You are using an older version of Internet Explorer that is not supported on this site. Please upgrade for the best experience.

Faculty Highlights Archive

August 2019

Maura Brennan, MD

bhgroupAFHSsummitCongratulations to Dr. Maura Brennan and her team on obtaining a renewal of Baystate Health’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Grant through 2024. Dr. Brennan is the lead on this grant, which has supported the growth of the ACE (Acute Care for Elders) and Geri-Pal programs along with a host of other community outreach and educational initiatives. These programs have already improved outcomes for patients and reduced costs for the health system. Due in large part to this grant, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) recognized Baystate Health’s three Community Health Centers (High Street, Mason Square and Brightwood) and Baystate Medical Center as the first age-friendly healthcare sites in the nation. Simultaneously with the grant renewal, the city of Springfield was awarded age-friendly status by AARP and dementia-friendly recognition by the Massachusetts Council on Aging. This was the first time in the nation that the following trifecta has been reached in a single community: an age-friendly city, a dementia-friendly city, and age-friendly health system.

“Being an age friendly city means we are working towards improving amenities that make it better for older adults and the community. For the health system, it’s an emphasis on tracking the following: what matters most (ex. spending time with family), medications, mobility (keeping independent and active), and mentation,” says Dr. Brennan. Baystate is now one of only 48 federally funded geriatrics centers in the nation. In addition to current services, the next five years will see more “age-friendly” projects, improved access to skilled geriatrics care, and support for the primary care workforce as Baystate continues its journey to value-based care and a population health approach.

Dr. Brennan is the Division Chief for Geriatrics, Palliative Care, and Post-Acute Medicine and Professor of Medicine. Dr. Brennan is pictured above, second from the right, with her team.

July 2019

Quinn Pack, MD, MSc

incontentpack250x250Congratulations to Dr. Quinn Pack, Assistant Professor of Medicine, and his team on the recent publication of “Association Between Inpatient Echocardiography Use and Outcomes in Adult Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction” in JAMA Internal Medicine. The objective of this paper was to examine the association between risk-standardized hospital rates of transthoracic echocardiography and outcomes.

“This paper challenges the idea that everyone with a heart attack needs an echocardiogram, and that, particularly at high use hospitals, it may be possible to reduce the number of studies that are performed,” says Dr. Pack. “This could potentially lead to increased savings and greater value of hospital-based care.” As a practicing cardiologist, Dr. Pack often sees echocardiograms (heart ultrasound studies) ordered on patients where, even before the pictures are taken, it is pretty clear that the test is unlikely to yield any new diagnostic information. More importantly, there is prior research showing that as few as 30% of echocardiograms actually affect clinical care.

“As a result, we wanted to see if the use of echocardiography would lead to improved patient outcomes,” Dr. Pack adds. To do this, the group evaluated about 400 hospitals and 100,000 patients with a heart attack and correlated hospital outcomes (rates of inpatient mortality, cost, length of stay and readmission) with how frequently the hospital used echocardiography. They found no differences in rates of mortality or readmission when comparing hospitals with echo rates of about 85% (top quartile) compared to hospitals with echo rates of about 55% (bottom quartile), but top quartile hospitals spent more money and had longer lengths of stay.

“This paper should encourage clinicians to be careful and thoughtful when ordering an echocardiogram,” concludes Dr. Pack. “In general, echocardiography should not be done just to complete a routine or protocol, but rather should be prompted by an honest clinical question that needs answering. Such thoughtful testing may also benefit patients by reducing overall health care costs.”

Dr. Pack co-authored this paper with UMMS-Baystate faculty and staff: Aruna Priya, MA, MSc; Tara Lagu, MD, MPH; Penelope Pekow, PhD; JP Schilling, MD; William Hiser, MD; and Peter K. Lindenauer, MD, MSc, MHM. Read the abstract here.

Citation: JAMA Intern Med. 2019 Jun 17. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.1051.

David Gang, MD

InContentGang250x2502Dr. David Gang, Professor of Pathology, was elected President of the Massachusetts Society of Pathologists (MSP) in May 2019. He has been a member of the MSP since 1990 and previously served as an At-Large member of the Executive Committee. As President of the MSP, Dr. Gang will organize and run the biannual educational meetings and work with the Executive Committee in supporting political action. He will also work with other Massachusetts physician organizations, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the legislature on patient-related matters.

In addition to his role as President of MSP, Dr. Gang is the new Chair of the Federal and State Affairs Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP). CAP is the world’s largest organization of board-certified pathologists and leading provider of laboratory accreditation and proficiency testing programs. Dr. Gang oversees advocacy on the state, federal, and grassroots level for the College on behalf of patients and fellow pathologists. This past April, Dr. Gang moderated a full day session at CAP’s yearly Policy meeting in Washington D.C., sharing best practices for effective communication with congressional staff. On the final day of the meeting, Dr. Gang led over 80 pathologists to the Hill where they advocated for legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills and stressed the importance of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) reform, which is needed to prevent significant reductions in Medicare reimbursement for clinical laboratory tests. The Massachusetts contingent spoke with legislative staff from the offices of Richard Neal, Jim McGovern, Ayanna Pressley, Ed Markey, and Elizabeth Warren, plus with Joe Kennedy directly. Through these meetings, the group emphasized that any federal legislation on surprise billing should include the following goals: set network adequacy standards for hospital-based physicians, provide fair reimbursement for care, and establish an arbitration process to take patients out of the middle. The PAMA reform would have a direct impact on Baystate Health and Baystate Reference Laboratories in particular, and the work by Dr. Gang and his colleagues to protect patients on federally regulated health plans from the threat of “surprise bills” has a nationwide impact.

