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Healthcare Heroes

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2nd Annual Healthcare Heroes Awards

HERO (n.) a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

BusinessWest and Healthcare News have created Healthcare Heroes to honor those who live up to that word’s definition. This region’s health and wellness sector is large, diverse, and dominated by heroes of all kinds. They’re on the front lines, in the administrative office, the research lab, the neighborhood clinic, the family dentist’s office, the college health and science building. They’re making real contributions to the quality of life in our communities, and it’s time to recognize their efforts!

Event Date: Thursday, October 25, 2018
Event Time: 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Location:  Starting Gate at GreatHorse, Hampden

Nominations can now be submitted for the 2018 Healthcare Heroes awards. Deadline for nominations is Friday, June 15 at 5 p.m., NO EXCEPTIONS. Winners will be profiled in the September 3 issue of BusinessWest and the September issue of Healthcare News. Winners will be invited to attend the “Healthcare Heroes” Awards gala scheduled for Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Click on one of the following categories to submit a nomination:

 

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Business of Aging

Changing the Landscape

By George O’Brien

Erasmo Ruiz says he has found a profession that offers stability, flexibility, and a wide range of options.

Erasmo Ruiz says he has found a profession that offers stability, flexibility, and a wide range of options.

To say that Erasmo Ruiz took a circuitous route to the nurse-pinning ceremony at Springfield Technical Community College late last month would be an understatement. A huge understatement.

Now 34, the father of two teenagers — and the first one in his family to attend college — studied engineering at UMass. But things “didn’t go as expected,” he told BusinessWest, noting that he was into partying and girls far more than he was into his studies and eventually had to drop out.

From there, he went into the Navy, specializing in electronics. But he didn’t finish his enlistment because his father got into trouble with the law and was incarcerated; Ruiz needed to get home and help support his family.

He would join the workforce, trying his hand at everything from manufacturing to time as a clerk in the Post Office. Then, by chance, he got a job as a medical assistant working with a group of neurosurgeons at Baystate Medical Center.

“It just made sense at the time to take things to the next level,” he said of his decision to pursue a nursing degree. “With the guidance of nurses and other medical professionals, I chose this career.”

A circuitous route to be sure, but Ruiz found himself at that pinning ceremony, persevering through a two-course of study that challenged him on many levels. And many men are doing the same thing.

Well, let’s say many more men, and even a phrase like that needs to be put into perspective.

Yes, there are more men getting into nursing these days, at least compared to 40 or even 20 years ago, but the numbers still don’t approach that of women, said Karen Aiken, a Nursing professor at Holyoke Community College for the past 17 years, eight as chairman of the department.

“The labor bureau will tell you, and make it sound really great, that since 1970, the number has tripled,” she said of men in the profession. “But the numbers are so small, that doesn’t mean much; overall, I think the percentage [of all nurses who are male) has risen from 2.9% to just over 9%, so those are still small numbers.”

We’ll get into the numbers and the reasons they’re higher than they were, but not as high they as perhaps they should be, later. First, let’s look at some of the men who are getting into nursing.

Most are not taking what would be called the traditional route, right out of high school, but then again, many women don’t take that path either.

Andy Bean, 38, who graduated from Westfield State University this spring, worked in sales for a trucking company, sitting in front of a computer all day ordering parts for clients. He was laid off once when the economy took a turn for the worse and decided that he wasn’t going to let that happen to him again.

So he segued into healthcare and eventually a nursing program. Actually, several of them. He’s been working toward a degree in healthcare for seven years, by his estimate, and he’s looking to make a home in the emergency room at Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, where he’s already spent considerable time as a technician and student nurse.

Andy Bean, seen here in the ER at Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield

Andy Bean, seen here in the ER at Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, likes the fast pace of that setting and wants to start his career in nursing there.

Meanwhile, Nick Labelle, another member of STCC’s class of 2018, now 36, worked in everything from food preparation to sheet-metal fabrication to real estate before getting a job as a counselor in a substance-abuse clinic. It was that last stop that convinced him that he liked helping people and working in a healthcare setting.

But some have taken more of a direct route. People like Brendan McKee from North Attleboro, another recent graduate of WSU. He said that, unfortunately, he spent a lot of time in hospitals in his youth visiting sick family members, and quickly realized he wanted to be part of that environment. Nursing, he said, was his first choice.

Overall, there are many reasons why nursing has become the first choice, or the second, or the fifth, for men, said Lisa Fugiel, director of the Nursing program at STCC, listing everything from solid pay to the availability of jobs as Baby Boomers retire, to the flexibility within the profession and the wide variety of options available to those who choose it.

But for many, it comes down to those same ingredients that bring women into nursing, she said — compassion, caring, and a desire to help others.

For this issue and its focus on nursing education, BusinessWest interviewed several men on their way to joining the profession (the licensing exam is their next challenge). Collectively, their stories help explain why the landscape within nursing — gender-wise, anyway — is changing.

Course Change

Bean told BusinessWest that he likes the pace of work in the ER and the fact that he’s always moving in that setting.

“That’s a big change from when I was just sitting in front of that computer all day,” he said. “That’s one of the things I hated the most about my old job. It just didn’t feel like a good fit for me anymore.”

But pace of work — and fit — are just two of many reasons why there are more men hearing their names called at those nurse-pinning ceremonies, said both Aiken and Fugiel as they discussed the changing demographics in their classrooms.

They both spoke of greater acceptance of male nurses in general and among women receiving care, and, on the flip side of the equation, more acceptance of the profession as a career option among men. And both halves of the equation are important.

“Women are more comfortable with women, and in some areas especially,” Fugiel noted. “But overall, there is more acceptance of men now.

“And we’re seeing a steady increase when it comes to men getting into the profession,” she went on, noting that this is reflected in the numbers of men in the STCC program; there were nine in this year’s class of 74, roughly double the total from when she started 15 years ago.

There are many reasons for this, said Fugiel and Aiken, listing solid pay and benefits, stability (an important consideration given anxiety about many professions in an age of ever-advancing technology), a host of opportunities, and a wide array of specific areas to get into, from critical care to medical-surgical nursing to behavioral health.

“All the students talk about how there are so many options in nursing, which is one of the things that’s so enticing about the profession, whether it’s male or female,” said Fugiel. “Just look at all the options in an acute-care setting — pediatrics, maternity, ER, ICU, med-surg, and mental health — but there’s also community nursing, nursing infomatics, and managed care.

“And there’s stability,” she went on. “A lot of our nurses are getting older, and that translates into opportunities and stability.”

While it’s good for men to be getting into the profession, given its many rewards, it is also good for the profession, the healthcare community, and society in general, to have men as nurses, said Aiken.

“As an instructor and as a seasoned nurse, I believe that that the more men we can get into nursing, the better,” she explained. “It makes it a rounded profession, and it makes the care more rounded.”

Elaborating, she said men can and often do bring a different perspective to the work of caring for people in need.

“Nurses that are female think one way, and our society doesn’t give men a lot of credit for compassion and caring,” she told BusinessWest. “When these men come into nursing, they come in for a reason — they have that compassion and want to care for people.

“A large number of men who enter our program have been out in the workforce and are either changing professions or are looking to be caring professionals,” she went on. “And they bring so much with them when they come in.”

Getting into the profession is difficult for many, she said, and perhaps more difficult than for many women because men are still traditionally the breadwinners in many families, and, therefore, it is difficult to quit work completely or go to school part-time to earn a nursing degree.

Lisa Fugiel says society is becoming more accepting of male nurses

Lisa Fugiel says society is becoming more accepting of male nurses, and, likewise, men are becoming more accepting of careers in the nursing field.

“The commitment, the education, is more than a full-time job,” said Aiken, adding that men often enter a program not fully understanding what they’re getting into and how they’re going to manage that commitment given their other responsibilities, and that’s why many struggle to get to the finish line or never get there.

Labor of Love

As for those that do, well, interviews with several men graduating this year provide solid evidence that men are more open to a career in nursing — and for all those reasons listed above, from the stability to the flexibility; from the nature and pace of the work to the ability to work with people.

“A big factor for me was all the options we have — you can do anything with this,” Ruiz said of that diploma he’s earned. “Also, in terms of looking out for my family, that was also part of it. The demand is there; there’s a nursing shortage.”

Stability was also a big consideration for Bean, who, as noted, had been laid off once and was looking for firmer ground career-wise. He was also looking for something more rewarding and with opportunities to do some ladder-climbing.

He had taken a few EMT courses, and, after returning to his job with the trucking company after being laid off, found it lacking in many ways,

“So I quit my job, and with the support of my wife, I went back to school to get my nursing degree,” he explained. “I found that, with nursing, there were so many avenues to go down; if one didn’t fit, you could find another one that did fit.”

As noted, he’s been going to school, part-time or full-time, for seven years now. It’s been a struggle at times, but he kept his eyes on the prize awaiting him.

“I was taking classes while working, then quitting and going back to full-time, then working again quite a bit in the emergency room while going to school full-time,” he said. “It’s been a long road, and I’m happy to be done with it.”

Job satisfaction was also a mostly missing ingredient for Labelle, who tried to find it, without much success, in fields ranging from hospitality to selling houses. He found much more of it working in that substance-abuse clinic, but desired an even higher level.

“I wanted a career that would directly impact patient or client care,” he explained. “I did a variety of career assessments, and found that nursing was something that seemed to suit me with regard to compassionate care of client needs, and also something that would be challenging.

“I needed a job that would really challenge me, and I was looking for stability as well,” he went on. “And nursing really fit that criteria. It was a very careful decision.”

As it was for Brendan McKee, who, as noted, didn’t segue into nursing; it was his first choice.

“I did spend a lot of time in hospitals with sick family members,” he recalled. “And I got to see how the nurses worked and took care of my family. It left a really good impression on me.”

He entered Westfield State out of high school, and, like all nursing students, was exposed to a number of different and intriguing paths within the profession. One of them was work in the ICU, and that’s where he is slated to work, at Baystate Medical Center, this fall.

“I like the acuity of it — I enjoy being in that demanding of an environment,” he explained. “I’m the kind of person who runs well when there’s a lot to do and there’s a faster-paced environment.”

A second reason for choosing the ICU, said McKee, is that he eventually wants to work in anesthesia, and the ICU is the “gateway,” as he called it, to that specialty, just as the nursing degree itself is the gateway to a seemingly endless range of career paths within healthcare.

Making a Difference

Ruiz, like all those we spoke with, said he’s taking things one step at a time right now. That means his focus is on passing the licensing exam, which he’ll tackle in the next few months.

After that? He has a comfort level on the “neuro side,” as he called it, but he’s also willing to explore.

“I grew up in Springfield, and I would love to work with the community,” he told BusinessWest, adding that one of his rotations while at STCC was at the High Street Clinic, located in one of the city’s poorer neighborhoods. “I think I could make a difference in a center like that, but I’m not really sure that’s what I want — there are lots of options.”

With that, he summed up why more men are getting into a profession long dominated by women. They want to make a difference, and they’re becoming more accepting of a profession that allows them to do just that.

The numbers of men are not rising quickly or dramatically, but the arrow is definitely pointing up. And as Aiken and others noted, that’s good not just for the men taking this career path, but for those they will serve when they reach their destination.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

40 Under 40 Class of 2018

Director, Annual Giving & Grants, Cooley Dickinson Health Care; Age 33; Education: BS, Westfield State University; UMass Dartmouth

Nathan Bazinet

Nathan Bazinet

Bazinet’s background includes work in healthcare philanthropy, nonprofit management, and small-business operations. He is an active volunteer for the Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center, where he served as interim executive director for the 2017 season, before transitioning into president of the Forest Park Zoological Society, the zoo’s managing board. He also serves as president of his condo association. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with Orion and Aurora (the Zoo’s timber wolves), road trips, running, and Neil Diamond concerts.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to own Jurassic Park, be a government agent (James Bond), and have a side job as an architect. The first two are still life goals.

Who has been your best mentor, and why? Diane Dukette has played the greatest role in helping to define and shape my career path. She is a patient teacher, a model for acting with integrity, and the definition of a strong support system — always reminding me to never change who I am, professionally or personally. Her support as a mentor, and the opportunity to work under her leadership at both Mercy Medical Center and Cooley Dickinson, has been critical to many of my career successes.

What are you passionate about? Giving back. The zoo is my current volunteer priority, and has been for several years. Having the chance to work with an amazing team and board to completely restructure and reinvigorate this Springfield icon was both challenging and incredibly fulfilling. Bonus: who wouldn’t love hanging out with timber wolves on the weekend?

Whom do you look up to, and why? My mom, for teaching me about life, and the importance of wearing sunglasses indoors; Christopher, for showing me safety, trust, and love (never give up); and my best friend, Peter. If I had to embarrass one of them with detail, it’s Peter. He’s a super-smart doctor, an author, and a world-renowned ethicist. More than that, as I’m an only child, he’s the closest I’ve had to a brother for longer than I can remember. Thanks for always having my back (and for putting up with my innumerable shenanigans).

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? Probably my mantra — “every day’s a great day!”

Agenda Departments

‘Protecting Your Assets’ Panel

April 18: Springfield Partners for Community Action Inc. will host “Protecting Your Assets Part III” starting at 6 p.m. at Springfield Central Library, 220 State St. The event is in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month and is free and open to the public. Call (413) 263-6500 to reserve a seat. This year’s panelists include Julius Lewis of the Metrocom Group and the Lewis and Marrow Financial Hour, which airs Wednesdays on STCC radio; and attorney Sara Miller, who specializes in elder law and estate planning. New this year is attorney Martin O’Connor, an authority on tax issues and who helps low-income, non-English-speaking taxpayers understand their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers.

Caritas Gala

April 21: Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s second annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The gala, with its Motown-inspired theme “Reach Out,” will raise funds to support Mercy Behavioral Health Care and the Mercy Emergency Department’s Opioid Community Outreach for education, intervention, and treatment. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Motor City Magic, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., following by a live auction and dancing until midnight with music from the band Radiance. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Caritas Gala, visit www.mercycares.com/caritas-gala.

Mayors’ Economic Forum

April 26: “Mayors Meet Millennials” is the title of the 2018 New England Knowledge Corridor Mayors’ Economic Forum at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Conn. The program begins with coffee and conversation from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., followed by the conference program from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Participating mayors include Domenic Sarno (Springfield), Richard Kos (Chicopee), Marcia Leclerc (East Hartford), Erin Stewart (New Britain), and Luke Bronin (Hartford). Registration options and more information will be available soon.

BFAIR Annual Meeting

April 27: Berkshire Family & Individual Resources Inc. (BFAIR) will host its annual meeting at Berkshire Hills Country Club, 500 Benedict Road, Pittsfield. The breakfast, set to begin at 7:30 a.m., will include the presentation of several awards for employee recognition, as well as the recognition of the community partner of the year, Richard Alcombright, former mayor of North Adams, longtime advocate for people with disabilities, and currently serving as vice president, Local Business & Customer Relations manager at MountainOne. Additionally, the chairman of the board will offer remarks on the organization’s continued expansion throughout the Berkshires and into Hampden and Hampshire counties. This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Chris May, an advocate and photographer with Down syndrome. This event is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union. The cost is $10 per person. To attend the annual meeting, RSVP by Friday, April 20 to Carol Fox at (413) 664-9382, ext. 40, or [email protected], or online at www.bfair.org.

Document Shred Day

April 28: Kelley & Malmborg Investment Consulting Group announced it will host a document shred day event on Saturday, April 28 at 9 a.m. at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St. The event, co-hosted by Valley Green Shredding, is open to the public, with all proceeds going to the Northampton Senior Center. Shredding will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis until the truck is full or 11 a.m., whichever comes first. A maximum of three boxes per car will be accepted, with a $5 minimum donation. No household items, electronics, metal clips, or rubberbands will be accepted.

Financial-industry Forum

May 3: Training and Workforce Options (TWO), a partnership between Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), will host an employer-engagement forum focused on the financial-services industry from 8 to 10 a.m. at STCC’s Scibelli Hall, Rooms 701 and 702. The forum will provide financial professionals with information on workforce-development training opportunities and related services offered by experienced trainers from HCC and STCC. TWO representatives also will discuss how regional businesses can secure Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Grants to enhance training efforts for their workers. The forum is geared toward financial professionals and their businesses, with the goal of gathering input about workforce-development needs. The event is free, and refreshments will be provided. The deadline to register is April 27. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com and search ‘STCC.’

Community Shredding Day

May 11: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. is partnering with Pro-Shred Security and Century Investment Co. to hold a community shredding day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Century Shopping Center, 219 Memorial Ave., West Springfield (to the right of Bob’s Discount Furniture). Shredding protects private information, and recycling helps the environment. This event is free and open to the public (four-box limit), with a donation of a non-perishable food item for a local food pantry.

Excel Skill Training

May 14-18: Tech Foundry will offer a four-day Excel skill training the week of May 14-18 (every day but May 16) from 9 a.m. to noon at 1391 Main St., ninth floor, Springfield. Because its first Excel class offered to area companies and their employees was such a success, Tech Foundry is eager to meet the Excel needs of more area employers and their employees. The class will cover advanced formulas; tables and formatting; conditional formatting; advanced charting; pivot tables and pivot reporting; VBA and macros; using Excel productively; data tables, simulations, and Solver; Excel integration; and optimizing Excel. The cost per student is $750. To register, e-mail [email protected]. Employers with fewer than 100 employees are eligible for a 50% tuition reimbursement from Commonwealth Corp.

NAMI Walkathon

May 20: The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts will be holding its 18th annual walkathon, “A Journey of Hope and Recovery,” at Stanley Park’s Beveridge Pavilion Annex in Westfield from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The walk is suitable for all ages and will directly benefit the continuing efforts of NAMI – Western Mass. to help improve the lives of individuals living with mental illness and their families. Among the festivities will be guest speakers, entertainment, refreshments, and raffles. For further information, call (413) 786-9139 or visit www.namiwm.org/events for entry and sponsorship forms. Volunteers are needed.

‘Thrive After 55’ Wellness Fair

June 15: State Sen. Eric Lesser and Health New England announced that they will host the second annual “Thrive After 55” Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Springfield College’s Blake Athletic Complex, located at 263 Alden St., Springfield. The fair is free and open to the public. With more than 40 local organizations ranging from health and fitness to nutrition to elder law, the event will connect residents of the First Hampden & Hampshire District with information and resources to help them thrive. The free program includes a boxed lunch, educational seminars, hundreds of raffle prizes, and access to information and experts to talk to. To RSVP, call (413) 526-6501 or visit www.senatorlesser.com/thrive.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018, which will be unveiled in the April 30 issue of BusinessWest. The 40 Under Forty sponsors include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Isenberg School of Management, the MP Group, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Health New England, Development Associates, Renew.Calm, and YPS of Greater Springfield (partner). Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected] Also at the gala, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Nominations will be received at businesswest.com/40-under-forty-continued-excellence-award until May 14. Candidates must hail from 40 Under Forty classes prior to the year of the award — in this case, classes 2007-17 — and will be judged on qualities including outstanding leadership, dedicated community involvement, professional achievement, and ability to inspire. The award’s presenting sponsor is Northwestern Mutual.

Features

Coming Together

Dan Quinn

Dan Quinn says Innovative Care Partners will put a hard focus on care coordination, an identified key to bringing down the cost of healthcare and improving population health.

The healthcare landscape is changing in dramatic fashion, with a movement toward population health and providers being paid to keep people healthy rather than strictly for treating them when they’re sick. There are many intriguing manifestations of this shift, and one that bears watching is a new venture involving three area providers — the Center for Human Development, ServiceNet, and the Gandara Mental Health Center — with a name that speaks volumes about just how it will operate: Integrated Care Partners.

The title on Dan Quinn’s business card speaks volumes not only about his new role, but also about changing attitudes and new and powerful forces within the broad realm of healthcare.

By and large, ‘vice president of Health Care Integration’ is a title you probably wouldn’t have seen 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago, in most settings. But you do today, and that’s because, while it has always been a goal to coordinate and integrate care offered by various providers, the motivation to do so has never been greater.

Indeed, as the costs of healthcare rise and awareness increases about the so-called social determinants of health and their impact on the overall health and well-being of not only individuals and families but entire communities, the importance of integration has become increasingly apparent. And individual states are becoming proactive in efforts to better coordinate care provided to individuals, improve communication between those providing that care, and reduce, among other things, expensive visits to the emergency room.

Which … brings us back to Quinn’s business card and the rest of the words printed on it. He takes on the role of vice president of Health Care Integration for a new entity called Innovative Care Partners, LLC (ICP). This is a partnership between three area providers: the Center for Human Development (CHD), the Gandara Mental Health Center, and ServiceNet Inc., and it will link primary care, behavioral-health services, and social determinants of health such as poverty, inadequate housing, and poor diet.

