Career Pulse

Providence Taps Dittrich as Director of Nursing

HOLYOKE — Jeré Dittrich has been named director of Nursing at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital. He is responsible for overseeing the nursing staff at Providence, developing and implementing high-quality patient-care services, and various administrative duties regarding policies, procedures, and programs.

Dittrich has 27 years of experience in the behavioral-health field, most recently serving as director of Inpatient Psychiatric Services at Wing Memorial Hospital in Palmer, where he oversaw the expansion of psychiatric services. He also served as unit director at the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital, where he was responsible for three adult inpatient units and provided direct supervision and oversight to unit managers, physicians, treatment managers, rehabilitation staff, registered nurses, and psychiatric technicians.

A graduate of the State University of New York College at Oswego, Dittrich received his diploma in Nursing from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Hartford and his master’s in Psychiatric Nursing from Yale University School of Nursing in New Haven, Conn.

“As a proven leader who understands the importance of patient-centered care in a behavioral-health setting, Jeré will be a valuable member of the team at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital,” said Sharon Adams, senior vice president of Patient Care Services for the Sisters of Providence Health System.

Lellman Joins Team at Baystate Mary Lane

WARE — Dr. Joseph Lellman, an orthopedic surgeon, has joined Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, and will see patients at two Baystate locations in Ware and Belchertown.

“Dr. Lellman has a rich past with Baystate Mary Lane Hospital and the communities we serve, having been a member of our medical staff in the 1990s. We are excited to welcome him back,” said Joan Sullivan, president of BMLH and the Baystate Health Eastern Region.

Lellman earned a medical degree from Albany Medical College in New York, specializing in Orthopedics and Orthopedic Surgery. He completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the UMass Medical Center in Worcester and is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Lellman’s lifelong involvement in sports drew him to orthopedics and orthopedic surgery. From simple fracture care to the latest in orthopedic surgical procedures, he tells of a passion in orthopedic medicine and how much joy he finds in restoring function and returning his patients to their normal daily activities. “Success for me is a satisfied patient, one who is happy with the care I have provided as well as their outcome,” he said.

Lellman, an avid cyclist who has been involved in competitive road and cyclocross racing since 1993, is also associate physician for the U.S. ski jumping team, the team physician for the Northampton High School football squad, and on the board of directors of the Northampton Cycling Club. In addition to cycling, he enjoys snowboarding and cross-country skiing, and plays baseball for the Quabbin Valley Over Thirty Baseball League.

Lellman will be seeing patients in two locations of Baystate Medical Practice Mary Lane Orthopedics: at BMLH or at 95 Sargent St. in Belchertown. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (413) 967-2577.

HMC Promotes Perry in Behavioral Health

HOLYOKE — Melissa Perry has been promoted to the new position of director of Behavioral Health Nursing at Holyoke Medical Center.

Perry, who had previously been Behavioral Health nurse manager, has been with the hospital since 1993 and has proven herself to be an excellent leader on M5, as well as a behavioral health resource for the entire hospital, said Matthew Haas, director of Behavioral Health Services.

Perry is a graduate of Holyoke Community College, where she received her associate’s degree in Nursing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Westfield State College and bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice degree from Westfield State College. She is certified in psychiatric and mental-health nursing.

A native of Northampton, Perry lived for several years in Hilton Head, S.C., and also worked as an oncology nurse in Savannah, Ga., before returning to this area.

Prior to becoming a nurse, she had worked for the Center for Human Development in its residential and outreach program, servicing chronically mentally ill adults in Holyoke. She has also been a trainer for the state Department of Mental Health, educating and training staff on the administration of medications.

Zwirko among Officers Elected by NERHCC

HOLYOKE — The New England Regional Health Care Cooperative (NERHCC) recently elected its officers for 2010-11 during its annual meeting.

Michael Zwirko, vice president of Holyoke Medical Center, was re-elected to the office of president. In addition, Michael Rogers, chief financial officer of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, was elected treasurer; William McFarland, senior director of Materials Management for Cambridge Health Alliance, was elected secretary, John Blaha of Brattleboro Retreat was elected a board member, and Richard Buzzee remains the executive director.

The annual meeting was attended by NERHCC members as well as the contracted vendors with NERHCC. The meeting consisted of educational sessions on “The Green Movement,” “Representatives and Company Expectations,” “Challenges of Consolidating Contracts,” “Lean Techniques,” and “Pharmaceuticals – Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond.”

