GREENFIELD — Annette Szpila, RN, MSN, who had been serving as the interim Emergency Department manager at Baystate Franklin Medical Center since July 2007, was recently appointed to continue in the position. A few months prior to accepting the interim responsibility at BFMC, Szpila had retired as vice president of Patient Care Services at Morton Hospital and Medical Center in Taunton.
“I began my career in emergency nursing and later worked as an ER nurse manager,” said Szpila, “so I have always been drawn to this field. Though I had planned to fully retire after I left Morton, the interim role at Baystate Franklin was too appealing to pass by, given all the excitement and challenges that go along with renovating and expanding an Emergency Department. Staying on gives me the chance to continue working with the staff as we get used to our new facility and the opportunities it presents for improved patient flow and fast-track service.”
Szpila completed her nursing diploma at Burbank Hospital School of Nursing in Fitchburg, her bachelor’s degree at Atlantic Union College in Lancaster, and her master’s degree at Regis College in Weston.
Jewish Geriatric Services Announces Appointments
LONGMEADOW — Jewish Geriatric Services has announced several recent hires and a promotion within its health care system.
Jackie Rodriguez, LPN, has joined the Ruth’s House staff as the Alzheimer’s Wellness Coordinator. Rodriquez has worked in hospital and long-term-care settings. Rodriquez is a graduate of Dean Vocational School.
Mary Simmons has been appointed database manager. Her responsibilities include gift processing and reporting, donor stewardship, grant writing, and E-philanthropy. Simmons has extensive project management and programming experience, and received her degree from Southern Connecticut State University.
Judith Stokowski has been named the development coordinator for the system’s Development Division. Stokowski will support the Annual Kinsler Classic Golf Tournament, the Donor Dinner, and other special events and projects. A graduate of Western New England College, Stokowski is pursuing a graduate degree at American International College.
Kathleen Wheeler-Benoit, MS, RN, NP, has been appointed community liaison for Spectrum Home Health and Hospice Care. Wheeler-Benoit brings more than 35 years of experience in health care to her new role. She completed her undergraduate Nursing degree at the Elms College and her master’s degree at Boston University.
Wendy Donovan, RN, has been appointed hospice nurse with Spectrum Home Health and Hospice Care. Donovan began her career as an educator and, after raising a family, received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from UMass Amherst. She has worked in hospitals, long-term care, and home care, and has also worked as a Reiki practitioner.
Lipman Joins Pioneer Valley ENT Surgeons
NORTHAMPTON — Ruthann Lipman, DO, has joined Pioneer Valley ENT Surgeons and the otolaryngology practice of Dr. Michael Stamm, located at 15 Straw Ave., Northampton, and also 329 Conway St., Greenfield.
Lipman specializes in otolaryngology, the medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, and throat conditions as well as disorders of the head and neck.
Lipman says the focus of her practice is treating both adults and children. With children, she treats ear problems, removes tonsils. and performs more advanced pediatric ENT surgical procedures. When caring for adults, she specializes in nasal and sinus surgery as well as other procedures to remove cancers of the head and neck. She treats sino-nasal disorders including endoscopic sinus surgery and internal nasal surgery. She is also interested in working with patients with thyroid and parathyroid disorders.
Lipman earned her Osteopathy degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa., and completed her internship and residency at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie. Lipman has been trained in the latest ENT procedures, including minimally invasive surgery.
Hoban Appointed Partner with Morrison Mahoney
WORCESTER — Morrison Mahoney LLP, a New England-based law firm with offices in the U.S. and Europe, has announced the appointment of Attorney Joanne Gulliford Hoban as a partner and member of the Medical Malpractice Group.
Hoban has more than 10 years of experience in the medical law field with a concentration in defense of health care professionals and institutions in civil trials, arbitration, mediation, and representation before the Board of Registration in Medicine and Nursing. She will work with Morrison Mahoney’s Boston, Worcester, and Springfield offices.
Prior to joining the firm, Hoban served as a director of Rindler Morgan, P.C. During her tenure at that firm, she specialized in medical malpractice defense and other areas of health law litigation while also supervising staff and associates.
Hoban graduated from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, and earned her bachelor’s degree at Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, N.H.
Aucoin Honored at BMC for Patient-centered Care
PITTSFIELD — The staff of Berkshire Medical Center has recognized Dr. Paula Aucoin with its ‘Most Patient-Centered Doctor’ Award for 2008. Aucoin is director of Infection Control at BMC and an internal medicine physician specializing in infectious diseases.
“Dr. Aucoin has consistently been a strong advocate for patients’ rights,” said Helen Downey, RN, COO of BMC. “She gives a great deal of her very valuable time to Berkshire Medical Center, helping us to build the best processes for high quality patient care.”
The award focuses on communicating with patients and families, involving patients in health care decisions, taking the time to talk with patients and listen to their concerns, and working collaboratively and respectfully with all other members of the care team.
Aucoin served for many years as chair of the BMC Ethics Committee, and continues to serve as a committee member, as well as serving on the Medical Executive Committee, the Department of Medicine’s Executive Committee, and the Patient Care and Quality Committee of the Berkshire Health Systems Board of Trustees.
Board-certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, she received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine, and was fellowship-trained in Infectious Diseases at UMass Medical Center.
Rheumatologist Ahmad Joins Holyoke Medical Center
HOLYOKE — Listening carefully and spending time with patients are what Dr. Munir Ahmad, who recently arrived at Holyoke Medical Center, finds most rewarding about rheumatology.
Raised in Pakistan, he received his medical degree from Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore in 1994. His father encouraged him to travel to the U.S. for further training. Ahmad completed his internal medicine residency at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. and then worked as a hospitalist for two years. During that time, Ahmad discovered his fascination with rheumatology.
Ahmad completed his rheumatology fellowship at UConn and worked at Catskill Regional Medical Center and Middletown Medical Center in upstate New York before coming to Holyoke Medical Center. He is board-certified in both internal medicine and rheumatology — the latter an exciting field in which to practice today, he said.
“Enormous strides have been made in the development of new medicines, particularly for inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathies,” he said. “The ability to help people in distress and improve the quality of their lives is my mission.”
Applewood at Amherst Fetes Founding Directors
AMHERST — The founding directors of the Pioneer Valley Living Care Center at Amherst, now known as Applewood at Amherst, are being honored with the Loomis Communities 2008 Elvira Whiting Ball Award.
Those being honored served on the Board of Directors of the Pioneer Valley Living Care Center at Amherst between 1985 and 1991. They are: Theodore Bacon Jr., Robert Gage, Robert Grose, J. Alfred Guest, Kurt Hertzfeld, Robert von der Lippe, George May, Jeanne Potash, Maida Riggs, Larry Selgelid, Charlotte Snyder Turgeon, Trudy Stella, Gale Stubbs McClung, Carl Swanson, Allen Torrey, Mary Tuttle, Emmons “Gus” Williams, and Susan Woglom.
The Elvira Whiting Ball Award is presented each year to an individual or group who has advanced the mission of the Loomis Communities and personifies the spirit of Ball, the system’s founder. Applewood at Amherst is one of three Loomis communities that also include Loomis Village in South Hadley and Loomis House in Holyoke. The mission of the Loomis Communities is to enrich the lives of seniors by providing a continuum of high-quality services that promote independence and meet the changing needs of people throughout the aging process.
The public is invited to attend the Loomis Communities annual spring reception, at which the founding directors will be honored. The event is slated for May 15, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Loomis Village in South Hadley. Tickets cost $25. For more information, call Sandy Ogiba at (413) 532-5325.