June 2019

Peter Friedmann, MD, MPH, DFASAM, FACP

Dr. Peter FriedmannPeter Friedmann, MD, MPH, DFASAM, FACP, Associate Dean of Research, Professor of Medicine, and Professor of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, began a two-year term as President of the Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine (MASAM) on May 17, 2019. As President, Dr. Friedmann will be committed to making significant strides in improving care, education, research, and policy for families and individuals in Massachusetts suffering from substance use disorders.

Dr. Friedmann served as President-Elect of MASAM from 2017-2019 and has been a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) since 1995. He is a Distinguished Fellow of ASAM, Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP), past president of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), former director on the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and Deputy Editor for the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.

MASAM is the Massachusetts chapter of ASAM and is made up of nearly 200 professionals representing different categories of addiction medicine. Learn more about MASAM at

Congratulations Dr. Friedmann on this fantastic honor!

Rachana Singh, MD, MS

incontentsingh250x250Dr. Rachana Singh, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, presented findings from two of her recent studies: "Improving Outcomes for Pregnancies Impacted by Opioid Use Disorder: The Massachusetts Experience" and “Partnering with Mothers to Improve Outcomes for Substance Exposed Newborns – A Pilot Program” at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2019 Meeting in Baltimore, MD. These oral presentations highlighted the work Dr. Singh and her co-investigators have done to support maternal-infant dyads impacted by opioid use disorder (OUD) in Massachusetts. The researchers assessed hospital interventions done in collaboration with the Perinatal-Neonatal Quality Improvement Network of Massachusetts (PNQIN). Both of Dr. Singh’s presentations described positive outcomes exhibited by families that benefitted from implementation of best evidence based practices for pregnancies affected by OUD.

Dr. Singh noted, “Through local as well as statewide multidisciplinary collaborative efforts we have been able to improve care provision for OUD-impacted pregnancies, resulting in a trend toward less need for pharmacologic treatment through greater focus on non-pharmacologic methods, all while engaging families as partners.”

As a health system, Baystate has been a leader in identifying the issues and supporting pregnancies impacted by OUD for more than a decade, leading to development of protocols that are utilized by other health systems. The latest efforts in this field benefit both maternal-infant dyads and hospitals by reducing the initiation and duration of pharmacotherapy and length of stay in the NICU/CCN, all while increasing breastfeeding initiation and continuation at infant discharge.

Read more about Dr. Singh’s presentation.

May 2019

Mihaela Stefan, MD

incontentstefan250x250Congratulations to Mihaela Stefan, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, who recently received her first independent, NIH (National Institutes of Health) research grant. Dr. Stefan will be collaborating with Premier Inc., a North Carolina-based healthcare improvement company, as well as co-investigators from UMMS-Baystate, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The five-year, $3.2 million project is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and entitled "Implementation of interprofessional training to improve uptake of noninvasive ventilation in patients hospitalized with severe COPD exacerbation.”

Dr. Stefan and her colleagues will recruit hospitals from the Premier network and perform a cluster randomized trial comparing two strategies for increasing the delivery of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in COPD patients. COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S., and COPD exacerbations result in approximately 700,000 hospitalizations annually. Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is recommended in COPD guidelines as the first-line treatment for patients with severe exacerbation. However, there is still substantial variation in the implementation of NIV across hospitals, leading to preventable morbidity and mortality. This study hopes to help streamline the process.

This investigation will be the first in the U.S. to test the impact of interprofessional education (IPE) in the inpatient setting. Dr. Stefan’s study will assess if IPE improves team functionality and respiratory therapist autonomy and consequent increases the uptake of NIV. It also promises to change practice by offering approaches to facilitate greater uptake of NIV and may generalize to other interventions directed to seriously-ill patients.

Dr. Stefan’s research grant represents the second major funding award for investigators at UMMS-Baystate’s Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Population Science (IHDPS) this year, further establishing the growing research platform in our organization.

Daniel Engelman, MD

Dr. Daniel EngelmanDr. Daniel Engelman, Associate Professor of Surgery, Medical Director of the Heart, Vascular and Inpatient Service, and Surgical Director of the Cardiac Critical Care Unit at Baystate Medical Center, authored the “Guidelines for Perioperative Care in Cardiac Surgery” published in the May edition of JAMA Surgery. The article was viewed over 15,000 times in the first 10 days after publication making it one of the most viewed ever in the journal with an Altmetric score in the top 1% of "attention scores.”

Dr. Engelman leads the ERAS® (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) Society committee that developed the guidelines to provide cardiac surgical programs with evidence-based protocols to enhance patient recovery following heart surgery. These guidelines are the first to address the complete perioperative patient journey for cardiac surgical patients. The goal is to optimize patient care through collaborative discovery, analysis, expert consensus, and dissemination of best practices thereby improving both short and long-term outcomes and decreasing complications and readmissions. Some of the standardized approaches included in the guidelines are pre-habilitation to better prepare patients for surgery; pathways to manage glucose, fluids, and temperature; antifibrinolytic and multimodal anesthesia utilization and the use of biomarkers and goal-directed fluid therapy to prevent acute kidney injury.

These guidelines align with Baystate Health’s mission to improve the total care of our patients with high quality, evidence-based practices. Dr. Engelman felt inspired to publish this work because of our institution’s emphasis on safety and multidisciplinary collaboration.

