Career Pulse

Wadzinski Joins Fairview Pediatrics
CHICOPEE — Dr. Thomas Wadzinski has joined Dr. James Bell, Dr. Amy Pelletier, Dr. Hanna Awkal, and nurse practitioner Mary Andaloro on the provider staff at Fairview Pediatrics. Board-certified in general pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology, Wadzinski will be able to provide both primary-care and pediatric-endocrinology services to his patients.
“We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Wadzinski is joining us,” said Bell, owner and medical director at Fairview Pediatrics, “as it allows us to not only improve our primary-care availability to our patients, but to expand our services to any child in the area in need of an endocrinologist. This is the beginning of an exciting new direction for our practice, as this is the first time that we have offered specialist services.”
Wadzinski earned both his medical degree and his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from UMass Medical School in Worcester, and completed his pediatric residency at Baystate Medical Center. He recently completed a pediatric-endocrinology fellowship at Baystate Medical Center, including service as an adjunct research assistant professor at UMass Amherst. His fellowship involved research in endocrine disruptors, community-outreach activities with local school nurses, and a quality-improvement project aimed at improving follow-up care for high-risk diabetics.
A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, and an associate member of the Pediatric Endocrine Society, Wadzinski has also authored several articles and abstracts in the fields of endocrinology and cell biology. He is skilled in diagnostic procedures and treatments available for children with endocrine disorders, including short stature, early pubertal development, thyroid hormone abnormalities, and adrenal insufficiency. He will not be seeing patients who have diabetes mellitus at this time.
He is accepting new patients as both a pediatric primary-care physician and as a pediatric-endocrinology specialist at Fairview Pediatrics, located at 1176 Memorial Dr. in Chicopee. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (413) 593-1333.
Bullock Welcomed to BFMC Medical Staff
GREENFIELD — Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Bullock has joined Baystate Medical Practices – Valley Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, joining orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian Hoffman in the practice.  He will also complement Dr. Darius Greenbacher’s primary-care sports-medicine practice by offering orthopedic sports-medicine expertise.
A graduate of Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Bullock completed his medical education at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. He did his orthopedic-surgery residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital/Yale University School of Medicine. In July, he completed his orthopedic sports medicine fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and is board-eligible for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
While at Harvard, Bullock spent a summer as a volunteer research assistant in his native Jamaica at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. During his medical-school years at the University of Chicago, he was also a teaching assistant, teaching anatomy to first-year medical students. In his fellowship, he provided care for both professional and college athletes. He was assigned to the Pittsburgh Steelers and also covered the Pittsburgh Passion (women’s professional football team) and assisted in providing care for pro hockey players from the Pittsburgh Penguins. His college-athlete coverage included the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Duquesne University.
 “My passion is sports medicine,” Bullock said. “People have a misconception that only elite athletes should go to sports-medicine specialists; in fact, recreational athletes need our expertise, too.” He believes that there is a great need for sports-medicine specialists in Western Mass., where there are numerous school, amateur, and college athletes. “I hope to work with local schools to show them how we can support their sports programs to help keep their athletes healthy.”
Bullock is looking forward to seeing the development of Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s new surgery center. “Dr. Hoffman and I have been integrally involved in shaping the new operating rooms,” he said.  “On a shorter term, we are already looking at new, state-of-the-art equipment we feel is necessary to enhance our orthopedic sports-medicine program.”
Bullock sees patients in BFMC’s Medical Office Building, 48 Sanderson St., Greenfield, and in the Baystate Outpatient Center, 325B  North King St., Northampton. For more information or an appointment, call (413) 773-2220.
Collins to Lead VA Central Western Mass. Healthcare System
LEEDS — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced the appointment of John Collins as the new director of VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System in Leeds.
Collins will oversee a comprehensive healthcare system classified as a Complexity Level 3 facility that provides care to approximately 25,000 veterans throughout Central and Western Mass., with an operating budget of more than $140 million.
