Career Pulse

Carlis Takes Reins of
CDH Cancer Center
NORTHAMPTON — Avital Levy Carlis has joined Cooley Dickinson Hospital as administrative director of the Massachusetts General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and service-line development.
Carlis earned a master’s in public health, with a concentration in health policy and management, from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds bachelor’s degrees in both biology and international history from the University of Rochester. Most recently, she served as director of Finance for the Mass General Cancer Center and was the administrative director for the division of Hematology and Oncology at Mass General.
Cooley Dickinson and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center have collaborated in providing cancer care since 2009. In 2015, the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital will open. According to CDH administrators, cancer is complex, and it takes a coordinated relationship between community hospitals and academic medical centers to create a new cancer-care paradigm where the right approach to care and treatment is delivered to the right patient at the right time and in the right place.
That philosophy will be reflected in the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Through this collaboration, Western Mass. residents will experience a combination of the Mass General Cancer Center and Cooley Dickinson ways of working: a blend of powerful, sub-specialized care — focused around the needs of people living with cancer and their families — and a neighbor’s understanding of the community’s needs.
GallantBernstein Joins
Greenfield Family Medicine
GREENFIELD — Pediatrician Dr. Ariel GallantBernstein has joined the staff of Baystate Medical Practices – Greenfield Family Medicine.
GallantBernstein is a graduate of Wellesley College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music. However, pivotal experiences during a college-related trip to West Africa changed her career path from music to medicine.
“During that trip, the traditional midwives in rural areas of Ghana showed me how important the health of women and children truly is in helping create positive change in the world,” she said.” When she returned to the U.S., she focused on acquiring the skills needed to “join that crusade.” She added, “I always have enjoyed working with children; their innocence and resilience is inspiring. I couldn’t imagine serving a more worthy group.”
 Following her newfound mission, GallantBernstein continued her education at the University of Vermont’s post-baccalaureate premedical program, then earned her doctor of medicine degree in 2011 from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at Baystate Children’s Hospital in July 2014.
 GallantBernstein practices a policy of “inclusion and completeness” in her patient care. “I do my best to actively listen and be present to the needs of my patients and families, and I use any tool I can to help address their concerns,” she said. “Wellness is achieved by establishing a sincere and honest relationship that allows the real issues to be addressed and opens the door for creative solutions in which everyone — including my patients, their families, and me — is included.”
 Outside of GallantBernstein’s work environment, music remains an important part of her life; she hopes to eventually become active in the local music community. She also enjoys studying West African dance. “Most of my time now is spent raising my two small children and enjoying watching them explore the world.”
GallantBernstein is currently accepting new patients at her office at Baystate Medical Practices – Greenfield Family Medicine, 48 Sanderson St., Greenfield. For more information or to make an appointment, call (413) 773-2022.
CDH’s Michaelson Earns Fellowship Credential
NORTHAMPTON — Dr. Holly Michaelson of Cooley Dickinson Medical Group General Surgical Care was among 1,640 initiates from around the world who recently became fellows of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).
Michaelson received a medical doctorate from Temple University Medical School and completed a general surgical residency at Drexel University College of Medicine. She earned board certification from the American Board of Surgery in 2005, and is the director of minimally invasive and robotic surgery at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Michaelson has a strong professional interest in advanced minimally invasive procedures, particularly surgeries of the colon and gastrointestinal tract as well as breast surgery. She holds membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
The American College of Surgeons honored new initiates during its convocation ceremony at the college’s 2014 annual Clinical Congress in San Francisco. By meeting the college’s stringent membership requirements, fellows of the college earn the right to use the designation FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after their names.
An applicant for fellowship must be a graduate of an approved medical school; must have completed advanced training in one of the 14 surgical specialties recognized by the college; must possess certification by an American surgical specialty board or its Canadian equivalent; and must have been in practice for at least one year at the time of his or her application. Before admission into fellowship, the surgeon must further demonstrate ethical fitness and professional proficiency, and his or her acceptance as a fellow of the college must be approved by three-fourths of its board of regents.
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient.
Hand Surgeon Pianta
Joins Cooley Dickinson
WEST HATFIELD — Dr. Teresa Pianta has joined Cooley Dickinson Orthopedics & Sports Medicine and the Cooley Dickinson Hospital medical staff.
Pianta, who is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, joins a team of physicians, surgeons, and therapists who treat musculoskeletal problems, including management of spine disorders, joint replacement, trauma, sports medicine, hand and arthritis care, and pain management.
Pianta earned her doctorate of medicine from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. She completed heer orthopedic-surgery residency at the University of Connecticut and her hand-surgery fellowship at the Philadelphia Hand Center at Thomas Jefferson University.
