Vol. 12 No. 11 - June, 2010

Mass Medical Society honors UMMS faculty and students

MMS logo

UMass Medical School was proudly represented at the Massachusetts Medical Society’s annual meeting last month, where four students and four faculty members received awards and honors and two faculty were elected to MMS leadership roles.

“There are few things as satisfying as seeing our faculty and students recognized by an esteemed organization like the Massachusetts Medical Society." said Terence R. Flotte, MD, executive deputy chancellor and provost and dean of the School of Medicine. "I was truly delighted to hear UMass Medical School called out from the podium over and over, and to join colleagues from across the state in applauding our faculty and students as they received these much-deserved awards and honors.”

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with more than 22,000 physicians and student members, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine and is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. MMS awards are significant and coveted among medical professionals and students across the commonwealth.

Michael Hirsh: Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health

Michael P. Hirsh, MD, professor of surgery and pediatrics, was honored with the 2010 Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health, an award named for a leading figure in 19th-century medicine and public health who championed the cause of the poor and oppressed. The award recognizes a Massachusetts physician who demonstrates creativity, commendable citizenship, initiative, innovation and leadership in the public health and advocacy fields.

John Riordan: Senior Volunteer Physician Award
John A. Riordan, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, received the 2010 Senior Volunteer Physician Award, an honor recognizing a senior member of the society who has a dedicated commitment to volunteerism and to sharing experience and medical expertise.

Oscar Starobin: Grant V. Rodkey Award
Oscar E. Starobin, MD, professor of medicine, received the 2010 Grant V. Rodkey Award, an honor recognizing a Massachusetts physician for outstanding contributions to medical education and medical students.

Kara Keating Bench: Committee on History Essay Award

Second-year student Kara Keating Bench, MPH, received the 2010 Committee on History Essay Award, which honors the best original independently researched essay focused on medical and/or social issues associated with MMS (1781 to present) that have improved the public’s health and access to medical care. Keating Bench’s paper, "Roots of Reform: The Shattuck Report and Massachusetts Health Care Reform," analyzed Lemuel Shattuck's seminal 1850 “Report of the Sanitation Committee of Massachusetts” as a framework for understanding the roots of MMS's work in health advocacy and its work in advocating for Massachusetts health care reform. The award is accompanied by a $1,000 prize.

Ciarán DellaFerra: Information Technology Award
Second-year student Ciarán A. DellaFera received the 2010 Information Technology Award for successfully creating and implementing an innovative teleradiology and image storage system for Good Samaritan Hospital in La Romana, Dominican Republic. DellaFera, who was formerly an IBM Distinguished Engineer and had moonlighted as an emergency room technician, combined his engineering know-how and his insight into medical records keeping to help Good Samaritan overcome significant technological limitations. [See story in May Focus]

Stephanie Galica and Hannah Melnitsky: Massachusetts Medical Society Scholars
Fourth-year students Stephanie Galica and Hannah Melnitsky were named 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society Scholars for “excellent academic performance, community involvement, and financial need.” MMS annually names two students from each of the state’s four medical schools, awarding each honoree a $10,000 scholarship.


Richard Aghababian and Lynda Young elected MMS officers
Lynda M. Young, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics and chief of the division of community pediatrics at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, has been elected president-elect of MMS. Richard Aghababian, MD, professor of emergency medicine and associate dean of continuing medical education, was elected vice president. The two will serve one-year terms as two of the three top officers of the society.