Gerda Maissel, MD, recently joined the Baystate Health Northern Region as Chief Medical Officer. In this role, she
- Serves as the liaison between Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s administrative team and the medical staff
- Oversees medical staff recruitment, credentialing and hospital quality initiatives
- Has direct responsibility for the Baystate Medical Practices in Franklin County.
Dr. Maissel comes to this position from Baystate Medical Center, where she had been serving as Chief of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services since 1994, and in various roles including Medical Director of Post Acute Baystate Health since 2004 and President of the Baystate Medical Center Medical Staff from 2003 to 2004.
Given the extensive connections she has with her colleagues in Springfield, Dr. Maissel looks forward to bringing the appropriate resources of Baystate Health to bear in ways that will be most helpful to the Northern Region. “We all benefit from listening to and appreciating each others’ perspectives,” she noted. “Community hospitals are often more flexible and can implement change quickly, while teaching hospitals offer expertise that can be valuable in managing exceptionally complex clinical cases,” explained Dr. Maissel. “My goal, as CMO, is to help the hospital and Franklin County practices further develop their own unique wonderfulness, and to be recognized by the rest of the system for their progressive practices.”
Franklin County feels like “familiar territory” to Dr. Maissel, who was born and raised in the Hudson Valley of New York. After finishing high school in Wappingers Falls, NY, she went on to the University of Connecticut, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology. “It gave me a great science background for medicine,” she said, “though I realized I wanted more interaction with people, and was especially interested in working to help them achieve their personal health goals.”
Dr. Maissel earned her medical degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Health Sciences Center at Syracuse. She then completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Crozer Chester Medical Center in Chester, PA, followed by a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. After working as an attending physician at Jefferson for three years, she wanted to get out of the big city, so made the move to the Pioneer Valley, where she became the youngest division chief at Baystate Medical Center, and the only female.
Attracted to medicine because she wanted to work more closely with people, Dr. Maissel has spent her professional career balancing direct patient care with administrative responsibilities. “In both instances, I am serving as both a resource and a translator,” she observed. “I enjoy the give and take between colleagues as we all work together to figure out the best approach to take with each other, our patients, and the community as a whole.”
Presently living in Longmeadow with her two teenage sons, Dr. Maissel hopes to relocate to Franklin County when her sons are finished with high school. “This is a wonderful community,” she said, “and I am very glad to be here. People have been warm, friendly and open – and the pace of life fits with where I grew up and feel most at home. I look forward to getting more involved over time in various projects and events. For example, I’ve enjoyed attending the Green River Festival for the last two years, and this year I had the opportunity to volunteer at the festival side by side with one of my sons”