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BERST Academy Faculty

Our faculty welcome your interest and questions. Please email us at

Rebecca Blanchard, Director

Rebecca Blanchard, PhDRebecca is the Senior Director of Education, the head of BERST Academy, and is passionate about using social science to influence and teach. Through BERST, she teaches and learns from creative and inspired employees across Baystate, who are committed to improving the ways that we care for the patients and employees around us.

Rebecca is an associate professor at UMMS-Baystate and leads, presents, and collaborates on educational research and scholarship. She earned a B.S. in mathematics from Bentley University and her graduate degrees in educational research, statistics, and evaluation from the University of Virginia. She loves writing, reading, baking, yoga, margaritas, and time with her husband and two boys.

Raquel Belforti

Dr. Raquel BelfortiRaquel graduated from Assumption College with a Bachelors of Arts, and earned her medical degree from The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2005. She completed her internal medicine residency and chief residency year at UMMS-Baystate and stayed on as an Academic Hospitalist. She has developed a career as a medical education leader across the continuum, earning a Masters of Medical Education and Leadership.

Raquel is an Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, Co-Director for the Advanced Practitioner Residency Program in Hospital Medicine, and the Program Director for the Advanced Hospital Medicine Fellowship Program. For UMMS-Baystate's Population-Based Urban and Rural Community Health Track, she oversees the 4-year curriculum as the Director of the PURCH Curriculum.

For the past 4 years Raquel has been a BERST Faculty member, where she strives to highlight the importance of motivation and reflection in all teaching experiences, and fosters a love for innovation and the growth mindset when it comes to teaching and leading.

Kevin Hinchey

Dr. Kevin HincheyKevin is the Chief Education Officer at Baystate Health. His passion is to design systems where education and patient care complement each other, as you can’t have one without the other. He worked in a clinic that provided care to our under-served and most vulnerable populations of patients.

Kevin is a Professor of Medicine at UMMS-Baystate and leads, presents, and collaborates on health care education. He earned a B.A. in studio art from Williams College before working as a high school math and computer science teacher in Virginia, where he also coached football, basketball, and tennis.

He completed a post-baccalaureate program before entering Tuft University School of Medicine. He loves any type of sport, making sour dough bread, and working on his pottery. He has three fantastic young adult children.

Katie Jobbins

Dr. Kathryn JobbinsKatie is a primary care internist at High Street Health Center, Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency, and Assistant Professor at UMMS-Baystate. She  received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University and her Masters in Science Nutrition and Metabolism from Case Western Reserve University before graduating from Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2010. Katie started residency training in general surgery at the Cleveland Clinic-South Pointe, but after 2 years found her true passion was in Internal Medicine. She completed 3 years of Internal Medicine at UMMS-Baystate and stayed on as Chief Resident in 2015-2016.

Katie recently won an AMA Inspiration Award for her work in medical education which includes, serving as primary care preceptor for residents, director of the resident self-reflection curriculum and ambulatory quality improvement curriculum, co-director of the humanities track, and director of the Chief Resident leadership curriculum for the health system. She is active nationally and locally in SGIM, AMA, AMWA and ACP. In the Massachusetts ACP Chapter, she is the co-chair of the Early Career Physician Council and supervises the resident/fellow council.

As an active BERST Academy member since its inception, she has been involved in many BERST offerings, from yoga rounds to museum rounds, and recently presented a BERST Bite “So your educational innovation is failing… now what?”

Reham Shaaban

Dr. Reham ShaabanReham is the Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School. She received her medical degree from A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her residency training at Baystate Medical center where she stayed on as an Academic Hospitalist.

Her dedication to the learning climate and checking for learner understanding serves as a model for the BERST community—encouraging us to think of evaluation not as an endpoint, but as one part of the continual growth process for both learners and educators.

Angela Sweeney

Angela SweeneyAngela T. Sweeney, MEd, MA is a Curriculum Design Specialist. She designs curricula for BERST and supports team members across Baystate Health through both curriculum consultation and teaching.

She was a high school English, Creative Writing, and Theater teacher, taught English and Film Studies at the college level, and was adjunct faculty in English at Holyoke Community College. In addition to working with BERST, she is a UMass Medical School instructor.

Her passion for, and experience with, the Humanities allows her to effectively teach others how to use Humanities interventions in health professions education.