ICP will provide care-coordination services in Western Mass. through something known as the Community Partnership program, which is designed to provide accessible and effective coordination of care for people in the under-age-65 MassHealth population who have a history of costly claims, poorly integrated care, or (and usually) both.

These community partners — there will be roughly a dozen operating across the state — will deliver these services to accountable-care organizations (ACOs), which are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers that come together voluntarily to give coordinated care to patients with commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid health plans.

“Care coordination is a mechanism though which teams of professionals work together to ensure that a patient’s overall health needs are being met, and that the right care is being delivered in the right place at the right time and by the right person,” said Quinn. “Through care coordination, patient outcomes improve, and costs decrease.”

Quinn estimates there are roughly 13,000 individuals for whom ICP will provide care-integration services. That’s a large number, and the goal, obviously, is to bring it down over time. And that’s not just the goal. Indeed, ICP’s success in bringing down the cost of healthcare and improving outcomes for those it serves will serve as the basis for how ACOs and the partners in ICP are reimbursed by the state.

“These programs will be measured from a lot of different perspectives,” said Jim Goodwin, president and CEO of CHD. “They have to bring costs down, they have to maintain high-quality services, and they have to maintain high satisfaction rates among recipients.”

Jim Goodwin

Jim Goodwin says Innovative Care Partners will go a long way toward tearing down the silos that have, historically, limited the efficiency of healthcare providers.

In short, the partners in ICP and the ACO it serves will be sharing an escalating amount of risk as they enter a new and intriguing age in healthcare — one in which providers will be paid not on the old fee-for-service model, but on how well they care for the population they serve.

As they talked about ICP and the motivations for creating it, Quinn made early and frequent use of the word ‘silos.’

For too long, individual providers have remained in their silos, not effectively communicating with, or coordinating care with, those in the silos around them also serving individuals in that MassHealth population described earlier.

The Community Partnership program and joint ventures like ICP were designed, in essence, to tear down those silos, they told BusinessWest.

Here’s how the program works. Each of the individuals to be served by ICP will be assigned a care coordinator, said Quinn, adding that hiring is ongoing, and roughly 30 coordinators will be hired and in place by this spring.

These coordinators will do just what that title suggests — they will coordinate the care for their clients and address some of those social determinants of health, such as transportation and access to providers, as we’ll see later.

For this issue, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at ICP, how it came to be, its goals moving forward, how it intends to meet them, and the importance of all this to ongoing efforts to reduce the cost of healthcare and make it more efficient.

Care Package

Quinn brings a diverse résumé to his role with ICP, one he believes will prove invaluable as he goes about trying to meet the aggressive goals set for this ambitious undertaking.

Most recently, he served as Western Regional director for Beacon Health Options in Springfield, where he focused on network management and healthcare integration. Prior to that, at Beacon Health Options in Connecticut, he was the director of Behavioral Health Home, where he collaborated with the state of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, implementing a cutting-edge population-health program advanced through the Affordable Health Act.

A licensed independent clinical social worker, Quinn earned his bachelor’s degree at Boston University, his master’s in social work from Simmons College School of Social Work, and his MBA from Western New England University.

Through those various roles, Quinn said he has come to understand the importance of integration, the need to tear down those silos he described earlier, and the motivation for initiatives like ICP.

The initiative is part of a broader, nationwide effort to reform Medicaid, said Goodwin, and the thrust of a state proposal that won $52 billion in federal funding over the next five years in the form of a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver.

And it can be summed in those two words ‘care’ and ‘coordination.’

“The federal government didn’t buy more counseling or more therapy or more psychiatry, it bought care coordination,” Goodwin explained. “One of the reasons why costs are so high is that the service system is siloed out — you have people showing up in emergency rooms, often many, many times, and their needs are more related to mental-health issues than they are medical issues, and vice versa, or social-welfare issues — they have no housing, no money, no food.

“They show up in emergency rooms with chest pain, this gets evaluated, and it runs up costs,” he went on. “The idea is that care coordination will sort of intervene on all that; these high users of medical services will be identified, and community partners will do assessments and develop a coordinated plan for providing services in a more integrated way.”

CHD could have applied to be a partner itself, said Goodwin, noting that its broad range of services certainly qualifies it to do so. But the theory concerning strength in numbers, as well as a desire to serve a broader region, meaning all of Western Mass., inspired a partnership, in the form of an LLC, between CHD, Gandara, and ServiceNet.

CHD, founded in 1972, provides behavioral health and human services to more than 25,000 children, adolescents, adults, and families.

Gandara, meanwhile, was established in 1977 to provide outpatient mental-health and substance-abuse services to what has historically been an underserved Hispanic community in Western Mass. Overall, it provides care to more than 13,000 people in more than 40 sites throughout the state, including outpatient clients, recovery support centers, housing services, adolescent group homes, residential recovery programs, and other outreach services. Gandara is also the state’s Hispanic Specialized Service Agency (S-CSA), a program that serves approximately 2,500 children each year.

Founded in 1965, ServiceNet Inc. is a behavioral-health and human-services agency that provides evidence-based treatments and supports more than 12,000 individuals each year who are living with mental illness, developmental disabilities, autism, brain injury, homelessness, and/or addiction issues. Programs include five outpatient clinics, a variety of outreach services, and more than 60 residential programs.

Henry East-Trou, exective director of the Gandara Center, said the Hispanic population is well-represented within MassHealth, and therefore the agency saw participation in ICP as a way to better serve this constituency.

He told BusinessWest that the program will change the equation by providing a higher level of connectivity between the client, his or her primary-care provider, and the providers of other healthcare services.

“The big piece in all this is the care coordination,” he said. “It will enable us to identify an individual that is in MassHealth, reach out, and create a partnership with the primary-care provider. The system forces us to connect with primary care and to be informing the primary-care provider of what’s is happening in that person’s life.”

Systemic Change

Overall, ICP will deliver a wide range of services to its ACO clients, including:

• Person-centered care planning focused on achieving improved health outcomes;

• Provision of wrap-around social services that address the social determinants of health, such as poverty, poor housing, poor nutrition, unemployment, social isolation, family stress, and trauma;

• Individualized care management to assure follow-up and follow-through in care planning and delivery, including home visits and transportation, when necessary;

• Cultural and linguistic competence that result in enhanced patient engagement and satisfaction; and

• A 24-hour availability of wrap-around services aimed at reducing avoidable emergency-department utilization and hospitalization, and quickly defusing crisis situations.

To better explain how the concept will work, Quinn offered a hypothetical — only there are many individuals in this region who fit this profile.

In this scenario, the client has diabetes as well as some behavioral-health issues, said Quinn, and is also being impacted negatively by several of those social determinants of health.

“Right now, that person goes to various providers and receives care for their conditions,” he explained. “What frequently happens with people who become quite expensive with these things is that they may forget appointments, they may forget to refill prescriptions; because of their socio-economic status, they may be homeless, they may very unstable housing, they may have poor access to transportation to get to their appointments or to get their pharmacy.

“They have all kinds of problems, so they don’t access care appropriately,” he went on. “In an emergency, they’ll go to the hospital and get admitted for something that could have been prevented; they’ll go to the ED for something that could have been prevented. So they’re overly expensive.”

Starting June 1, this same individual will be the client of a care coordinator, he continued, adding that this individual will be in communication with both the client and those providing him or her care.

And through these conversations, the care coordinator will learn if an appointment has been missed, why, and take steps to reduce such occurrences, and thus also reduce both the number of visits to the ED and the cost of providing care to this individual.

“We’ll monitor them and get them the care they need in a timely way,” Quinn told BusinessWest, “so they don’t get into the medical crises that create admissions; we’ll prevent the emergency-department visits that are more expensive. And we’ll improve their health overall.”

This brings him back to that new model of how providers and ACOs will be paid and the risks being taken on by all the partners in this initiative.

“You’ll be given an amount of money per month and an amount of money per year,” he explained. “And if you exceed it, you absorb the loss; if you don’t exceed it, you can keep the savings. Now, instead of the incentive being to do more, the incentive is to do less. But you also have to meet a whole host of quality measures.”

Bottom Line

It all sounds good in theory, said those we spoke with, but in a handful of states where ACOs and community care partners have been put in place, it works in reality, too.

And the expectation is that it will work in Massachusetts and its four western counties as well, because the theory is sound.

Again, it comes back to those two words — care coordination. The more of it there is, the better this region’s ability to bring down the cost of care while also improving overall population health.

As noted at the top, this is a profound change for both the industry and the region. It’s a noble experiment, and it will get underway on June 1.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Agenda Departments

Women’s Leadership Conference

April 6: Lena Waithe, the actor, producer, and writer who, in 2017, became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for comedy writing, will be interviewed during Bay Path University’s 23rd annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). The one-day event has become the region’s prime women’s leadership event for professional networking and enrichment. Waithe first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Master of None. She co-wrote the “Thanksgiving” episode, for which she won the Emmy for Best Writing in a Comedy Series. As a writer, she is the creator and executive producer of The Chi, a coming-of-age story that follows six interrelated characters in Chicago’s South Side. As a producer, her credits include the upcoming film Step Sisters. She was also a producer on the Sundance darling Dear White People and Tiffany Johnson’s short film Ladylike, which can be found on YouTube. Delivering the WLC’s morning keynote address will be noted social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who teaches at Harvard Business School and is a New York Times bestselling author. Focusing on the power of nonverbal behavior, prejudice, and stereotyping and how people can affect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, Cuddy teaches thousands of people how to become more present, influential, and satisfied in their professional and personal lives. Keynote speakers will share their perspectives on this year’s conference theme, “Be Curious,” motivating and inspiring attendees to engage curiosity in their daily lives. Nancy Shendell-Falik, Lisa Tanzer, and Kirk Arnold, regional leaders in the fields of healthcare, retail, and technology, will discuss the obstacles they’ve overcome during a lunchtime panel with a moderator and an opportunity for audience questions. Additionally, breakout sessions will be led by Stephen Brand, executive director of Global Learning & Development, Strategic Alliances at Bay Path; Cy Wakeman, president and founder of Reality-Based Leadership; Dr. Tasha Eurich, organizational psychologist, blogger, and New York Times bestselling author; and Linda Galindo, renowned speaker, author, and educator on organizational and individual accountability. Bay Path University’s Women’s Leadership Conference has garnered more than 22,000 attendees and featured more than 150 prominent speakers throughout its history. For further information on the conference and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Alzheimer’s Benefit Gala

April 7: The Pioneer Valley Friends of Alzheimer’s Assoc. will hold its fourth annual Alzheimer’s Benefit Gala at the Log Cabin in Holyoke starting at 5:30 p.m. The festivities will include live entertainment, food, and raffles. Entertainment will include the Blend, Richie Mitnick and Friends, and Now’s the Time Jazz Sextet. Ashley Kohl will serve as the evening’s host. The event will feature the sale of artwork created by residents of assisted-living and skilled-nursing communities located throughout Western Mass. This part of the program — “Painting the Face on Alzheimer’s” — will include art that was created using the ‘memories method,’ which focuses on the process of creating by encouraging self-expression through art among those facing dementia. This year, Seymour Frankel will receive the Distinguished Fundraiser Award for his fundraising efforts for the last 23 years in support of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. For many years, he has been the largest donor to support the walk. The evening’s proceeds will fund various educational programs for the local Alzheimer’s Assoc. chapter, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and referral services for families who have loved ones with the disease. Tickets are $50 per person or $475 for a table of 10. For online ticket orders, visit www. eventbrite.com. Tickets may also be purchased by contacting Claudette Smart at (413) 636-5462 or [email protected]. Make checks payable to PVFAA (Pioneer Valley Friends of Alzheimer’s Assoc.) at P.O. Box 164, Agawam, MA 01001.

Valley Community Development Celebrates 30 Years

April 12: In honor of its 30-year anniversary, Valley Community Development will hold a celebration at Hadley Farms Meeting House, and Executive Director Joanne Campbell announced that the organization’s $400,000 anniversary fundraising goal has been met, including $32,000 raised from first-time donors to the nonprofit. Campbell said the celebration is one new way to educate community members about the nonprofit’s mission to empower people with low and moderate incomes to manage and improve the quality of their lives through the development of affordable housing, economic opportunity, and small-business development. The event is open to the public and will kick off with a cocktail reception from 6 to 7 p.m. Dinner and the keynote speaker, Charles Blow, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, will follow from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $125 and are available online by visiting valleycdc.com. Blow writes about politics, public opinion, and social justice. He is a CNN commentator and was a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale University last year. He is also the author of the best-selling memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which tells his story of growing up in the Deep South with a fiercely driven mother and four brothers, and his escape after a trauma. At the celebratory event, Blow will speak on the general theme of social justice. “It will be very timely and appropriate for the work we’re doing right now,” said Campbell. “Valley Community Development is involved in navigating the crisis in housing and serving people with very low incomes. We collaborate with regional and local organizations to work on these local issues.”

‘Protecting Your Assets’

April 18: Springfield Partners for Community Action Inc. will host “Protecting Your Assets Part III” starting at 6 p.m. at Springfield Central Library, 220 State St. The event is in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month and is free and open to the public. Call (413) 263-6500 to reserve a seat. This year’s panelists include Julius Lewis of the Metrocom Group and the Lewis and Marrow Financial Hour, which airs Wednesdays on STCC radio; and attorney Sara Miller, who specializes in elder law and estate planning. New this year is attorney Martin O’Connor, an authority on tax issues and who helps low-income, non-English-speaking taxpayers understand their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers. “I am sure there will be something for everyone, along with great information sharing,” said Paul Bailey, executive director at Springfield Partners.

Caritas Gala

April 21: Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s second annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The gala, with its Motown-inspired theme “Reach Out,” will raise funds to support Mercy Behavioral Health Care and the Mercy Emergency Department’s Opioid Community Outreach for education, intervention, and treatment. Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani, along with Paul and Anna Mancinone, are honorary chairpersons for the Caritas Gala. Longtime supporters of Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Hamdani has served as chairman of Surgery, chairman of Credentials, and president of the medical staff at Mercy, and Paul Mancinone serves on the board for Trinity Health Of New England. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Motor City Magic, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., following by a live auction and dancing until midnight with music from the band Radiance. Preregistration is required by Friday, March 23. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Caritas Gala, visit www.mercycares.com/caritas-gala.

Mayors’ Economic Forum

April 26: “Mayors Meet Millennials” is the title of the 2018 New England Knowledge Corridor Mayors’ Economic Forum at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Conn. The program begins with coffee and conversation from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., followed by the conference program from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Participating mayors include Domenic Sarno (Springfield), Richard Kos (Chicopee), Marcia Leclerc (East Hartford), Erin Stewart (New Britain), and Luke Bronin (Hartford). Registration options and more information will be available soon.

Excel Skill Training

May 14-18: Tech Foundry will offer a four-day Excel skill training the week of May 14-18 (every day but May 16) from 9 a.m. to noon at 1391 Main St., ninth floor, Springfield. Because its first Excel class offered to area companies and their employees was such a success, Tech Foundry is eager to meet the Excel needs of more area employers and their employees. Hundreds of workers in the Pioneer Valley alone use Excel on a daily basis, yet only a small fraction have the training and skill needed to maximize job success and productivity. The class will cover advanced formulas; tables and formatting; conditional formatting; advanced charting; pivot tables and pivot reporting; VBA and macros; using Excel productively; data tables, simulations, and Solver; Excel integration; and optimizing Excel. The cost per student is $750. To register, e-mail [email protected] Employers with fewer than 100 employees are eligible for a 50% tuition reimbursement from Commonwealth Corp.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018, which will be unveiled in the April 30 issue of BusinessWest. Also, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. The 40 Under Forty sponsors include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Isenberg School of Management, Health New England, the MP Group, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Renew.Calm, and partner YPS of Greater Springfield. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

Departments People on the Move
John Dowd Jr.

John Dowd Jr.

Dennis Fitzpatrick

Dennis Fitzpatrick

Diane LaCosse

Diane LaCosse

James Wall

James Wall

John Dowd Jr., Dennis Fitzpatrick, Diane LaCosse, and James Wall were recently named to the board of the Sisters of Providence Ministry Corp. (SPMC). SPMC functions as the holding company for Providence Place Inc., Mary’s Meadow at Providence Place Inc., and Providence Ministries for the Needy Inc., all in Holyoke; and Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center in Westfield. The Sisters of Providence executive council serves as the corporation’s members on the SPMC board and as corporation officers; they include Sr. Kathleen Popko, president; Sr. Mary Caritas Geary, vice president; and Sr. Senga Fulton, secretary/treasurer. Dowd is president and CEO of the Dowd Insurance Agencies, and has served on numerous boards, including the Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS) and foundation board, NUVO Bank & Trust, and CityStage and Symphony Hall. Fitzpatrick is president of the O’Connell Companies and former board chair of Brightside for Families and Children, SPHS, and Catholic Health East, of which SPHS was a founding member. LaCosse is senior vice president of United Bank’s commercial banking division in West Springfield and a member of the Providence Place/Mary’s Meadow board and finance committee. She is a volunteer for the WestMass Eldercare Money Manager Program, an associate of the Sisters of Providence, and formerly served on the Brightside for Families and Children Board. Wall retired in 2012 as global managing director of talent and chief diversity officer for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., U.S. He currently serves on two boards of trustees: as vice chair of American Management Assoc. International, NYC, and chair-elect of Providence Ministries for the Needy Inc. in Holyoke.

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Mark Wysk

Mark Wysk

Guardair Corp., the largest U.S. manufacturer of OSHA-compliant safety air guns and pneumatic vacuums, announced the hiring of Mark Wysk as the new director of Global Supply Chain. Wysk brings 30 years of industrial purchasing management experience, including international sourcing, tool-industry knowledge, and materials expertise. In his new role at Guardair, he will support manufacturing through innovative sourcing strategies and optimizing cost-saving opportunities in conjunction with annual operating plans. His focus will be on building and strengthening partnerships, providing true strategic relationships. “Mark’s expertise in improving productivity, quality, and efficiency of supply-chain operations is a tremendous asset as we continue to grow,” said Tom Tremblay, president of Guardair Corp. “We are thrilled to have him join our team.” Wysk was most recently the corporate director of Procurement at Simonds International. Prior to that, he held the position of senior manager of Global Sourcing for Lenox. He holds a master’s degree in engineering management and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, both from Western New England College. He currently serves as president of the Institute for Supply Management of Western New England and has published articles in Supply Chain World and Cutting Tool Engineering.

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Tom Schiff

Tom Schiff

Tom Schiff, the founder and executive director of Phallacies Inc., will receive an Innovative Initiative Award in March for his work with the nonprofit, which helps men create healthy masculinities through dialogue and theatrical performance. Schiff will receive the honor in person from the Men and Masculinities Knowledge Community of the National Assoc. of Student Personnel Administrators at the organization’s 100th annual conference in Philadelphia on March 3-7. The honor comes as Schiff is poised to begin to expand the organization in the region to reach and impact a broader audience of men of all ages. Phallacies Inc. provides leadership development, health education, and violence prevention for men via dialogue and innovative educational theater. It was born four years ago through Schiff’s work as a health educator at UMass, where he also founded the Men and Masculinities Center. Through Phallacies, people who identify as male between the ages of roughly 19 and 35 engage in a dialogue about masculinity and the intersections with other identities, health, violence, and relationships, and then create performance pieces as educational and thought catalysts to encourage changing the cultural scripts about masculinities. Performances take place at colleges, human-service organizations and forums, conferences, and local high schools and middle schools. Men who are involved include teachers, staff from youth and human-service agencies, and medical students. “They’re interested in getting support for themselves about how to be healthier as a man — physically, emotionally, and psychologically — and to find support for that. They are trying to rethink what it means to be a man in the world,” Schiff said. “People also get involved because they’re interested in violence prevention. Men need to speak up and speak out about these issues to help support more men and boys in creating healthy masculinities.” Schiff holds a doctoral degree in organization development from UMass, a master’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, and a bachelor’s degree in history with certification in secondary social studies from the State University of New York at Cortland.