NERHCC presents an annual award, the Most Valued Partner (MVP), to one of its vendors. The 2010 MVP was presented by Zwirko to Medline Industries Inc. Buzzee stated that this coveted award has always been a highlight of the annual meeting, and Medline Industries was deserving for its work involving many contracts with NERHCC.

NERHCC continues to be an influential purchasing cooperative successfully reducing supply-chain costs and returning patronage dividends directly back to its members. For more information on joining NERHCC, contact Buzzee at (413) 534-2824

Hammond Leaves SPHS, Robert Appointed to Post

SPRINGFIELD — The Sisters of Providence Health System announced that Michael Hammond, senior vice president and chief financial officer, will depart the organization. He has been appointed chief financial officer at Lourdes Health System in Camden, N.J. and will begin his new role on June 14.

Thomas Robert has been appointed the senior vice president and chief financial officer of SPHS effective June 11. Robert previously served as director of Financial and Treasury Services and has worked in the SPHS Finance Department since 1992.

Prior to joining SPHS, Robert served as senior auditor with Coopers and Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), where he led audit teams working with health care and not-for-profit clients. A member of the Healthcare Financial Management Assoc., he holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Western New England College. He is also a member of the Finance Committee for the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School in South Hadley.

“Tom has been a member of the SPHS management team for 18 years and has led several essential financial functions for the system,” said Vincent McCorkle, president and CEO of SPHS. “He has been a catalyst for many important financial initiatives that have significantly contributed to operating improvements and the fiscal health of SPHS. We are confident that Tom’s experience and talent will ensure a seamless transition that will provide continuity in financial leadership excellence.”

As for Hammond, McCorkle called him “instrumental in leading several important initiatives at SPHS. He has demonstrated the highest level of stewardship in helping SPHS bring about improvements in both revenue development and resource allocation that have provided a stronger financial foundation for our healing ministry. We wish Michael the best as he pursues this career-advancement opportunity and know that our fellow Catholic Health East colleagues will enjoy working with him, and will benefit greatly from his healthcare financial expertise.”

Whitaker Certified as Breast Patient Navigator

GREENFIELD — Kimberly Whitaker, a registered nurse at Baystate Medical Practices – Greenfield Surgery, has earned certification as a breast patient navigator, following a two-part certification training.

With a grant from Baystate Health’s Rays of Hope – A Walk Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer, Whitaker was able to attend a week-long conference in Las Vegas, Nev., during which she received the training for her certification. Breast patient navigator certification is twofold, including training and testing in knowledge of imaging (X-rays, mammography, CT scans, etc.) and training in the treatment of breast cancer.

A breast patient navigator assists breast-cancer patients with the continuum of their care, from the day of an abnormal mammography reading through cancer treatment and follow-up. The navigator is the go-to person for the patient to answer questions about the course of diagnosis and treatment, and to identify and work through possible barriers of care (such as insurance, transportation, or language). The navigator helps the patient identify whom to contact and how to obtain services and support through the various stages of care. She also identifies resources available to patients and empowers patients to become informed participants in their breast health and cancer care.

A graduate of Keene State College with a degree in Journalism and Public Affairs, Whitaker later earned her Nursing degree at Greenfield Community College. Before joining Baystate Health, she worked in various other settings, including school nursing, Cheshire Medical Center in Keene, N.H., Farren Care Center in Turners Falls, and Associated Surgeons of Greenfield.

D’Allesandro Honored as Top Community Clinician

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield physician Dr. Michael D’Alessandro has been honored by his peers of the Hampden District Medical Society as the organization’s 2010 Community Clinician of the Year. The award was established in 1998 by the Mass. Medical Society to recognize a physician from each of its 20 district medical societies who has made significant contributions to patients and the community and who stands out as a leading advocate and caregiver.

Board-certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, D’Alessandro is a primary-care specialist practicing with Valley Medical Associates in Springfield. A 1992 graduate of the UMass Medical School, he received his post-graduate training at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Prior to attending medical school, he was a registered nurse for about eight years.

In addition to his medical practice, D’Allesandro has worked for several years on a regular basis with Mercy Medical Center’s Health Care for the Homeless Program. The program’s health care team has 18 members and provides primary-care services on-site at 46 shelters, soup kitchens, job-placement sites, and transitional programs in Hampden, Franklin, and Hampshire counties. His volunteer work also extends to Central and South America, where he annually works with pediatric patients.

D’Alessandro accepted his award at the Hampden District Medical Society’s annual meeting in Springfield last month, and was recognized at the Mass. Medical Society’s annual meeting in Boston, also in May.

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