Addiction Treatment Services Supported by $1 Million Grant

Our Medical Center and UMass Memorial – Community Healthlink are among 10 organizations in the state to receive funding from a $1 million grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Massachusetts to support and expand addiction treatment services’ recovery coach programs. Noting that evidence has shown that recovery coaches can help improve recovery for people with substance use disorders, BCBS will use data from the participating centers to determine potential payment models for recovery coach services. Read the Worcester Business Journal story.

10th Anniversary UMass Winter Ball Smashes $2 Million Mark

Pictured from left are Michael Gustafson, MD, president, UMass Memorial Medical Center; Michael V. O’Brien, Winter Ball co-chair and executive vice president at Winn Companies; Kate McEvoy, Winter Ball co-chair and vice president for Central and Western Massachusetts at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care; Eric W. Dickson, MD, president and CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care; Lt. Governor Karyn Polito; Michael F. Collins, MD, chancellor, UMass Medical School; and Terence Flotte, MD, provost and dean, UMass Medical School.

Since 2009, business and civic leaders, philanthropists and humanitarians have gathered in early December to attend the UMass Winter Ball. The black-tie gala benefits the lifesaving work of our Medical Center and its academic partner, UMass Medical School. This year, the gala crossed the $2 million threshold for the first time, and over the past 10 years, more than $9.4 million has been raised. “The Winter Ball has been a special reminder of the tremendous level of support our institutions enjoy here in Central Massachusetts and beyond, “ said President and CEO Eric W. Dickson, MD, a regular at the event each year. For more details read the press release and Worcester Business Journal.


John Greenwood Shares Success of Medicare ACO

John Greenwood, president, UMass Memorial Accountable Care Organization (Photo courtesy of the Worcester Business Journal)

At Worcester Business Journal’s Central Mass Health Care Forum, leaders from the region’s largest health care organizations gathered to discuss affordability and access to health care. In a panel that discussed the state’s high medical costs for patients, skyrocketing costs for prescription drugs and the increasing use of data, John Greenwood, president, UMass Memorial Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and system senior vice president of population health, discussed the ACO’s success as the region’s top ranked Medicare ACO. “The baseline of everything we do is data,” said Greenwood. “With more data on patients, the hospital network can help doctors and nurses have more information to provide better care.” Read more.

Dr. Schaal Profiled in WBJ for ‘Fresh Eyes on Ophthalmology’

Dr. Schaal

“In just two years’ time as the department chair of ophthalmology at UMass Memorial Medical Center, Shlomit Schaal, MD, Phd, has done about as much as a medical chair might hope to accomplish during a career,” wrote Worcester Business Journal reporter, Grant Welker, following a recent one-to-one interview with Dr. Schaal. Read the article. Learn why Dr. Schaal chose to accept the position at our Medical Center; how she and her team were able to bring the department’s booking times down from five months to same-day visits at some locations; and what other exciting changes are afoot for this innovative department.

Dr. Gilchrist Named Worcester Business Journal’s ’40 Under 40′

Congratulations to David Gilchrist, MD, MBA, medical director of Hahnemann Family Health Center, who was recently named one of Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 recipients. This list recognizes 40 people who are considered the best and brightest business leaders of Central Massachusetts. Dr. Gilchrist is acknowledged for becoming a medical director just three years after completing his residency, as well as his leadership role in helping to combat the opioid crisis. He was also named president of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, where he advocates for patients and physicians alike. Read more.


Community Healthlink Receives Grant for Addiction Services

Community Healthlink (CHL) is one of only four community-based programs in the state to be awarded RIZE Massachusetts funding to improve and expand opioid addiction care. CHL will receive $191,106 over a two-year period as part of RIZE’s “Saving Lives, Improving Health: Redesigning Opioid Use Disorder Care” grant program. With this funding, CHL plans to expand urgent care services, expand its team of  recovery coaches, and continue to collaborate with police and other first responders to get immediate help for behavioral health or addiction care. “We have to look at all of these as pieces of a puzzle, or the building blocks, that will see people through to what they need,” said Sarah Loy, CHL director of Communications and Resource Development. Read the Telegram & Gazette and Worcester Business Journal coverage.

Pet Therapy Study Reveals Benefits for Patient Interaction

Jaedyn, one of our pet therapy canines

Most dog owners will tell you that their pet always manages to put a smile on their face even in the toughest of times. New findings from a recently released study, that included the Children’s Medical Center, seems to back up that claim. In a press release, American Humane, a nationally focused organization, unveiled results from its Canines and Childhood Cancer Study, that focused on the effects of animal-assisted therapy in pediatric oncology. The American Humane results show that regular visits from a therapy dog can provide significant psychosocial benefits to children undergoing treatment for cancer, as well as their families. Our Medical Center has had a pet therapy program for the past 12 years. Read Worcester Business Journal article.

Importance of Finding the Right Fit for Our Volunteers

Volunteer Renee Leoncini has some “fun time” making sundaes.

Our Medical Center was featured recently in a Worcester Business Journal article about the benefits of volunteerism. Jody Stark Cornetta, director of volunteer services, who managed 801 Medical Center volunteers last year, stresses the importance of finding the right match. “You want to have a volunteer who likes what they’re doing and are fit for the department.” According to Stark Cornetta, the right match results in a greater patient experience and volunteer satisfaction while maximizing hospital performance. One of these volunteers is Renee Leoncini, who retired at 55 and quickly found her niche volunteering in the emergency and in pediatric units. She helps patients in the emergency room feel more comfortable, and makes ice cream sundaes (her “fun time”) for pediatric patients, their families and the staff. Read the story.

Our IS Team Takes Front Row Seats to a Worcester Renaissance

Information Services Department members are part of a renaissance in more ways than one. Primarily they are leading the way to bring our entire health care system online with Epic, the industry-leading electronic health record system. But they are also a part of the revitalization in downtown Worcester occurring on Mercantile and Front streets. Our IS team occupies two floors of 100 Front Street where new restaurants and other retail spaces are planned for the 642,000 square feet facility. Renee Mikitarian-Bradley, associate vice president of real estate, said in a recent Worcester Business Journal story: “We really loved the new owners’ vision, the retail areas, the restaurant areas, all the things you just don’t find in traditional Worcester space right now.”

Cheryl Lapriore Named a Central Massachusetts Power Player

Cheryl Lapriore

Cheryl Lapriore

Congratulations to Chief of Staff, Chief Marketing Officer and President of Health Ventures Cheryl Lapriore who was named to the distinguished Worcester Business Journal’s list of Central Massachusetts’ 2016 Power Players. Cheryl oversees business partnerships, public image and relations, and the executive team for our health care system. “I can’t think of anyone more dedicated to improving the health of Central Massachusetts and making Worcester great than Cheryl Lapriore,” said President and CEO Eric Dickson, MD, who was named a power player last year. When asked by Worcester Business Journal what’s key with getting things done, Cheryl said: “Surrounding yourself with talented people who are passionate about what they do and believe that we can make a difference.” Read story.