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The board of directors at Pioneer Cold announced that Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bryan Hedge has been elected president. He joined Pioneer in 2007 as vice president of Operations, and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2012. Hedge will be responsible for all areas of Pioneer, including customer and employee satisfaction. A major part of his job will be to set priorities in strategy, asset utilization, and revenue growth, and to ensure operational excellence across the company. As COO, Hedge was the operations leader and delivered consistent improvement in all areas, including safety, capacity planning and utilization, customer satisfaction, and productivity. As a result, Pioneer achieved industry-best operational metrics as benchmarked against industry standards. Hedge came to Pioneer from Sleepy’s, where he was vice president, Logistics. Prior to that, he was vice president, Business Operations at CIS in Lenox. He also held executive-level supply-chain-management roles at Save-A-Lot Foods, Performance Food Group, and Springfield Foodservice. He spent 20 years with TruServ Corp., where he was consistently promoted to roles with increasing responsibility. Hedge is an active member of the International Assoc. of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) and serves as a member of that organization’s supply chain operations committee. He also currently serves as treasurer of the North Atlantic Chapter of the IARW. He is also a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. Pioneer Cold also announced two more promotions, with Susanne Gagnon becoming director of Operations and Michael Carr becoming Customer Service manager. Gagnon served most recently as Customer Service and Transportation manager. She came to Pioneer in 2004 as a Warehouse manager and was promoted to Customer Service manager in 2006. Prior to joining Pioneer, she was with C&S for 10 years and was promoted to roles with increasing levels of responsibility, working on the ‘SWAT Team’ setting up and opening new distribution centers for three years, and was promoted to Warehouse supervisor, where she spent her last two years. Carr joined Pioneer in 2003 as a Customer Service representative. In 2007, he was promoted to senior Customer Service representative and has spent the last 11 years in that role. Prior to joining Pioneer, he was a route sales/DSD delivery driver for a magazine and book distributor.

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Dr. Angela Belmont

Dr. Angela Belmont

Cooley Dickinson Health Care President and CEO Joanne Marqusee announced the appointment of Dr. Angela Belmont as vice president, Patient Care Services and chief Nursing officer (CNO). “In her new role, Angela provides leadership, oversight, and support of our leaders in the Patient Care Services division at Cooley Dickinson Health Care,” Marqusee said. “Angela is responsible for advancing our dyad program of nursing and physician collaboration, and partners with our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Estevan Garcia to focus on quality and patient safety. In this regard, Angela will help us to drive improvements in patient satisfaction and nursing practice at Cooley Dickinson.” A successful nurse administrator with more than 30 years of experience, Belmont has held progressively responsible leadership positions in acute-care hospitals throughout her career, including more than 20 years with Faxton-St. Luke’s Hospital, a 370-bed acute-care hospital in Utica, N.Y. Prior to joining Cooley Dickinson, Belmont was assistant vice president of Nursing for Mohawk Valley Health System, a community healthcare system with more than 4,000 employees that serves patients throughout three counties in upstate New York. In this role, she led efforts to significantly improve patient-care services and outcomes across the two hospital campuses. Belmont earned both her bachelor’s degree in Nursing and master’s degree in nursing administration at the State University of New York, and her doctorate in nursing practice in system leadership from Rush University in Chicago.

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Brittany Weiss, associate director of International Admissions at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, has joined the all-volunteer board of directors for the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI). “We are very pleased to have Brittany as part of the ILI family,” said Eric Wirth, ILI board president. “Her extensive academic and professional background around the world and here at home will go far in supporting our work, including high-quality language instruction and teacher training, free English classes for immigrants and refugees, and volunteer opportunities throughout the Pioneer Valley.” Weiss has considerable experience abroad in Asia, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Prior to joining Stoneleigh-Burnham, she was Admissions associate at the American International School of Budapest in Hungary, where she worked with students and families from more than 60 nationalities. Earlier, she served as assistant director of Alumni Engagement at her alma mater, Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, and as a resident faculty member at Emma Willard School in Troy, N.Y. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Siena College and a master’s degree in educational administration and policy studies from the University at Albany.

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The Melha Shriners, a philanthropic organization based on fun, fellowship, and Masonic principles, announced the official election and installation of their potentate (president) and his Divan (executive board). At its annual meeting, the Melha Shriners presented the potentate’s fez to Glenn Surprenant, the 108th top-ranking Shriner in Western Mass. as the organization enters its 120th year. A lifelong resident of Western Mass., Surprenant graduated from Classical High School and later pursued his passion for laboratory sciences. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from American International College in 1976, he became a registered medical technologist in Laboratory Sciences and is currently the director of Radiology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. In 1976, Surprenant married Diane Ruggeri, an assistant nurse manager, Labor & Delivery for Baystate Medical Center. After many years of observing other members of his family join the Masonic fraternity and then the Shrine, Surprenant was raised a Master Mason in the Indian Orchard Lodge in February 2006 and joined the Melha Shriners in March 2006. He has been an active member and past president of the Hadji Unit in 2014. During parades, he can be seen driving one of the brightly colored Jeepsters. Surprenant’s journey toward becoming the head Shriner in Western Mass. began in 2014 when he was appointed to the Divan line. The fellowship he espouses is seen throughout the Shrine and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield, as his cousin, Al “Poppy” Surprenant, is a member of the clown unit; his brothers, Joseph and Gary Surprenant, are both board of governors members at the hospital; and his son, Andrew, is president of the Melha Oriental Band Unit. The First Lady’s project, titled “Nursing Education: Making a Difference for the Kids,” will raise funds to provide items not normally allocated in a hospital budget; these educational items will assist the nurses in the transition to acute pediatric rehabilitation care. Said First Lady Diane, “I’d like to add more educational items that will help the staff to do even greater things than they are doing now. My hope is that my project will provide additional tools and the necessary training to expand the high-quality care the children receive here in Springfield.”

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Kayla Drinkwine

Kayla Drinkwine

Kayla Drinkwine joined Webber & Grinnell Insurance as commercial lines marketing manager. She will be responsible for quoting, negotiating, and placing the agency’s larger commercial accounts with the various insurance carriers represented by the agency. Drinkwine started her career at Phillips Insurance Agency in Chicopee. Starting as the office receptionist, she moved quickly to personal lines customer service representative and then to commercial account manager. She maintains her construction risk and insurance specialist (CRIS) and certified insurance service representative (CISR) designations from the Massachusetts Assoc. of Insurance Agents.

Agenda Departments

Gray House
Spaghetti Supper
March 19: The Gray House will hold its 27th annual spaghetti supper from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Greek Cultural Center, 8 Plainfield St. in Springfield. All proceeds from the family-friendly event will help the Gray House provide food, educational services, and youth programming to neighbors living in poverty. This year’s event sponsor is Freedom Credit Union, and platinum sponsors include PeoplesBank and the Springfield Chapter of UNICO National.
Tickets for the event are a minimum donation of $5. Children 6 and under are free, and all tickets can be purchased at the door. Supper, dessert, and children’s activities are available, as well as the opportunity to win raffle prizes such as Okemo Mountain lift tickets, a Tree House Brewing Co. basket, and many others. The grand-prize raffle includes a foursome to the Ranch Golf Club, tickets to a Boston Red Sox game, and a 32-inch smart TV. Winners do not need to be present to win the grand-prize raffle, and entry tickets can be purchased in advance by calling (413) 734-6696. This year, the Gray House will honor St. Michael’s Parish and Knights of Columbus Council #9960 of East Longmeadow. The event would not be possible without the support of the St. Michael’s Knights of Columbus and parishioners, said Teresa Liberti, executive director of the Gray House. “For over 20 years, they have been an integral part of making the spaghetti supper such a success. They are the ones who are cooking and serving the food for over 400 guests we have every year.”

Difference Makers
March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners were announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. 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. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit www.businesswest.com. Sponsors include Sunshine Village, Royal, P.C., Health New England, and Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

Caritas Gala
April 21: Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s second annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The gala, with its Motown-inspired theme “Reach Out,” will raise funds to support Mercy Behavioral Health Care and the Mercy Emergency Department’s Opioid Community Outreach for education, intervention, and treatment. Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani, along with Paul and Anna Mancinone, are honorary chairpersons for the Caritas Gala. Longtime supporters of Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Hamdani has served as chairman of Surgery, chairman of Credentials, and president of the medical staff at Mercy, and Paul Mancinone serves on the board for Trinity Health Of New England. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Motor City Magic, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., following by a live auction and dancing until midnight with music from the band Radiance. Preregistration is required by Friday, March 23. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Caritas Gala, visit www.mercycares.com/caritas-gala.

Mayors’ Economic Forum
April 26: “Mayors Meet Millennials” is the title of the 2018 New England Knowledge Corridor Mayors’ Economic Forum at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Conn. The program begins with coffee and conversation from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., followed by the conference program from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Participating mayors include Domenic Sarno (Springfield), Richard Kos (Chicopee), Marcia Leclerc (East Hartford), Erin Stewart (New Britain), and Luke Bronin (Hartford). Registration options and more information will be available soon.

40 Under Forty Gala
June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018, which will be unveiled in the April 30 issue of BusinessWest. Also, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. The 40 Under Forty sponsors include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Isenberg School of Management, Health New England, and the MP Group. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Mont Marie, a member of the Marquis Health Services/Tryko Partners skilled-nursing portfolio, has made a contribution toward the Holyoke Medical Center capital campaign — titled Care. Community. Commitment. — for the new Emergency Department and Medical Office Building.

“Strong partnerships with local medical providers are integral to a skilled-nursing facility’s ability to provide the best possible care, programs, and customer service for residents. We value the close working relationship we have developed with Holyoke Medical Center in the three years we have owned and operated Mont Marie Health Care Center,” said Norman Rokeach, CEO of Marquis Health Services, the healthcare affiliate of Tryko Partners, LLC. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the hospital and its team as we develop specialized programming that meets the needs of the Holyoke community.”

Added Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems, “we are proud of the partnership the hospital has been able to establish with Mont Marie and Marquis Health Services, and greatly appreciate this financial contribution. It is collaborations such as those established with Mont Marie that allow us to continue to provide our community with the services it deserves.”

The new Emergency Department, which opened in July 2017, is a 21,460-square-foot facility featuring a Center for Behavioral Health Emergency Service, 40 treatment areas, multi-patient trauma rooms, advanced life-saving equipment, and a patient-navigation service. In the first six months of operation, the new facility has treated more than 26,000 patients.

The Care. Community. Commitment. capital campaign at Holyoke Medical Center is still underway and inching closer to its $3 million goal. Anyone interested in learning more about the campaign and ways to get involved is invited to call the hospital’s Development Department at (413) 534-2579.

Departments People on the Move
Eric Polep

Eric Polep

J. Polep Distribution Services announced the promotion of Eric Polep to president and CEO, reporting to Chairman of the Board Jeffrey Polep. “Eric has proven time and again he understands how to grow with the industry and as the business dictates. He represents J. Polep with pride, and his everyday goal is to make sure each customer and vendor sees the outcome of long-term success, which is the foundation to our business,” said Jeffrey Polep, also Eric’s father. J. Polep Distribution Service is the fifth-largest convenience wholesaler in the U.S., exceeding $1.5 billion in sales. The locally owned and operated business posted a 30.1% increase in overall sales, rising from ninth place to fifth place in the 2017 CSNEWS Top Wholesalers report. Eric will continue to work closely with Jeffrey and all of the company’s support staff to ensure effective execution of strategies and operational services. “I am very excited for this opportunity that lies ahead of me and look forward to the continuing growth of the business,” Eric said. “Upon graduating college, I knew I wanted to go right into the family business and absorb everything I could from my father. Working beside him has always been a dream of mine, and it’s an honor to be named president of J. Polep Distribution Services by him and our board.”

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Christopher Scott

Christopher Scott

Michael Pike

Michael Pike

PeoplesBank announced appointments of two key associates. Christopher Scott was appointed assistant vice president, portfolio manager, while Michael Pike was appointed Hadley branch manager. Scott has more than six years of banking experience. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in corporate finance, from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. He is also a graduate of the Springfield Leadership Institute. Pike has more than 12 years of banking and financial-services experience. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Notre Dame College.

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Dr. Neil Kudler, former chief medical information officer for Baystate Health, has joined Holyoke-based healthcare consultancy VertitechIT as chief medical officer. “IT consultants focused primarily on bits and bytes are doing their clients a disservice,” said Kudler, who has held other senior executive and strategist positions at Baystate Health, one of New England’s largest healthcare systems. “As CMO of VertitechIT, I’m in a position to bridge that all-important technology gap between clinicians and the IT departments that must support them.” VertitechIT is among the fastest-growing healthcare IT consultancies in the country, focused on helping senior IT leaders to strategically and tactically transform the role of IT in the hospital setting. “Any consultant worth their fee can design and implement a new cloud strategy or infrastructure platform,” said VertitechIT CEO Michael Feld. “Dr. Kudler gives us immense credibility on the clinical side of the house, providing guidance on things like diversified health-system operations, population health, and data analytics.” Before joining VertitechIT, Kudler served as senior healthcare innovation strategist for TechSpring Technology Innovation Center, and as chief operating officer for Baycare Health Partners. He is a graduate of Colgate University and received his master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School. He received his doctor of medicine degree from New York University and trained in internal medicine at UC San Francisco.

•••••

Jonathan Howell

Jonathan Howell

Springfield College named Jonathan Howell as its new director of Human Resources, effective March 5. He brings more than 18 years of experience in human resources, with the last 15 years working in higher education. As the college’s lead human-resources officer, Howell will be responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction surrounding all human-resources initiatives and priorities for Springfield College. Howell comes to Springfield College from Mitchell College in New London, Conn., where he served as vice president for Human Resources starting in 2015. Prior to his most recent position, Howell also served as director of Human Resources at Mitchell College from 2012 to 2015. Prior to his time there, Howell was employed for eight years at the University of Illinois in multiple human-resources positions. Howell received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Augustana College and will complete a master’s program in human resources from Ft. Hays State University this spring.

•••••

Carol Anne McGowan

Carol Anne McGowan

The UMass Donahue Institute, an outreach and economic-development arm of the UMass President’s Office, promoted Carol Anne McGowan to associate director. In this position, McGowan works closely with the executive director to develop and implement management strategies, systems, and practices across the Donahue Institute. She is also directly responsible for overseeing all fiscal and human-resource functions. Previously, she served as the institute’s director of Administration and Finance. She first joined the institute in 2000 as a member of the Financial Management, Education and Training (FMET) team. She spent more than 10 years with FMET, developing curriculum and instructing in the areas of government finance and accounting for the U.S. Department of Defense. In addition to her role as associate director, McGowan has developed a credited course on post-award management of grants and contracts, which she will teach through UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management. Earlier in her career, she served as director of Onslow Community Health Improvement Process, a community nonprofit organization in Onslow County, N.C. She has a master’s degree in human resources and organizational development from Webster University and an MBA from the UMass Isenberg School of Management.

•••••

Miriam Siegel

Miriam Siegel

Country Bank announced that Miriam Siegel has joined its team as senior vice president of Human Resources. A graduate of the State University of New York at Albany with a bachelor’s degree in business, Siegel boasts 26 years in the financial-services industry. She is also a certified compensation professional and certified benefits professional from WorldatWork. For 21 years, Siegel worked at United Bank. She began her career as a payroll clerk and worked her way through the ranks until she found her passion within the human-resources department. Her time at United Bank made a significant impact on her approach to human resources. “I live and work by the philosophy that your most valuable assets are your people,” she said. “I am very excited to be back at a local community bank where employees and customers come first.” Siegel owned and operated the Village Store Café in Wilbraham with her husband. During that time, they began a run/walk event, the Cup to Pint Fun Run, to support local charities. The Children’s Museum in Wilbraham, the Livestrong Program at the Scantic Valley YMCA, and the Wilbraham Hampden Academic Trust, have all received donations from this annual fund-raiser. Siegel is a member of the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc., WorldatWork, and the New England Human Resources Assoc., and serves on the board of directors for Behavioral Health Network in Springfield. “Miriam’s extensive expertise in human resources within the financial-services industry makes her a perfect fit for Country Bank,” said Paul Scully, the bank’s CEO and president. “We are thrilled to have her join our team; we know that Miriam will be an esteemed resource for Country Bank and its employees.”

•••••

Bulkley Richardson announced that Seunghee Cha and Jodi Miller have been promoted to partner, and Mary Bonzagni has joined the firm as partner as well. In her comprehensive estate-planning practice, Cha assists individuals and families from all walks of life, with a particular focus on special-needs planning for individuals living with intellectual, developmental, and age-related disabilities; conservatorship and alternatives; estate settlement; and trust administration. Miller focuses her practice on commercial and other civil litigation, including class actions, as well as regulatory matters. She has a particular expertise in the area of health law and also represents public and privately held corporations, financial institutions, schools and universities, nonprofits, and individuals in a range of litigation matters. Bonzagni has an established reputation in the field of intellectual property. Her work involves prosecuting, defending, and licensing patents for a wide variety of inventions, as well as challenging the patentability of both pre-grant and post-grant patents in a number of countries and regions. In-depth experience as a chemist has equipped her with a unique perspective and allows her to provide clients with both legal and scientific strategies. She also advises businesses on strategic aspects of trademark, copyright, and trade-secret protection.

•••••

Charlie Epstein

Charlie Epstein

Charlie Epstein, an investment adviser and author who specializes in retirement consulting, has been appointed to the Holyoke Community College board of trustees by Gov. Charlie Baker. He was sworn in Feb. 2, and is expected to join the board for its next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Epstein is principal of the Holyoke-based Epstein Financial Group LLC and Epstein Financial Services, a registered, investment advisory firm providing corporate retirement-plan consulting as well as wealth-management and financial-planning services for business owners, professionals, and individual plan participants. He is also owner of the 401K Coach Program, which offers financial-adviser education services and training; the author of two books: Paychecks for Life: How to Turn Your 401(k) into a Paycheck Manufacturing Company and Save America, Save! The Secrets of a Successful 401(k) Plan; and an industry conference speaker and commentator who has appeared on the Fox Business Network. In 1994, he founded the Family Business Center of the Pioneer Valley in Amherst and remains on its board of directors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Colgate University.

•••••

David W. Griffin Sr.

David W. Griffin Sr.

David W. Griffin Sr., executive vice president and treasurer of the Dowd Agencies, LLC, is the 2018 recipient of the Daniel J. Gallivan award from the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. “We are honored that one of our own has received this well-deserved honor,” said John E. Dowd Jr., president and CEO. “David has provided tireless effort for Holyoke, fulfilling various leadership capacities that have benefitted our clients and the citizens of Western Massachusetts alike.” Griffin is an active member of the Holyoke community, serving as president of the West Springfield Chamber of Commerce, West Springfield Rotary, Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Springfield Country Club, Hampden County Insurance Agents, and chair of Mont Marie Health Care Center. He remains active with the CYO of Western Massachusetts as well. Griffin has more than 35 years of experience in the insurance industry, beginning his career in 1978 as a surety underwriter for Aetna Casualty. Since then, he has served as a broker specializing in large commercial and contracting accounts. He is a licensed insurance advisor as well as a certified insurance counselor. Since 1972, the Daniel J. Gallivan award, named after the South Hadley resident and longtime member of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, has been awarded to long-standing members of the association who have made significant contributions to the overall success of the parade and committee.

•••••

Meaghan Murphy

Meaghan Murphy

Bacon Wilson announced that Meaghan Murphy has joined the firm as an associate attorney. A member of the firm’s litigation department, her practice is focused on labor and employment law. Murphy is a graduate of Western New England University School of Law, and received her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College. She works primarily from Bacon Wilson’s Springfield location, and is licensed to practice in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. Founded in 1895, Bacon Wilson, P.C. is one of the largest firms in the Pioneer Valley, with 44 lawyers and approximately 60 paralegals, administrative assistants, and support staff. The firm’s offices are located in Springfield, Amherst, Hadley, Northampton, and Westfield.

•••••

Berkshire Bank promoted Lori Gazzillo to senior vice president and director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation. She was previously the foundation’s vice president. In her new position, Gazzillo is responsible for the development, planning, and implementation of strategies to support the Berkshire Bank Foundation, improving quality of life, cultivating partnerships, and fostering community relationships across the Bank’s six-state footprint. Gazzillo joined Berkshire Bank in 2011 from Legacy Banks, where she was the Community Relations officer since 2006. “Lori has more than 20 years of communications and community-relations experience and has shown exceptional leadership in improving and developing strong relationships in our existing and new markets. We look forward to continuing to foster these relationships as we grow,” said Linda Johnston, senior executive vice president and chief Human Resources officer. Gazzillo serves on the board of directors of 1Berkshire, the Brien Center, and Associated Grant Makers, is a member of the newly formed Berkshire Leadership Impact Council, and was recently appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the Berkshire Community College board of trustees. She has a bachelor’s degree from Keene State College and a master’s degree in education from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She is also a graduate of the ABA School of Bank Marketing and Management.