Citation: Engelman DT, Ben Ali W, Williams JB, et al. Guidelines for Perioperative Care in Cardiac Surgery: Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Society Recommendations. JAMA Surg. Published online May 04, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.1153.

Tara Lagu, MD, MPH

taralagu250x250incontentTara Lagu, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine, received the Society of Hospital Medicine’s 2019 Research Excellence Award in March 2019. This national honor recognizes members of the Society who have made exceptional contributions to research in the field.

Dr. Lagu has published over 100 papers that have appeared in high-impact journals including the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Journal of Hospital Medicine, and JAMA, including a series of papers describing gaps in quality and access to care for patients with disabilities. She is the principal investigator on two recently funded R01s. The larger goal of both of these grants is to identify strategies to improve outcomes for patients with heart failure. In 2013, she conducted a “secret shopper” survey of physicians in a variety of practice settings across the country and discovered that 20% of physicians would refuse to see a patient who uses a wheelchair. This work was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and profiled in The New York Times.

Learn more about the Society of Hospital Medicine’s Awards of Excellence Program.

April 2019

Amy Oliveira, MD


Amy Oliveira, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, was invited to speak at the Association of University Radiologists (AUR) Annual Meeting on April 9th, 2019 in Baltimore, MD. Her talk, “Helping Your Faculty Give Useful, Detailed Feedback (in Person and in Writing),” was part of the “Leading Faculty Development in Education in Your Department” session. Dr. Oliveira lectured as part of an expert panel on providing educators effective feedback tools to implement at their institutions. Additionally, Dr. Oliveira co-moderated a round-table discussion on Networking Tips with Dr. Theresa McLoud, world-renowned thoracic radiologist.

The AUR Annual Meeting is attended primarily by radiologists, researchers, trainees, and administrators in academic radiology. 

Kevin Moriarty, MD, FACS, FAAP

kevinmoriartyincontent250x250Kevin Moriarty, MD, Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at Baystate Children’s Hospital, recently received the UMass Community Salute Award presented by the Massachusetts State Lottery. This award honors individuals who have had significant positive impact in the greater Western Massachusetts community. Dr. Moriarty was selected based on his many contributions to the region including leading community gun buy-backs for over a decade and delivering patient-centered care that improves the lives of countless children in our area. Beyond Western Massachusetts, he traveled to Haiti in 2010 to volunteer as a surgeon after the devastating earthquake that affected thousands of lives. Dr. Moriarty received his award at a special in-game presentation during one of the final five UMass Men’s Basketball home games.

Learn more about the UMass Community Salute.

March 2019

Susan Kartiko, MD, PhD, FACS

incontentkartiko250x250Dr. Susan Kartiko, Assistant Professor of Surgery at University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, recently presented her
work entitled “Fall Prevention Initiative: A Fall Screening Pilot Study in the Ambulatory Setting” at the 32nd EAST (The Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma) Annual Scientific Assembly in Austin, TX.

Dr. Kartiko and her colleagues Erin Jarosz, OT, and Ida Konderwicz, RN, of the Baystate Medical Center Injury Prevention Program administered a validated screening questionnaire to primary care offices and other ambulatory clinics to help identify patients at risk for falling. Once noted to have a fall risk, patients were referred to the Fall Prevention Initiative Physical Therapy Program. The team measured patients’ mobility before and after the Program. Patients who experienced the intervention demonstrated significant improvement in mobility. Historically, patients who have fallen express lower confidence in performing day-to-day tasks, and therefore investigators also administered a confidence level questionnaire after the physical therapy concluded. The results revealed a significant increase in confidence level scores.

Because of Dr. Kartiko’s research, the Emergency Departments at Baystate Medical Center, Baystate Wing Hospital, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital have incorporated fall screenings for patients 55 years and older. At-risk patients are referred to the Fall Prevention Initiative Physical Therapy Program.

Additionally, this study earned Dr. Kartiko the Office of Faculty Affairs Supporting Scholarship among Junior Faculty award in early 2019.

Refer to pages 92-93 of the EAST Annual Scientific Assembly 2019 program book for Dr. Kartiko’s study.

February 2019

Charlotte Boney, MD, MS, Chair
Laura Pinkston Koenigs, MD, FSAHM, FAAP, Vice Chair for Education
Department of Pediatrics

incontentboneykoenigs 250x250Two UMMS-Baystate faculty members are now serving as Subboard Chairs for The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). Charlotte Boney, MD, MS, Chair of Pediatrics, and Laura Pinkston Koenigs, MD, FSAHM, FAAP, Vice Chair for Education, Department of Pediatrics, have been elected to lead their respective Subboards within the ABP, each serving a two-year term that began January 1, 2019. Dr. Boney now heads the Subboard of Endocrinology and Dr. Koenigs the Subboard of Adolescent Medicine.

As Subboard Chairs, Drs. Boney and Koenigs will review the qualifications for diplomate status in their respective subspecialties; determine the content area for expertise in their subspecialties, and help write examinations for certification.

The American Board of Pediatrics includes the following subspecialties: Cardiology, Critical Care Medicine, Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hematology-Oncology, Hospital Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Nephrology, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, and Child Abuse Pediatrics. To become a general member of a Subboard, an individual must be elected by his or her peers to serve a six-year term. Dr. Boney has been a member of the Subboard of Endocrinology since 2015; while Dr. Koenigs has been on the Subboard of Adolescent Medicine since 2014.

Congratulations to Drs. Boney and Koenigs on this tremendous honor!
(Dr. Boney is pictured above at right, and Dr. Koenigs is pictured above at left)

Learn more about the Subboards of the ABP.

