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Chair's Corner

Dear Colleagues, 

After a mild autumn, the cold weather has officially arrived in Central Massachusetts, with flurries of snow in the air and frost on the morning grass. Prepping for the holiday season is now in full swing for many of us. Amid your busy schedules, please take a few minutes to read this month’s message featuring a welcome to our new vice chair for ambulatory care and chief of General Internal Medicine, a few exciting accomplishments of our department members, and a preview of the December Chair’s spotlight. 

I am thrilled to announce that Deborah Blazey-Martin, MD, MPH, has been named the new vice chair for Ambulatory Affairs and chief of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Blazey-Martin joins us from Tufts Medical Center, where she has served as chief of Internal Medicine and Adult Primary Care for the last nine years. She has also served as the medical director for Tufts Medical Center LCO, NEQCA since 2021, and for Tufts Medical Center Community Care since 2016. Dr. Blazey-Martin earned her medical degree from the Boston University School of Medicine, completed her residency in Primary Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and her fellowship in Internal Medicine at Harvard University School of Medicine. She will be officially joining us on January 17, 2023. Please join me in welcoming her to campus! 

I am also excited to share that UMass Memorial Health, Hospital at Home was recently awarded the “Hospital at Home Program of the Year,” and the “Hospital at Home Patient Video of the Year,” by the American Academy of Home Care Medicine. These are incredible honors for our HAH program which was launched just over a year ago in August 2021. Led by medical director, Dr. Constantinos (Taki) Michaelidis, the UMMH HAH has had outstanding quality and safety outcomes in some of the most complex HAH patient admissions, as they center their work on reducing 30-day readmissions in patients with Medicaid. These outcomes were presented at the AAHCM Annual Meeting in October. I would also like to congratulate their nurses Melissa Ohman-Ramadan and Lisa DeBoise for receiving the October 2022 Daisy Awards for extraordinary care. You can learn more about the UMMH HAH in this month’s DOM CONNECT which will be out this Friday, December 2nd.  

In this month’s Chair’s Spotlight, we feature Dr. Neal Silverman of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology. Dr. Silverman’s research primarily focuses on the mechanisms by which the innate immune response recognizes and responds to microbial challenges, and how microbial pathogens manipulate these responses. In addition to his research, Dr. Silverman demonstrates great dedication to the educational and diversity, equity, and inclusion missions of the DoM and UMass Chan through his service in the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and longstanding participation in diversity initiatives for students and faculty. We are most appreciative of his vast contributions to the Department of Medicine and invite you to read more about Dr. Silverman’s work here. 

Please be sure to check out our weekly Need to Know, On the Go, sent on Monday mornings, which highlights the upcoming events each week, and mark your calendars for our Winter Department of Medicine Town Hall on January 30, 2023, at 5:15 pm. 

Last, but not least, if you are celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanza, I wish you the happiest of festivities this holiday season with those who are closest to you. 

Sincerely, 
Dave