•••••

Michelle Theroux of Berkshire Hills Music Academy was installed as president of the South Hadley & Granby Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 23. The election of officers and directors took place at the Willits-Hallowell Center. The other officers elected were Dina Mead, vice president; Jessica Bodon, clerk; and Alexandra Wern-LaFlamme, treasurer. New or returning directors elected that evening were Carol Constant, Mead, Darren Thomas, and Wearn-Laflamme.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s second annual Caritas Gala on Saturday, April 21, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The gala, with its Motown-inspired theme “Reach Out,” will raise funds to support Mercy Behavioral Health Care and the Mercy Emergency Department’s Opioid Community Outreach for education, intervention, and treatment.

Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani, along with Paul and Anna Mancinone, are honorary chairpersons for the Caritas Gala. Longtime supporters of Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Hamdani has served as chairman of Surgery, chairman of Credentials, and president of the medical staff at Mercy, and Paul Mancinone serves on the board for Trinity Health Of New England.

“The Sisters of Providence are a great source of inspiration, responding to the needs of our community for more than 140 years,” said Dr. Hamdani. “Today, we are challenged by the opioid epidemic and its impact on individuals of all ages, races, and economic levels. Mercy Behavioral Health Care looks beyond the stigma of addiction and provides treatment that supports people in their efforts to recover.”

The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Motor City Magic, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., following by a live auction and dancing until midnight with music from the band Radiance. Preregistration is required by Friday, March 23. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Caritas Gala, visit www.mercycares.com/caritas-gala.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — David W. Griffin Sr., executive vice president and treasurer of the Dowd Agencies, LLC, is the 2018 recipient of the Daniel J. Gallivan award from the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

“We are honored that one of our own has received this well-deserved honor,” said John E. Dowd Jr., president and CEO. “David has provided tireless effort for Holyoke, fulfilling various leadership capacities that have benefitted our clients and the citizens of Western Massachusetts alike.”

Griffin is an active member of the Holyoke community, serving as president of the West Springfield Chamber of Commerce, West Springfield Rotary, Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Springfield Country Club, Hampden County Insurance Agents, and chair of Mont Marie Health Care Center. He remains active with the CYO of Western Massachusetts as well.

Griffin has more than 35 years of experience in the insurance industry, beginning his career in 1978 as a surety underwriter for Aetna Casualty. Since then, he has served as a broker specializing in large commercial and contracting accounts. He is a licensed insurance advisor as well as a certified insurance counselor.

Since 1972, the Daniel J. Gallivan award, named after the South Hadley resident and longtime member of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, has been awarded to long-standing members of the association who have made significant contributions to the overall success of the parade and committee.

Daily News

EASTHAMPTON — Genevieve Brough, president of Finck & Perras Insurance Agency Inc., recently announced that the firm invested roughly $40,000 in the wider community through sponsorships and donations to nonprofits in 2017.

“It’s my aim to have a tangible engagement in our community,” Brough said, noting Finck & Perras aims to support organizations that have a mission to improve the lives of children and people with disabilities.

Organizations the company supported range from youth sports and recreation programs in Hampshire County to Riverside Industries in Easthampton, Link to Libraries, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hampshire County. “These organizations are among the great assets of our community. They’re part of its fabric,” she said.

Brough passes on her philanthropic values to employees, encouraging them to take part in community activism and fund-raising. Finck & Perras has supported the United Way of Hampshire County for 19 years, for instance, encouraging employees take part in making regular donations by offering various incentive programs.

Other organizations Finck & Perras supported in 2017 include the Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton; the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Springfield; Pathlight, Springfield; TedXEasthamptonWomen; Safe Passage, Northampton; the Northampton Family Fourth Celebration; Nonotuck Community School Inc., Northampton; Cooley Dickinson Health Care, Northampton; and Look Memorial Park, Florence.

Finck & Perras provides home, auto, business, and marine insurance and has offices in Easthampton and Florence.

Building Permits Departments

The following building permits were issued during the month of January 2018.

AGAWAM

Oak Ridge Golf Club Inc.
850 South Westfield St.
$15,000 – Verizon Wireless replacing three antennas with new models and adding three to existing cell tower

CHICOPEE

Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield
202 East Main St.
$69,000 – Code upgrades to Mary’s House of Prayer

DEERFIELD

Deerfield Academy
7 Boydon Lane
$2,490,000 – Erect roof over tennis courts

Deerfield Academy
1 Albany Road
$13,021 – Re-roof dining hall

Yankee Candle
16 Yankee Candle Way
$132,000 – Re-roof building, add insulation and sump at roof drains

EASTHAMPTON

Keystone Enterprises
122 Pleasant St.
$2,640 – Remove internal stairway, construct non-load-bearing demising wall

One Northampton St. Inc.
1 Northampton St.
$18,000 – Install replacement windows

Williston Northampton School
40-50 Park St.
$21,300 – Roofing on gymnasium

EAST LONGMEADOW

Dores Dental
281 Maple St.
$210,500 – Interior commercial renovations

First Congregational Church
239 Porter Road
$3,200 – Insulation

W.F. Young
302 Benton Dr.
$71,000 – Solar

GREENFIELD

CC MA Realty, LLC
7 Legion Ave.
$36,550 – Install new wet and dry sprinkler system

LONGMEADOW

Hair Studio One Inc.
20 Cross St.
$4,625 – Roof replacement

LUDLOW

Ludlow Fish & Game
857 Sportsmen’s Road
$2,100 – Commercial alterations

NORTHAMPTON

Atwood Drive, LLC
22 Atwood Dr.
$18,500 – Illuminated wall sign for Cooley Dickinson Health Care

Atwood Drive, LLC
22 Atwood Dr.
$16,500 – Illuminated wall sign for Cooley Dickinson Health Care

Atwood Drive, LLC
22 Atwood Dr.
$8,000 – Illuminated wall sign for Cooley Dickinson Health Care

First Church of Christ, Scientist
46 Center St.
$11,935 – Temporary egress stairs and porch deck

Florence Bank
491 Pleasant St.
$3,360 – Illuminated wall sign

Florence Bank
491 Pleasant St.
$3,360 – Illuminated wall sign

Lathrop Community Inc.
680 Bridge St.
$10,000 – Remove kitchen cabinets; install new cabinets, floor, and sink

Malvern PANalytical
22 Industrial Dr.
$7,000 – Replace windows on second floor

Smith College
84 Elm St.
$11,000 – Office renovation

Smith College
51 Belmont Ave.
$16,000 – Install new roof

PALMER

Camp Ramah of New England
29 Bennet St.
$9,500 – Repair floors in bathrooms in four bunks, remove and reset showers and sinks

SOUTHWICK

Lodestar Energy
63 Congamond Road
$3,692,333 – Solar

SPRINGFIELD

Boston Rd./Pasco Rt. 20 Retail, LLC
1300B Boston Road
$62,600 – Interior tenant fit-out

Mercy Medical Center
299 Carew St.
$85,630 – Create X-ray room out of two offices, remodel two offices

Phillips Edison & Co.
380 Cooley St.
$3,337 – Install horn strobes and initiating devices and connect to landlord’s fire-alarm panel

Springfield Redevelopment Authority
55 Frank B. Murray St.
$900,000 – Fit out third floor of Union Station for future Peter Pan Bus Lines offices

WARE

Country Bank
75 Main St.
$41,384 – Roofing

Country Corners Storage
50 Greenwich Road
$48,400 – Storage trailer

WESTFIELD

FRP Holdings Westfield, LLC
24 Main St.
$68,127 – Remodel store, new bathroom, add two offices

Noble Hospital
115 West Silver St.
$17,254 – Rework three office spaces to create IT server room

Tyrone Co.
14 Sycamore St.
$42,000 – Convert garage into apartment

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Albert Keinath
888 Main St.
$7,385 – Assemble exhaust duct

Saremi, LLP
442 Main St.
$3,500 – Repair due to fire

WILBRAHAM

McClure Insurance
2361 Boston Road
$2,400 – Replace sign

Company Notebook Departments

Hazen Paper Co. Honored with Holography Award

HOLYOKE — Hazen Paper Co. was recognized with an Excellence in Holography Award from the International Hologram Manufacturers Assoc. (IHMA) at its annual conference in Barcelona, Spain. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in pioneering innovative holographic products or techniques, as well as the best use of holography in commercial applications. Singled out from a record number of entries, Hazen was awarded Best Applied Decorative Packaging Product for its own promotional 2017 calendar and supporting brochure. The six-panel brochure and related poster/calendar each highlight different capabilities and product characteristics, though they both feature a dramatic image of a woman dressed in a gown of gold satin, who appears radiant and three-dimensional, thanks to custom Hazen Holography. According to the IHMA, the two are “a beautiful display of holographic art with many technical features.” The brochure, which showcases more than 50 holograms to inspire design and packaging innovators, was constructed of holographic film laminated to both sides of a paperboard cover stock. The film acts as a hinge at the folds and seals the stock, resulting in enhanced lay-flat properties and durability. Holography on the front is registered to print as well as to the holography on the back, without re-combine lines. The poster/calendar demonstrates Hazen’s large-format holographic capability and compatibility with green objectives, digitally printed on transfer-metallized Hazen Envirofoil, an environmentally friendly product that uses less than 1% of the aluminum of traditional foil laminate, none of the film, and is recyclable as paper. Film-free Envirofoil’s ultra-thin metallized layer also delivers exceptional lay-flat results on this oversized piece. The IHMA, a nonprofit organization registered in the United Kingdom, promotes the cooperation of over 100 of the world’s foremost holographic companies to maintain the highest professional, security, and quality standards in support of its customers. In 2016, the IHMA presented Hazen President John Hazen with the Brian Monaghan Award for Business Innovation. Hazen Paper has been a member of the IHMA since 2005.

Northampton Branch of Family Legacy Partners Announces Name Change

NORTHAMPTON — The Northampton branch of Family Legacy Partners, led by Karen Curran and Molly Keegan, announced a company name change to Curran and Keegan Financial. The company’s office remains in Northampton. This name change allows the company to better reflect a personal promise to help guide clients’ financial futures. Karen Curran and Molly Keegan offer a combined 22 years of service as independent financial advisors, sponsor numerous community events, and serve on several local boards. Keegan is chair of the Hadley Select Board, and Curran sits on the boards of Safe Passage and Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Additionally, the company is beginning its fourth year by adding a new client-services associate, Kori Ferris. Ferris has 12 years of experience in higher education, and she most recently led the Office of Financial Aid at Weill Cornell Medicine. A resident of Greenfield, she joins the company with a focus on helping clients and advisors during the financial-planning and investment process.

Berkshire Hills Touts Employee, Community Investments

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc., the parent of Berkshire Bank, announced additional investments in its employees and communities following the recent passage of federal tax reform legislation. These investments include:

• Raising Berkshire’s minimum wage to $15 per hour;

• Providing a one-time bonus of $1,000 to more than 1,000 employees. This grant benefits all full-time employees below a certain compensation threshold, covering more than 70% of the bank’s workforce, and augments the $500 holiday bonus these colleagues received in the fourth quarter;

• Enhancing Berkshire’s investment in employee development and training programs to benefit employees and bolster the bank’s current offering at AMEBU – American’s Most Exciting Bank University; and

• Contributing $2 million to the Berkshire Bank Foundation, which supports charitable organizations, scholarships, and volunteerism across Berkshire’s local communities. This will bolster the foundation’s endowment and allow for increased local giving. Last year, it provided over $2 million to our local communities, complementing the employee volunteer program, which helps employees contribute more than 40,000 hours of volunteer service each year.

Country Bank Donates to Local Food Pantries

WARE — Community outreach has been a part of Country Bank’s mission since its inception in 1850. During this season of giving, the bank is supporting organizations whose missions are similar, helping friends and neighbors in area communities. In addition to the bank’s annual donation of $28,000 to its local food pantries, Country Bank recently made an additional $10,000 donation to both the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and the Worcester County Food Bank to help those in need. “With the spirit of the holiday season in mind, the greater need for food and shelter this time of year is critical. These donations were made on behalf of the banks’ employees, corporators, and trustees” said Paul Scully, Country Bank president and CEO.

TommyCar Auto Group Gives Back to Local Veterans

NORTHAMPTON — Carla Cosenzi, president of TommyCar Auto Group, recently presented Jack Collins, director of the Northampton Veteran Affairs Medical Center, with a check for $1,480. All three of the TommyCar Auto stores, Northampton Volkswagen, Country Nissan, and Country Hyundai, held the same promotion throughout the entire month of November. For every car sold, each dealership would donate $10 to the Northampton Veteran Affairs Medical Center. The stores were able to raise a total of $1,480. “Our veterans have dedicated and sacrificed their lives to protect and keep our country safe. As a business owner, it’s my obligation to give back to our veterans when our veterans give so much,” Cosenzi said. The Northampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center provides primary, specialty, and mental-health care to 120,000 men and women. The money donated will assist in several services and healthcare programs available for veterans.

Beetle Press Celebrates 20th Anniversary This Year

EASTHAMPTON — Janice Beetle, principal of Beetle Press, a public-relations and communications firm, recently announced she will celebrate 20 years in business in 2018. Beetle established the business in 1998 after working as a journalist for 15 years, first as a beat reporter for the Springfield Republican and then as a writer and editor at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. That training has helped her assist clients in connecting with the media via press releases. Beetle works with a diverse range of clients from the nonprofit and private sectors. She writes for and edits print pieces such as magazines and annual reports; creates editorial calendars that include print and online media channels; and supports digital-marketing efforts for clients, writing blogs, e-newsletters, and website content. In 2013, she introduced book development to her roster of services, and has since helped launch many authors’ publications. To mark the 20th anniversary for the business, Alison Winkler, a graphic designer native to Northampton who now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., adapted the original Beetle Press logo design by Lisa Stowe of Florence, creating an anniversary version. For a number of years, Beetle promoted her business as a one-stop shop, offering writing, editing and graphic-design services. Today, she has returned to her roots, focusing on writing, editing and PR services. When clients need more comprehensive services, she partners with colleagues Ruth Griggs, a marketing strategist, and Maureen Scanlon, a graphic designer, in a collaborative called the Creative. Beetle holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Westfield State College. Since 2003, she has mentored dozens of interns from Westfield State and UMass Amherst. She now employs four former interns on a freelance basis: Shelby Ashline, a graduate of UMass; Shannon Grossman and Ashley Pond, graduates of Westfield State; and David Kennedy, a current Westfield State student. Clients of Beetle Press include Westfield State University, Glenmeadow, Florence Bank, Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, Sports Travel and Tours, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Brattleboro Retreat’s Psychology Internship Program Accredited

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — The Brattleboro Retreat announced that its psychology internship program has been awarded a full seven-year accreditation from the American Psychological Assoc. (APA) Commission on Accreditation (CoA). APA-CoA is recognized by both the secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the national accrediting authority for professional education and training in psychology. The Retreat launched its psychology internship program in 2011. Since then, 14 individuals have completed the year-long commitment, working 40 hours per week in various programs, including the Retreat’s uniformed service program, Birches Treatment Center, and pain management program as part of their doctoral training in professional psychology. The rigorous process of achieving APA accreditation required the Retreat to submit a detailed self-study designed to assess the internship program’s ability to meet APA accreditation requirements and also to gauge the Retreat’s overall ability to support a quality training environment. Following approval of the self-study, APA-selected site visitors conducted a two-day survey in late 2017 that included meetings with hospital administrators, faculty, and students. An accreditation determination was then made following an extensive APA committee review of all documents and findings.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Mercy Health ACO announced that the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) certified it as an accountable-care organization (ACO) in the HPC’s new, first-in-the-nation program. The HPC’s first round of ACO certification includes 17 HPC-certified ACOs and is a significant milestone for Massachusetts, making it the first state to implement statewide, all-payer standards for care delivery.

“We are pleased to take the next step in this important effort to improve care for MassHealth patients and reduce costs for the Commonwealth,” said Mark Fulco, president of Mercy Medical Center.

Mercy has formed an ACO partnership with Boston Medical Center (BMC) Health System, including its affiliate, BMC HealthNet Plan. The Mercy ACO will provide coverage, care, and services to MassHealth enrollees in Western Mass.

The HPC’s ACO certification program is closely aligned with efforts by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the MassHealth to improve health and reduce healthcare cost growth in the Commonwealth through ACOs. The goal is a healthcare delivery system that delivers coordinated, patient-centered health care that accounts for patients’ behavioral, social, and medical needs.

“The ACO program represents a significant change in the way MassHealth contracts with healthcare organizations throughout the state,” said Massachusetts Secretary for Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “The goal of the ACO program is to improve the care coordination and health outcomes for 850,000 MassHealth members, and we are pleased they all met the thorough certification standards.”

For the first year of the program, the HPC defined a set of criteria on which to assess ACOs for certification against that goal. However, unlike other state or federal programs, the HPC’s certification program evaluates ACOs on an all-payer basis, including for their Medicaid, Medicare, and commercially insured patient populations.

The HPC-certified ACOs include a diverse cross section of 17 healthcare organizations from across the Commonwealth. Importantly, the HPC will certify all organizations participating in the MassHealth ACO program.

“The ACO certification program will bring new transparency and information to the public regarding how ACOs are structured and operating today,” said David Seltz, HPC executive director. “The HPC expects to analyze the information received and identify best practices and areas of improvement for payers, policy makers, researchers, providers, and consumers.”

In order to be evaluated for certification, organizations were required to provide information for 15 standards, including patient-centered governance, performance-improvement strategy, experience in quality-based risk contracts, population-health management programs, and ability to coordinate cross-continuum care. Full certification is effective for two years, and organizations with provisional certification must apply for full certification within one year.

“Mercy Medical Center’s new ACO is big step forward for increasing access and affordability in Western Massachusetts,” said state Sen. James Welch. “I am excited to see this new and innovative program come into action and proud that Mercy is helping the Commonwealth carry the torch of healthcare delivery transformation to the benefit of our citizens and as an example to the nation.”

Features

Engaging Work

JC Schnabl

JC Schnabl

The UMass Amherst Alumni Assoc. has been in business since 1871. Its informal mission — to engage alums and begin (and continue) a dialogue concerning the importance of giving back to the institution, hasn’t changed over the past 147 years. But like the university itself, the alumni association has been expanding, elevating its game, and developing new strategies for inspiring graduates to invest in their alma mater.

JC Schnabl’s office in Memorial Hall is decorated with something approaching a nautical theme. There are several large framed paintings of sailing ships, including the U.S.S. Constitution.

When asked about it, with the expectation of an acknowledged personal fondness for ships, sailing, or both, Schnabl, assistant vice chancellor of Alumni Relations and executive director of the UMass Amherst Alumni Assoc., said there was some of that. But there was much more to these choices for his walls, he admitted.

Indeed, he was looking for something that said ‘Massachusetts’ or ‘New England’ — sort of … maybe. But he was also looking for something that didn’t just say ‘Massachusetts’ or ‘New England,’ and would appeal to a broader audience.

“I didn’t want to put something up that was Boston-specific,” he explained. “Old Ironsides is kind of a national emblem, and it’s broadly applicable to our alumni audience.”

And in many ways, his job, and his office’s mission, is much the same. There is a local focus to it, obviously, because there are so many graduates of the university living and working in Massachusetts, with the largest concentration (nearly half the total) being inside the Route 128 beltway around Boston. But the reach, and the message, has to be broader, because there are alums — 265,000 of them, according to the latest count — in every state and dozens of countries.

And that message is, in a word, ‘engagement’ with UMass Amherst, with engagement being an immensely broad term that is generally synonymous with ‘involvement,’ which can obviously come in many forms and flavors, said Schnabl.

For These Alums, Engagement Has Become a Passion

Vinnie Daboul remembers how it all started, and he tells the story often, because he says it’s important.

It was back in 1995, when Daboul, now a partner with Sage Benefit Advisers, was working for Phoenix Home Life. He was invited by someone at the Isenberg School of Management, which he attended a decade earlier, to speak to students about his work and his industry. Read More:

Financial support is perhaps the most obvious and important. It is the elephant in the room and the key to almost every one of the university’s ongoing efforts to climb higher in the rankings of the nation’s top institutions, he noted, adding that there is a significant, and in many ways needed, blurring of the lines when it comes to the work done by alumni-relations offices and development offices, as we’ll see later.

But engagement — and involvement — come in many other forms as well, said Schnabl, from support of athletic teams to mentoring of students, soon-to-be-graduates, and alums; from networking to efforts of all kinds to help build the university’s brand.

“We’re the mechanism that the university employs to engage alumni — and students who are going to become alumni  —in the future of the university,” said Schnabl, summing up the overarching mission of his office. “In an environment where universities across the country are trying to turn their alumni associations into a broad fund-raising arm of the university, our chancellor has a belief that our strategy of engagement is equally important.

