Career Pulse

SPHS Taps Ames as VP of Behavioral Health

HOLYOKE — Laura Ames has joined the Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS) as vice president for Behavioral Health at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital. In this role, Ames serves as the key administrator at Providence and leads various behavioral-health initiatives, including acute residential treatment (ART) and Brightside for Families and Children. A member of the SPHS senior leadership team, she is responsible for all functions, processes, and activities relating to operational and financial effectiveness of the behavioral-health service line.

Most recently, Ames served as regional vice president of Operations for Wingate Health System, and as chief operating officer for Spectrum Health Systems. Ames has extensive experience in behavioral health, long-term care, and substance-abuse services. She also serves as an administrative surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

Ames received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Fitchburg State College. She earned master’s degrees in Nursing Administration and Patient Education, and Business Administration at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass., where she is also working toward her master’s in Criminal Justice.

“A respected clinician, Laura understands the important role of quality in the delivery of patient care. This ability, coupled with her leadership skills and knowledge of behavioral health and substance-abuse services, make Laura a great asset to our team at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital and the entire health system,” said Daniel Moen, president and CEO of SPHS.

Added Ames, “Providence Behavioral Health Hospital provides essential services to the community through the delivery of patient-centered behavioral health care. I am honored to join the team of dedicated professionals at Providence who work so hard to improve the lives of those they serve.”

Bach Joins Staff at Deerfield Adult Medicine

GREENFIELD — Dr. Neil Bach has joined the medical staff of Baystate Medical Practices – Deerfield Adult Medicine. He is also now a member of the Baystate Franklin Medical Center medical staff.

A graduate of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, Bach completed his residency in internal medicine and primary care at Faulkner Hospital in Boston. “I arrived in Boston in 1980, planning to stay for a year,” he recalled. “It has turned out to be a very long year.”

In the late 1980s, Bach served in the U.S. Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. “Though I was trained as a flight surgeon, I practiced emergency medicine,” he said. “Serving in the Air Force was a wonderful and rewarding experience for me.”

Bach practiced internal medicine in the eastern part of the state before moving to Western Mass. in 2000, when he joined Worthington Community Health Center. He was also a hospitalist at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

He is delighted to be part of Baystate Health. “I love the integrated system, where we, and our patients, have local access to all specialties.  Baystate represents where health care is ultimately going; it is indeed a hospital system of the future,” he said.

Bach is accepting new patients at Baystate Medical Practices – Deerfield Adult Medicine, 424 State Road, Whately. For an appointment or more information, call (413) 665-8517.

Bradway Honored with Patient-centered Award

PITTSFIELD — Dr. Marcella Bradway, a colorectal surgeon at Berkshire Medical Center, has been recognized with the 2012 Patient-Centered Physician Award. The award is presented annually to a physician who exemplifies thephilosophy of patient-centered care at BMC.

“Dr. Bradway has earned the admiration and deep respect of all who work with her and is very deserving of this honor,” said Diane Kelly, BMC’s chief operating officer. “She always makes time to interact with her patients, her physician colleagues, and the staff, making the care and welfare of her patients the top priority.”

“It is a pleasure to have her as a colleague,” wrote one BMC staff member in nominating Bradway award. “I have approached her on numerous occasions with questions, and she is always willing to talk with me. She makes rounds daily on all patients and takes the time necessary to discuss any questions or concerns, and involves the patient in planning the care. I have observed her at the bedside, and her manner is top-notch. She is very gentle in tone with her patients.”

The staff of Berkshire Medical Center submitted nominations for the award, which 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 so that everyone can do their best in addressing patient-care issues. These behaviors exemplify a growing philosophical belief that all care activities must be centered around the patients’ needs, rather than hospital or individual routines and schedules.

The Patient-Centered Physician Award is presented each year in conjunction with National Doctors Day. Previous recipients of the award are Drs. Robert Wespiser, Richard Perera, Todd Lasner, Ronald Hayden, Paula Aucoin, Andrew Beckwith, Wade Gebara, and Rocco Iannucci.

Chlebus Honored for Alzheimer’s Work

EAST LONGMEADOW — Dee Chlebus is one of five individuals from Western Mass. recently honored for their exceptional work in Alzheimer’s care, advocacy, and research. The awards were presented at the Holyoke Soldier’s Home Alzheimer’s Benefit on March 24.

Chlebus, who has worked at East Village Place since 2006, was present to receive the Creative Care Award, presented to “an individual in Western Mass. who is known for their unique ability to create activities for individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s by engaging their mind and memory.”