December 2018

Karin Johnson, MD

incontentkjohnson250x250Dr. Karin Johnson, Vice Chair for Academic Affairs of the Department of Neurology and Associate Professor of Neurology at University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, co-authored an article in the November 2018 issue of Sleep Medicine that proposed a new cost-effective method of testing for sleep apnea.

“Flow Limitation/Obstruction With Recovery Breath (FLOW) Event For Improved Scoring of Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea without Electroencephalography” explains its definition and the reliability of its scoring system.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a very common disorder that can cause symptoms like snoring, disrupted sleep, and fatigue. It can put people at higher risk for other disorders like heart attacks or stroke. Due to recent changes in insurance, most patients only qualify for home sleep apnea testing (HSAT). This type of testing does not include testing of brain waves (electroencephalogram), which is a typical part of in-lab testing. Because of this, when traditional scoring methods are used, a HSAT is more likely to underestimate the severity of OSA and lead to the underdiagnosis of many patients, especially those with mild sleep apnea. This realization led to the creation of a new breathing event, FLOW, which does not require an electroencephalogram. FLOW will help make HSAT a more sensitive and cost-efficient testing process.

Since the publication of this paper, Dr. Johnson and her team have been working on demonstrating the clinical utility of FLOW and how it may be used to aid in the diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with mild OSA.

Citation: Karin Johnson MD, Douglas Clark Johnson MD, Robert Joseph Thomas MD, Edward Feldmann MD, Peter K. Lindenauer MD, MSc, Paul Visintainer PhD, Meir Kryger MD. Flow Limitation/Obstruction With Recovery Breath (FLOW) Event For Improved Scoring of Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea without Electroencephalography. Sleep Medicine. 30 November 2018. (Read the abstract)

Maura Brennan, MD

Dr. Maura BrennanDr. Maura Brennan, Division Chief for Geriatrics & Palliative Care
and Professor of Medicine at UMMS-Baystate, has been recently appointed as a member of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Treatment for the State of Massachusetts.
This leadership role serves Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary Marylou Sudders.

In the summer of 2018, the state legislature took a number of steps to enhance services and improve care for people with dementia, as well as to ease the struggle for their loved ones. This included
passing a bill to establish new training requirements in dementia for RNs, NPs, PAs, protective services caseworkers, and physicians.

Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to mandate this type of continuing education and support of dementia. Hospitals are now required to devise plans by October 2021 to identify and care for patients with dementia and delirium.

In correlation to these efforts, a 17-member Advisory Council to the Governor has been formed. It is comprised of state officials, patients and caregivers, researchers and clinicians, reviews state plans and needs and makes annual recommendations. It will meet quarterly and convene for the first time early in 2019. Dr. Brennan is being sworn in the week of December 10, 2018 and will then begin to serve in this position.

Jean Ahn, FACHE & Mark Keroack, MD, MPH

IncontentJAhn 250x250Jean Ahn, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Baystate Health, along with Dr. Mark Keroack, President and CEO of Baystate Health, and Professor of Medicine at UMMS-Baystate, authored an article in the November 2018 issue of Trustee Insights, a quarterly resource on the hottest topics in health care published by the American Hospital Association (AHA). “Engaging Boards in Disruptive Innovation: A Strategy Simulation Can Be Effective for Assessing Potential Disruptors” emphasized that hospitals and health systems must understand the threats posed by market disruptors to generate effective strategies in safeguarding their missions.

IncontentMKeroack 250x250In an innovative approach to engage the board of trustees at its annual retreat in May 2018, Baystate Health used simulation-based learning to help board members gain key insights into disruptive competitors. The exercise involved directly assuming the identities of the disruptors themselves and imagining how competitors might think and behave in the local market. After the simulation, the board demonstrated an enhanced appreciation for the health system’s competitive strategy and generating ideas for partnering with potential disruptors.

Citation: Ahn, J., & Keroack, M. K. Engaging boards in disruptive innovation: A strategy simulation can be effective for assessing potential disruptors. Trustee Insights. November, 2018. (Read the Article)

November 2018

Thomas Lincoln, MD

Dr. Thomas LincolnDr. Thomas Lincoln, Associate Professor of Medicine at the
University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, is the
recipient of the 2018 Armond Start Award for Excellence from the American College of Correctional Physicians. This annual award honors an individual who represents high ideals in correctional medicine, including consistently advocating for standards for better patient care and professional correctional medical environments.

Dr. Lincoln is an active member of the American College of Correctional Physicians and his work at the Hampden County Correctional Centers spans 25 years. His service as an architect and founder of the Hampden County Public Health Model for Correctional Health Care has been recognized as an innovative, logical, effective, and sustainable approach to health care for an incarcerated population. The community integrated health program is a national model for collaborative health care delivery in the context of corrections and community health and has won numerous awards.

Dr. Lincoln has served in leadership roles with the American College of Correctional Physicians (formerly the Society of Correctional Physicians), including serving on the Board of Directors, and Information Technology, and Education Committees, with a focus on supporting physicians and advanced practitioners new to jail correctional health. Dr. Lincoln was honored with the award at the Annual ACCP Conference on October 21st in Las Vegas.

In 2017, Dr. Warren Ferguson, Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at UMMS, received the Armond Start Award for Excellence.

Read more about the Armond Start Award of Excellence.

Christopher Otis, MD

Dr. Christopher OtisDr. Christopher Otis, Professor of Pathology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, authored an article in the October 2018 issue of Cancer Cytopathology. “Perspectives and Perceptions of Urgent and Alert Values in Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology: A Survey of Clinical Practitioners and Pathologists” demonstrated areas of agreement and disagreement among physicians regarding key critical diagnosis policy issues.

