MC 2020 Improvements: What’s Behind the White Wall?

Framing underway, left, is an example of what’s behind the white wall, right.

Mysterious white walls are visible in various areas around the Memorial and University campuses, but they’re not there to keep you in the dark. They’re there to protect patients, visitors and staff from noise, dust and debris in areas where MC 2020 improvement-related demolition and construction are taking place. These particular STARC® walls are used instead of more traditional barriers with an eye toward the Lean principles of efficiency, effectiveness, cost savings and reducing on-site materials. The airtight, washable and reusable walls reduce airborne noise by 50 percent, and are easily installed, dismantled and relocated. So now you know that behind the white wall is progress toward creating a more modern and efficient space for patients and staff.

Dr. Bottar Answers Common Questions about Infant Immunizations

In observance of National Infant Immunization Week, pediatrician Anna Bottar, MD, discusses the benefits of vaccinating infants and risks associated with not having a child immunized in the recent Health Watch, below. She said, “Before a vaccine is placed on the market, there is research and testing done to prove that they are both safe to give to people and that they are effective at preventing disease.” Dr. Bottar is a pediatrician at Benedict Pediatric Primary Care, University Campus. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bottar, call 855-UMASS-MD.

A Salute to Our Volunteers Who Participated at Boston Marathon

At this year’s 121st Boston Marathon, more than 30,000 runners participated during the balmy Patriots Day with temperatures peaking around 74 degrees. About 2,600 runners received care at medical stations along the route and medical tents near the finish area. Congratulations to our clinicians who volunteered, including:

Members of the sports medicine, emergency medicine and family medicine teams at the Medical Center and Medical School provided care to runners in course tents and finish line clinical areas. The team of 19 was comprised of attending physicians, psychologists, sports medicine fellows, residents and students. Pictured at the finish line, front row, are: Sarah Jackson, Valerie Valant, Jay Broadhurst, MD, John Sooy; back row, Scott Goldberg, Elena Bannerman, Kim Sikule, Nathan Cardoos, Pierre Rouzier, Sean Michael, MD, Laura Fralich, Chad Beattie and Jeff Brady. Missing from photo are: Adam Darnobid, MD, Maurine Williams, MD, Tina Runyan, Stacy Potts, MD, Lou Fazen and Joy Rosenblatt.

Susan Papalia, RN, and Brian Loverro, anesthesia tech, volunteered together at the Boston Marathon. Susan, who has volunteered at the marathon for more than a decade, oversaw 244 medical volunteers. Brian served as Susan’s dedicated ham-radio operator for the day. “He was my lifeline to get information to all finish line medical volunteers about tent diversions, supply needs, reassignments and emergencies. He was fabulous.”

JoAnn Crain, medical technologist, a five-year volunteer, ran blood tests to monitor runners’ electrolyte levels. JoAnn is the manager of the Point of Care Testing Department and was stationed in the main course tent, which was especially busy due to the heat.

Why Our Heart and Vascular Team Participates in Heart Walk

Members of our heart and vascular team recently starred in the video below to promote the heart walk. Their reasons for walking are inspiring. They walk for sisters, parents, patients and research. Why do you walk? The Central MA Heart Walk is just a week away on Saturday, May 6, at Quinsigamond State Park on North Lake Avenue, Worcester. It’s not too late to take part and raise money. Visit the heart walk’s website to register or donate to a Medical Center team!

Swing into Spring and Support Colorectal Cancer Research

The Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery presents the sixth annual Clubs for Colorectal Cancer Golf Tournament, Friday, June 9, Blackstone National Golf Club, Sutton. Join us as a sponsor, golfer or dinner guest to support research that aims to help prevent, treat and one day cure colorectal cancer. “Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States, affecting 150,000 people annually. Properly funded research initiatives are crucial in combating this deadly disease,” said Justin Maykel, MD, chief, colon and rectal surgery. The event includes: registration at noon, shotgun start at 1 pm and dinner/presentations at 6:30 pm. To register, print, fill out and mail your completed registration form. Registrations are due by Friday, May 12.