“We don’t want a scenario where the first time someone hears from the university, we’re asking for money,” he went on, adding, again, that money is vital to the school’s success. “Frequently, it’s ‘how can we help? How can we help with your career goals? How can we reconnect you with the university, a place where you spent four or five years and absolutely loved? How do we engage you with alumni who are doing things you like to do?’”

Put simply, the alumni office wants graduates to become involved in what he called a ‘lifelong relationship’ with the university, and certainly not one that ends when the diploma is received at that huge ceremony in the football stadium.

Schnabl, who came to the university from a similar post at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), said he considered a number of potential landing spots as he commenced a search for jobs on the East Coast in early 2012 to be closer to his daughter as she attended school in North Carolina.

In UMass Amherst, he said, he saw a school on the rise, one that was building new facilities and building momentum at the same time. And he decided he wanted to be part of that.

And since arriving, and partly through his own lobbying efforts, UMass has elevated its game in the broad and ‘quirky’ (Schnabl’s word) world of alumni relations. Indeed, since his arrival, the alumni office has swelled from 16 full-time employees to 25, and has become more aggressive in its efforts to get alums involved in their alma mater.

For this issue, BusinessWest talked at length with Schnabl about this quirky business of alumni relations and how the university is committing more resources, and more attention, to the work of engaging its graduates.

School of Thought

There’s a large, framed map on a wall just outside a suite of offices in Memorial Hall. It details just where the university’s alums reside these days, and it’s colored, with dark red identifying the most heavily populated areas, white indicating the least populated regions, and progressively darker shades of pink showing those in between.

As might be expected, the Northeast, and especially Massachusetts, is dark red, as is much of Florida and some pockets of Arizona, the Carolinas, and California — the popular retirement spots, but also, in the case of the Research Triangle and Silicon Valley, where many graduates are finding jobs. Meanwhile, also as expected, huge swaths of the Midwest and South are white. Not many residents of those states go to UMass, and not many graduates go there to live or work.

Such information is obviously valuable, said Schnabl, but knowing where the graduates are is just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting alums involved or engaged.

Communicating with these individuals is a much bigger piece, as is sending a message that will inspire as much as it keeps the recipient informed.

Other pieces include events such as homecoming and reunions (there’s a large one on campus for each class marking its 50th anniversary, for example), as well as programs to get alums involved in their school, like a job-shadowing initiative in a few weeks that will involve several companies in the Bay State and beyond.

All this and more comes under the purview of the UMass Amherst Alumni Assoc., which operates, as most similar operations do, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency.

JC Schnabl says the broad mission for the alumni association is to engage alumni — and students who are going to become alumni — in the future of the university.

JC Schnabl says the broad mission for the alumni association is to engage alumni — and students who are going to become alumni — in the future of the university.

Around since 1871, nearly as long as the university, the association was created to engage graduates, said Schnabl, and, as he put it, “begin the dialogue concerning the importance giving back — of both their time and their money, and also being advocates for the university.”

That mission hasn’t changed in 147 years, but the manner in which it is carried out, at UMass and elsewhere, and the vehicles for doing so, including LinkedIn and Facebook, certainly have.

Schnabl has been in the alumni business, if you will, for more than 20 years now (after starting his professional career in law enforcement), and he’s seen a number of changes and emerging trends. Mostly, he’s seen forward-thinking colleges and universities become more serious about this business of alumni relations because of its importance to brand building and development.

So serious that schools, especially large public institutions, will now hire the best applicant they can find to lead such efforts, not the best applicant who is also an alum, as has been the case historically. Schnabl is an example — he did undergraduate work at the University of the Redlands just outside Los Angeles, and earned his MBA at the University of California at Irvine.

He stayed in California, and after working in law enforcement, “stumbled” into alumni relations, as he said most people working in this business do, by taking a job in that office at Long Beach State. He later took the lead job at Stanford.

As noted earlier, the UMass job was one of many he was considering when he decided he wanted to work close, but not too close, to his daughter. And it was one that intrigued him on a number of levels.

“UMass Amherst was poised for great things, and the alumni association was as well,” he said, adding that, when he interviewed for the position, he saw a school with considerable momentum and an alumni office with potential and an administration ready to make a bigger commitment to it.

Grade Expectations

As noted, there are several aspects to the work of all alumni offices, including the one at UMass, ranging from the writing, printing, and dissemination of magazines and newsletters to the staging of homecoming and other gatherings, to efforts to bring alumni from various academic programs, regions, and backgrounds together.

But at its core, the office’s primary focus now, more than ever, is to promote the value of philanthropy and thus increase constituent giving, and also to expand and promote available volunteer opportunities to broaden and diversify alumni support of the school’s students and its initiatives.

In other words, the office works to get people involved and — this is important — keep them involved, with involvement meaning writing checks to the university, but also much more.

When private universities graduate students, that’s not the first those students hear that it’s important to give back to the university. They hear it, starting not on the day they show up, but before they’re even thinking about going to that campus. They’re being indoctrinated into the notion that their support of the institution is going to be a lifelong commitment.”

It’s a process that needs to start early, and there must be constant reinforcement, said Schnabl, who talked about the need to instill what he called a “culture of philanthropy,” and notable progress with that assignment.

“When private universities graduate students, that’s not the first those students hear that it’s important to give back to the university,” he explained. “They hear it, starting not on the day they show up, but before they’re even thinking about going to that campus. They’re being indoctrinated into the notion that their support of the institution is going to be a lifelong commitment.

“Being a large public university that hadn’t really had that as part of our DNA, there was a lot of groundwork to lay,” he went on, adding that considerable work has been done in this regard. He started with a reference to the Commencement Ball.

As that name suggests, this is a gathering that takes place in the weeks leading up to commencement. Over the past several years, the event has seen explosive growth, from 700 attendees at the Student Union to more than 2,500 at a packed Mullins Center.

There is a fund-raising component to the ball, said Schnabl, noting that a portion of the ticket price is a donation to the university, hopefully the first of many.

“That makes them a donor to the university, which means we can communicate to those who participated and explain to them the importance of being a donor to the university,” he noted, “and how that money is going to help do everything from boost the rankings of the university to help other students come here and afford their time at UMass.”

There’s also the award-winning Multicolor Mile Run/Walk. This is an annual event at which participants — there’s a solid mix of students, alumni, faculty, and staff — traverse a one-mile loop through the campus while getting sprayed with liquid paint — hence the name. It’s fun event, but there’s a giving component here as well.

“They pay money to participate, and they take a ball that symbolizes their money and drop it in the bucket where they believe it should most effectively go in support of the institution,” he explained. “It usually winds up in the scholarship bucket.”

Yet, while working to stress the importance of philanthropy and giving back financially, the alumni association has also developed programs to engage graduates in other ways that build the brand.

One is the upcoming job-shadowing program, said Schnabl, adding that this is a new initiative designed to involve graduates in various fields with current students with an eye toward introducing them to potential job opportunities and giving them exposure to various business sectors.

“It’s an opportunity for a student to see what it’s like working for that industry in a way that being on campus doesn’t necessarily show them,” he explained, adding that it’s scheduled for January so that students can visit businesses near their homes while on winter break. “They get a day in the life at a particular business, but they also have exposure to an alum, to a professional field, and to a particular company so they can engage and potentially come through with jobs and internship possibilities.”

Several corporations, including Liberty Mutual, Target, Novartis, Genesis Health Care, the Pyramid Hotel Group, and others, are participating, he said, adding that more than 40 businesses, most of them in the Boston area, are hosting students.

Other initiatives include a mentoring program that also matches alums with current students, as well as affinity groups representing everything from various regions to the LGBT community. There’s also something called the Almuni Advisors Network, an online platform similar to LinkedIn.

“If a student or a young alum, or even an alum in transition, were looking to find out more about an industry or a career, they can tap into this wealth of information from people across the country and in a variety of different industries and set up an appointment to talk with them,” Schnabl explained. “They can take those career discussions and turn them into career opportunities.”

Meanwhile, volunteerism comes in many forms, from those in various industries advising the deans of specific schools to professionals advising individual students.

“Yes, their financial contributions are important, but their advocacy on behalf of the university is as important, if not moreso,” he noted, adding that alumni have been invaluable in communicating the importance of the university to economic development in the Bay State to the Legislature and the public at large.

Bottom Line

When asked how to measure success in his business — a question that’s being asked by many in that sector and in college presidents’ offices as well — Schnabl said there are a number of yardsticks.

They include everything from the number of hits on websites and clicks on specific articles in the magazines to attendance at the Commencement Ball, to the number of companies taking part in the job-shadowing program. The most important, obviously, is the level of donations to the school in question.

Ultimately, though, the greatest measures of success involve what is done with the dollars that are donated — new facilities, new programs, new opportunities for students to attend the university, and an upward trajectory in those all-important rankings of universities and individual schools within them.

Thus, some results are not visible, or measurable, for years.

For now, though, Schnabl believes UMass Amherst is making great strides in this business of alumni relations, and with building those lifelong relationships between graduates and the university that lie at its core.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Company Notebook Departments

AIC Offers Puerto Rico Relief Scholarship
SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) announced the opportunity for college students in Puerto Rico to continue their education at AIC at a greatly reduced cost. Through the Puerto Rico Relief Scholarship, the college anticipates that this temporary program will allow students to continue their studies while Puerto Rico rebuilds its infrastructure following the impact of Hurricane Maria. Students who have been displaced from Puerto Rico are invited to apply to AIC to continue their education for the spring 2018 or fall 2018 semester. Students will be offered a flat tuition rate of $10,000 per year. Individuals in this program will be able to apply for additional federal financial aid, which can assist in covering their remaining balance. The college will guide prospective students through the application and financial-aid process. “American International College was founded in 1885 to educate newcomers to the United States and prepare their children for citizenship and success,” said President Vince Maniaci. “Today, AIC boasts an extremely diverse and vibrant student body with a vision of access and opportunity for all. We are proud to take an active role in the Springfield community, including close ties to our Puerto Rican neighbors. With these things in mind, all of us — faculty, staff, and students alike — are aware of the devastation in Puerto Rico and want to provide assistance.” While some educational and residency restrictions may apply, students interested in learning more are invited to call the AIC admissions office at (413) 205-3700 or e-mail [email protected]

Family Business Center Welcomes PeoplesBank as Strategic Partner
AMHERST — The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley is a learning organization of more than 60 member companies, providing opportunities for improvement since 1994. An important resource it provides is the wisdom and experience of expert advisors, who are the center’s strategic partners. Beginning in January, the center welcomes PeoplesBank onto its team of experts, joining Meyers Brothers Kalicka, Bacon Wilson, Giombetti Associates, Epstein Financial Services, Charter Oak Financial, the Axia Group, Johnson & Hill Staffing, and BusinessWest magazine. “PeoplesBank is very happy to be a supporter of the great work of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley,” said Matthew Bannister, PeoplesBank’s first vice president of Marketing & Innovation. “Family businesses are the lifeblood of our community and our regional economy, and we recognize how valuable the services provided by the center are.”

Baystate Wing Hospital Awards Grants to Local Agencies
PALMER — Baystate Wing Hospital announced an investment of $43,226 in grants to benefit local social service, health, and educational programs to area community-based nonprofit organizations. “These grant investments represent Baystate Wing Hospital’s commitment to support and work with our community partners to focus on public-health-related programs and initiatives that reduce health disparities, promote community wellness, and improve access to care in our region,” said Michael Moran, president and chief administrative officer for Baystate Health’s Eastern Region, which includes Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital. Programs supported by the hospital’s grant investments include:
• Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp., $30,000 to support the Quaboag Connector, addressing the serious lack of transportation to employment, education, healthcare, workforce training, shopping, and benefit services within and outside the region;
• The Ware High School Fire Science Program led by Ware Fire Department Deputy Chief Edward Wloch, $7,034 toward the goal of improving Emergency Medical Service (EMS) care in the region; and
• Ware River Valley Domestic Violence Task Force, $6,192 to continue improved screening and response to those facing domestic and sexual violence in the Baystate Health Eastern Region.
“Our physicians, nurses, and staff all strive to improve the health of the people we serve through exceptional care and innovative health initiatives,” said Moran. “The Baystate Wing Corporation is proud to partner with area agencies to help us do this important work together to improve the health and well-being of our community.”

PeoplesBank Receives Green-business Award
HOLYOKE — The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) of Massachusetts named PeoplesBank the 2017 Massachusetts Sustainable Business of the Year for mid-sized business in Western Mass. The bank has been a long-time leader in environmental sustainability, having built three LEED-certified offices and financed more than $145 million in wind, hydroelectric, and solar-energy projects. “As the largest mutual bank in the Pioneer Valley, we deliberately invest in environmental sustainability in our communities,” noted Thomas Senecal, president and CEO of PeoplesBank. “That includes large-scale hydroelectric and solar projects, but also grassroots work with mobile farmers markets and local agriculture.” SBN was founded in 1988 as the nation’s first business trade association, with a mission of making business a vehicle for social, environmental, and economic change.

Bay Path Launches MS in Healthcare Management
LONGMEADOW — Healthcare today requires multi-dimensional leaders whose knowledge spans professional leadership, healthcare, science, and information technology. Coupled with the dynamic complexities of the healthcare system, increasing compliance regulations, technical advances, and higher costs, the demand for professionals who have expertise in both healthcare management and organizational leadership is rapidly rising. Medical and health service managers have strong career prospects, with projected employment growth of 17% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. To respond to this growing need, Bay Path University has launched a master of science (MS) degree program in Healthcare Management, now enrolling for February 2018. “As with all of our programs, the curriculum for the MS in Healthcare Management supports the candidate in developing his or her skills in decision making, communication and presentations skills, interpersonal relations, and being an agent of change — all of which are needed for key level management positions,” said Liz Fleming, associate provost and dean, School of Education, Human and Health Sciences. “We are proud to add it to our increasing catalog of undergraduate and graduate certificates and degree programs in health-related fields that have been shown to result in immediate job placements upon completion.” Healthcare administrators come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some may have direct patient-care experience, while others may have specialized in business, administration, public health, or a specific area of healthcare, including human resources. This program is designed for individuals with or without a related undergraduate degree who hope to shape the future of healthcare. Bay Path University’s MS in Healthcare Management, led by Terry DeVito, aims to prepare graduates for leadership roles in both traditional and non-traditional settings and industries including healthcare organizations and facilities, consulting, law, insurance and government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare informatics and analytics. The program is designed to address the multi-dimensional complexities facing the 21st-century healthcare industry as it transforms into a business model while maintaining the humanistic needs of patients’ individual needs. The curriculum is structured in a manner that embeds foundational information that prepares candidates for additional credentialing opportunities for professional career advancement. DeVito’s practice as a registered nurse, hospital administrator, and educator bring firsthand knowledge regarding quality in healthcare service delivery and the qualities required in leadership roles. To learn more about this program, visit www.baypath.edu/healthcaremanagement.

O&P Labs Steps Up Again to Fulfill Christmas Wishes
SPRINGFIELD — For many years, Orthotics & Prosthetics Labs Inc. of Springfield has been a Secret Santa to the children and youth of CHD. This year, Maria Burke of O&P Labs visited CHD’s main office in Springfield and left with a handful of ‘wish tags,’ each noting a specific holiday wish, that she took from the giving tree on display in CHD’s reception lobby. Following the company’s tradition, O&P gave their staff time to shop for the gifts together during work hours, then paid for the gifts and returned them to CHD. “We are delighted to again be the Secret Santa for the kids of CHD,” said Maria Burke of O&P Labs. “Every single staff member agrees that this ‘work activity’ is their favorite. We are grateful to CHD for reaching so many in need during this season and throughout the year.” Added Kimberley Lee, vice president of Development for CHD, “all the tags were hung by reception with care, in hopes that O&P Labs soon would be there … and they were there! It’s heartwarming to have O&P Labs return year after year to help make Christmas a happy occasion for children and youth by providing a holiday gift — everything from a teddy bear to a toddler bed. It’s fitting that a company whose business is helping people year-round makes a special effort during the holidays to help those most in need.” O&P Labs provides high-quality, physician-directed orthotic- and prosthetic-related services, including custom-made braces and prosthetic limbs fabricated on site, as well as off-the-shelf braces.

Robinson Donovan, Gray House Partner on Adopt-a-Family Program
SPRINGFIELD — Robinson Donovan, P.C. ‘adopted’ three families as part of the Gray House Adopt-a-Family Christmas program. During the event, the Gray House pairs local businesses with underprivileged families to fulfill Christmas wish lists for their children. “Robinson Donovan takes pride in giving back to our community,” said Nancy Frankel Pelletier, a partner with the firm. “We’ve made a commitment to donate to a charity in the surrounding area every month, and we couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up this amazing year.” Robinson Donovan stepped up this holiday season to join forces with the Gray House to help make Christmas wish lists come true for three families, who would otherwise struggle to put gifts under the Christmas tree. In addition to the Adopt-a-Family Christmas program, the Gray House hosts a general toy drive for children in the community, and with the help of local schools and shelters, it collected toys for an additional 500 children. Throughout the past year, Robinson Donovan provided donations to the following nonprofit organizations benefiting the Pioneer Valley, many of which members of the firm regularly volunteer for, including Providence Ministries Service Network, Friends of the Homeless Inc., the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Bay Path University, Cutchins Center for Children, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Hampden County, Community Legal Aid, Dakin Humane Society, the Gray House, Homework House, the Hampden County Bar Assoc., and Springfield Museums. “Robinson Donovan participates in many philanthropic events throughout the year, and staff consistently donate their time to those in need,” said attorney James Martin. “This is another opportunity where we can give back to those less fortunate. Christmas can be a stressful time for families, and our team strives to help ease the burden.”

Berkshire Bank Awards $14,000 to Jimmy Fund, Dana-Farber
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank, in partnership with New England Sports Network (NESN), has awarded a $14,000 grant to the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Berkshire Bank Exciting Assists Grant Program. Dr. Pasi Janne, program director, Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, accepted the contribution from Gary Levante, Berkshire Bank’s assistant vice president of Community Engagement, during NESN’s broadcast of the Boston Bruins hockey game on Dec. 16. The Exciting Assists Grant program runs through March 31, 2018 and raises funds to support three charitable causes. Berkshire Bank’s Foundation provides $100 per hockey assist to the program. An assist is defined as a Boston Bruins player who shoots, passes, or deflects the puck toward a scoring teammate, or touches it in any other way which enables the goal. During the first portion of the season, the Bruins had 140 assists, resulting in a $14,000 grant from the Berkshire Bank Foundation. The Jimmy Fund, the first nonprofit beneficiary of the Exciting Assists Grant program, supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. In addition to the Jimmy Fund, two other nonprofit organizations will receive funding during the remainder of the season, including Bridge Over Trouble Waters, which provides life-changing services for homeless and high-risk youth (promotion period: Dec. 16 to Feb. 9); and Boston Cares, which mobilizes and trains individual and corporate volunteers to fill more than 20,000 volunteer spots annually in support of more than 165 Greater Boston schools and nonprofit agencies (promotion period: Feb. 10 to March 31).

AIC Launches Rex’s Pantry to Assist People in Need
SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) recently launched Rex’s Pantry, a food and necessities pantry housed on the AIC campus to assist community members in need. On Dec. 22, the inaugural deliveries took place, with 100 Rex to the Rescue kits going to Friends of the Homeless on Worthington Street. The kits contained an assortment of hats, socks, gloves, and foot and hand warmers. Later, AIC personnel delivered 100 Rex to the Rescue kits to the Springfield Rescue Mission, containing boxed lunches, bottled water, snacks, and non-perishable food items. “This time of year is celebratory for many, but we cannot forget those who are homeless or who struggle with food insecurity on a daily basis. While American International College reaches out to the community in many ways throughout the year, Rex’s Pantry is an opportunity for us to do more to help those in need of assistance,” said Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Jeffrey Bednarz. Later that day, AIC staff members stopped by Springfield Fire Department Station 8 and the Springfield Police Department with trays of lasagna in gratitude for first responders’ dedicated service to the college. The donations are a collaborative effort at AIC. Food was prepared by Chartwells Dining Services for Higher Education, a division of Compass – USA Foodservice. C&W Services and G4S, in charge of facilities and campus security, respectively, at the college, donated hats, socks, gloves, and warmers. The AIC Campus Bookstore provided backpacks to hold the contents of the Rex to the Rescue kits. Community members interested in donating non-perishable food items, toiletries, or other necessities to Rex’s Pantry are invited to call (413) 205-3231.