In order to improve patient care and safety, the publication recommended fostering agreement within the interdepartmental medical team about what findings should be considered alert-urgent or unexpected and how they should be communicated. In addition, it stressed the importance of giving pathologists additional investigative and communication tools as well as maintaining a robust quality assurance system to overcome obstacles that arise.

Citation: Cretara, A. D., & Otis, C. N. (October 06, 2018). Perspectives and perceptions of urgent and alert values in surgical pathology and cytopathology: A survey of clinical practitioners and pathologists. Cancer Cytopathology. (Read the Abstract)

September 2018

Daniel Engelman, MD

Dr. Daniel EngelmanDr. Daniel Engelman, Associate Professor of Surgery at UMMS-Baystate, and Medical Director of the Heart, Vascular and Critical Care Units at Baystate Medical Center, has been forging efforts to improve the health of cardiac surgery patients in his role as president of ERAS® (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery) Cardiac—an international non-profit society with a mission to optimize the perioperative care of cardiac surgical patients through collaborative discovery, analysis, expert consensus, and dissemination of best practices. He has overseen the creation of an executive board, advisory board, and a subject matter panel of 40 international experts for ERAS® Cardiac.

With his colleagues within ERAS® Cardiac, Dr. Engelman has organized symposia at The American Association of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting for the last two years on the advantages of superior perioperative care such as optimizing a patient’s nutritional status and addressing smoking cessation prior to surgery. This year, he was also asked to organize symposia at the International European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Milan and at the World Congress on Enhanced Recovery in Stockholm.

Dr. Engelman and his clinical team are optimizing care for our own patients, particularly around the pre-habilitation component of treatment, by embracing best practices promulgated by ERAS® Cardiac.

July 2018

Esra Caylan, MD

Dr. Esra CaylanDr. Esra Caylan, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UMMS-Baystate, published an article in the June 2018 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics that compared the characteristics and severity of respiratory disease in children testing positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) and for human rhinovirus (RhV).

“Comparison of the Severity of Respiratory Disease in Children Testing Positive for Enterovirus D68 and Human Rhinovirus” found that children with EV-D68 appeared to have more severe respiratory disease on admission than children with RhV as evidenced by higher rates of fever, wheezing, bronchodilator use, and pediatric intensive care unit admission. Despite the initial difference in severity, no significant difference in length of stay was found, suggesting that patients with EV-D68 recovered as quickly as other groups.

There are many viruses causing respiratory disease in children but there is inadequate information to help differentiate, manage, or prevent these infections. By comparing EV-D68 with RhV infections, the investigators hope to elucidate clinical differences between these two disease processes. There was a nationwide outbreak of EV-D68 associated with severe respiratory illness in 2014.

Citation: Caylan E, Weinblatt E, Welter J, Dozor A, Wang G, Nolan SM. Comparison of the severity of respiratory disease in children testing positive for enterovirus d68 and human rhinovirus. The journal of pediatrics. 2018;197:147-153. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.02.027. (Read the Abstract)

April 2018

Barry Sarvet, MD

Dr. Barry SarvetDr. Barry Sarvet, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Psychiatrist for Public Sector Psychiatry Award from the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society (MPS). This annual award honors psychiatrists for their contributions to the Society, the profession, and evidence-based high quality patient care. It will be presented to Dr. Sarvet at the MPS Annual Meeting on April 24, 2018 in Waltham, MA.

Dr. Sarvet’s career has focused on developing and implementing models to promote integrating psychiatry into primary care, and disseminating best practices in children’s mental health treatment. With pediatric colleagues, he helped develop the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP)—an innovative statewide public system to improve access to care for children with mental health needs. MCPAP has become a national model for helping pediatric primary care providers address mental health. Dr. Sarvet has served as its statewide medical director since 2004. He has provided technical assistance and consultation to public health agencies and health systems across the U.S. to promote the dissemination of this and other models of collaboration between psychiatry and primary care.

Dr. Sarvet helped found the National Network of Child Psychiatry Access Programs, which has members from 32 states. He co-chairs the Mental Health Task Force of the MA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and chairs the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Committee in Healthcare Access and Economics.

Dr. Sarvet’s work has also focused on the needs of children impacted by traumatic stress. His efforts to develop the mental health program within the Baystate Children’s Hospital Family Advocacy Center, a clinical and research program for children who have experienced trauma, have included leadership on a series of federally funded demonstration projects involving dissemination and adaptation of evidence-based treatment models in community settings.

February 2018

Cynthia Sites, MD

Dr. Cynthia SitesDr. Cynthia Sites, Chief of Reproductive Endocrinology at Baystate Medical Center and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UMMS-Baystate, published an article in the November 2017 issue of Fertility and Sterility that evaluated whether assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycles involving cryopreserved-warmed embryos are associated with the development of preeclampsia.

“Embryo Cyropreservation and Preeclampsia Risk” found that ART cycles with frozen embryo transfers are associated with a higher risk for preeclampsia with severe features and preterm delivery compared with fresh embryo transfers of patients' own eggs.

Accordingly, patients having in vitro fertilization, particularly frozen embryo transfers, should be counseled about and monitored more closely for preeclampsia.

