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 Holyoke Medical Center Recognized for Excellence in Stroke Care
HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has received several prestigious national and state awards for excellence and quality of stroke care in Massachu- setts.
The awards include the American Heart Assoc. (AHA) Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Quality Achievement Award, as well as three awards from the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Pro- gram at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The awards were given for HMC’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appro- priate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines.
“Holyoke Medical Center consistently achieves stroke awards and recognition
Senior Services
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fortune to do so.”
She named her company Caring Solutions
because she believes every challenge has a solution, even COVID.
“This virus isn’t going anywhere right now,
so let’s do everything we can to keep everybody safe,” she told BusinessWest. “It’s really less about individual rights and more about protecting each other.”
As a new facility, Cedarbrook still has apart- ments available for new residents. When the pandemic first hit, many seniors and their families were fearful of moving into a senior community.
Since that time, as everyone gains more knowl- edge about the virus, Russell and her staff have continued their diligence with cleaning and safety protocols, which have helped many of those fears to subside.
“People are still able to take tours, and we sim- ply follow a cleaning schedule after the visit,” she said. “As a result, we’re seeing four to six move-ins a month, which is great.”
Life on the Front Line
Reflecting on the past 18 months, Ianacone said he appreciates how grateful the families of his patients have been during a time of constant adjustment.
“Hearing from the families is very warming to us staff members because they feel we are doing a good job taking care of their loved ones and keep- ing them safe.”
While these senior service professionals wage their fight against a stubborn virus, they continue to succeed in keeping seniors in our community safe. Baskin-Scholpp may have summed up the reason for everyone’s dedication.
Simply put, she said, “I am very passionate about our seniors.” v
Patricia-Lee Baskin-Scholpp says she requires her home-care staff to be vaccinated to protect senior clients.
because of the dedication and commit- ment our team has to our patients. We are especially grateful to those working in the Emergency Department, ICU, and Imag- ing Services, all of whose help was critical to maintaining these designations,” said Dr. M. Zubair Kareem, medical director of the HMC Stroke Service.
The Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus and Target Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Award is given for commit- ment to prioritizing quality care for stroke patients by providing the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines for treating stroke patients. In addition to following treatment guidelines, the hospital provides education to patients to help them man- age their health and rehabilitation once at home.
To qualify for AHA’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus award, HMC met quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot- buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.
Additionally, HMC received the AHA’s Target: Type 2 Honor Roll award, meet- ing quality measures developed with more than 90% of compliance for 12 consecu- tive months for the Overall Diabetes Car- diovascular Initiative Composite Score.
HMC also met specific scientific guide- lines as a primary stroke center, featur- ing a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the Emergency Department.
The Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program awards recognize:
• Achieving door to CT in under 25 minutes from arrival for at least 75% of stroke patients. For this new award, the measure includes all patients who were eligible for alteplase treatment and arrived to the hospital via EMS between January and December 2020;
• Dysphagia screening greater than
or equal to 95%, recognizing HMC for completing dysphagia screening on at least 95% of stroke patients from January to December 2020; and
• Modified Rankin Scale greater than or equal to 95%, recognizing HMC for com- pleting the Modified Rankin Scale on at least 95% of stroke patients from January to December 2020.
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a springboard to a career he loves, where he earns a six-figure salary.
“I wanted to be happy,” he said. “I haven’t tried to build a career. I have been successful in spite of myself. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be in the biopharmaceutical industry.”
Townsend enrolled in biotechnology about 15 years ago because he was unhappy with his career in marketing and sales.
“It’s not a great fit for somebody who is
an introvert,” he said. “I enjoyed being at STCC. You should follow your passion. That makes everything interesting.”
Like Townsend, Quynh Widmer, an- other biotechnology graduate, followed her passion after growing up in Vietnam and moving to Western Mass.
“I love the biotech program,” she said. “They have great faculty, especially Profes- sor Rapp. She’s awesome. You get hands-on experience. In a bigger college, you don’t have the same kind of connection between the student and the teacher to help you and guide you.”
After earning her associate degree from STCC, Widmer transferred to Bay Path University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in biotechnology. Today, she works at SCA Pharma in Agawam.
Another graduate of the program, Sun- dus Rehman, grew up in Pakistan, where
she completed her high-school education before moving to Western Mass. Her sib- lings graduated from STCC and encour- aged her to enroll. After graduating from STCC, she transferred to UMass Amherst, where she’s a pre-med student.
At STCC, she chose biotechnology because she wanted to challenge herself.
“I was interested in the depth of how cells work and how genes work and how you can manipulate things to produce new. useful products,” she said.
“The best part of this program is that you won’t just watch the instructor do every- thing. You get a lot of hands-on experi- ence,” Rehman added. “The faculty and professors were always there to help you succeed. You had one-on-one interaction with the professors. You could easily meet
with the professors and talk to them and discuss your problems and questions.”
Enrolling in the biotechnology program at STCC was affordable for Rehman and the other graduates. “I saved a lot of money before I transferred to a four-year univer- sity,” she said.
The graduates said biotechnology is a good fit for anyone interested in science and biology, and that attending STCC pro- vides students with a network of support.
“This is a constantly growing field,” Rehman said. “The campus is a wonderful historic site. You will have a lot of resources to help you along your way, and you should take advantage of those resources.” v

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