Career Pulse

Blondin Earns Certification in Oncology Nursing

WARE — Sheila Blondin, a registered nurse with the Baystate Regional Cancer Program in Ware, has received her certification in Oncology Nursing from the Oncology Nursing Certification Corp.

Sheila Blondin

Oncology-certified nurses have met or exceeded requirements for practice in cancer care, have completed education in oncology nursing, and have a tested knowledge of the specialty. Certifi-cation in oncology nursing is based on current professional practice, so it validates that a nurse’s knowledge is up-to-date.

Blondin joins nurses Lori Tuttle and Laurie Fabbri, also from the Baystate Regional Cancer Program, who have received certification.

“As cancer treatments become more complex, patients will require increasingly specialized care,” said Reanne Burke, regional nursing manager of the cancer program. “It is my privilege to say that our oncology-certified nurses have both the knowledge and experience to deliver that care effectively with quality and compassion.”

For more information on the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, call (413) 967-2241.

Breen Offers Expertise in Patient Navigator Program

Madelyn Breen

NORTHAMPTON — With more than 30 years as a registered oncology nurse and case manager, Madelyn Breen is skilled at helping patients understand the ins and outs of hospital and community-based care. In her new role as Cooley Dickinson Hosp-ital’s first registered nurse in the patient navigator program, Breen helps patients with a suspicious or abnormal mammogram understand what’s next.

“The goals of the patient navigator program are to assist patients with navigating the increasingly complex health care system and guide them through the diagnostic process,” Breen said. “Trying to grasp the reality of the diagnosis itself can be overwhelming, and having an informed person to help sort out all the information can be invaluable.”

As a patient navigator in the Cancer Care Program, Breen serves as a resource and an advocate for patients, providing emotional support, coordinating care, and offering referrals to surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, social workers, pastoral care providers, and community resources. She also works to identify any barriers to care a patient might encounter, such as lack of transportation or child care, or low finances.

“We are committed to helping our patients schedule clinical follow-up appointments for a time that is not only convenient for them but timely in terms of further diagnostic testing or surgical procedures,” said Mary Ellen Walsh, Cancer Care Program director. “Madelyn’s interventions assist at the earliest stage of a patient’s journey by being able to connect the patient with the appropriate resource.”

Fox Joins Team at New Greenfield Surgery Practice

Dr. Stephen Fox

GREENFIELD — Baystate Medical Practices is has announced the opening of Greenfield Surgery in the medical office building at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Dr. Stephen Fox, a general surgeon who has been on staff at Baystate Franklin since 2003, is the first Greenfield-based physician in the new practice, which will soon also be operating in collaboration with surgeons from Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

“This is a way to really offer our patients the best of both worlds,” Fox said. “They can be cared for by a surgeon and hospital staff they know and trust, close to home, while having access to many of the same physicians they would see at our teaching hospital in Springfield.”

One of the first BMC-based surgeons scheduled to begin seeing patients in the Greenfield office will be Dr. Richard Arenas, chief of Surgical Oncology. “Dr. Arenas will be assisting me on complex cases here at Baystate Franklin,” Fox said, “and I will also be spending time working alongside him and other surgeons at the Comprehensive Breast Center in Springfield. As a team, we all benefit from sharing our skills and insights with one another — and the real beneficiaries are our patients.”

A 1996 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Dr. Fox also completed his residency at UConn, and did a two-year fellowship in clinical research. In addition to staffing the Greenfield Surgery practice, Fox will be serving as a part-time instructor on the faculty of Baystate Medical Center.

Garrand Named Nurse Manager at Wing Memorial Hospital

William Garrand

PALMER — Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers has announced that William Garrand has been appointed nurse manager for the hospital’s Special Care Unit (SCU) and the Medical/Surgical Unit.

Garrand has over 30 years of critical care nursing experience. During his career, he managed the Intensive Care Unit, Critical Care Unit, and Telemetry Care Units at Providence Hospital for a total of 23 years. More recently, he managed the ICU and TCU at Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield for seven years and also recently worked at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Shriners Hospital.

As nurse manager of Wing Memorial’s SCU and Medical/Surgical units, Garrand is responsible for the care of patients in both the critical care setting as well as the more medical/surgical setting. He is instrumental in fostering individual, team, and departmental growth through training, supervision, and evaluation of each staff member.