Citation: Sites CK, Wilson D, Barsky M, Bernson D, Bernstein IM, Boulet S, Zhang Y. Embryo cryopreservation and preeclampsia risk. Fertil Steril. 2017 Nov;108(5):784-790. (Read the Abstract)

November 2017

Adam Kellogg, MD

Dr. Adam KelloggDr. Adam Kellogg, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate and Associate Residency Director and Co-Director of the Medical Education Fellowship in the Department of Emergency Medicine, is the 2017 recipient of the Emergency Medicine Residents Association (EMRA) Joseph F. Waeckerle Alumni Award. This national award honors a physician who has made an extraordinary, lasting contribution to the success of EMRA and was presented to Dr. Kellogg at a ceremony in Washington, DC on October 30, 2017.

As Chair of EMRA's Student Advising Task Force, Dr. Kellogg led multiple initiatives to better educate and advise students pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine. He was instrumental in starting what is now EMRA Hangouts, a platform that has reached over a thousand medical students and achieved the goal of ensuring quality educational support to students that do not have an Emergency Medicine program at their home institution. Additionally, Dr. Kellogg led a collaborative effort to bring multiple national organizations together to provide students a reliable online database with up-to-date residency program information.

In addition to his leadership at the national level, Dr. Kellogg runs his own independent medical student mentorship blog, EMAdvisor. He also serves as the Student Advising Editor for the Vocal CORD, the official CORD-EM blog.

August 2017

Corina Schoen, MD

Dr. Corina SchoenDr. Corina Schoen, Assistant Director of Obstetric Research at Baystate Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UMMS-Baystate, published an article in the June 2017 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology that evaluated whether adding oxytocin to preinduction cervical ripening with a Foley catheter increases the rate of delivery within 24 hours.

“Intracervical Foley Catheter With and Without Oxytocin for Labor Induction: A Randomized Controlled Trial” found that in both nulliparous and multiparous women induction with concurrent oxytocin infusion added to Foley significantly increased the rate of delivery within 24 hours as compared with Foley followed by oxytocin.

Approximately 1 in 5 pregnant women in the United States has her labor induced, and extended periods of labor induction are associated with multiple potential complications for both mother and baby. It is possible that more efficient means of labor induction may be able to reduce the incidence of these adverse events for a large population.

Citation: Schoen, C., Grant, G., Berghella, V., Hoffmann, M., & Sciscione, A. (2017). 43: The intracervical foley catheter with and without oxytocin for labor induction: A randomized trial. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 216(1), 31. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2016.11.012 (Read the Abstract)

July 2017

Peter Lindenauer, MD

Dr. Peter LindenauerDr. Peter Lindenauer, Professor of Medicine and Quantitative Health Sciences and Director of the Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Population Science at UMMS-Baystate, was recently awarded a 4.5 year, $3.1M grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

“A mixed methods study to analyze the use of pulmonary rehabilitation following hospitalization for COPD and to identify effective strategies for increasing rates of participation” focuses on increasing the use of pulmonary rehabilitation by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) following hospital discharge.

Pulmonary rehabilitation—a structured program of exercise, education and support—can increase exercise capacity and quality of life, reduce the risk of hospitalization, and improve survival for the roughly 700,000 people hospitalized with COPD each year in the US. Yet, there is evidence that too few patients take advantage of this treatment option even though it is covered by Medicare. Data also suggest that rates of participation vary widely across hospitals, as do the strategies used to promote patient participation.

Lindenauer and his co-investigators—Drs. Victor Pinto-Plata, Mihaela Stefan and Penny Pekow (UMMS-Baystate), and Kathleen Mazor (UMMS)—will seek to identify the factors and strategies that enable some hospitals to achieve higher rates of participation using statistical analyses of the records of Medicare beneficiaries, site visits and interviews at hospitals with high, low, and improving rates of patient participation and a national survey of hospital practices.

For more information, visit NIH RePORT


Matthew Sadof, MD

Dr. Matt SadofDr. Matthew Sadof, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, was among five visionary leaders honored by the Massachusetts Public Health Association for advancing health equity across the Commonwealth.

Dr. Sadof was one of two recipients presented with The Public Health Leadership in Medicine Award on June 2, 2017 in recognition of extraordinary commitment to bringing public health principles and partnerships into the practice of medicine.

Dr. Sadof currently directs 4C (Collaborative Consultative Care Coordination Program), a regional consultative care coordination program for children with medical complexity and social fragility at Baystate Children’s Hospital. Since 1998, he has worked to develop sustainable systems of care and further medical education for medically and socially fragile children.

Dr. Sadof also serves as Chair of the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition. With the help of Dr. Sadof and the Partners for a Healthier Community an asthma community health worker program for children was established. This effort is currently part of the Green Healthy Homes Social Investment Bond Initiative to create a regional center of excellence for asthma community health workers.

Maura Brennan, MD

Dr. Maura BrennanDr. Maura Brennan, Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Director and Division Chief for Geriatrics, Palliative Care and Post-Acute Medicine, will receive the American Geriatrics Society's (AGS) Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award. This national award honors the contributions of a clinician educator whose leadership in geriatrics training has contributed significantly to the progress of geriatrics education in health professions schools. The award recognizes teaching expertise as well as educational program development.

Dr. Brennan’s professional passions include patient care, quality improvement, scholarship, mentoring trainees and junior faculty, and change leadership. She founded the first geriatrics residency-based track in the U.S., and developed AGS residency recruitment activities such as, clinical skills workshops and the annual Residents’ Poster competition. 

As Project Director for a $2.5 million HRSA Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program grant to integrate geriatrics and palliative care principles across BH, Brennan continues striving to develop new models for interprofessional teams that  combine the best of geriatrics and palliative care and teach trainees to provide excellent care for patients and their families.

