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The continuing education seminar programs were held between September and November 2023.

2023 Neurology Program

UMass Chan Department of Neurology Clinical & Research Updates Hybrid Program Agenda

  •  16 presenters
  •  Clinical and Basic Science   Updates
  •  Hybrid Program
  •  Collaboration between UMass   Chan and UMass Memorial   Health

Many thanks to our coordinating team for their participation in delivering our valuable program.   Click here to view photos of our presenters.

November 2023 Faculty Care Group Seminar Series

Reid Evans, PhD, assistant professor

Do you find filling out evaluations difficult? Do you struggle when talking to fellows, residents, students, or other trainees and trying to give constructive feedback? Do you find yourself reacting negatively when receiving feedback?

One of the most difficult things to do as an educator, mentor, supervisor, or colleague is to give and receive feedback.  Feedback is essential in our progress as individuals and in our work as a group, program, section, and department.  It’s how we get better and one of our responsibilities - to each other and to the community at large - is to provide input and feedback to give ourselves and each other opportunities to continue to grow.

Reid Evans, PhD, assistant professor and education director in the Department of Graduate Medical Education at UMASS Chan Medical School.  He is a gifted educator and conducts research on Language learning and Linguistics, Complexity Theory, and other educational topics.  He currently supports various academic departments and residency programs and has given previous sessions on “Creating an inclusive environment”, “Effective preceptoring” and “Active Learning Strategies” and is an important contributor to the educational sessions for our program.

November 2023 Neurohumanities Seminar Series

Professor Lucia Knoles

What We Owe People with Dementia—And Ourselves

Professor Lucia Knoles and Shannon Sweeney 

Lucia Knoles and Shannon Sweeney will draw upon poems and personal experiences to illustrate strategies for working with dementia patients in a way that reaffirms their humanity.  Knoles and Sweeney suggest that in addition to increasing compliance with healthcare protocols, building relationships with memory loss patients based on attention, respect, and joy can improve the quality of their lives—and our own.

Lucia Knoles is an English professor at Assumption College. She began working on this topic when her mother was diagnosed with dementia fifteen years ago. Since then, Professor Knoles has served as a long-term care ombudsman, and a teacher in literature and autobiography writing courses for assisted living and long-term care residents. She has been an essential contributor and pillar of our Neurohumanities program since its inception and the strongest of advocates for humanism in medicine.

Shannon Sweeney is the Dementia Program Director at Eisenberg Assisted Living. In addition to supervising staff and activities on the Keepsake Floor, she is responsible for training staff throughout the residence in dealing with people with dementia.  Recently, Shannon Sweeney has expanded the activities schedule for residents on the memory loss floor to include such cognitively stimulating activities as art appreciation sessions, poetry interpretation classes, and “You Be the Jury” sessions based on historical trials.

October 2023 Neurology Seminar Series

Bridgett Van Zundert, presenter

Quest to identify critical pathological mechanisms in ALS astrocytes for advancing diagnostic and therapeutic efforts.

Bridgette van Zundert, PhD, adjunct professor at UMass Chan Medical School, and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago, Chili

.October seminar series flyer by Bridgette van Zundert, PhD

Rachael Sirianni, PhD

Targeting drug delivery to the CNS: mechanisms, challenges, and opportunities

Rachael Sirianni, PhD, professor, and vice chair, of research in neurosurgery.

Click here to view the event flyer

October 2023 Faculty Care Group Seminar Series

Working relationships with our nursing colleagues

We are fortunate to have excellent nurses working with our patients and this session will feature some of the best and most experienced:

Ray St.Peter, MSN, RN, CCRN,  a Lakeside 2 ICU Nurse and Nurse Educator
Peter Daoust, MSN, RN, a Nurse Manager of 4th Floor (4 EAST and 4 WEST)
Tammy Wylie, MSN, AGNP-bc, a Daisy Award Winning 4th floor nurse who is now a Nurse Practitioner on the Trauma Service

Our strongest and most essential allies in the care of our patients are our nursing colleagues.  They are the clinicians at the bedside and have expertise in serial bedside assessment, in providing daily care and responding to the patient’s needs in a timely manner.  Our relationships and communication with them is critical to provide the best care for our patients.  As physicians we can go about our day focused on patient care, communicating with patients, families and other services and trainees but how about our working relationships with our nursing colleagues? How do we come across to them and what are optimal behaviors and communication strategies in working with them in the various settings that we do?  How do we resolve conflicts when they arise and ensure that we are always working well together?

