SPRINGFIELD — Dr. Sarah Haessler, whose expertise in infectious diseases has been recognized at the local, state, national, and international levels, has been named chair of the Department of Medicine for Baystate Health.
Haessler, who has served as interim chair of the Department of Medicine at Baystate since 2022, was appointed chair after a highly competitive national search. She is the inaugural female chair of Baystate Health’s largest clinical/academic department. Her tenure begins immediately.
She received her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Dartmouth Hitchcock in New Hampshire. She is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
Haessler joined Baystate Health in 2005 and since that time has held progressive leadership roles, including as the hospital epidemiologist for the health system, vice chair of the Department of Medicine, interim chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care, and most recently interim chair of the Department of Medicine.
“Her strong work and expert insights have had a tremendous, salutary impact on national, state, and regional preparation and response to several biological threats, including pandemic influenza, Ebola, monkeypox, and COVID-19, serving in critical leadership roles in these events,” said Dr. Andrew Artenstein, chief physician executive and chief academic officer for Baystate Health and president of Baystate Medical Practices.
Active in the field of academics and research, Haessler has trained and served as advisor and mentor for dozens of residents and fellows in the specialty of infectious diseases. She is currently an associate professor of Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate. Since 2002, as either principal or co-investigator, she has completed numerous research projects and is currently co-investigator in Reducing Antimicrobial Overuse Through Targeted Therapy for Patients with Community-acquired Pneumonia.
Haessler is the recipient of several honors and awards, including BusinessWest’s Healthcare Heroes Award, the Women in Medicine and Science Impact Award, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s (SHEA) Speaker Recognition Award and the Women in Medicine and Science Impact Award. She has held several distinct leadership roles in SHEA, including board and committee chair positions.
She has published more than 45 scholarly works in medical literature, including book chapters and peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed publications, and has served on several national and state expert panels and scientific review groups. She has been invited to present at international, national, regional, and local symposiums and conferences on a variety of topics, such as the science of hand hygiene for preventing infections, challenging cases in infection prevention, addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s academic and clinical advancement, and many others.