Meet Our Faculty!

Thank you for your interest in Fitchburg Family Medicine.  Feel free to contact any of our faculty any time to learn more! 

     

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Felix Chang MD, FAAMA, DABIM
Clinical Associate Professor
Inpatient Service Director
Felix.Chang2@umassmemorial.org
Guayaquil University School of Medicine in Ecuador, 1986
UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency, 2006
Areas of Interest and Research: Dr. Chang completed his training at the Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency Program in 2006. He remains on faculty at the Residency. He serves a Latin outreach program at the Leominster FHC. As director of the residency's Family Medicine Inpatient Service, Dr. Chang supervises morning report and rounds and lectures frequently on topics related to inpatient medicine, maternity and pediatrics. Dr. Chang is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

     

 

Valerie Coppenrath, PharmD
Assistant Professor
MCPHS University School of Pharmacy Worcester/Manchester – Department of Pharmacy Practice
Adjunct Assistant Professor
UMass School of Medicine – Department of Family Medicine & Community Health

Valerie earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2007 from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Afterwards, she completed a pharmacy practice residency and a primary care pharmacy residency, both accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacy and both at Boston Medical Center. She joined MCPHS University as an assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy – Worcester/Manchester in 2009. She practiced at a small community health center for six years where she directly managed the pharmacotherapy of patients with chronic diseases in collaboration with primary care providers.

At FFP, she supervises blocks of PharmD candidates as they conduct medication reconciliation, complete prior authorizations, provide education for the medical staff, and serve as a consult service for selected patients. Dr. Coppenrath and her team promote the judicious use of medications only when the benefits outweigh the risks. Her teaching and practice interests are diabetes, cardiovascular care, and evidence-based medicine. She enjoys the scholarship of teaching and learning most, but also enjoys reflective writing. She takes pleasure in mindfulness, the outdoors, and preparing and sharing meals.

     



 
 

Amber Hewitt, PsyD is a 2016 graduate of our Department's Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology in Primary Care. Amber received her BS in Psychology from Edgewood College in Madison, WI. She recently earned her doctorate in clinical psychology with a concentration in Primary Care Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. Amber completed her predoctoral internship at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center in the Primary Care/Health Psychology Track. Her clinical interests include motivational interviewing and health behavior change with a focus in obesity, diabetes, insomnia, and chronic pain. Amber enjoys playing volleyball and cooking.

     

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James J. Ledwith, MD, FAAFP
Medical Education Director
Assistant Professor
James.Ledwith@umassmemorial.org
College of William and Mary, 1979
Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, MD, 1983
Family Practice Residency at The Toledo Hospital, OH, 1986
Areas of Interest and Research: Clinical interests include chronic disease management, preventive services, obesity, substance abuse and suboxone therapy. I love delivering babies! Practice-based research interests include patient safety and care improvement.
Hometown: Numerous homes in my youth in MA, NJ, and PA, but Tappahannock, VA became hometown for me and my children. I am currently settled in Franklin, MA. 
About UMass Fitchburg:  "After 19 years of clinical practice before coming to UMass, I maintain a passion for community service and for the care of patients with a focus on health maintenance and systems implementation to enhance safe, accessible, comprehensive service. When I made the move to UMass, I shopped for a residency that was community-oriented and expressed care for its members, patients and staff like family. I found what I was looking for in Fitchburg!" 
Personal Facts: "My wife Lauren keeps my life in balance and my three children keep me active. Hobbies (often conflicting) include good food, reading, fitness, visiting the Cape, and protecting my home from the enthusiastic exploration of our new lab pup, Cassie. One day, with no kids' sports and school events, and with house renovations completed, I'll dust off my golf clubs or perhaps join another medical mission team."
Community Involvement: Dr. Ledwith also serves as the Medical Director of the Epworth Free Clinic in Worcester.

     

 

Charles W. Lehnardt, DO
A.T. Still University - Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville, MO, 2008
Residency at Via Christi Regional Medical Center, Wichita, KS, 2011
Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine / OMM Plus 1 Fellowship at NERMC in Kirksville, MO, 2012
Professional Affiliations: AOA, ACOFP, AAFP, AAO, Cranial Academy
Areas of Interest and Research: Clinical interests include the integration of Osteopathic Manipulation (OMM) with primary care, teaching and training medical students and residents in family medicine and OMM. In the past I have participated that researched utilization of OMM in clinical practice.
About UMass: "I am impressed with the supportive environment of the family medicine department at UMass. Each member is encouraged to improve on their interests and talents, collaborate with colleagues, and take the best care of their patients. The department is actively training each other as well as the residents and students we are here to teach."
Why Family Medicine: "Family medicine is very dynamic, and I find the most satisfaction in continuity care, educating and guiding patients toward their best health. I find osteopathic manipulative treatment is integral in the treatment of patients’ acute and chronic illnesses."