Pianta’s medical interests include orthopedic surgery with specific training and interest in hand surgery, including the operative and non-operative management of hand and upper-extremity conditions in children and adults, including trauma, fractures, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and tendonitis.
“No one seeks the care of a surgeon because they are feeling well; they are injured, in pain, and often anxious and scared,” Pianta said. “People who come to see me want the benefit of my expertise as a surgeon, but they also need reassurance that I can heal their injuries, relieve their pain, and quell their fears. I do my best to carefully explain diagnoses and describe the range of appropriate treatment options, both surgical and non-operative. More broadly, however, I work to treat the whole person by making patient education and open dialogue a central part of my practice.”
In addition to the 4 West St., West Hatfield location, Hampshire Orthopedic & Sports Medicine physicians see patients at 35 Turkey Hill Road, Belchertown; the UMass Amherst Clinic; 33 Riddell St., Greenfield; and 65 Springfield Road, Westfield. Pianta welcomes new patients at Cooley Dickinson Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. For information, call (413) 586-8200.
Berkshire Medical Center
Welcomes Walker
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems announced the appointment of Dr. Neville Walker, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and the physician staff of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services of BMC. He joins Dr. Marlyn Ramos-Lamboy in providing comprehensive physical-medicine and rehabilitation services, and is accepting new patients.
Walker received his medical degree from New York College of Osetopathic Medicine and completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at New York University Langone Medical Center – Rusk Institute. He is a certified medical acupuncturist, achieving his certification from the Helms Institute.
Walker provides comprehensive physical-medicine and rehabilitation care and has special clinical interest in treating musculoskeletal conditions that involve non-interventional spine management, sports injuries, and non-operative treatment of orthopedic injuries. He utilizes traditional as well as alternative methods for these conditions, some of which involve the use of osteopathic manipulative treatments and medical acupuncture.
For an appointment with Walker, ask your physician for a referral or call Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services of BMC at (413) 445-9353.
Neurosurgeon Will Joins
Berkshire Health Systems
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems announced the appointment of neurosurgeon Dr. Steven Will to the medical staff of Berkshire Medical Center and Neurosurgery Professional Services of BMC.
Will is board-certified in neurological surgery and completed fellowship training in spinal neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic. He received his medical degree from Cornell University in New York and completed his residency in neurosurgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Cornell Medical Center. He earned his undergraduate degree from Williams College.
Prior to his new position at BMC, Will served at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and also provided neurosurgical coverage to fill community needs at many other medical centers, including Berkshire Medical Center.
He specializes in spinal surgery, from simple decompression to complex instrumented fusion, intracranial surgery for tumors, trauma and ventricular-peritoneal shunts, as well as peripheral nerve decompressive surgery. He also provides a range of non-surgical therapies.
 Will is accepting new patients in need of neurosurgical care, with offices located in the BMC Medical Arts Complex, 5th Floor, 777 North St., Pittsfield. For an appointment, ask your physician for a referral or call Neurosurgery Professional Services of BMC at (413) 447-2870.
Thomas Named VP,
Administrator at Leavitt
Family Jewish Home
LONGMEADOW — Jewish Geriatric Services has named Anne Thomas vice president of Residential Services and Administrator of the Leavitt Family Jewish Home.
Thomas brings more than 25 years of diverse experience in elder healthcare to this position. She will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Joint Commission-accredited, 200-bed, long-term-care and short-term-rehabilitation facility located in Longmeadow, and will also oversee management at Ruth’s House Assisted Living and Genesis House.
Before joining the nursing home, Thomas served as the executive director and administrator of Hebrew Senior Life in Dedham, the largest provider of elder care in the Boston metropolitan area. In this role, she oversaw the day-to-day operations of more than 500 employees and 268 residents and their families, and was responsible for all aspects of financial and clinical outcomes. She also spearheaded the opening of a state-of-the-art healthcare center in the small-house model of care, which honors resident choice and quality of life.
Prior to this, Thomas served as vice president/assistant administrator of Schervier Nursing Care Center, a member of the Bon Secours Health Care system, in Riverdale, N.Y.; and director of Chelsea Adult Day Health Care Center in New York City.
“Anne brings to Jewish Geriatric Services a wealth of administrative and clinical experience across a full spectrum of elder-care services,” said Martin Baicker, president and CEO of JGS. “Her experience in implementing innovative, person-centered care will be invaluable as we expand and enhance services through Project Transformation, our program to bring the small-house model of care here.”
Thomas is a member of Leading Age Massachusetts, the American College of Nursing Home Administrators, and the Assoc. of Health Care Executives. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College in New York, and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Providence College in Rhode Island. She is licensed as a nursing-home administrator and social worker, and is certified as a yoga instructor.