CHD Receives Planning Grant for Opioid Treatment, Recovery
SPRINGFIELD — RIZE Massachusetts, a statewide philanthropic initiative, chose the Center for Human Development (CHD) as one of six organizations throughout the state to receive $50,000 in design grants for its inaugural “Saving Lives, Improving Health: Redesigning Opioid Use Disorder Care” program. CHD was the only organization based in Western Mass. to receive funding. The goal of the grant program is to establish or expand systems of low-threshold, on-demand treatment to prevent death, support long-term recovery, and improve health and quality of life. An estimated 4% of people in Massachusetts have an opioid-use disorder, and 2,107 people died of an overdose last year. The six grant recipients will collaborate with dozens of different agencies and organizations within their communities to provide a more comprehensive system of care that will serve the most vulnerable populations throughout the Commonwealth. “It’s quite clear there is enormous potential and energy in Massachusetts to address the opioid epidemic in a thoughtful, innovative, and evidence-generating manner. This first round of design grant recipients all have proven track records of taking on tough healthcare challenges with creativity, compassion, and rigor,” said RIZE board chair Dr. David Torchiana, president and CEO of Partners HealthCare. The other five grant recipients are the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, Community Healthlink in Worcester, and Lynn Community Health Center. The grantees proposed promising approaches to delivering care for people at greatest risk of opioid overdose and addiction, including the use of medication-assisted treatment. “We need a treatment model specifically focused on our rural geography and more resources to fight this crisis in Western Mass. This RIZE grant will provide a critical infusion of funds to the area,” said CHD President and CEO Jim Goodwin. RIZE Executive Director Julie Burns said the organization will evaluate the effectiveness of the design grants using shared measures and data protocols and will fund two-year implementation grants for the programs that demonstrate the greatest potential. Implementation grants will be awarded in June 2018.

Departments People on the Move
Charlotte Hansen

Charlotte Hansen

Charlotte Hansen joined Polish National Credit Union as senior vice president, chief financial officer. Hansen, a certified public accountant, has an extensive financial background and a broad knowledge of community banking gained in her 27 years in the financial-services industry. Her areas of experience include financial and regulatory reporting, budgeting, strategic and capital planning, interest and liquidity risk management, process improvement, credit management, and product profitability and development. Her background includes senior management, CFO, and treasurer experience and responsibilities. She chairs the Financial Institutions Interest Group of the Connecticut Society for CPAs, an organization comprised of professionals in the banking/credit-granting industry. She is also a member of the Financial Managers Society Boston Chapter and a regular attendee of the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. CFO Forum.

Hansen holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting from the University of Hartford and an associate degree in accounting from Manchester Community College. An active volunteer, she is treasurer and a board member of Connecticut Farmland Trust, secretary of Stafford Grange No. 1, and a member of the Stafford Family Services advisory board, and serves as treasurer of Down to Earth Community Farm in Stafford, Conn. She is also a member of the Danish Society of Massachusetts. “We are pleased to welcome Charlotte to our management team,” said James Kelly, president and CEO of Polish National Credit Union. “Her professional background, experience, and career accomplishments will be extremely beneficial for our continued success going forward.”

•••••

Nancy Garrabrants

Nancy Garrabrants

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, which serves communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire through programs, grants, and service, announced the appointment of Nancy Garrabrants to its board of directors. Garrabrants is the former associate dean of the Center for Agriculture at UMass Amherst, where she was responsible for the Nutrition Education and 4-H Youth Development programs. She was previously director and assistant dean of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass. She is an award-winning education professional with 32 years of in-depth expertise in agriculture from the business, academic, and youth-development sectors. “With Nancy’s experience in strategic planning, youth development, and nutrition education, she will bring a fresh perspective to our already robust board, helping us to further define and meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Eric Schultz, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and chair of the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation board of directors. Garrabrants holds an associate degree in floriculture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill, and a bachelor’s degree in vocational education and master’s degree in plant and soil sciences, both from UMass.

•••••

PeoplesBank announced the promotions and appointments of several key associates.

Donna Charette was promoted to first vice president, Finance. She previously served as vice president of Finance. She has more than 28 years of banking experience, and earned a Leadership Certificate at the New England School of Banking.

• Christine Phillips was promoted to first vice president, Human Resources. She previously served as vice president, Human Resources. She has more than 15 years of human-resources experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst.

• Tammy Bordeaux was promoted to vice president, regional manager. She previously served as assistant vice president, regional manager. She has more than 20 years of banking experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University and an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College.

• Meghan Parnell-Gregoire was promoted to vice president, Business Lending Center manager. She previously served as assistant vice president, Business Lending Center manager. She has more than 15 years of banking experience, and earned an associate degree in mathematics from Holyoke Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

• Catherine Snow was promoted to vice president, commercial credit officer. She previously served as assistant vice president, commercial credit analyst. She has more than 30 years of banking experience, primarily in credit-related functions, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University.

• Paul Hillsburg was appointed assistant vice president, PeoplesWealth Advisory Group. He has more than 30 years of financial, sales, and business-development experience, and earned an associate degree in business management from Springfield Technical Community College. He holds Series 7 and Series 66 licenses.

Xiaolei Hua was promoted to assistant vice president, portfolio manager II. He previously served as assistant vice president, portfolio manager I. He has more than 11 years of banking experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

• Matthew Krokov was promoted to assistant vice president, portfolio manager II. He previously served as assistant vice president, portfolio manager I. He has more than eight years of banking experience, and earned an MBA from American International College, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Westfield State University, and an associate degree in marketing from Holyoke Community College.

• Timothy Wegiel was promoted to assistant vice president, electronic banking officer. He previously served as electronic banking officer. He has more than 12 years of financial-services and banking experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University.

• Cherlynne Mills was promoted to Business Banking officer. She previously served as assistant vice president, Consumer & Business Banking Center manager at the St. James Avenue office in Springfield, and has more than 30 years of banking experience. She attended Holyoke Community College and Elms College and is presently pursuing a degree at UMass through its University Without Walls program.

• Jeffrey Reinke was appointed to operational risk officer. He has more than 16 years of operations and financial-services experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in finance, from Western New England University.

• Victoria Thompson was promoted to internal audit officer. She previously served as internal auditor. She has more than seven years of auditing experience, and earned a master’s degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, from Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

•••••

Kimberly Santos joined the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV) as membership and meetings coordinator. She joins the association with several years of managerial experience in customer-success roles and training in operations management at Bay Path University. Santos said she is excited to leverage her experience and commitment to strong customer service to support RAPV members and produce a wide roster of events for members to enjoy. She invites prospective members to reach out to her to learn more about joining the association at [email protected] or (413) 785-1328.

•••••

Springfield Rotarian Paul Lambert received a District Governor’s Citation at the Rotary Club of Springfield’s Dec. 8 meeting. Lambert, a Rotarian since 2008, received the citation for his dedication and hard work as the Rotary liaison and Basketball Hall of Fame representative to the committee for the eighth annual Service Above Self award luncheon. The award honors those in the local community and in the world of basketball who exemplify the Rotary’s motto of ‘service above self.’ “If Rotary founder Paul Harris wanted to put together a Rotary dream team, Paul Lambert would absolutely be on it,” said Lamont Clemons, president of the Rotary Club of Springfield. “He is a hardworking, dedicated, and caring Rotarian.” Lambert is vice president, Enshrinement Services & Community Engagement at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He has been with the Hall for 15 years.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Carla Cosenzi, president of TommyCar Auto Group, recently presented Jack Collins, director of the Northampton Veteran Affairs Medical Center, with a check for $1,480.

All three of the TommyCar Auto stores, Northampton Volkswagen, Country Nissan, and Country Hyundai, held the same promotion throughout the entire month of November. For every car sold, each dealership would donate $10 to the Northampton Veteran Affairs Medical Center. The stores were able to raise a total of $1,480.

“Our veterans have dedicated and sacrificed their lives to protect and keep our country safe. As a business owner, it’s my obligation to give back to our veterans when our veterans give so much,” Cosenzi said.

The Northampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center provides primary, specialty, and mental-health care to 120,000 men and women. The money donated will assist in several services and healthcare programs available for veterans.

Daily News

AMHERST — The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, which serves communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire through programs, grants, and service, announced the appointment of Nancy Garrabrants to its board of directors.

Garrabrants is the former associate dean of the Center for Agriculture at UMass Amherst, where she was responsible for the Nutrition Education and 4-H Youth Development programs. She was previously director and assistant dean of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass. She is an award-winning education professional with 32 years of in-depth expertise in agriculture from the business, academic, and youth-development sectors.

“With Nancy’s experience in strategic planning, youth development, and nutrition education, she will bring a fresh perspective to our already robust board, helping us to further define and meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Eric Schultz, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and chair of the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation board of directors.

Garrabrants holds an associate degree in floriculture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill, and a bachelor’s degree in vocational education and master’s degree in plant and soil sciences, both from UMass.

Court Dockets Departments

The following is a compilation of recent lawsuits involving area businesses and organizations. These are strictly allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Readers are advised to contact the parties listed, or the court, for more information concerning the individual claims.

FRANKLIN SUPERIOR COURT

Lisa A. Turowsky v. Cynthia Olson d/b/a Stylus

Allegation: Negligence causing injury, plaintiff fell down stairs in unlit area: $31,106.02

Filed: 10/30/17

HAMPDEN DISTRICT COURT

A.C. Produce Inc. v. Pasquale’s Associates, LLC d/b/a Pasquale’s Italian Ristorante and Joseph M. Santaniello

Allegation: Money owed for goods sold and received: $13,178.77

Filed: 11/6/17

Sergey Savonin v. Armstrong Flooring Inc. and the Home Depot U.S.A. Inc.

Allegation: Property damage caused by defective hardwood flooring: $19,870

Filed: 11/9/17

HAMPDEN SUPERIOR COURT

Sitestuff Inc. d/b/a Yardi Marketplace Inc. v. Mattos Co. Inc.

Allegation: Money owed for goods sold and delivered: $73,674.17

Filed: 10/31/17

Irma Maldonado v. Stacy Pride d/b/a Nail Tique Spa

Allegation: Negligence causing injury: $18,589.80

Filed: 11/1/17

Beverly Scott v. Sandip Maru, M.D. and Celso Dias, M.D.

Allegation: Medical malpractice, wrongful death: $35,000

Filed: 11/3/17

Ann Marie Hammon and Robbin M. Smith as co-guardians of Wayne Hammon, Ann Marie Hammon individually, and Ann Marie Hammon as parent and next friend of Austin Hammon v. Howard A. Smithline, M.D.; Thomas Kaye, M.D.; Sheldon Williams, PA; and Monique A. Cavanaugh, RN

Allegation: Medical malpractice: $6,000,000+

Filed: 11/9/17

Dianne Archambault v. Genesis Health Care Inc.

Allegation: Malpractice (delay in emergency medical treatment for resident of Heritage Hall North), wrongful death: $25,000+

Filed: 11/10/17

Jonathan Keller v. the Home Depot Inc.

Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury: $111,885.35

Filed: 11/13/17

Therese M. Smith v. PRRC Inc. and Wakefern Food Corp.

Allegation: Negligence in stacked wooden pallet food display causing injury: $215,000

Filed: 11/13/17

Steven J. Marcus v. Hyundai Motor America and Gary Rome Auto Group Inc.

Allegation: Breach of warranty; vehicle lost all functionality, causing accident and injury: $1,142,753.81

Filed: 11/15/17

HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COURT

Beautifeel-USA Inc. v. Shoe Fly Shoe Salons, LLC

Allegation: Breach of contract, money owed for goods and services: $8,178.16

Filed: 10/30/17

HAMPSHIRE SUPERIOR COURT

Tammy Paquette and Gerald Paquette v. Ylfa Perry, M.D.; James Katz, M.D.; and Valley Medical Group

Allegation: Medical malpractice

Filed: 9/20/17

October Properties, LLC v. Van Pelt Precision Inc.

Allegation: Breach of lease agreements: $34,975

Filed: 10/24/17

WESTFIELD DISTRICT COURT

Crystal Little v. OFD Partners, LLC; Century Property Management; and Hampden County Property Services, LLC

Allegation: Negligence, slip and fall causing injury: $22,147.20

Filed: 11/9/17

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Every day, more than 140 Americans die from opioid overdose. In Massachusetts alone, there were 1,990 confirmed opioid-related deaths last year. To address this national and regional crisis, Baystate Medical Center will be the site of a free forum titled “Reducing Opioid Overdose Deaths — What Works?” on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Open to the public, the community and academic forum will bring together national experts, and regional and community leaders to discuss evidence-based ways to reduce deaths from opioid overdose.

“In this country, in terms of opioid addiction and death, we are seeing the equivalent of an airline crash every three days. More Americans died last year from opioids than in the entire Vietnam War,” said Dr. Peter Friedmann, chief research officer, Baystate Health and president-elect of the Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine. “New England has the dubious distinction of having five of the 15 states with the highest death rates nationally.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recognizes the tremendous social and economic burden of the opioid epidemic, noting the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

Among the speakers at the free forum will be Friedmann; Dr. Robert Roose, vice president, Mercy Behavioral Health Care; Dr. Alexander Walley, medical director, Opioid Overdose Prevention Pilot Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; Liz Whynott, director, HIV Health and Prevention, Tapestry Health; Brandon Marshall, associate professor of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health; and Jess Tilley, director, New England Users Union. There will be an opportunity for discussion and questions following the presentation of speakers.

“People are dying in the prime of life, and there are things that we could be doing and doing better,” said Friedmann said. “This special forum will give us an opportunity to look at the science in a clear-headed way as we form a response to this public-health emergency.”

The event is co-sponsored by UMass Medical School – Baystate, the Springfield Department of Health, Tapestry Health, SIFMA Now Western Chapter, the New England Users Union, and the Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine.

No registration is needed for the forum, which will be held in Baystate Medical Center’s Chestnut Building, 1 A/B Conference Room. For more information, call (413) 794-7717 or e-mail [email protected].

Event Galleries Healthcare Heroes

Scenes from the October 2017 Gala


Photos by Dani Fine Photography

healthcareheroeslogo021517-pingThere were more than 70 nominations for the inaugural Healthcare Heroes class, and each one of them was truly worthy of that word ‘hero.’ Each one is to be considered a winner in some respect.

On Oct. 19 BusinessWest and The Healthcare News recognized the inaugural Healthcare Heroes class. Collectively, they are pioneers, and were celebrated at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden. Each one is to be considered a winner in some respect.

American International College and Trinity Health are the presenting sponsors of Healthcare Heroes. Partner Sponsors are Achieve TMS, HUB International New England, and Health New England. Additional sponsors are Bay Path University, Baystate Health, Cooley Dickinson Health Care, Elms College, and Renew.Calm. Tickets to the event are $85 each, with tables available for purchase. For more information or to order tickets, call (413) 781-8600.

healthcareheroeslogos-9

Their stories reveal large quantities of energy, imagination, innovation, compassion, entrepreneurship, forward thinking, and dedication to the community.

There were eight winners in this first class, with two in the category of ‘Innovation in Health/Wellness,’ because two candidates were tied with the top score. The Heroes for 2017 are:

Lifetime Achievement: Sister Mary Caritas, SP;

Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider: Dr. Michael Willers, owner of the Children’s Heart Center of Western Massachusetts;

Emerging Leader: Erin Daley, RN, BSN, director of the Emergency Department at Mercy Medical Center;

Health/Wellness Administrator/Administration: Holly Chaffee, RN, BSN, MSN, president and CEO of Porchlight VNA/Home Care;

Community Health: Dr. Molly Senn-McNally, Continuity Clinic director for the Baystate Pediatric Residency Program;

Innovation in Health/Wellness: Dr. Andrew Doben, director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Baystate Medical Center;

Innovation in Health/Wellness: Genevieve Chandler, associate professor of Nursing at UMass Amherst; and

Collaboration in Healthcare: The Healthy Hill Initiative.

 

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Friendly rivalry and a passion to support the new Breast Center at Cooley Dickinson brought more than 144 players, sponsors, and volunteers to the Orchards on Oct. 2. In its 28th year, the Golf FORE Health Tournament surpassed the event’s fund-raising goal, bringing in $104,000.

Beautiful New England fall weather made the perfect backdrop for a day of camaraderie and community. Players were challenged by a championship-level golf course peppered with refreshment stations and contests. On-course highlights included hot dogs and refreshments from the Friends of Cooley Dickinson, lobster rolls from the Smithsonian Chowder House, barbecue from Bub’s BBQ, and ice cream from Mt. Tom’s Ice Cream. An exciting new addition to the tournament, an air cannon, gave players the opportunity to fire golf balls towards the 8th hole.

This year’s major sponsors included M.J. Moran Inc., bankESB, Tom & Sue Hodgkins, and Pioneer Valley EMS. Proceeds supported the construction of the new Breast Center, ensuring critical breast-care needs will be met at Cooley Dickinson.

“Projects like the new Breast Center would not be possible without the support of our community, our volunteers, and the Golf FORE Health Committee, who worked tirelessly on the tournament for months securing sponsorships, raffle prizes, and participants,” said Diane Dukette, chief Development officer at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

The event concluded with dinner at the clubhouse, a silent auction, and short speeches by tournament co-chairs Natalie Didonna and Pat Brough, Cooley Dickinson Health Care President and CEO Joanne Marqusee, and Dr. Michelle Helms of Cooley Dickinson Medical Group General Surgical Care, a self-described “passionate promoter” of breast health who will be integrating surgical services with the center.

“Cooley is committed to delivering compassionate and personalized care to every patient and family we serve,” Marqusee said. “The new Breast Center allows us to provide exceptional care in a patient-centered environment. We are truly grateful for all who participated and supported this year’s tournament.”

Past Golf FORE Health events have provided funding for the Massachusetts General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (2013, 2014, and 2015), the Nursing Education Program (2012), the Locust Street Entrance Renovation (2011), the Cardiovascular Program (2010), the Emergency Department (2009), the Center for Midwifery Care (2008), and the Pediatric Hospitalist Program (2007).

Departments People on the Move
Mark Fulco

Mark Fulco

Mark Fulco has been named president of Mercy Medical Center, effective October 9. In this role, he will be responsible for the operational performance of the hospital; provide leadership in the execution, management, financial performance, and oversight of all hospital operations; and explore opportunities for growth through strategic development initiatives. “Mark is a highly respected, highly engaged healthcare leader with extensive experience in various areas of hospital operations. We are certain he will not only help sustain our rich legacy of providing high-quality care with a compassionate touch, he will also help us reach new levels of service to our community,” said John Sjoberg, board chair of Mercy Medical Center. Fulco returns to Mercy after spending the past two years at Trinity Health’s corporate office in Livonia, Mich., where he served as system vice president for Health Ministries and System Office Communication Interface. Reporting to the president and chief operating officer of Trinity Health and group executive vice presidents, he provided operational leadership in developing and communicating deployment of initiatives, served as the communication liaison between regional CEOs and the system office, coordinated several operations leadership councils, and led several special projects, including the creation of operations reports and updates to the Trinity Health operating model. “Mark is a strong, strategic leader with deep ties to health care in New England, and we are pleased he’s returning to Springfield to lead our ongoing transformation to people-centered care,” said Ben Carter, executive vice president for Trinity Health. Fulco first joined the Mercy team in 2005 as senior vice president of Strategy and Marketing and a member of the senior leadership team. In 2015, he was additionally named chief transformation officer to reflect his growing list of responsibilities around population-health management and value-based contracting. During his decade at Mercy, Fulco was instrumental in the success of several important initiatives, such as creation of the Mercy Care Alliance clinically integrated network and the Accountable Care Organization of New England. He also served as Mercy’s Integration Management Office lead for the CHE-Trinity consolidation and played a key role in building the partnership that resulted in Saint Francis Care joining Trinity Health. “We are thrilled to welcome Mark back to Mercy Medical Center. He is a visionary leader with unparalleled business acumen, exceptional creative ability, unwavering dedication to our mission, and tremendous enthusiasm — traits that will undoubtedly serve us well as he takes on this important role,” said Christopher Dadlez, president and CEO of Trinity Health of New England. Prior to joining Mercy, Fulco served as vice president of Strategic Marketing and Business Development for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Conn. His previous roles include serving as president of a healthcare-management-services organization and as senior vice president of a national disease-management company. Fulco is the recipient of the 2010 American College of Healthcare Executives Management Innovation Poster Session Award for “A Successful Micro-Accountable Care Organization as a Model for Evolving Payment Reform in Massachusetts.” A former member of the board of the Springfield Performing Arts Development Corp. and the board of East Catholic High School in Manchester, Conn., he is a USA Hockey official and member of the officiating instructor staff. Fulco holds a master’s degree from the Barney School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Hartford, where he was a Woodruff fellow, and a bachelor’s degree from Clark University, where he was a Travelli scholar.