In 2005, he traveled to China with a Critical Care Delegation as a member of the Ambassador to Ambassador program sponsored by the Eisenhower Found-ation. This two-week program included professional exchanges at hospitals in Beijing, Xian, and Kunming, China.

Garrand earned his associate’s degree in Nursing from Holyoke Community College and his bachelor’s degree in Nursing from UMass Amherst.

Garrison Joins PT Staff at Performance Rehabilitation

EAST LONGMEADOW — Performance Rehabilitation has announced the addition of Russell Garrison to its physical therapy team at 80 Denslow Road.

Russell received his master’s degree in Physical Therapy from D’Youville College in Buffalo, N.Y. While in New York, Russell was the primary therapist for a multi-level care senior residence. For the past seven-plus years, his career has been focused on outpatient orthopedics, ergonomic work site assessments, and functional capacity evaluations.

To make an appointment, contact Performance Rehabilitation at (413) 526-9924.

Surdyka Named Finalist for Schwartz Center Award

Rosemary Surdyka

SPRINGFIELD — Rosemary Surdyka, a registered nurse with the Healthcare for the Homeless program at Mercy Medical Center, has been selected as a finalist for the “Com-passionate Care-giver of the Year Award” given by the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center in Boston. Surdyka was among 115 health care workers nominated for the honor.

According to the Schwartz Center, the award is given to the Massachusetts caregiver who best personifies the center’s mission to “support and advance compassionate health care … in a way that provides hope to the patient, support to caregivers, and sustenance to the healing process.”

“Rosemary is remarkable in that she is able to forge relationships with people who long ago severed most of their ties with society,” said Julie Rosen, executive director of the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center. “We heard over and over about the things she does for her patients, both big and small, that show them how much she cares about them.”

Surdyka sees her patients on the streets, in soup kitchens and shelters, and in makeshift campsites by the Connecti-cut River. She keeps a stockpile of medical supplies, clothing, dishes, and blankets for distribution in her car, using it as a “traveling survival center.” Surdyka also has a background in the mental health field, and that allows her to address her patients’ psychiatric and substance abuse issues in addition to their medical problems.

Kristie Voloshinov

Voloshinov, Suarez Join Baystate Rehabilitation Care

WARE — Baystate Rehabilitation Care at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital has announced two new additions : physical therapist Kristie Voloshinov and speech therapist Juan Suarez.

Voloshinov earned a master’s degree in Physical Therapy at Quin-nipiac University in Hamden, Conn. She has five years of experience in acute care rehabilitation at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. She serves as an ad-junct professor at American Inter-national College, and is a member of its Physical Therapy Department’s Curriculum Review Com-mittee and Professional Advisory Com-mittee. Her interests include orthopedic and manual therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, and neurorehabilitation.

Juan Suarez

Suarez received his master’s degree in Speech Pathology from Temple Universi-ty. He is now accepting appointments for evaluation and treatment of speech and swallowing disorders for both pediatrics and adults. His special interests include voice therapy for Parkinson’s patients, cognitive disorders, and dysphagia in head and neck cancer patients. He is bilingual in Spanish and English.

Baystate Rehabilitation Care provides a full range of rehabilitation services to help patients regain function and achieve recovery. Services provided through Baystate Rehabilitation Care include audiology, occupational therapy, rehabilitation medicine, speech services, and physical therapy. For more information, call (413) 967-2180.

Arthritis Treatment Center Introduces Valentin to Staff

SPRINGFIELD — The Arthritis Treatment Center in Springfield has announced the addition of a sixth physician, Dr. Antonio Valentin, to its team.

Valentin recently completed his fellowship in rheumatology at UConn at Farmington. He is a specialist in the treatment of arthritis, lupus, and other conditions that affect the bones, muscles, and joints.

Dr. Antonio Valentin

After serving in the U.S. Navy, Valentin graduated from the State University of New York at Albany. He received his medical degree at New York Medical College in Valhalla and completed his residency at the University Hospital at Stony Brook, N.Y.

Valentin joins Drs. Martin Poppo, Robert Gray, Scott Halista, C. Bruce Tallman Jr., Donald Griger, and nurse practitioner Gale Mason. The Arthritis Treatment Center, founded in 1977, is committed to providing specialized, non-surgical care for gout, osteoporosis, and many autoimmune rheumatologic conditions.

The practice also boasts a strong emphasis on patient education.

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