She is also Baystate’s Hospice Medical Director and Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate.

Peter Friedmann, MD, MPH

Dr. Peter FriedmannDr. Peter Friedmann, Chief Research Officer at Baystate Health and Associate Dean for Research at UMMS-Baystate, published an article in the March 9, 2017 New England Journal of Medicine illustrating how repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may negatively impact the current opioid epidemic.

The perspective piece "How ACA Repeal Would Worsen the Opioid Epidemic" discusses how provisions of the ACA have mitigated the effect of the opioid crisis, and it raises concerns about the adverse impact of repealing and replacing the ACA without comparable coverage and parity for treatment of opioid use disorders.

Citation: Peter D. Friedmann, M.D., M.P.H., Christina M. Andrews, Ph.D., and Keith Humphreys, Ph.D.
N Engl J Med 2017; 376:e16March 9, 2017DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1700834 (Read the Article)

Karin Johnson, MD

Dr. Karin JohnsonDr. Karin Johnson, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate and Medical Director of Baystate Sleep Center and Regional Sleep Program, and her father, Dr. Douglas Johnson, pulmonologist and sleep specialist at Baystate Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at  Tufts University School of Medicine, recently published an invited editorial supporting research and clinical interests in the overlap of obstructive sleep apnea with other medical and neurological disorders including strokes, headaches and dementia.

"Cognitive dysfunction: Another reason to treat obstructive sleep apnea in stroke patients," published online in Sleep Medicine on January 5, 2017, highlights the growing evidence that obstructive sleep apnea not only affects memory and concentration, but can promote neurodegeneration and increase the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.  Treating sleep apnea, especially in high risk groups like stroke patients, can help with patients' recovery and improve their quality of life.

Dr. Karin Johnson also has a Baystate Research Pilot Award Program (RPAP) Grant of $50,000 per year for two years to study a novel scoring method for patients with mild sleep apnea.

Many patients are underdiagnosed and undertreated for sleep apnea, especially women with atypical symptoms and complaints like cognitive issues or headaches, despite the fact that treatment can lead to significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life even in those with mild cases. Dr. Johnson's research is looking for polysomnogram features that are more predictive of improvement with treatment than the current apnea/hypopnea index.

Citation: Johnson KG, Johnson DC. Cognitive dysfunction: Another reason to treat obstructive sleep apnea in stroke patients. Sleep Med. 2017 Jan 5. Pii: S1389-9457(16)30340-9.doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2016.12.014. [Epub ahead of print] (Read the Abstract)

Jessica Wozniak, PsyD

Jessica Wozniak, PsyDDr. Jessica Wozniak, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Research and Development Manager at Baystate Family Advocacy Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, was recently awarded two federal grants totaling more than $2.5 million.

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network awarded Dr. Wozniak a $2,000,000 grant for "Partners in Care: Community-Based Implementation of Evidence-Based Treatment for Childhood Trauma" which seeks to improve access to evidence-based, trauma-informed mental health care for children and families who experience trauma and loss. By engaging in the following three activities, the grant aims to address health disparities and reduce barriers to treatment throughout Massachusetts: 1) Disseminate the In-Home Therapy (IHT) application of Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) on a statewide scale, with emphasis on developing capacity for serving Latino and military families; 2) Implement a program of training in trauma-informed mental health care for paraprofessionals working in a variety of community-based mental health settings, and 3) Strengthen cultural competence of the clinical workforce for trauma-informed treatment within special populations.

The second, a $600,000 grant from the Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime, is for "One Mission: A Comprehensive Service Program for Victims of Human Trafficking." The focus of this project is on increasing coordination and access to trauma-informed services for human trafficking victims ages 3-24 who are identified in Hampden County, Massachusetts. This effort will be achieved by providing specialized and comprehensive case coordination and victim advocacy.

Timothy Mader, MD

InContentMaderTimothy250x250Dr. Timothy MaderDr. Timothy J. Mader, Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Director of Resuscitation Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Baystate Medical Center, and the Emergency Medicine Research Fellowship Program Director, was recently awarded a $100,000 R03 grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

“Valuation of a simple tool for chest pain patient risk-stratification in North America” is a pilot study to determine the feasibility of conducting a large R01-funded clinical trial on a new quantitative cardiac risk-stratification tool to discriminate between low- and moderate-risk chest pain among emergency department patients in the U.S.

For more information, visit NIH RePORT: Valuation of a Simple Tool for Chest Pain

Elizabeth Schoenfeld, MD

Dr. Elizabeth SchoenfeldDrs. Elizabeth Schoenfeld and Tala Elia, physician-faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine, along with Drs. Peter Lindenauer and Sarah Goff, physician-faculty in the Department of Medicine, recently published a study to identify and explore factors that may motivate emergency physicians' engagement in shared decision-making.

"The Physician-as-Stakeholder: An Exploratory Qualitative Analysis of Physicians' Motivations for Using Shared Decision-Making in the Emergency Department", published in the July 2016 Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine, utilized qualitative methods to explore reasons why emergency physicians use (and don't use) shared decision-making in the emergency department.

Physicians' motivations in the study varied and included the desire to avoid potentially harmful or low-yield tests or treatments, and the desire to share uncertainty. Despite the challenges of using shared decision-making in the emergency department, all physicians recognized benefits to patients from its use.

