Agenda Departments


ACCGS Outlook 2015
Feb. 27: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will give his first major address to the Greater Springfield business community at the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield’s (ACCGS) Outlook 2015 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. Outlook is the area’s largest legislative event, attracting more than 700 guests and presenting expert speakers on local, state, and federal issues. Area elected officials will also be in attendance to participate in this discussion of front-burner issues. The event is presented by Health New England and sponsored by the Eastern States Exposition, MassMutual Financial Group, and United Personnel. Program/reception sponsors include the Sisters of Providence Health System, Comcast, Western Massachusetts Electric Co., and the Republican, with support from Chicopee Savings Bank and BusinessWest. Baker was inaugurated on Jan. 8 as the 72nd governor of the state. Over the course of his career, he has been a highly successful leader of complex organizations in business and in government. As a cabinet secretary under Gov. William Weld and Gov. Paul Cellucci, Baker helped lead efforts to reform and modernize state government. During his time as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Baker turned a company on the brink of bankruptcy into the nation’s highest-ranked healthcare provider for six straight years. As a member of the Weld and Cellucci administrations in the 1990s, Baker helped turn a billion-dollar deficit into a surplus, create a half-million jobs, and enact an ambitious education-reform agenda. First asked to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services in 1992, Baker led efforts to make Massachusetts’ social-service system more humane, cost-effective, and responsive to the needs of the Commonwealth’s residents. In 1994, Baker was appointed Secretary of Administration and Finance, overseeing a number of cost-saving reforms, modernizing state government, and making it more efficient. Baker will be joined at the Outlook program by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who will remark on events at the federal level, including his thoughts on the 114th Congress and the topics that the new Congress may review. “As a senior member of the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means and ranking member of its Select Revenue Measures subcommittee, Congressman Neal serves in a critically important capacity in Washington for our area, our state, and the entire country,” said ACCGS President Jeffrey Ciuffreda. Tickets are $50 for ACCGS members and $70 for general admission. Reserved tables of 10 are available. Reservations must be made by Feb. 20, and may be made online at or by contacting Member Services Director Sarah Mazzaferro at [email protected]. No walk-ins will be accepted, and no cancellations will be accepted once the reservation deadline has passed.

PAWSCARS Fund-raiser
Feb. 28: Dakin Humane Society will present a fund-raising event at the MassMutual Center in Springfield that will affectionately spoof Hollywood, the Oscars, and red-carpet fashion. Dubbed “The PAWSCARS & Red Carpet Fashion Parade,” the show will be emceed by Ashley Kohl and Seth Stutman, hosts of Mass Appeal on WWLP-22News. Beginning with a VIP Reception at 6 p.m. and a plated dinner at 7 p.m., the evening will also include a red-carpet fashion parade featuring local people of prominence, accompanied by rescue dogs (among them former Dakin dogs, now adopted). Short videos of animals recreating iconic moments in cinematic history, created by members of the public, will also be screened during the evening. “We’re looking forward to presenting a one-of-a-kind event with the PAWSCARS,” said Dakin Executive Director Leslie Harris. “We’re blending fashion, fun, and film with a healthy dose of humor for an unforgettable night. Plus, as our major fund-raising event of the year, it will be a terrific opportunity for our supporters to come together and enjoy themselves while providing much-needed aid for the many animals in our care.” With a targeted audience of 500, The PAWSCARS is Dakin’s most ambitious fund-raising event in its 45-year history. Tickets for the event are available at for $125 per person (dinner and show) or $50 (show only). Visit for more information about the event.

Lecture Series
March 12: BusinessWest and the Healthcare News are pleased to announce a new lecture series presented by Comcast Business. This series of lectures, panel discussions, and presentations will address timely and important business information, and is an ideal opportunity to meet industry leaders and network with area business professionals. The first event in the series, called “Technology Has the Power to Change Healthcare,” will be hosted by La Quinta Inn & Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield. Panelists include Neil Kudler, vice president and chief medical information officer for Baystate Health; Michael Feld, CEO of VertitechIT and acting chief technology officer of Baystate Health and Lancaster General Hospital; and Delcie Bean IV, CEO, of Paragus Strategic IT. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m., followed by breakfast and networking at 7:30 a.m. and the panel discussion from 8 to 9 a.m. Admission is free, provided by Comcast Business, but RSVP is required by Thursday, March 5. Sign up online at, or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 10, for more information.