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Carrie Saldo

Carrie Saldo

WGBY’s local current-affairs show, Connecting Point, has a new host — who also happens to be a past one. Beginning with forthcoming Season 8, Carrie Saldo, an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of public-media experience, will return to public television to present timely stories from Western New England on the PBS station’s flagship news and current-affairs program. Saldo served as WGBY’s Connecting Point host from 2010 to 2013, presenting most of the show’s eight-minute segments and co-producing the half-hour program at large. During her tenure, Saldo conducted hundreds of in-studio interviews, traveled to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, and hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail in a special in-the-field series. Saldo’s return to the local PBS station comes on the heels of Jim Madigan’s retirement. Madigan headed up WGBY’s public-affairs efforts for nearly 30 years. WGBY Deputy General Manager Lynn Page said Saldo was an obvious choice for the job. “Carrie Saldo is the perfect addition to our team,” Page says. “She worked closely with Jim Madigan in the past and knows the region and its leadership very well. Carrie cares deeply for western New England. She understands the people, traditions, and cultures. She will continue Jim’s legacy as well as the mission of WGBY to connect the people of our region.” WGBY General Manager Anthony Hayes added that Saldo will advance the station’s commitment to reliable local news and current-affairs coverage. “Public media is a trusted source for information,” he said. “It’s extremely important that our current-affairs team lives up to the PBS reputation and provides Western New England with the content it expects from us. I have full confidence that Carrie Saldo will produce and deliver that quality local content to viewers.” For Saldo’s part, the return to local public media is a welcome one. “I am honored to dive in and uncover the stories that need to be told in this region,” she said. “Excellent journalism is the result of carefully listening. I’m here. Share your thoughts, ideas, comments, and concerns. Let’s shed light on the issues that matter most to you and work toward strengthening this area that we call home.”

•••••

Alaina DiGiorgio

Alaina DiGiorgio

Regina Tillona

Regina Tillona

Elms College has appointed a new director of diversity and inclusion, as well as a new director of tutoring services, rounding out the staff in the college’s new Center for Student Success. The new director of diversity and inclusion is Alaina DiGiorgio. She will work with students, faculty, and staff to foster a more welcoming and inclusive community at Elms College. She has presented at numerous conferences on topics related to the intersection of race and athletics, and worked at the University of Tennessee. She was also a member of the Multicultural Mentorship program and ad hoc diversity committee at the University of Tennessee. Prior to that, she founded Women Empowering (WE) to strengthen community and support for female athletes at Western Illinois University, which is where she also earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and her master’s degree in sport management. The new director of tutoring services is Regina Tillona, an experienced educator who has worked to promote achievement for all learners. She most recently served as Title I director at Massachusetts Virtual Academy in Greenfield, where she created opportunities for students to explore the world as knowledgeable, creative, and thoughtful individuals. Prior to that, she worked as district coordinator at Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District and director of tutoring at New Leadership Charter School in Springfield. Tillona received her bachelor’s degree in education and history from Westfield State University, and her master of education degree from Western New England University.

•••••

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts recently welcomed Donna Haghighat as its new CEO. She comes to the Women’s Fund with more than 12 years of experience developing programs, cultivating relationships, fund-raising, directing communications strategy, creating strategic plan, and building advocacy programs. Most recently principal at the Collabyrinth Collective, LLC, Haghighat’s previous roles have included executive director of the Aurora Women & Girl’s Foundation, chief engagement and advocacy officer for YWCA Hartford Region, a strategic consultant, chief development officer for Hartford Public Library, interim director and grants/program manager of the Women’s Education and Leadership Fund, and co-president of AAUW CT. “I am thrilled to join the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts at this pivotal time,” Haghighat said. “Together with our amazing board, staff, donors, funders, volunteers, and program participants, we build stronger communities and organizations when women lead.”

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Leslie Leone

Leslie Leone

Facial Cosmetic & Maxillofacial Surgery, P.C. announced the promotion of Leslie Leone to clinical nurse supervisor. “Leslie has been an outstanding student, employee, nurse, and professional,” said Practice Administrator Fredrika Ballard. “We have enjoyed being part of her professional development over the past eight years. We feel honored to have such a wonderful, caring, and talented nurse to lead our team and take exceptional care of our patients.” Leone joined the practice in 2009 as a licensed dental assistant after graduating from Porter & Chester. She was hired to work exclusively with owner Dr. Richard Fraziero at the East Longmeadow location. After working alongside Fraziero for a few years, he encouraged her to further her education to become a registered nurse. She completed pre-requisites at Springfield Technical Community College and transferred to American International College, graduating from AIC in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and became an RN at Facial Cosmetic & Maxillofacial Surgery. In addition to her eight years in the oral-surgery field, Leone is also DAANCE-, ACLS-, and CPR-certified. She is involved in pre- and post- surgery direct patient care, as well as managing medication inventory for in-office surgeries, code preparation, and readiness. Her new position as clinical nurse supervisor allows her to use her wide-ranging skills to oversee the entire clinical department. “I enjoy providing patient-centered care on a daily basis while also mentoring the clinical staff,” she said.

•••••

After nearly five years as president and CEO of DevelopSpringfield, Jay Minkarah announced his upcoming resignation to assume leadership of a regional planning commission in New Hampshire. “I have truly appreciated the opportunity to help play a role in advancing community revitalization in Springfield,” said Minkarah. “It has been an honor to be a part of what is sure to be a great renaissance for the city. There are strong community partnerships working together with great projects poised for success.” Under Minkarah’s tenure, the organization has worked to advance a series of critical economic-development and revitalization projects in Springfield. Notable projects include the purchase and remediation of a blighted property at 700 State St.; phase-one stabilization and remediation at the historic Gunn Block at the corner of Walnut and State streets; phase-one completion of the Lower Maple Business Park, including the rehabilitation of the Ansel Phelps House at 83 Maple St.; and the advancement of plans for the Springfield Innovation Center on Bridge Street. “We are grateful to Jay for the expertise he has provided and the commitment he has shown to Springfield,” said Nick Fyntrilakis, board chair. “As an organization, we have taken on some of the most challenging projects in the city in an effort to create opportunity for positive economic activity, Jay has been a driving force in our efforts thus far and has helped prepare us for future success.” DevelopSpringfield’s staff and board are working to complete transition plans with a focus on advancing its mission toward revitalization in the city of Springfield. The board will also begin a search process for a new president and CEO.

•••••

The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) announced the election of Ashley Clark as president of the organization. Clark has previously served in various capacities on the board, including terms as secretary and vice president and chair of the annual YP Cup Dodgeball Tournament. “I am thankful to have an employer who understands the value of giving back — and encourages it,” said Clark, a cash-management officer at Berkshire Bank in Springfield. “I am excited to take on this new role and hope to strengthen our impact in the communities we serve. Our emerging and existing leaders need a space for mentorship, opportunity, and social engagement, and YPS plans to continue to provide that. With the organization’s first ever all-women executive committee, and a diverse board beside us, we can increase our impact over the next few years.” This year, YPS is celebrating 10 years of impact in the Greater Springfield area. Moving forward, the organization will focus on membership growth, community-driven events, and additional programing. Events to round out 2017 include Oktoberfest Third Thursday at the Munich Haus and Santacon: a Community Engagement, in partnership with the Springfield Thunderbirds.

•••••

American International College (AIC) announced the promotions of Christopher Garrity, CPA to vice president for Finance and Jeffrey Bednarz to associate vice president for Auxiliary Services. Garrity came to AIC in 2013 from Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. in Holyoke, bringing with him 12 years of public-accounting experience. During his tenure, he has increased controls within the finance department as well as instituted technological advances to better serve the needs of the college. In recent months, Garrity has assumed additional finance and administrative responsibilities including insurance, real estate, and banking. Garrity graduated from Nichols College in Dudley with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. Bednarz has been with AIC since 2007. During his tenure with the college, he added to his responsibilities with the campus police to become a full-time sergeant, deputy chief, safety officer, and campus-services systems administrator. He was instrumental in the growth of AIC’s access-control and video-surveillance systems. His duties include the day-to-day management of outsourced campus providers, including campus police, dining services, buildings, and grounds. In his new role, Bednarz will continue to oversee campus police, dining services, and buildings and grounds. In addition, he will oversee new construction as well as other construction projects across campus.

•••••

Main Street Hospitality Group recently welcomed Donald Hebert, a seasoned financial manager with more than 25 years of experience, as the company’s newly appointed vice president of finance. “Donald’s extensive experience in the financial world will provide great insight for Main Street,” said Sarah Eustis, CEO of Main Street Hospitality. “He brings seasoned financial acumen and deep industry knowledge, and he truly appreciates the values we uphold at Main Street.” Hebert is responsible for all aspects of Main Street’s financial health, management and reporting, including insurance and banking oversight and relationships. In addition, he will lead in developing and implementing financial growth strategies across the board. Most recently, Hebert served as the CFO, director of corporate finance, and treasurer for Trapp Family Lodge, where he was the senior manager of the accounting, IT, and human-resources functions; assisted in attracting investors for new business ventures; and was actively involved with executive management in accruing capital for the construction of a new, multi-million-dollar brewery. Prior to that, Hebert was CFO of Bowden Hospitality Management Group, where he managed accounting, financial systems, and back-office functions for full-service hotels, including national brands such as the Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, Radisson Hotel, and Homewood Suites. Over the span of his career, he also has served as CFO for telecommunications and aerospace firms in New England. Hebert is a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono and has a MBA degree from St. Joseph’s College in Windham, Maine.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Mark Fulco has been named president of Mercy Medical Center, effective October 9. In this role, he will be responsible for the operational performance of the hospital; provide leadership in the execution, management, financial performance, and oversight of all hospital operations; and explore opportunities for growth through strategic development initiatives.

“Mark is a highly respected, highly engaged healthcare leader with extensive experience in various areas of hospital operations. We are certain he will not only help sustain our rich legacy of providing high-quality care with a compassionate touch, he will also help us reach new levels of service to our community,” said John Sjoberg, board chair of Mercy Medical Center.

Fulco returns to Mercy after spending the past two years at Trinity Health’s corporate office in Livonia, Mich., where he served as system vice president for Health Ministries and System Office Communication Interface. Reporting to the president and chief operating officer of Trinity Health and group executive vice presidents, he provided operational leadership in developing and communicating deployment of initiatives, served as the communication liaison between regional CEOs and the system office, coordinated several operations leadership councils, and led several special projects, including the creation of operations reports and updates to the Trinity Health operating model.

“Mark is a strong, strategic leader with deep ties to health care in New England, and we are pleased he’s returning to Springfield to lead our ongoing transformation to people-centered care,” said Ben Carter, executive vice president for Trinity Health.

Fulco first joined the Mercy team in 2005 as senior vice president of Strategy and Marketing and a member of the senior leadership team. In 2015, he was additionally named chief transformation officer to reflect his growing list of responsibilities around population-health management and value-based contracting.

During his decade at Mercy, Fulco was instrumental in the success of several important initiatives, such as creation of the Mercy Care Alliance clinically integrated network and the Accountable Care Organization of New England. He also served as Mercy’s Integration Management Office lead for the CHE-Trinity consolidation and played a key role in building the partnership that resulted in Saint Francis Care joining Trinity Health.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mark back to Mercy Medical Center. He is a visionary leader with unparalleled business acumen, exceptional creative ability, unwavering dedication to our mission, and tremendous enthusiasm — traits that will undoubtedly serve us well as he takes on this important role,” said Christopher Dadlez, president and CEO of Trinity Health of New England.

Prior to joining Mercy, Fulco served as vice president of Strategic Marketing and Business Development for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Conn. His previous roles include serving as president of a healthcare-management-services organization and as senior vice president of a national disease-management company.

Fulco is the recipient of the 2010 American College of Healthcare Executives Management Innovation Poster Session Award for “A Successful Micro-Accountable Care Organization as a Model for Evolving Payment Reform in Massachusetts.” A former member of the board of the Springfield Performing Arts Development Corp. and the board of East Catholic High School in Manchester, Conn., he is a USA Hockey official and member of the officiating instructor staff.

Fulco holds a master’s degree from the Barney School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Hartford, where he was a Woodruff fellow, and a bachelor’s degree from Clark University, where he was a Travelli scholar.

Healthcare Heroes

Healthcare Heroes 2017

healthcareheroeslogo021517-pingThere were more than 70 nominations for the inaugural Healthcare Heroes class, and each one of them was truly worthy of that word ‘hero.’ Each one is to be considered a winner in some respect.

On Oct. 19, BusinessWest recognized those who stood out the most in the hearts and minds of an esteemed panel of judges. Collectively, they are pioneers, and they will continue in that vein at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden as they become the first individuals and organizations in the region to accept the Healthcare Heroes award.

Their stories reveal large quantities of energy, imagination, innovation, compassion, entrepreneurship, forward thinking, and dedication to the community.

There are eight winners in this first class, with two in the category of ‘Innovation in Health/Wellness,’ because two candidates were tied with the top score. The Heroes for 2017 are:

Lifetime Achievement: Sister Mary Caritas, SP;

Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider: Dr. Michael Willers, owner of the Children’s Heart Center of Western Massachusetts;

Emerging Leader: Erin Daley, RN, BSN, director of the Emergency Department at Mercy Medical Center;

Health/Wellness Administrator/Administration: Holly Chaffee, RN, BSN, MSN, president and CEO of Porchlight VNA/Home Care;

Community Health: Molly Senn-McNally, Continuity Clinic director for the Baystate Pediatric Residency Program;

Innovation in Health/Wellness: Dr. Andrew Doben, director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Baystate Medical Center;

Innovation in Health/Wellness: Genevieve Chandler, associate professor of Nursing at UMass Amherst; and

Collaboration in Healthcare: The Healthy Hill Initiative.

American International College and Trinity Health are the presenting sponsors of Healthcare Heroes. Partner Sponsors are Achieve TMS, HUB International New England, and Health New England. Additional sponsors are Bay Path University, Baystate Health, Cooley Dickinson Health Care, Elms College, and Renew.Calm. Tickets to the event are $85 each, with tables available for purchase. For more information or to order tickets, call (413) 781-8600.

healthcareheroeslogos-9

Healthcare Heroes

At 94, She’s Still Finding Ways to Lead, Fight, and Inspire

 Sister Mary Caritas, SP

Sister Mary Caritas, SP

Sister Mary Caritas, SP says that many of the assignments during her remarkable 70-year career in healthcare, civic service, and work with the Sisters of Providence were unplanned, unexpected, and, in some cases, well, untimely — at least initially.

By that she meant that, by and large, when she was informed that her role would be changing — and that happened more than a few times — she was very much enjoying what she was doing, making a difference in that role, and looking forward to going on in that way. Meanwhile, in most cases, she considered herself totally prepared for the new challenge to which she was assigned.

That was true when she was told early on by her superiors that she would focus her career pursuits on dietary science rather than nursing, a profession she fell in love with, and again when she was told, after serving several years as a dietitian, that she would become an administrator at St. Luke’s Hospital in Pittsfield, and again when she was named president of the Sisters of Providence.

But in each case, she accepted what was to come next with enthusiasm and a mindset to make the very best of that situation — for her, but also, and especially, for the constituencies she would be serving.

She loves to fight for a good cause; she’s energized by it, and she communicates that enthusiasm or concern or passion to others. And when she gets in that mode, she’s unstoppable; she’s a remarkable woman.”

“Several times, I was doing something I loved doing, and then I was quickly moved somewhere else,” she told BusinessWest. “But each time I had that experience, new doors opened for me; new opportunities came my way. There were many occasions when I happened to be at the right place at the right time.”

There are countless people who would no doubt say the same thing. And those sentiments — not to mention a seemingly endless list of accomplishments and tireless work within the community — go a long way toward explaining why Sister Caritas, who turned 94 on August 22, was the clear winner in the Lifetime Achievement category for this inaugural class of Healthcare Heroes. In fact, she was the top scorer among the more than 70 nominees for the program’s seven categories.

When looking over her résumé, it’s easy to see why.

That document goes on for several pages and includes a long list of professional appointments, including a nearly two-decade-long stint at Mercy for which she is perhaps best known.

It also chronicles a host of church-related activities and appointments, including a nine-year tenure as president of the Sisters of Providence that preceded her time as Mercy’s president, as well as stints on the executive council of the Sisters of Providence, the Catholic Charities board, and many others.

And it also includes a lengthy list of civic activities and work within the business community, including everything from decades of service to the Easter Seals to her memorable role as chair of the task force on Bondi’s Island in the mid-’90s; from a decade of service as chair of the United Way of Pioneer Valley to a five-year stint as chair of the Springfield Council on Aging.

Now 94, Sister Mary Caritas shows no signs of slowing down

Now 94, Sister Mary Caritas shows no signs of slowing down, and clear signs of only adding new chapters to a nearly 70-year career in healthcare and service to the church.

She served on the board of two area colleges — Elms College and Western New England University — and also a few banks, including the former Springfield Institution for Savings and the former Community Savings Bank in Holyoke. She served on the Spirit of Springfield board for 16 years, and still serves on the Economic Development Council of Western Mass.

And then … there’s her service to dozens of healthcare organizations. That list is way too long to print in anything approaching its entirety, but it includes the Sisters of Providence Health System, Catholic Health East, and Trinity Health New England (all parent companies to Mercy at different times), but also Partners for a Healthier Community, Cancer House of Hope, Holyoke Hospital, the American Hospital Assoc., the Mass. Hospital Assoc., the Academy for Catholic Health Care Leadership, and many more.

But despite all that this résumé conveys, it’s still only part of the story.

The much bigger part is the energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovative nature she brought to those assignments — or continues to bring; indeed, a good number of those listings have a starting date, then a hyphen, and then the word ‘present’ — and also her ability to inspire others.

Sister Kathleen Popko, current president of the Sisters of Providence, who has worked beside and been friends with Sister Caritas for a half-century, summed it all up this way:

“She loves to fight for a good cause; she’s energized by it, and she communicates that enthusiasm or concern or passion to others, and they join with her, whether it’s for Bondi’s Island stench or fluoridation or reaching out and advocating for those who are are poor and underserved.

“And when she gets in that mode,” Sister Popko went on, “she’s unstoppable; she’s a remarkable woman.”

Heart and Soul

Sister Caritas was doing quite well in her efforts to mask some frustration.

As she talked with BusinessWest, she was awaiting word on the scheduling of what she called minor heart surgery — and coping, if that’s the right word, with a list of things her doctor told her she shouldn’t be doing. (Editor’s note: That surgery went well, and she has been cleared to do pretty much anything she wants.)

At the time, the refrain-from list included golf, a pastime she’s enjoyed for decades (her record includes a hole in one at East Mountain Country Club’s 10th hole), as well as pilates.

While somewhat disappointed that she had to take it rather easy, Sister Caritas took the marching orders in stride. There were, after all, plenty of other things to keep her busy.

But understand that it takes nothing short of orders from a doctor to in any way slow down this energetic leader, who has been keeping a full calendar (whether it be the printed variety in a binder or her cellphone) since just after World War II ended.

Our story begins in Springfield, where she was born and raised. Her father had designs on her being his secretary, and her classes at Commerce High School, which she didn’t like at all, had her on that path.

Things changed after she met a woman in training to be a nurse. “I got so excited and so enthusiastic, when I came back, I told my mother I wanted to be a nurse,” she recalled, adding that these sentiments were not received warmly by her mother, who warned her that she would spend a career emptying bed pans.

But the young Mary Geary was determined — we’ll see that word repeatedly in this discourse — and enrolled at Technical High School, focusing on the sciences, with the goal of entering the nursing profession.

Upon joining the Sisters of Providence — another decision that did not sit well with her mother — she was sent to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester as a nurse. But upon making her final vows after her fifth year, in 1949, she was sent to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, a move she was thrilled with until she found out that, instead of nursing, she would focus on dietary services, a decision made by the reverend mother.

Fast-forwarding a little, after receiving a master’s degree in nutrition education at Tufts University and undertaking a dietetic internship at the Francis Stern Food Clinic at the New England Medical Center in Boston, she was assigned to be administrative dietitian at Providence Hospital in Holyoke.

“I had the happiest time of my life for the next seven years,” she recalled employing a tone that made it clear that such happiness had an expiration date. “December 23, 1966, I was busy preparing a party for the sisters when I got a call from the Mother House. With no preamble, and with no explanation, the reverend mother simply said, ‘little sister, as of January 2, you are the administrator at St. Luke’s Hospital.’”

