News Archive

Medicine News Archive

Our medical community mourns the loss of UMass Memorial's first CEO, Peter Levine, MD who passed away in December after suffering a heart attack. View media (Boston Globe, December 17, 2009)

Massachusetts native Michael L. Blute, MD recruited to build clinical and translation research, lead Cancer Center of Excellence. Read story (UMMS Dec 7, 2009)

Dr. David Harlan, NIH, will become division chief of diabetes, director of the diabetes center at UMMHC. Read more... (The Boston Globe November 19, 2009)

Frank Ennis, MD, professor of medicine, infectious diseases, discusses hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, research for treatment. Read full story (The Wall Street JournalNovember 24, 2009)

The American College of Chest Physicians gave its most prestigious award to Richard Irwin, MD, chair of critical care operations. The Master Fellow Award honors members who achieved national or international prominence because of their character, leadership, eminence in practice, contributions to research or outstanding service. Only 28 physicians have achieved this honor since it was established in 1935. Dr. Irwin and the critical care operations group also received the Medalist Award for practicing a new model of critical care delivery that is patient-focused, interdisciplinary, and uses telemedicine to implement practice guidelines and monitor patients. (News & Views, November 24, 2009)

Melissa A. Fischer, general medicine, was appointed to the position of Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education following a national search. Dr. Fischer will be responsible for academic administration and leadership of the School of Medicine curriculum, including design, management and implementation; student performance assessment; and scholarship and research in medical education. Read full story (Focus, November 2009)

Congratulations to Zheng (Frank) Zhou, MD, internal medicine resident, who received the first place award in the resident research poster competition at the American College of Physician's Massachusetts Medical Society Annual Meeting recently. His presentation, “Anti-VEGF and Anti-EGFR Monoclonal Antibodies in the First-line Therapy for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer - A Meta-analysis,” is coauthored by oncologists Drs. William Walsh, Venu Bathini and Bilal Piperdi (Hematology/Oncology). Dr. Zhou will compete at the national level at the American College of Physician's Internal Medicine Conference in Toronto in April. (News & Views, November 23, 2009)

The Center for the Advancement of Primary Care(CAPC), our Department of Quality and Safety and the Medical School are sponsoring a leadership staff and faculty development project called the Quality Scholars Program. The certificate program includes workshop sessions and a final project. Participants are paired with a mentor and instructors include Robert Klugman, MD, chief quality officer, who noted that the program responds to those interested in training in safety science and honing the skills needed to lead quality improvement efforts. The Quality Scholars Program is funded by a grant received by CAPC. (News & Views, November 23, 2009)

A recent article in the Telegram & Gazette recognizes the Medical Center as a Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospital for cardiovascular success. Read article... (November 20, 2009)

The Division of Geriatric Medicine is pleased to announce that their new Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program has been accredited by the ACGME and is now accepting applications. (November 2009)

Craig Lilly, MD, Pulmonary Medicine, vice chair, critical care operations and director of the eICU Program, is quoted in an October 27 Wall Street Journal online article examining the trends in eICU technology at hospitals nationwide. UMass Memorial Medical Center, HealthAlliance Hospital, Marlborough Hospital and Wing Memorial Hospital use the eICU system. In the article, Dr. Lilly describes the substantial reduction in mortality, lengths of stay and costs eICU technology provides as specially trained intensivists use voice, data and video technology to enhance the patient care provided by the ICU bedside staff. Read full article (October 27, 2009, Wall Street Journal)

Jonathan Kay, MD professor of Medicine and Director of Clinical Research in the Rheumatology Division leads investigation resulting in New SIMPONI(TM) Data Show Long-Term Efficacy in Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Read full article (October 19, 2009, Reuters)

Robert Finberg, MD professor and chair of medicine, received a grant from the National Institutes of Health as part of the federal government's economic stimulus program. Dr. Finberg, who specializes in adult infectious diseases, will study how the innate immune system fights infection.  Read full article (October 13, 2009, Telegram & Gazette)

Mary Costanza, MD, Hematology/Oncology, and Roger Luckmann, MD, MPH, Family Medicine, were recently quoted in the Milford Daily News in an article titled, “Mammograms: Once Is Not Enough.” The article discusses women leading busy lives, having one mammogram and then not getting follow-up screenings. Drs. Costanza and Luckmann are researching ways to encourage women to get follow-up mammograms. (News & Views, October 5, 2009) Read article.

Dianne Silvestri, MD, Dermatology, was recently chosen to receive a Mid-Career Development Award from the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Thanks to this grant, Dr. Silvestri was able to develop patient-friendly handouts on almost 100 common allergens used in patch testing referral centers, including the Contact Dermatitis Clinic she opened on the Hahnemann Campus last year. (News & Views, September 30, 2009)

Matilde Castiel, MD, General Medicine, and Tom Kramer, medical student, presented Addiction in the Latino Community: A New Approach in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Their talk focused on the Hector Reyes House, a new substance abuse treatment facility for Latino men in the Worcester Community. Dr. Castiel and Mr. Kramer were instrumental in the project, which is the only one of its kind in Worcester. (News & Views, September 29, 2009)

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases granted Shan Lu, MD, PhD, $18 million to lead a research effort into further development of a vaccine for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Dr. Lu, practices internal medicine at the Medical Center and is a professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular pharmacology at UMass Medical School. (Telegram & Gazette, September 25, 2009) Read more.