‘Acting Skills for Real Life’
March 19 to April 16: The Division of Graduate and Continuing Education at Westfield State University will offer a class called “Acting Skills for Real Life: How to Connect and Communicate” on Thursday nights, March 19 through April 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. Students will learn about basic acting skills and theories, and how they can be applied to everyday situations such as job interviews and social settings, in addition to performances and public speaking. Course content includes vocal, movement, and imagination warmups and theatre games; improvisations around a specific set of circumstances, including real-life situations and role reversal; developing stage presence; and, if the class chooses, rehearsal and class performance of a brief scene or monologue as a rehearsed reading or ‘off book.’ The course will be taught by Nadia Creamer, who has a long career as a performer and a teacher of performing arts. Creamer was co-artistic director of Impulse Theatre and Dance for 28 years in New York, where she received more than 60 grants for her work. She was also a faculty member at New York University, Russell Sage, College of St. Rose, and Columbia-Greene Community College. The cost of this course is $80. Registration will be accepted until the first night of class. For more information and to register, contact Brandon Fredette at (413) 572-8033 or [email protected].

Mini-Medical School
March 19 to May 7: Baystate Medical Center’s Mini-Medical School, which begins its spring session on March 19, will give area residents a reason to come out of hibernation from the long, cold, snowy winter and join others interested in the expanding field of medicine. Mini-Medical School program is an eight-week health education series featuring a different aspect of medicine each week. Classes this spring will include sessions on various medical topics, such as surgery, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, pathology, and several others. Many of the ‘students,’ who often range in age from 20 to 70, participate due to a general interest in medicine and later find that many of the things they learned over the semester are relevant to their own lives. The goal of the program, offered in the hospital’s Chestnut Conference Center, is to help members of the public make more informed decisions about their healthcare while receiving insight on what it is like to be a medical student — minus the tests, interviews, and admission formalities. Each course is taught by medical-center faculty who explain the science of medicine without resorting to complex terms. Baystate Medical Center is the Western Campus of Tufts University School of Medicine and is the region’s only teaching hospital. All classes are held Thursday nights starting at 6 p.m. and run until 8 or 9 p.m., depending on the night’s topic. No basic science knowledge is needed to participate. Each participant is required to attend a minimum of six out of eight classes in order to receive a certificate of completion. Among the topics and speakers slated for the spring semester are:
• March 19: “Hey, I Finally Got into Medical School!” with Dr. Michael Rosenblum, director, Internal Medicine Residency Program (includes a general tour of the medical center).
• March 26: “Surgery,” with Dr. Richard Wait, chair, Department of Surgery (includes a tour of the Baystate Simulation Center and the Goldberg Surgical Skills Lab).
• April 2: “Cardiac Surgery,” with Dr. John Rousou, chief, Cardiac Surgery.
• April 9: “Pathology,” with Dr. Richard Friedberg, chair, Department of Pathology (includes a tour of the lab).
• April 16: “Anesthesiology,” with Dr. Michael Bailin, chair, Department of Anesthesiology.
• April 23: “Psychiatry,” with Dr. Benjamin Liptzin, chair, Department of Psychiatry.
• April 30: “Stroke/Rehabilitation,” with Dr. Edward Feldmann, vice president and medical director, Neurosciences & Rehabilitation.
• May 7: “Emergency Medicine,” with Dr. Joseph Schmidt, vice chair and chief, Emergency Medicine (includes a graduation ceremony).
Tuition is $95 per person and $80 for Senior Class and Spirit of Women members. Register for the spring semester of Mini-Medical School by calling (800) 377-4325. For more information, visit

Difference Makers
March 19: The sixth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. The class of 2015Katelynn’s Ride, MassMutual Financial Services, Judy Matt, Valley Venture Mentors, and the new ownership group of the Student Prince and the Fort — was profiled in the Feb. 9 issue. Tickets cost $60 per person, and reserved tables of 10 are available. To order tickets, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

40 Under Forty
June 18: The ninth annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. Details on the event, which honors the region’s most accomplished and civic-minded professionals under age 40, will be published in upcoming issues. The class of 2015 will be revealed and profiled in the April 20 issue.

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