“We are pleased to appoint Mr. Collins as the new director of VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System,” said Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) director. “His sound leadership qualities and proven experience will be valuable assets for the facility, the employees and volunteers, and for the veterans we are honored to serve.”
Collins has more than 30 years of healthcare experience in the U.S. Army, holding progressive leadership positions including chief operating officer, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany; commander, Winn Army Community Hospital, Fort Stewart, Ga.; brigade commander, 62nd Medical Brigade, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and, most recently, commander, Europe Regional Medical Command, Sembach, Germany.
Collins was awarded a master’s degree in health care administration from Baylor University, a master’s degree in education from the University of Oklahoma, and a master’s degree in national resource management from National Defense University, where he was the distinguished graduate. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and a member of the ACHE Army Regents Advisory Council.
Dudley Joins Staff at Berkshire Medical Center
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems announced the appointment of rheumatologist Dr. Lauren Dudley to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Rheumatology Professional Services of BMC.
Dudley is board-certified in internal medicine and received her medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, and was fellowship-trained in rheumatology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, where she also completed a residency in preventive medicine.
Dudley is accepting new patients in need of rheumatology care. Her office is located in the BMC Medical Arts Complex, 777 North St., Pittsfield. For an appointment, ask a physician for a referral or call Rheumatology Professional Services of BMC at (413) 499-8551.
Loomis Lakeside Names Johnsen Administrator
SPRINGFIELD — Loomis Communities announced the appointment of Craig Johnsen as administrator at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing.
In this role, Johnsen is responsible for administering and overseeing the day-to-day operation of the retirement community in Springfield, as well as serving as a member of the Loomis Communities Senior Leadership Team. Johnsen is a licensed nursing-home administrator with more than 30 years working with older adults. “I found the work I love to do at an early age,” he said.
Prior to joining Loomis Communities, he served as executive director of Eastview at Middlebury in Middlebury, Vt. He holds a bachelor’s degree in long-term-care administration and has completed a graduate fellowship in strategic and financial planning with Leading Age and Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management at Harvard University.
Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing offers independent-living cottages and apartments, assisted living, skilled nursing care, medical offices, and primary-care physician services, all under one roof. Loomis Communities the longest-serving provider of senior living in the Pioneer Valley, providing continuing care, specialized care, and health-wellness resources on four campuses: Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing, Applewood in Amherst, Loomis House in Holyoke, and Loomis Village in South Hadley.
Mass. Dental Society Recognizes Cleary
EASTHAMPTON — Dr. Thomas Cleary Sr. was recently recognized as a William McKenna Volunteer Hero by the Mass. Dental Society (MDS), a statewide organization serving nearly 5,000 member dentists. He was acknowledged by his peers for substantial contributions to organized dentistry at both the state and local district levels.
Cleary is currently a member of the MDS Council on Dental Care and Benefits, and has served as a volunteer coordinator for the Yankee Dental Congress, New England’s largest dental meeting. Within the Valley District Dental Society, he has been chair of Dental Connections, an educational program for dental auxiliaries; co-chair of the education committee; and a member of the executive committee. He is also past president of the Hampshire Dental Society.
Cleary is a graduate of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM). In addition to maintaining a dental practice in Easthampton, he is an assistant professor of operative and prosthetic dentistry at TUSDM. Several years ago, he was a member of a group of TUSDM faculty who went on a fact-finding trip to Cuba, and this summer he took part in a service mission to the Dominican Republic organized by students. He established his general dentistry practice in Easthampton in 1974. His son, Dr. Thomas M. Cleary Jr., joined him in 2008.
The Volunteer Hero award is given in memory of the late Dr. William McKenna, who was a driving force behind the development of the Yankee Dental Congress and considered by many to have been a model of volunteerism within the MDS.
Mayo Named March of Dimes Nurse of the Year
HOLYOKE — The March of Dimes Massachusetts Chapter and Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) have announced that Megan Mayo has been named the 2014 Nurse of the Year by the March of Dimes in the category of Labor and Delivery. This is the second consecutive year a Holyoke Medical Center nurse has received this elite distinction. The award was presented during a ceremony in Boston on Sept. 4.