Dr. Castiel Addresses Opioid Crisis at National Conference

Worcester Commissioner of Health and Human Services Matilde Castiel, MD, who also works one day at week at our Hector Reyes House, was a featured speaker at the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta on April 18. The event was an opportunity to discuss the current opioid crisis on a national scale as well as efforts toward ending the opiate epidemic. Dr. Castiel participated on the panel, “Case Studies in Collaboration: Worcester, MA and Colorado,” highlighting the partnerships between agencies to implement overdose interventions on the local level as well as strategies to execute an effective approach to address heroin use disorders. Pictured: Dr. Castiel, left, and Cassandra Andersen, manager of Strategic Partnerships, City of Worcester, presented on the opioid crisis in our area the conference.

Join National Institutes of Health Grant Writing Workshop

Want to learn more about grant writing? Joan Lakoski, PhD, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and Robert Milner, PhD, associate vice provost for professional development, invite you to agrant writing workshop, Wednesday, May 10, University Campus. Learn how to choose an appropriate type of award, submit and write a grant proposal, and write an effective specific aims page. See the flyer for more information or email Susan Tremallo using the subject line: Grant Writing.

Four Medical Center Physicians Appointed to Endowed Chairs

Pictured from left are Drs. Aronin, Johnson, Maykel and Silver.

Congratulations to four Medical Center physicians and two Medical School faculty members who will be invested into the prestigious honor of endowed chairs.

  • Neil Aronin, MD, chief, Division of Endocrinology, will hold the Higgins Family Professor of Neuroscience in recognition of his groundbreaking research program focused on Huntington ’s disease.
  • Mark Johnson, MD, PhD, chair, Department of Neurological Surgery, will be the inaugural holder of the Maroun Semaan Chair in Neurosurgery in recognition of his achievements and work to develop innovative treatment of neurological diseases and disorders through outstanding education, research and direct patient care.
  • Justin Maykel, MD, chief, Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, has been appointed to the Gladys Smith Martin Chair in Oncology in acknowledgment of his innovative surgical treatment of colon cancer and other diseases of the colon, including laparoscopic transanal total mesorectal excision (taTME). Watch video to learn more.
  • Brian Silver, MD, neurology and vascular neurology, an expert on stoke prevention, has developed innovative and effective approaches to stroke therapy. He will be the first to hold the Endowed Chair in Neuroscience Research.

Medical School faculty members Fen-Biao Gao, PhD, and Marian Walhout, PhD, were appointed to the Governor Paul Cellucci Chair in Neuroscience Research and the Maroun Seman Chair in Biomedical Research, respectively. Read story.

Hear It from the Expert on Women’s Diet/Exercise at Saturday’s Event

It’s no secret that it takes a combination of diet and exercise to achieve optimum health. In this segment of Health Watch, Barbara Olendzki, RD, director of Applied Nutrition, explains why constantly assessing and re-adjusting your diet and exercise routine is important as we enter various life stages. She also shares the significance of striking a balance between caloric intake and level of activity, and tells why getting the right nutrients is especially important for women. Barbara will be one of the breakout speakers at Multicultural Women’s Health Summit, University Campus, Saturday, April 29, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Learn more or register.

Dr. Johnson Weighs in on Legislation Protecting Pregnant Workers

Dr. Johnson

A bill requiring employers to accommodate pregnant workers is currently making its way through the legislative process in Massachusetts. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would protect workers from being denied opportunities based on the need for accommodation and from being required to take leave if reasonable accommodations could be made. Julia Johnson, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology spoke to the Telegram & Gazette last week about some of the physical changes women undergo during pregnancy that may require certain accommodations. “If their job does involve strenuous activity, it’s important for them to talk about it with their employer,” she said.