     

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Beth Kurtz Mazyck, MD, FAAFP
Residency Program Director and Medical Director, 
Associate Clinical Professor
Beth.Mazyck2@umassmemorial.org
George Washington University School of Health Sciences, Washington, DC
Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, GA
Professional Affiliations: ABFM, AAFP, STFM, MMS, American Board of Obesity Medicine
Areas of Interest and Research: Current new area of interest is Obesity Medicine, providing clinical services to help prevent and treat obesity utilizing a team approach: nutrition, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, group support, promoting physical activity, medications, and referrals for surgery when appropriate. Additionally, career-long interest in Women’s Health, Community/Public Health, and Clinical Ethics. 
About UMass Fitchburg“UMass Fitchburg is a great place to train. The education is wonderful, the variety of opportunities outstanding, and the resident support is unmatched at any residency.”
Why Family Medicine? "Family Medicine offers the opportunity to really get to know my patients and be involved in their lives. We can partner with them to remain healthy, not just recover from being sick. A family medicine practice is always challenging and interesting; you never know what will be next. Perhaps most importantly, family docs are the nicest group of docs you could every want to work with!" 
Personal Facts: Dr. Mazyck financed her medical education with a scholarship from the US Army. Following her time in the active forces she has remained in the Army Reserves. “I have enjoyed the diversity of people with which I serve, the travel to many places in the world, and the opportunity to serve our country.” When not working, she enjoys hiking the variety of trails in the area, travel, and spending family time with her large family.

     

 

Abhijeet A. Patil, MD, MS
Associate Residency Director
Assistant Professor
Abhijeet.Patil@umassmemorial.org
Fellowship, Geriatric Medicine, University Of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA
Residency, Family Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN
Master of Science, Exercise and Sports Studies and Sports Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, OH
Grant Medical College, Mumbai, MH, India
Professional Affiliations: American Academy of Family Physicians, American Geriatrics Society, Massachusetts Medical Society
Areas of Interest and Research: 1. Impassioned advocate for improvement of quality of life of the elderly population, through evidence based and compassionate geriatric medicine. 2. Global health: Social determinants of health and its impact on the health and provision of high qualiy health care to the vulnerable 3. Helping patients and families in complex decision making in heath care
4. Patient and community empowerment 5. e-health & m-Health. 6. Chronic disease management with an interdisciplinary and integrated approach.
About UMass Fitchburg: A wonderful place for quality health care education for professionals and health care provisions for patients. One of the few places where patient centered care is at the core of its vision.
Personal Facts: I believe in, ‘Change the Man In The Mirror, to Change The World for Better’ and follow Sir Rudolf Virchow’s philosophy; ‘The physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor and it's their obligation to point out problems and to attempt their theoretical solutions’. I am a founder of ‘i-PACE’ (i-Partners in All Inclusive Community Empowerment), a NGO in India, working for Education, Health and Environment for All! I am also an avid badminton and cricket player, and I love to paint!

     
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Michelle Pugnaire, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health 
Vice Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, UMass Medical School
Areas of Interest and Research: Dr. Pugnaire is responsible for providing leadership for curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation in undergraduate medical education. She has served as Associate Dean for Admissions and Assistant Dean for Student Advising. During the past 15 years, Dr. Pugnaire has served in a variety of administrative and teaching positions in the Department of Family Medicine, and is currently Project Director for the Macy Initiative in Health Communication grant at UMass Medical School as well as Principal Investigator for the Pfizer Sexual Health in Undergraduate Medical School Curricula and AAMC/John A. Hartford Foundation Enhancing Gerontology and Geriatrics Medicine Education in Undergraduate Medical Education grants. 

Her education interests and achievements include faculty development in student advising, technology in teaching, the McQ Standardized Family curriculum, and the expansion of the standardized family across three clerkships as the principal investigator for a UME 21 Associate Partnership grant. Dr. Pugnaire is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and maintains a community-based clinical practice in family medicine with the UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency Program.

     
     
     

 

Jill Tirabassi, MD, Assistant Professor, hails from Chittenango, NY where she was a three-sport athlete and captain in high school and was elected to her High School Athletic Hall of Fame. She attended college at Cornell University, where she was a four-year member of the varsity women’s soccer team and studied Nutritional Sciences, which fostered her interests in lifestyle health and wellness. In medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University, she spent time doing research in the chronic disease division at the Centers for Disease Control, coordinated a student-run free health clinic in Syracuse and enjoyed Alaska as part of a Wilderness Medicine elective. 

She attended the University of Colorado Family Medicine Residency in Denver where she enjoyed pursuing outdoors activities and ran group weight loss visits in addition to squeezing in sports medicine research and coverage and was a chief resident. She completed her fellowship at South Bend-Notre Dame Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship. She has special interest in diagnostic ultrasound and ultrasound guided injections as well as obesity and lifestyle medicine. She is excited to join the University of Massachusetts faculty in both family and sports medicine as the next step in her career to improve the health of the both the patients and community she will serve.

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