At 80 Years Young, Volunteer Spencer Gets His College Diploma!

Spencer Schwartz

Have you seen one of our beloved volunteers working at the Information Desk in the parking garage on University Campus? At 72, Spencer was forced to retire and needed something else to fill his time. Lucky for us, he decided to volunteer at the Medical Center and now directs patients to their appointments.  He also decided to finish his college degree. At 80, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature. Spencer started college at 16 and even though he dropped out during his first semester, he realized it’s never too late to finish what you’ve started. Congratulations, Spencer!


Health Watch: Dr. Green Discusses Powassan Virus in Ticks

Tick season is going to be the worst it’s been in years. And while we know about tick-borne Lyme disease, another tick-borne virus, Powassan, is gaining ground in Massachusetts. Join Sharone Green, MD, infectious disease, as she explains how the Powassan virus differs from Lyme disease, what you can do to avoid the virus, and what happens if you encounter it.

CHL Directors Speak out on Declining Teen Recovery Enrollment

Like many organizations with programs to help adolescents recover from addiction, the UMass Memorial – Community Healthlink Motivational Youth Recovery (MYR), a detoxification and stabilization unit in Worcester for teenagers, is facing challenges getting teens to take advantage of its program. MYR, like Worcester’s Rockdale Recovery High School, is having a difficult time filling open slots. MYR has beds for 24 students and Rockdale can accommodate up to 31. Neither are at capacity while addiction remains a problem throughout Massachusetts. Melanie Amir, program director, and Lori Simkowitz-Lavigne, director of Intensive Youth Services, commented on declining enrollment in a recent Telegram & Gazette story.

Take Advantage of Blue Cross Blue Shield Wellness Benefits!

If you’re a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) HMO or PPO medical plan, you’re eligible to receive up to $150 annually toward fitness memberships and weight loss programs. BCBS will reimburse you up to $150 each calendar year for eligible costs you pay for health club membership fees or for fitness classes taken at a qualified health club. You can also receive a reimbursement for up to $150 each calendar year for costs you pay to participate in qualified weight loss programs. A qualified weight loss program is a hospital-based weight loss program or a non-hospital-based weight loss program designated by BCBS. Submit a fitness or weight loss reimbursement form.

Dr. Bird Named President-Elect of Emergency Medicine Society

Dr. Bird

Steven Bird, MD, emergency medicine, was elected to the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine board of directors as president-elect to serve for one year. Dr. Bird has been serving for the society since 1998. Dr. Bird will assume the post in May 2018. In this role, he will work with the society’s president to focus on resident and faculty well-being. “I think as a patient, you’d want your physician to be well, to be happy and find joy in his or her work. I want to be part of the effort to learn how to mitigate burnout and improve physician wellness and bring the joy back into medicine,” Dr. Bird said. Read story.

Resolve Workplace Accountability Issues; Sign Up for Training

Join us for the next step in Crucial Accountability training. Our one-day Crucial Accountability Companion course builds on the skills learned in Crucial Conversations and introduces a powerful set of new skills to resolve your most challenging accountability issues. These additional skills are perfect for holding anyone accountable (regardless of position or personality), diagnosing underlying causes of misaligned or bad behavior, and motivating without using power. The next session is Friday, June 16, 8 am to 4:30 pm, University Campus. Prior completion of Crucial Conversations is required. Self-register through E-Learning 4 U. Questions: email or call 508-793-5626.

All Staff Invited to Attend Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference

As a Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare hospital, all staff members are invited to attend the Compassion in Action Healthcare Conference in Boston from Saturday, June 25 to Tuesday, June 27. The conference works to bring together clinicians, patients and health system leaders who are committed to making compassion a priority in their communities. Agenda items include:

  • Articulating and aligning core values
  • Fostering intra/inter-personal skills to create authentic healing relationships
  • The new high-functioning team: Who’s on it and how does it work?

Participants are eligible to earn CME, CEU and ACHE credits. UMass Memorial Health Care staff are also eligible for discounted registration pricing. For questions contact Ana Mechlin or visit the website.