Teaching geriatric medicine: New curriculum initiatives. The brainchild of Bonnie Vallie (SOM ’11) the Navigator Program pairs elderly patients with volunteer medical and graduate nursing students who accompany a patient into the exam room during their doctor’s office visit. Afterward, the student “navigator” meets with the patient to review and clarify key points about the medical visit. Designed to facilitate patient comprehension of complex health conditions and enhance patient–physician communication, the Navigator Program is currently being used with geriatric patients seen in the cardiovascular clinic, under the leadership of Dennis Tighe, MD, professor of medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine). (Focus, September 2009) Read more.

Robert Phillips, MD, PhD director of the Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence and senior vice president of the Medical Center, has become senior editor of the Journal of Clinical Hypertension (JCH). Dr. Phillips was chosen for his continued support of the JCH, which is a peer-reviewed, monthly publication providing objective, up-to-date information and practical recommendations on the treatment of hypertension.  (News & Views, September 1, 2009)

The Division of Hospital Medicine rolls out an electronic clinical documentation and charge capture program on the University Campus today. The Salar program is already in place at Clinton and Marlborough Hospitals and the Memorial Campus thanks to the initiative of Jasen Gundersen, MD, chief medical officer at Marlborough Hospital and division chief of hospital medicine for the Medical Center. Dr. Gundersen introduced the Salar program to further ensure patient safety, enhance efficiency and improve communication. Salar representatives and the UMMHC IS team provide training on the new program, which Dr. Gundersen said offers tremendous potential for use throughout the system. (News & Views, August 27, 2009) 

An article on the front page of today's Telegram and Gazette touts UMass Memorial as the number one hospital in Massachusetts and all of New England for surviving a heart attack. Robert Phillips, MD, PhD, director or the Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence, and senior vice president of the Medical Center, is featured discussing how our door-to-balloon times contribute to the number one ranking. Read the article at (News & Views, July 21, 2009)

To expand our reach, UMass Memorial is looking at effective ways to use telemedicine technology. An upcoming collaboration is with the Federal Medical Center Devens, a correctional facility on the former Fort Devens (Ayer) property housing male offenders requiring long-term health care. A satellite facility houses minimum security male inmates. To reduce the need to bring prisoners to our Medical Center, this July we launch a telemedicine effort to provide selected gastroenterology services remotely. The effort is under the direction of Dominic Nompleggi, MD, and John Levey, MD, chief and clinical chief of Gastroenterology, respectively. (News & Views, June 29, 2009)

Deborah M. DeMarco, MD & Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD have been named fellows of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. The nation’s only in-depth program focused on preparing senior women faculty at schools of medicine and dentistry to affect positive change. ELAM is a core program of Drexel’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. (Drexel University Press Release, June 8, 2009; see announcement in PDF)

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program has been re-certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, the organization that writes the national guidelines for these programs and certifies individual programs after an intensive review of their policies and patient outcomes. Our program is one of just five certified programs in Massachusetts. Congratulations to the staff of both the Lung and Allergy Center/Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab and the Fitness Center for their collaboration on this successful service.  (News & Views, 5/27/09)

CHEST, the official journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, was selected by the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) as one of the 100 most influential journals in the world in medicine and biology in the past 100 years. The journal’s editorial office has been located at the Medical School since 2005. Richard Irwin, MD, Pulmonary Medicine, chair of our Critical Care Operations Committee, serves as its editor in chief. CHEST was also named among the 34 most influential journals in clinical medicine and allied health sciences.  (News & Views, 5/11/09) 

The American Cancer Society awarded the UMass Memorial Cancer Center a $360,000 Institutional Research Grant to fund careers in cancer research. The grant supports investigators who are at the early stages of their careers to enable them to begin new programs. Cancer Center leaders expressed appreciation for the grant noting that it recognizes our commitment to develop cancer research programs that focus on fundamental regulatory mechanisms in tumor cells. It also recognizes the center’s focus on clinical research into how errors in biological control provide a platform for new cancer diagnosis and treatment. (News & Views, 4/22/09)

Learn about how to make the most from a primary care visit. Chief Quality Officer Bob Klugman, MD, is front and center in a video produced by the Partnership for HealthCare Excellence titled “Preparing for a Health Care Visit.” Link here to take a look: (News & Views, 4/22/09)

Robert Phillips, MD (Cardiovascular Medicine) director of the Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence, and senior vice president of the Medical Center, recently co-chaired a session at the American College of Cardiology 2009 conference. The topic, “Opportunities and threat: How the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence Challenges and Shapes an Academic Medical Center,” featured a panel of five distinguished cardiologists from across the country. (News & Views, 4/17/09)

Congratulations to Robert Weinstein, MD, chief of Transfusion Medicine, on being named president-elect of the World Apheresis Association (WAA) during the 12th biennial Congress of the World Apheresis Association held in Buenos Aires, Argentina earlier this month. While attending the Congress, Dr. Weinstien cochaired a symposium on Apheresis Medicine: Evidence, Excellence and Clinical Decision Making, as well as presenting medical grand rounds at Fundaleu (Fundacion Para Combatir La Leucemia). (News & Views 4/13/09)

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