicine at Baystate Medical Center,” said Dr. Mohammed Ahmed, chief medical officer of BMLH and Baystate Health Eastern Region. “We are pleased to welcome her to our medical staff. Our hospital, physicians, and specialty practitioners are working together to provide outstanding quality health care that is locally convenient for the many communities we serve.”

Raghunathan is now seeing patients at Baystate Medical Practice – Quabbin Adult Medicine. located at the hospital. She is part of the new multi-specialty group of medical specialists from Baystate Medical Center that who see patients in Ware. For more information or to make an appointment with Raghunathan, call (413) 967-2860.

Emerson Offers Innovative Surgery at Noble Hospital

WESTFIELD — Tens of millions of Americans suffer with daily heartburn or other symptoms of reflux, such as regurgitation, chronic cough, hoarseness, and dental erosions. Until recently, these people faced either a lifetime of daily medications (and often incomplete resolution of their symptoms) or the risks of invasive surgery.

However, the Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication procedure, or TIF, using the innovative EsophyX device, is performed completely without incisions. Dr. Nathan Emerson, board-certified general surgeon at Noble Hospital, is the first specialist in the Greater Westfield area to be trained on the TIF procedure.

“The TIF procedure can significantly improve quality of life for our patients,” said Emerson. “After the TIF procedure, clinical trials show that most patients can eat and drink foods they had avoided for many years. Reflux no longer impacts their life like it previously did.”

The TIF procedure is based on established principles of surgical repair of the anti-reflux barrier, except that it is performed transorally (through the mouth). The procedure reduces hiatal hernia and creates a valve between the stomach and esophagus, restoring the natural, physiological anatomy to prevent reflux. Because the procedure is incisionless, there is reduced pain, reduced recovery time, and no visible scar.

“Recent studies show that TIF can reduce patients’ dependency on medications, with 79{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of patients remaining off their daily medications after two years and experiencing a dramatic improvement in their quality of life,” Emerson said. “We are very excited to be able to offer our patients the same incredible benefits as more invasive procedures without incisions.”

Emerson’s duties at Noble Hospital include many facets of general surgery, from standard procedures involving appendix or gall-bladder removals through emergency-room coverage and more complex surgeries. Much of his experience and focus involves the latest in minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgical equipment and techniques, which provides for quicker recovery of patients.

Emerson trained at Baylor University Medical Center, where he completed over 1,200 successful surgeries and received the Trauma Award in 2005. He earned a doctorate from the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he participated in the surgery and research honors programs, and a cum laude undergraduate degree from Princeton University.

He can be reached at (413) 572-6010.

Sabo Named Leader of Mass. Psychiatric Society

PITTSFIELD — The Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Berkshire Medical Center has been elected to a leadership position with the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society (MPS). Dr. Alex Sabo has been elected president-elect of the Society, which represents the majority of psychiatrists in Massachusetts. He will serve as president-elect for 2011, president for 2012, and immediate past president in 2013.

Sabo has practiced psychiatry in Massachusetts for his entire career. For the past 17 years he has worked in Berkshire County with a team of comprehensive behavioral health providers to serve the mental-health needs of residents of the Berkshires and surrounding region. In 2010, the MPS named Sabo its Outstanding Psychiatrist of the Year for Clinical Psychiatry.

MPS members are physicians who are committed to providing outstanding medical and psychiatric care through accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of mental health and emotional illnesses. The MPS seeks to achieve this goal by promoting public and professional education, advancing legislation that addresses the needs and rights of the mentally and emotionally ill, and advocating for the allocation of public and private resources for treatment, research, and education.

Sabo will continue to serve BMC and the people of Berkshire County while assisting the MPS with its mission of education and advocacy on behalf of the mentally ill.

He joined BMC in 1994, and has led the hospital’s behavioral-health program since that time. He completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard College and studied medicine at UMass Medical School. He completed his psychiatric residency at Cambridge Hospital and a fellowship at the Austen Riggs Center.

He also served at McLean Hospital as clinical director of the Psychosocial and Adult Specialty Programs and later director of the Clinical Evaluation Center. At both the Cambridge Hospital, as chief resident in Psychiatry, and at McLean Hospital, as a clinical director, he took an active role in teaching medical students and residents in psychiatry.

In Berkshire County from 1994 to the present, Sabo has played a key leadership role in the integration of mental-health and substance-abuse services and the outreach of those services to primary-care medicine. In 2007 and 2008 he was instrumental in starting a psychiatry residency training program at BMC.

“Everything is accomplished because of our team — a team of exceptionally strong psychiatrists, advanced practice nurses, allied health professionals, administrators, our patients and their families,” Sabo said. “For these colleagues and ‘co-investigators,’ I am grateful each day.”