“I was so surprised to win. There were nurses from all over the state,” said Mayo. “I am proud to serve the women and families of my community and honored to be given this award. I have spent my entire nursing career at HMC and can’t imagine being anywhere else.”
Mayo was honored at a reception at Holyoke Medical Center on Thursday, Sept. 25 in the hospital’s main lobby. The awards program is a statewide event that recognizes exceptional nurses, creates awareness of professional excellence, and promotes the future of the nursing profession, while helping to advance the mission of the March of Dimes.
The Nurse of the Year selection committee reviewed applications in the categories of Advanced Practice, Community Health, Public Health, Education, Neonatal, Nurse Researcher, Administration, Pediatric, Family Medicine, Women’s Health, Student Nurse, Maternal/Newborn, Labor and Delivery, and Anti-partum. More than 75 finalists emerged, and 17 were chosen to receive top honors.
Plastic Surgeon Perakis Joins CDH Medical Staff
NORTHAMPTON — Dr. Helen Perakis has joined Cooley Dickinson Medical Group Plastic Surgery, formerly Northampton Plastic Surgery, and the Cooley Dickinson Hospital medical staff.
Perakis earned her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine. She completed two residency programs, one in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery from Georgia Regents University, and the other in plastic and reconstructive surgery from the University of Minnesota.
“I chose to pursue plastic and reconstructive surgery because I am interested in reconstructive surgeries, as they allow me to restore function and aesthetic form,” said Perakis, who earned board certification from the American Board of Otolaryngology. “One of my surgical interests is providing reconstruction surgery to breast-cancer patients following lumpectomies or mastectomies. As a woman, and as a family member of a breast-cancer survivor, providing care to women living with breast cancer is very near and dear to me.”
Perakis’ medical interests include fat grafting, breast reconstruction, body contouring, obstructive-sleep-apnea surgery, and hand trauma. She joins Dr. Simone Topal, a board-certified plastic surgeon, who opened Northampton Plastic Surgery in 2007. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (413) 584-0044, or visit northamptonplasticsurgery.com.
Simpson Honored as Healthcare Champion
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Brattleboro Retreat President and CEO Dr. Robert Simpson Jr. has been named by Behavioral Healthcare magazine as a 2014 Behavioral Healthcare Champion, along with four other leaders in the field of mental health from across the nation.
The 2014 champions were selected from outstanding nominees across the country who, according to the magazine, are making a difference in the development, delivery, and effectiveness of mental-healthcare services.
“True leaders create lasting impact, and our 2014 Behavioral Healthcare Champions all have an eye on the future,” said Julie Miller, editor in chief of Behavioral Healthcare. “Their drive to find new and more effective ways to serve their clients is reflected not just in their own organizations’ success, but also in the progress they’ve witnessed in their communities.”
The 2014 Behavioral Healthcare Champions are profiled in the July/August 2014 issue of Behavioral Healthcare magazine, and were recognized at a special ceremony during the National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD) and the co-located Behavioral Healthcare Leadership Summit, held in St. Louis on Aug. 22-26.
Simpson’s many achievements since becoming the Retreat’s CEO in November 2006 are discussed in-depth in the above-mentioned profile. Among those achievements are a complete revamp of the hospital’s admissions process that replaced a multi-channel system of patient access with a streamlined, single-access point that makes access to the Retreat’s numerous programs easier and more dignified for patients.
Under Simpson’s watch, the Retreat has successfully launched four specialty clinical services designed to better meet the psychiatric and addiction treatment needs of distinct populations that are typically underserved. They are the Adult Inpatient Program for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; the Emerging Adult Inpatient Program for young adults ages 18-26; the Uniformed Service Program, a partial-hospital program designed to meet the unique needs of law enforcement, firefighters, corrections officers, military personnel, and first responders suffering from PTSD and other duty-related issues, including addiction to alcohol and other drugs, major depression, and domestic violence; and the Mind Body Pain Management Clinic, a treatment alternative for people experiencing chronic pain that utilizes biofeedback, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness, and mindful movement in place of typical treatments such as medication and surgery.