October 2023 Neurohumanities Seminar Series

AM Barrett, MD

Fiction, poetry and neurology

Through the emerging field of Neuroaesthetics or the scientific study of the neural consequences of contemplating a creative work of art we know that all forms of art including fiction and poetry can change us biologically. It can inspire us and transform our lives. There is much research accumulating that the arts can heal us, amplify our learning, cultivate curiosity and empathy, broaden our perspectives and are essential in creating community and a flourishing existence for individuals. AM Barrett, MD, shared her personal reflections on the impact of reading and creative writing on her life and career as a neurologist. She spoke about what reading and creative writing has meant to her since she was a child, and how she links them to her career as a neurologist.  She read some of her work and discussed how reading and writing has been important in her life. 

Chair, AM Barrett, MD, professor at UMass Chan Medical School, was previously the director of neurology neurorehabilitation, a division at Emory University School of Medicine and Executive Director of the Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Neuroscience and Medical Director of the Cognitive Neurology Clinic for the Atlanta VA Health Care System. Her extensive experience brings together training in cognitive neurology and neuropsychology, neurology, medicine and brain injury. Her research program encompasses brain-behavior relationships relevant to spatial cognition and rehabilitation of spatial neglect; person-centered care and outcomes relevant to function and life participation; and identification and management of hidden disabilities and mechanisms of deficit unawareness. She is also a voracious reader, writer and poet and a strong advocate for humanism in the practice of medicine and neurology.

September 2023 Neurology Seminar Series

Jean Pierre Schatzmann Peron, PhD

Zika virus modulates miRNAs targeting immunoregulatory and neurodevelopmental genes in astrocytes

JeanPierre Schatzmann Peron, PhD, associate professor in neurology, and principal investigator of the Neuroimmune Interactions Laboratory.

September 2023 Faculty Care Group Seminar Series

Brian Silver, MD

Benefits of Regular Exercise and Fitness Activities.

Brian Silver, MD, vice chair of clinical operations in neurology, Boston Marathon finisher, runner, iron man and fitness enthusiast, discussed the multiple benefits and kinds of exercise and fitness activities available to a busy faculty member of the neurology department. He shared his personal experiences and insights into this highly relevant topic, which was one of the topics requested in the survey. Our health and well-being are important and often neglected in our busy work schedules.

Brian provided a recent meta-analysis and systematic review on the neurological benefits of exercise published in Frontiers of Neuroscience.

September 2023 Neurohumanities Seminar Series

Heather Finlay-Morreale, MD, FAAP, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UMass Chan Medical School

Honoring the wellbeing, dignity, and experiences of all the cogs in the medical machine - both patients and clinicians

Heather Finlay-Morreale, MD, FAAP, is an assistant professor of pediatrics at UMass Chan, as well as a physician, patient, writer/storyteller, artist, and advocate. Finlay-Morreale, MD, was an Ell Scholar at Northeastern University, went to medical school at the University of Cincinnati, and completed her pediatric residency at Tufts. After published research and clinical work, she now focuses on narrative medicine. She was a Doximity Writing Fellow and has a featured blog on Doximity’s Op(M)ed. An essay in the Pharos won a Helen Glaser Humanism in Medicine award and her writing has been featured in Lancet Blog, JAMA Neurology, CHEST, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Psychology Today, KevinMD, and the Mighty. She has also appeared on multiple podcasts on Spotify and Moth-style storytelling events. She shares her journey with post-herpetic neuralgia and myasthenia gravis using storytelling and images and discusses how these experiences led to a clinical approach of meeting a patient with a clean slate and listening curiously.