Heart Month Fun: Win Lift Tickets to Wachusett Mountain

Join in on a fun Heart Month scavenger hunt to win lift tickets to Wachusett Mountain while learning ways to keep your heart healthy. Look for the hidden red heart bags around our Medical Center campuses. Read the heart tip then follow the directions on the card inside to win. The hunt starts Friday, February 9. Other Heart Month happenings:

  • What is your risk for heart disease? Take our risk assessment.
  • What kind of fat should you not cut back? How can you burn calories without exercise? What are the highs and lows of blood pressure? Visit our website.
  • Visit myHealth Matters for activities that can help lower your risk of heart disease through mindfulness, healthy eating and exercise.

Hearing Aid Technology Advances Create Obstacles for Patients

In a recent Telegram & Gazette article, Kristen O’Connor, clinical coordinator, Hearing Improvement Center on the Hahnemann Campus, and a member of the coding and reimbursement committee of the Academy of Audiology, shared how important it is to see an audiologist when experiencing hearing loss. The cost of hearing aids has increased as technology has advanced and patients are seeking more inexpensive devices. “As far as technology, it would be impossible to have the same technology as what an audiologist can dispense. Dispensing hearing aids cannot be compared to eyeglasses or prescription drugs” she added, “the hearing aids need to be programmed specifically to each patient’s hearing loss.” Read article. Photo courtesty of Telegram & Gazette

Community Benefits Program Recognized as Top Program by AHA

Patrick Muldoon, president, UMass Memorial Medical Center, presents to the AHA in front of a packed room during its bid for the Foster G. McGaw Prize last fall.

Congratulations are extended to our Community Benefits Department for being named one of the top four programs in the nation by the American Hospital Association (AHA) following their consideration for the esteemed Foster G. McGaw Prize. The McGaw prize is awarded annually to a health care organization that demonstrates its commitment to community service through multiple programs that focus on making communities healthier and more vital. Last October, after being notified that UMass Memorial was a finalist for the prize out of a pool of 100 applicants across the country, the Community Benefits Department, alongside its many community partners, presented an outstanding showcase of its work during a humbling and inspiring presentation to the AHA. This year’s Foster G. McGaw Prize was awarded to Yale New Haven Hospital. As a finalist, our Community Benefits team will receive a $10,000 award that will be used in support of local community health improvement efforts. The department will be recognized at a ceremony held in Washington, DC this spring. Read the release from the AHA.

MC2020 Update: West 1 Opens Early to Accommodate ED Boarders

As part of our ongoing MC2020 work, West 1 on the Memorial Campus was renovated. Originally, it was to serve as a temporary home for South 6 patients and staff while the renovations on South 6 were underway. However, it was determined that the renovated rooms on West 1 could help meet the immediate need for private rooms among our ED boarder patients. Lisa Gillum, associate chief nursing officer, described the project: “This effort was remarkable. A small team of great leaders came together from various departments to quickly focus on a common goal – opening the initial 12 private telemetry rooms to improve patient flow from the ED and increase private room availability.”

Flu Fighters in the ED Crush Compliance Rates


Flu seems to be on everyone’s mind this year! At the Emergency Department on the University Campus, the leadership team took an active approach to ensure patients and staff were protected against the flu. This team, headed by Candra Szymanski, ACNO, and Allison Wendt, nursing education specialist, brought the flu vaccines to the front lines staff to enhance accessibility for employees. Their hard work paid off as they have currently achieved a 100 percent compliance rate in their department of roughly 270 employees! Although the ED is the largest department marking 100 percent compliance, it joins 333 other areas that reached this target. A huge shout out and thank you to Allison, the ED leadership team, and all our caregivers for their success in making patient safety a priority!

Shop Our Beloved Volunteers’ Vendor Fair

Ready to shop? Our Volunteer Services sponsors are hosting a vendor fair in the Medical School lobby on February 8 and 9 from 8 am to 4 pm. There will be knitted hats and mittens, handmade soaps, fashion jewelry and more! Be sure to come and check out the vendor fair as a portion of the proceeds support Volunteer Services.

Start the New Year on the Right Foot; Schedule a Retirement Planning Session with Fidelity

Looking for assistance with your retirement planning? Sign up now for a Fidelity Investments’ Retirement Planning Session for help. Planners are available to assist eligible participants in a one-on-one session, in person or by phone, to work with you on your financial goals. Visit http://www.getguidance.fidelity.com to view the schedule and make your appointment or call 800-642-7131. Building a financial plan for tomorrow starts with the little steps you can take today. Take advantage of this benefit and tap into the education, resources and support Fidelity Investments provides.

Physicians: Sessions Are Scheduled for ‘Find a Physician’ Photos

Physicians are invited to attend photography sessions on the University Campus. Employed physicians who need to create or update their profile images for the online Find a Physician directory are encouraged to attend. Walk-ins are welcome and no appointment is necessary. Email or call Michelle Carrier at 508-334-5173 for more information.

Sessions are offered on the Memorial Campus, Memorial One Conference Room, Thursday, March 1, noon – 1:30 pm; and University Campus, Endosurgery Conference Room, Monday, February 12, 7:30 to 9 am, Monday, March 12, 7:30 to 9 am and Monday, March 26, 7:30 – 9 am.

Watch Video: Dr. Lavena Shares Her Passion for Mindfulness

Marianela Lavena, MD, a family medicine physician, credits that happiness comes from service and helping others, a gift she learned from her physician father at an early age. Dr. Lavena believes strongly in the practice of mindfulness and hopes to share this practice with her patients at Main Street Bolton Primary Care in Bolton, our newest primary care practice. “Being present for another person is a great gift,” said Dr. Lavena. Learn more about Dr. Lavena by watching her video. Dr. Lavena is currently accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment, call 855-UMass-MD or visit our website.


Calendar of Events

February Gift Shop Specials
Schwartz Rounds – February 8 (new date!)
Buprenorphine Waiver Training – Adolescent Focus (CME Program) – February 9
Strike Out Heart Disease – February 15
Innovation Celebration on Memorial Campus – February 16
Conversational Spanish: Lunch & Learn – March 1

Artist in Residence Series: ‘Simplicity,’ a Photography Exhibit by Lisa Bezokas – through February 27
Monday Midday Mindfulness Session with Dr. Dickson
Quest for Excellence – Third Thursday of the month
Diversity and Inclusion Office Event Calendar
UMass Medical School Faculty NewsWire
Childbirth Education Classes