As activities director at East Village Place, Chlebus has come up with some very engaging classes designed to stimulate the mind and spirit. In addition to traditional classes like crossword puzzles, trivia, and sentimental reflections, classes such as Travel Club, Chef’s Club, Famous People, Remember When, and Check It Out with Dee offer residents a wide variety of opportunities to engage their minds. Chlebus has even directed two resident plays at the community, which offers both assisted living and two levels of memory care.

“I always said I want to do something that makes a difference in someone’s life, even if I touch one person,” Chlebus said. “I love what I do and do what I love. I don’t call this going to work. When I’m here, I am with my family. Everyone here at East Village plays a very big part in my life, whether it be the residents, staff, or management. Everyone deserves this award, too.”

In addition to recognizing outstanding caregivers, the March 24 event commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke and raised funds to increase awareness, support, treatment, and research of Alzheimer’s disease. Honors were also given to the Alzheimer’s Assoc. and to veterans at the Soldiers Home diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Doshier Begins Term as President of NARH Staff

NORTH ADAMS — Dr. Jeffrey Doshier, medical director of Psychiatric Services at North Adams Regional Hospital, recently began a two-year term as president of the NARH medical staff. As president, he serves as chief administrative officer of the medical staff, chairs the medical staff executive committee, and calls and presides at all meetings of the medical staff.

Doshier earned his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital, affiliated with Harvard Medical School. He joined the NARH medical staff in 2007 as medical director of Greylock Pavilion, NARH’s inpatient psychiatric service.

“I am pleased to serve as the president of the NARH medical staff,” said Doshier. “My colleagues, the physicians who practice in this area, are very talented physicians who have chosen the Berkshires to do their life’s work.” He noted that an overwhelming majority of the NARH medical staff members are board-certified in their respective fields. “Board certification means our physicians meet the highest standards of their specialties, ensuring the highest quality of care is provided in Northern Berkshire County.”

NARH has more than 80 physicians on its active medical staff, representing more than two dozen medical specialties.

HMC Promotes Neill to Vice President

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center CEO and President Hank Porten has announced the appointment of Kevin Neill to the position of vice president of Physician Services for Holyoke Medical Center and Western Mass. Physician Associates (WMPA).

Neill has been employed at HMC since January 2002, most recently as director of Physician Group Practices for the hospital and WMPA. In his new role, Neill will continue to provide leadership and strategic direction to the primary-care and specialty-care affiliated physician practices.

Neill received his bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Business at UMass Amherst. He is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Assoc., the Medical Group Management Assoc., and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Smith Honored as 2012 Top Community Clinician

FLORENCE — Florence physician Dr. Deborah Smith has been honored by her peers in the Hampshire District Medical Society as the 2012 Community Clinician of the Year. This award was established in 1998 by the Mass. Medical Society to recognize a physician from each of the society’s 20 district medical societies who has made significant contributions to his or her patients and to the community, and who stands out as a leading advocate and caregiver. Smith received the award on April 5 at the annual meeting of the district medical society.

Since 1983, Smith has been in the private practice of oncology with Northampton Internal Medical Associates in Florence, a group practice of four physicians. She is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, and is a member of Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s medical staff.

In nominating her for the award, her colleagues said Smith “works tirelessly and with uncommon dedication to care for her oncology patients, spending enormous amounts of time with patients themselves and with their families. She is also a key leader of the medical staff at Cooley Dickinson Hospital who has worked with grace and skill to protect the interests of the medical community and our patients.”

Smith is a magna cum laude graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in literature. She earned her medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, where she was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society. A member of the Mass. Medical Society since 1993, she is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and serves as a member-at-large of the medical staff executive committee at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

Gastroenterologist Thomas Joins Baystate Mary Lane

WARE — Baystate Mary Lane Hospital has welcomed Dr. T.K. Thomas to its medical staff.  As a fellowship-trained gastroenterologist, he specializes in the diagnoses, treatment, and management of digestive-system disorders in men and women.

“We are pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas is joining us, providing care through Baystate Medical Practices – Quaboag Gastroenterology,” said Dr. Shafeeq Ahmed, chief operating oficer and chief medical officer at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital.

Thomas earned his medical degree at Medical College of Kottayam, Kerala, India, and completed his residency in internal medicine at New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston. He is a fellow in the American College of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and a fellow in the International College of Physicians. He is board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology.

With more than 30 years clinical experience in gastroenterology, Thomas is well-known throughout the region. He has worked as a consultant in gastroenterology at four area hospitals. He is skilled in advanced diagnostic procedures and treatment options for patients with problems in the esophagus, stomach, large and small intestines, rectum, gall bladder, liver, or pancreas.

Thomas is accepting new patients at his office, located at 25 Marjorie St. in Ware. For more information or to make an appointment, call (413) 967-2800.

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