Citation: Schoenfeld EM, Goff SL, Elia TR, Khoridpour ER, Poronsky KE, Nault KA, Lindenauer PK, Mazor KM. The Physician-as-Stakeholder: An Exploratory Qualitative Analysis of Physicians' Motivations for Using Shared Decision-Making in the Emergency Department. Acad Emerg Med. 2016 Jul 7. doi: 10.1111/acem.13043. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 27385557. (Read the abstract)

Alan Kulig, MD

Dr. Alan KuligAlan Kulig, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, and Rebecca Blanchard, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, recently published an article to assess anesthesiology resident applicants’ higher-order cognitive thinking skills during Anesthesiology resident applicant interviews.

"Use of Cognitive Simulation During Anesthesiology Resident Applicant Interviews to Assess Higher-Order Thinking" in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, published on July 1, 2016, examined whether the addition of a brief simulation would (1) provide added useful information for the resident selection committee; (2) be feasible within the constraints of the interview schedule; and (3) be acceptable to the applicants.

When employed in conjunction with standard application metrics to determine rank status, cognitive simulation was helpful in assessing resident applicant higher-order thinking skills and in stratifying candidates.

Citation:Alan W. Kulig and Rebecca D. Blanchard (2016) Use of Cognitive Simulation During Anesthesiology Resident Applicant Interviews to Assess Higher-Order Thinking. Journal of Graduate Medical Education: July 2016, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 417-421. (Link to article)

Susan A. DeJoy, CNM, MSN, PhD, FACNM

Susan DeJoy CNM

Susan A. DeJoy, CNM, MSN, PhD, FACNM, is one of three recipients of the Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award; a national award honoring midwifery’s “unsung heroes” who have demonstrated pioneering vision and innovative leadership.

Susan DeJoy, earned her MSN in Nurse-midwifery from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982, and practiced midwifery at UCLA. In 1986 she joined the Baystate Medical Center midwifery practice and became practice director within a year.

Recognizing that the work of midwives in this large, tertiary setting involved much staff turnover and early burnout, Susan devised a plan to both improve job satisfaction and retain qualified midwives. Her solution was to develop and become first director of the Baystate Medical Center Midwifery Education Program, a thriving education program, more than 25 years later!

Dr. DeJoy, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics of Gynecology at Baystate Medical Center, is currently Baystate’s Chief of the Division of Midwifery and Community Health.

Read more about DeJoy's pioneering work in midwifery

Laura Iglesias Lino, MD

Dr. Laura Iglesias Lino

Dr. Laura Iglesias Lino, Medical Director for Geriatrics and Palliative Care at Baystate Brightwood Health Center/Centro de Salud and Associate Medical Director for Hospice at Baystate Medical Center, received the 2016 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award for Practicing Doctors at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in May 2016. 

This award honors a practicing physician who best demonstrates the ideals of compassionate and respectful care for a patient’s physical and emotional well-being. 

“Dr. Iglesias Lino has played a critical role in care planning for vulnerable older adults in her community, a key area of focus for the AGS,” said AGS President Steven R. Counsell, MD, AGSF. “Colleagues recognize Dr. Iglesias Lino’s commitment to embracing the network of friends, family, and caregivers who are vital contributors to the care continuum. This is something at the heart of an award for recognizing compassionate clinician leaders.”

Dr. Iglesias Lino, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Baystate Medical Center, has dedicated her career to interweaving geriatrics and palliative care to improve older adult health. She works with some of the Springfield community’s most disenfranchised elders, serving as a link to healthcare resources for Latino, Ukrainian, Moldavian, and Russian older adults.

Dr. Iglesias Lino has developed a program at the health center where she works to improve the quality of care delivered to the frailest patients with dementia.

William McGee MD, Diane Dietzen MD, Thomas Higgins MD

Drs. William McGee, Diane Dietzen and Thomas Higgins, physician-faculty in the Department of Medicine, recently published a study that is one of the first to relate intensity of treatment to the prevalence of hospital-based palliative care services at the state level.

"A State-Level Assessment of Hospital-Based Palliative Care and the Use of Life-Sustaining Therapies in the United States", published in the April 2016 Journal of Palliative Medicine, utilized state-level data to investigate associations among the prevalence of hospital palliative care programs, poverty, and commonly used interventions for critically ill patients.

Their research revealed that states with higher poverty levels had fewer palliative care programs; additionally, states with more programs had lower rates of interventions for critically ill patients.

Citation: Nathanson BH, McGee WT, Dietzen DL, Chen Q, Young J, Higgins TL. A State-Level Assessment of Hospital-Based Palliative Care and the Use of Life-Sustaining Therapies in the United States. J Palliat Med. 2016 Apr; 19(4):421-7. PMID: 26871522.

Peter Friedmann, MD, MPH

Dr. Peter FriedmannPeter Friedmann MD, MPH, Chief Research Officer at Baystate Health and Associate Dean for Research at UMMS-Baystate, published an article in the March 31, 2016 New England Journal of Medicine on preventing opioid relapse.

"Extended-Release Naltrexone to Prevent Opioid Relapse in Criminal Justice Offenders" established the effectiveness of extended-release naltrexone in reducing opioid relapse among criminal justice-involved individuals with opioid use disorder, compared to usual care in community treatment programs.

Opioid use disorders, both from prescription pain medication and heroin use, and overdose mortality are increasing in the US. Extended-release naltrexone, an opioid receptor antagonist, is a promising relapse prevention medication intervention, but data supporting its effectiveness in U.S. criminal justice populations are limited.

Citation: Lee JD, Friedmann PD, Kinlock TW, et al. Extended-release naltrexone to prevent opiod relapse in criminal justice offenders. N Engl J Med 2016; 374:1232-1242