During Simpson’s tenure, the Brattleboro Retreat has experienced significant growth, increasing its number of staffed beds from an average of 50 in 2006 to an average of 122 in 2014. During the same time, the Brattleboro Retreat has doubled its number of employees from approximately 400 to more than 800.
Cooley Dickinson MedicalGroup Diabetes Center
Welcomes Pluta to Team
NORTHAMPTON — After working as a primary-care provider since 2002, most recently with Amherst Family Practice, Dr. Kinga Pluta is narrowing her focus to take care of adults and children living with diabetes, joining the Cooley Dickinson Medical Group Diabetes Center, formerly the Center for Excellence in Diabetes Education.
“Many of us have a personal connection to diabetes either by living with diabetes or helping our family members or friends who are living with diabetes,” said Pluta, who received her medical degree from Albany Medical College and completed a combined residency at the University of Connecticut.
Pluta earned board certification in both pediatrics and internal medicine. She maintains certification with the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators as a certified diabetes educator, and is also certified by the American Assoc. of Diabetes Educators as a provider who is board-certified in advanced diabetes management.
In her new role as medical director of the Diabetes Center, Pluta said her goal is to educate and support patients of all ages to live well with diabetes, especially young people and their families. “The transition to greater independence and autonomy can be an exciting, yet challenging, time in the life of a young person living with diabetes.”
Pluta is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of the American College of Physicians, and on the medical staff of Cooley Dickinson Hospital. For more information or to make an appointment, call (413) 586-1601.
Rossano Joins Wingate Healthcare
NEEDHAM — Wingate Healthcare, a leading provider of healthcare and hospitality for seniors, announced the strengthening of its Western Mass. region with the addition of Bryan Rossano, the company’s new regional director of operations. He brings more than 20 years of experience to Wingate Healthcare’s skilled-nursing facilities.
“We are seeing significant growth at the six facilities in our western region,” said Scott Schuster, founder and president of Wingate Healthcare. “Adding such a seasoned professional to our team will allow us to continue providing the high level of healthcare and hospitality that Wingate is known for.”
Rossano joins Wingate after nearly 20 years as an administrator and regional director for skilled-nursing and rehabilitation facilities. As a licensed administrator, he most recently served as executive director for Kindred at Laurel Lake in Lee, and administrator for Healthbridge Management’s Redstone Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in East Longmeadow. He worked as an administrator for Genesis Healthcare for 15 years in several of its Western Mass. communities. He has a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Springfield College.
Facial Cosmetic & Maxillofacial Surgery
Welcomes Mellus
EAST LONGMEADOW — Facial Cosmetic & Maxillofacial Surgery, P.C. announced the addition of its newest associate, Dr. Davin Mellus.
Mellus received his doctoral degree in dental medicine from Boston University, Goldman School of Dental Medicine. He completed a general-practice residency at the University of Vermont, Fletcher Allen Healthcare, and his oral and maxillofacial surgery residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash.
He served in the U.S. Army for 10 years. He held the position of chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Dental and Trauma Research Detachment at Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill., and at the Institute of Surgical Research/U.S. Army Burn Center at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. While stationed at Joint Base San Antonio, he held the position of professor in the combined Army and Air Force oral and maxillofacial surgery training program.
Mellus is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, a fellow of the American Assoc. of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and a fellow of the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He intends to serve on the facial trauma team at Baystate Medical Center. His clinical interests include complex craniofacial trauma, pediatric oral and maxillofacial cases, orthognathic surgery, and dental-implant reconstruction.
Mellus is accepting new patients at 382 North Main St., Suite 202, East Longmeadow. For more information or to make an appointment, call (413) 525-0100.