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People on the Move

The Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS) announced that three physicians have been named to expanded leadership roles for Mercy Behavioral Health Care and Providence Behavioral Health Hospital (PBHH) in Holyoke.
• Dr. Maria Russo-Appel, who has served as the chief medical officer of PBHH for the past year, has been appointed to the position of vice president of Mercy Behavioral Health Care. In this role, Russo-Appel will lead the psychiatric care and behavioral health service lines, including PBHH, for SPHS;
• Dr. Robert Roose, who has been serving as chief medical officer of Addiction Services of SPHS for the past the two and a half years, will have expanded responsibilities in a dual role as CMO/vice president of Addiction and Recovery Services, Mercy Behavioral Health Care, and will assume both medical and administrative leadership responsibilities for all addiction-treatment and recovery-service lines; and
• Dr. Gaurav Chawla, who has been serving as chief of Psychiatry, will assume the role of chief medical officer, Mercy Behavioral Health Care, and lead new SPHS initiatives in behavioral health, such as integration of behavioral health in both primary care and integration into population health management.


Partners for a Healthier Community (PHC) has confirmed Jessica Collins as its executive director. Collins is a nine-year veteran of the Springfield-based nonprofit, where she previously served as interim executive director and deputy director. She will be leading the institute’s expansion of services in research and evaluation, coalition building, and policy advocacy. “Communities of color, members of the LGBT community, and people with disabilities face significant disparities in health in our region,” Collins said. “Our mission is to address these inequities so that all people will have what they need to lead healthy lives.” PHC was recently awarded the contract to lead the Community Health Needs Assessment for the 10 regional hospitals in Western Mass. in collaboration with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and the Collaborative for Educational Services. “This assessment documents the existing health needs of each community and provides the data necessary to develop effective strategies to address health inequities,” Collins said. Added Rev. Karen Rucks, PHC’s board chair, “having a local public-health institute to serve Western Mass. is invaluable. The staff of Partners for a Healthier Community bring an understanding of the context and communities in our region to their services. They are committed to building capacity in our region to better understand how to use data and to collect and report on specific issues that are worthy of collective attention.” Prior to coming to PHC, Collins led community-based participatory research projects including the Shape Up Somerville program focused on the prevention of childhood obesity in Cambridge and Somerville. Other nationally recognized community-health initiatives led by Collins include efforts to address substance abuse and suicide prevention, as well as preschool oral health. In addition, Collins announced the hiring of Jessica Payne as senior research associate. Payne brings 25 years of experience in program development, evaluation, and needs assessment. She has extensive knowledge of regional communities and public-health initiatives, and collaborates with partners and informants of varied backgrounds relative to age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, occupation, and region. Since 1988, her company, Jessica Payne Consulting, has provided research and evaluation services in the healthcare, education, community-development, marketing, and culture and arts industries.


Jules Gaudreau, president of the Gaudreau Group in Wilbraham, was recently inducted as president of his industry’s national trade organization, the National Assoc. of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). “It will be a great privilege and responsibility to lead an association of over 42,000 professionals who help American families achieve financial security,” Gaudreau said. “I look forward to advocating on their behalf in Washington and throughout the country as I have done for over 25 years here in Massachusetts.” One of the nation’s oldest and largest associations representing the interests of insurance professionals and financial advisors, NAIFA is the only organization that serves and represents insurance and financial advisors regardless of the products they sell or the focus of their practice. Members include insurance agents, financial advisors, multi-line agents, and health-insurance and employee-benefits specialists. NAIFA’s mission is to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members.

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