When she replied that she didn’t know anything about hospital administration, her superior responded with a simple ‘you’ll learn,’ which she did.

After St. Luke’s and Pittsfield General merged in 1969 to become Berkshire Medical Center, Sister Caritas served briefly as associate director of that facility. That’s briefly, because her life and career were soon to change abruptly — again.

Indeed, she was chosen to lead the Sisters of Providence and take the title superior general, a title that intimidated her about as much as the long list of responsibilities that came with it.

“I was totally unprepared for this,” she said, adding that, as she did with other stops during her career, she learned by doing.

A Fighting Spirit

And that ‘doing’ included work to create a new Mercy Hospital, a facility that would replace a structure built by the Sisters of Providence in 1896 and open its doors in 1974.

In another strange career twist — yes, there have been several in this narrative — Sister Caritas would succeed the woman she chose to lead the new Mercy (Sister Catherine LaBoure) after Sister LaBoure was in turn chosen to lead the order.

While Mercy had a new facility, it remained what Sister Caritas called “the little kid on the block,” much smaller than its rival just a few blocks away, Baystate Medical Center.

Sister Caritas (a.k.a. ‘little sister’), front row, center

Sister Caritas (a.k.a. ‘little sister’), front row, center, says she likes creating new things and getting things started. “Those are the kinds of things that energize me.”

But in its smaller size, Mercy’s president saw nimbleness and an ability to fill recognized niches, while also taking some bold, innovative — and, yes, entrepreneurial — steps.

Such as an in-hospital surgery center that has a story behind it that provides some insight into Sister Caritas’ determination and desire to fight for something she wants and believes in.

“I was going to buy a surgery center down on Maple Street,” she recalled. “Everything was moving along smoothly, but the night before the sale was to go through, they called and said they changed their mind. I was naturally terribly disappointed, but disappointed was hardly the word for it. I was mad; I was furious.

“So I said, ‘we have some space; we have some extra operating rooms,’” she went on. “So we created the first in-hospital surgery center.”

Other innovations and expansion initiatives would follow, including an eye center created at the hospital, an intensivist program, one of the nation’s first hospitalist programs, creation of the Weldon Center for Rehabilitation, the Family Life Center, the Healthcare for the Homeless initiative, and much more.

The common denominators with each of these efforts were common sense, expediency, and a desire to better serve patients and families, said Sister Caritas, citing the hospitalist program, now a staple in hospitals across the country, as an example.

“It was never really my intention to start a hospitalist program — I just wanted to create opportunities for more surgery,” she explained. “My whole life has been taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves; when I’m open to something and think it’s a good idea, I move with it. And I like nothing more than creating new things and getting something started. Those are the kinds of things that energize me.”

But while Sister Caritas has always been entrepreneurial, the word most-often used to describe her is compassionate.

“What’s truly impressive is the breadth of her engagement, from the national level all the way down to the individual,” said Sister Popko. “She’s been on many national and regional boards and continues to serve on several — she has that dimension. But at the same time, and simultaneously, she has extraordinary compassion and a big-hearted, magnanimous response to the needs of the individual, whether it’s helping someone find a placement for their mother in a nursing home or reaching out to an individual who’s looking for a job or is in trouble.

“If you know her, you know her thousand closest friends,” she went on. “She just knows everyone.”

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, who was mayor of Springfield during Sister Caritas’ tenure as president of Mercy, agreed.

“Her legacy is one of lasting kindness, compassion, and care for all,” he said. “She vowed to ensure that everyone who came through her doors were taken care of, and she fulfilled that promise. She has truly fulfilled the Sisters of Providence pledge to pay particular attention to the cries of the poor and oppressed.”

Small Wonder

Sister Popko told BusinessWest that Sister Caritas, a.k.a. ‘little sister,’ insists that at one time she was at least 5 feet tall, and maybe a full inch over that mark.

Not anymore.

Not that it matters, or has ever mattered.

“She has such a large presence even though she’s a very small person,” Sister Popko noted. “When she walks into a room, everyone recognizes her and wants to speak to her. She has an indomitable spirit, is very courageous, and is outspoken when it’s called for.”

Such comments evoke Mark Twain’s famous and often-borrowed line: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” And with many matters, and in many arenas, Sister Caritas has displayed plenty of fight.

Perhaps the most celebrated example was her lengthy battle to win approval from the Mass. Department of Public Health for a cobalt unit for cancer treatment at Mercy Hospital. She first filed an application in 1978, and it was denied. Applications could only be filed biannually, so she tried again in 1980. And 1982. And 1984. And 1986. You get the idea.

“They said I couldn’t demonstrate that there was enough need for it,” she recalled, with exasperation still evident in her voice nearly 40 years after she was first turned down. “I couldn’t believe it.

“But over the next 14 years, I applied every two years,” she went on, adding that the seventh application was to be her last — at least as president of Mercy — because she had informed her board that she would be retiring.

That seventh time was the charm, and the cancer center that was started but not completed during her tenure now bears her name.

In keeping with her character, however, she said that getting the center approved and built were not the real accomplishments.

“It’s one thing to build something, but it’s the quality of the service, the compassion of the people, and the love they have for their patients that really makes the difference,” she told BusinessWest. “While it’s a beautiful center, it’s nothing without that compassion.”

That compassionate, fighting spirit remains today. Indeed, while the word ‘retire’ was officially attached to the end of her tenure at Mercy, she prefers to say that her energies were simply “redirected.”

Toward Bondi’s Island, for example, and the odor problems that had plagued that facility for years, but in many other directions as well.

She still sits on a dozen boards and continues to look for ways to innovate and serve the historically underserved. Both those missions come together in an ongoing project to create senior housing for lower-income individuals on the former Brightside campus.

The Sisters of Providence are seeking additional funding support (state grants have already been secured) for a 36- to 40-unit facility that will be a demonstration project that will tie in with the PACE (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) initiative already operating at that site.

“We want to demonstrate the relationship between supportive housing and people’s ability to remain independent,” she said of the project called Hillside at Providence. “And that’s exciting.”

As she talked about the Hillside project and the countless others she’s been involved with over the years, Sister Caritas was persistent in her efforts to make it clear that, with each one, she was only working as part of a team.

Indeed, when asked to consider identifying what she considers her greatest accomplishment, she said flatly, “I don’t think I’ve had any great accomplishment.”

Rather, “when I think about all the people who I’ve worked with and the people who have supported me, and the network needed to get things done … there’s not anything that I’ve done by myself,” she went on. “With other people, though, we’ve done some great things.”

Cause and Effect

As she was concluding her talk with BusinessWest and thus getting on to other items on her busy schedule, Sister Caritas took a few minutes to talk about Mary Elizabeth O’Brien, now serving as interim president of Mercy Medical Center.

“She’s someone you can believe in,” Sister Caritas remarked. “And that’s what you need in a leader, someone you believe can get it done.”

Ironically, generations of area residents, including those who have worked beside her, those who have benefited from her many initiatives, and even those working in competing hospitals have said the same of Sister Caritas. And at 94, they’re still saying it.

As her friend Sister Popko noted so eloquently, she loves fighting for a good cause.

And yes, when she gets in that mode, she is unstoppable. Still.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Community Spotlight Features

Community Spotlight

Mayor Will Reichelt says West Springfield is seeing a good deal of adaptive reuse of commercial and industrial properties, a necessity in a community that is land-poor.

Mayor Will Reichelt says West Springfield is seeing a good deal of adaptive reuse of commercial and industrial properties, a necessity in a community that is land-poor.

Will Reichelt says he was only 15 when he started working at the Donut Dip on Riverdale Street.

His father arranged an introduction with the owner, a fellow Rotarian, and just a few days later, Will was working behind the counter and occasionally injecting filling into jelly donuts.

“I’m not sure it was all legal, but … I sure do miss that 15-year-old body,” said the mayor, now all of 31 and in his second year at the helm of the city where he grew up. “I could eat all the donuts I wanted and never gain an ounce.”

Reichelt spent two and a half years at that Donut Dip, or roughly until he graduated from high school. He remembers at least two things from his time on Riverdale: one was that the busy thoroughfare was seemingly in a constant state of change, and the other was that the Donut Dip wasn’t.

“And it’s still the same — hasn’t changed at all,” said the mayor, who obviously still visits the establishment on occasion. As for Riverdale Street, it remains in that consistent state of change, and for many reasons.

The two major highways that feed traffic onto it — the Mass. Turnpike and I-91 — are the two biggest, because major retailers — and that includes the slew of auto dealers doing business on that stretch — covet such accessibility and will go to great lengths to take full advantage of it. Another is the fact that West Springfield is, to use a term that municipal leaders hate to use, ‘land-poor,’ meaning most developable real estate has been developed already.

All this leads to a term that those involved in economic development are much more fond of using — ‘adaptive reuse,’ which is happening, in one form or another, in seemingly every corner of this city of roughly 28,000. Some examples:

• Buildings within the former Gilbarco complex on Union Street have been repurposed by U-Haul as home to everything from self-storage units to a facility for servicing trucks within the huge fleet;

• The former St. Ann’s Church on Memorial Avenue, razed more than five years ago, has been transitioned into a retail center and home for Florence Savings Bank’s first branch in Hampden County; city officials are still awaiting word on other tenants for that facility;

• A Chipotle restaurant has opened on the site of what was once home to a Jiffy Lube on Memorial Avenue, adding to the already impressive number of eateries on the street that is also home to the Big E;

• Staying on Memorial Avenue, several buildings were razed there and the real estate consolidated by Fathers & Sons to create new, state-of-the art dealerships for Audi and Volkswagen, which opened early this year;

• A former billiard parlor on Riverdale Street has been razed to make way for a new, 121-room Marriott Courtyard hotel that will again alter the landscape on that street; and

• Further north on that strip, a residential property has been acquired by Balise Motor Sales with the intention of adding a car wash to the extensive portfolio of facilities it has on or near Riverdale.

One of the good things about West Springfield is that we are, literally, at the crossroads of New England. Redevelopment of empty parcels pretty much takes care of itself, because people want to be along Riverdale Street, Memorial Avenue, or in West Springfield, because it’s so easy to get to.”

There are many other examples from the past several years or that are now on the drawing board, said Reichelt and Douglas Mattoon, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Development, as they described two of the key planks within the community’s economic-development strategy — making the very best use of the land that is available, even if that means knocking something else down to make those efforts possible, and taking full advantage of its enviable geographic location, which the mayor summed up effectively.

“One of the good things about West Springfield is that we are, literally, at the crossroads of New England,” he said, borrowing language used by more than a few of the retailers with a presence in his city. “Redevelopment of empty parcels pretty much takes care of itself, because people want to be along Riverdale Street, Memorial Avenue, or in West Springfield, because it’s so easy to get to.”

To fully capitalize on all this, the city has embarked on the first major effort to update its zoning in a half-century.

“We put together a zoning-review committee, and they’ve been working for four or five months now,” said Reichelt. “They’re literally taking our zoning ordinances from page 1 to page 200 and whatever, and reviewing everything with an eye toward the next 50 years and what will enable the town to move forward.”

West Springfield at a glance

Year Incorporated: 1774
Population: 28,391 (2014)
Area: 17.49 square miles
County: Hampden
Residential Tax Rate: $16.99
Commercial Tax Rate: $22.21
Median Household Income: $54,434
Median family Income: $63,940
Type of government: Mayor; Town Council
Largest employers: Eversource Energy; Harris Corp.; Home Depot; Interim Health Care; Mercy Home Care
* Latest information available

Overall, said Mattoon, West Springfield continues to work toward two goals that are at or near the top of every municipality’s to-do list — achieving balance between residential and commercial development, and smart growth.

For this, the latest installment of its Community Spotlight series, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at a community that has always been an attractive mailing address for businesses, and continues to be a destination.

Roads to Progress

While Riverdale Street and Memorial Avenue, the two real entranceways to West Springfield, if you will, provide the most visible evidence of the growth and constant change that place within the city, there are examples in virtually every corner, said Mattoon.

He used an always-effective barometer — building permits issued for both residential and commercial projects this year — to get this message across.

“More than 1,200 permits have been issued,” he noted. “There is some new-home construction and lot of home-improvement projects, and the commercial side of the ledger has really taken off. Our site-plan reviews and zoning board applications are up 52% from where we were last year.

“We’ve had a lot of activity come before us,” he went on. “Not only on the Riverdale corridor, but also on the Memorial Avenue corridor and even the Route 20 corridor, which is a minor corridor going through the center of town.”

Summing up what he believes those permits show, Mattoon said a number of businesses in the community are doing quite well and are in expansion mode. Meanwhile, others want to also take advantage of being at those aforementioned crossroads.

In that former category are a number of businesses across a host of sectors, including Titan USA, a maker of high-speed steel and cobalt cutting tools, which is again expanding its facilities on Baldwin Street; several retailers, including Food Bag, Cumberland Farms (both on Route 20), and Wendy’s, which built a new facility on the site of a former Arby’s on Riverdale Street; U-Haul; and even Costco, which is looking to add gasoline to the seemingly endless list of products it sells from its location in the Riverdale Shops — a project that has been in the works for years and is now before the Planning Board.

In the latter category, meanwhile, is the new hotel on Riverdale, Balise’s car-wash project, a new Pride Store on Riverdale that will replace a smaller facility the company operated, and some new residential developments, including an ambitious project adjacent to Springfield Country Club called Piper Green.

Doug Mattoon

Doug Mattoon says West Springfield strives for smart growth and a balance between commercial and residential growth.

While all this is going on, city officials are hard at work on several fronts that, collectively, fall into the categories of facilitating more of these types of developments while also enabling the community and specific neighborhoods within it to absorb such growth without negatively impacting traffic and overall quality of life.

And these efforts take a number of forms as well. They include the zoning overhaul, which Reichelt said is needed and long overdue, as well as close examination of the types of businesses the city wants to attract.

“Much of our focus has been on Westfield Street [Route 20], the center of town, how we encourage more business to come there — not that there’s a lack of business there,” he explained. “But is what’s there what we want, and if it’s not, how do we get what we want there?”

Mattoon agreed, and said such efforts, which fit the general description of ‘smart growth’ efforts, intersect with the many initiatives involving adaptive reuse.

As an example, he noted ongoing initiatives to repurpose many of the industrial and distribution facilities in the Merrick and Memorial sections of the community, including the Gilbarco complex, where gasoline pumps were manufactured decades ago.

“Such adaptive reuse requires flexibility and our ability to analyze the proposed alternative uses, and make sure they fit with the general character of the neighborhood, traffic, pedestrian safety, and so forth.”

It also includes infrastructure improvements, such as those slated for Memorial Avenue. These include the long-discussed and long-anticipated replacement of the Morgan/Sullivan Bridge over the Westfield River (the border with neighboring Agawam) and a comprehensive reconstruction of the full length of Memorial Avenue.

That state-funded project will commence when the bridge project is completed, said the mayor, estimating that will be in 2022.

Currently at the 25% design stage, the initiative calls for creating four lanes, with designated left-turn lanes and bike lanes as well, between the Memorial Bridge rotary and Union Street, and then three lanes between Union Street and the Morgan/Sullivan Bridge.

The so-called Complete Streets project, so-named because it factors in cyclists and pedestrians as well as motorists, is designed to bring smoother traffic flow to a street that has seen exponential growth over the past few decades, has struggled to handle the higher volumes of traffic, and is especially challenged during the Big E’s 17-day run every September.

“I think the Route 147 [Morgan/Sullivan] bridge project is really going to help with the traffic situation on Memorial Avenue, especially during the Big E,” said Mattoon. “That’s where we’re really seeing traffic back up — those intersections just on the other side of the bridge in Agawam.”

Meanwhile, returning again to Riverdale Street, Costco’s proposal, which calls for a number of gas pumps and a convenience-store-like facility, will require some changes to that thoroughfare, said Mattoon.

He noted that the intersection of Riverdale and Daggett Drive must be modified to handle traffic concerns raised by the project. Specifically, a southbound exit out of Daggett Drive would be added, explained, noting that this is another example of how the town is working to encourage new business ventures while also taking steps to minimize the impact from such growth on specific streets and neighborhoods.

To-Dough List

Mayor Reichelt worked at the Donut Dip half a lifetime ago. By most accounts, including his, there has been little change at that location since the start of this century.

But there has been change all around it on Riverdale Street — and also on Memorial Avenue, Route 20, Baldwin Street, and every other corner of the city — and it is ongoing.

This is life at the crossroads of New England. Those highways create opportunities, challenges, and a delicate balancing act, one that Reichelt and his team at City Hall continue to master.


George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Agenda Departments

Western Mass. Employment Collaborative Job Fair

Aug. 22: The Western Mass. Employment Collaborative (a service of Riverside Community Care) and Holyoke Community College are partnering for a Job Fair from 10 a.m to noon at Holyoke Community College’s Kittredge Center, Room 303. The purpose of the event is for businesses to meet qualified candidates for their hiring needs and for job seekers to have multiple opportunities to speak to employers and partner agencies and to interview for competitive employment. Western Mass. Employment Collaborative (WMEC) partners are all working toward a common goal: to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. WMEC works across all disabilities and represents hundreds of job seekers who have the skills, commitment, and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer. By attending this job fair, employers will discover this is a largely untapped pool of qualified job candidates and learn how to work with the vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, and workforce-development entities that WMEC facilitates. The job fair will serve as both as a recruitment venue and a valuable experience for job seekers as they prepare to enter the workforce. Job developers and coaches will work with their job seekers around readiness skills and how to interact with employers. Students from the college will have an opportunity to be a part of this diverse and inclusive environment and see what employers from Western Mass. have to offer. Contact Pam Mendes at [email protected] or (617) 360-1646 with questions.

Springfield Jam Fest

Sept. 9: The Springfield Business Improvement District will present the first annual Springfield Jam Festival in downtown Springfield from noon to 11 p.m. at Court Square. Multiple stages will feature dozens of local artists performing throughout the entire day, playing everything from rock and country to blues, reggae, and more. Area vendors will sell a large variety of food and beverages. Sponsorship agreement goals have been reached to put on the festival, and all additional funds raised by the event will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Western Massachusetts, which is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness through support, education, and advocacy. One in four people in the U.S. has a mental-health condition, and as an affiliate of the nation’s largest grass-roots mental-health organization, NAMI-Western Massachusetts advocates for access to services, treatment, support, and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all those in need. For more information on the Springfield Jam Festival, visit springfielddowntown.com/springfield-jam-fest.

Family Improv Class

Sept. 10 to Oct. 15: Local improv company Happier Valley Comedy announced a new addition to its Comedy School lineup of classes for the fall. Family Improv is a six-week class held on Sunday afternoons beginning in September and is open to any child-and-adult combo. Family Improv gives families the opportunity to laugh with a loved one and bond over fun improvisation games and exercises. The Family Improv curriculum is guided by the principles of acceptance, mindfulness, quieting judgment of self and others, and strengthening communication, all while having a blast playing together. Family Improv will complement Happier Valley Comedy’s monthly Happier FAMILY Comedy Show, a high-energy, interactive event designed especially for families and kids ages 5-12. Registration for Family Improv is available on the Happier Valley Comedy website (www.happiervalley.com), with weekly classes to be held Sept. 10 through Oct. 15 on Sundays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Family Improv will be taught by Kate Jopson, a graduate of the Happier Valley Comedy’s Zen of Improv classes and a Happier FAMILY Comedy Show cast member. Every child who is registered in the class receives a free ticket to the comedy show.

Patent and Trademark Educational Event

Sept. 14: The South Hadley Library and the South Hadley & Granby Chamber of Commerce announced a free business educational event for the business community and the public from 4 to 6 p.m. at the South Hadley Library, located at 2 Canal St. The event, designed for entrepreneurs and businesses, is a joint collaboration between the library and the chamber. The speaker, Paulina Borrego, is a science and engineering librarian at UMass Amherst. Soon after becoming a librarian in 2007, she took on the role of the Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) librarian in 2009. She is trained by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to educate patrons about patents and trademarks, the application process, and how to conduct an effective and thorough search. She works in the UMass Amherst Science & Engineering Library, which is open to the public. For more information on the program, visit the South Hadley Library’s website at www.shadleylib.org or the chamber website at www.shgchamber.com.

Free Legal Help Hotline

Sept. 21: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. will offer a free Legal Help Hotline in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law from 4 to 7 p.m. at the law school, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 796-2057 to speak to a volunteer. Volunteers will provide legal advice on a variety of topics, including divorce and family law, bankruptcy, business, landlord/tenant matters, and real estate. Additionally, in light of recent immigration developments, attorneys with immigration-law experience will also be available to answer questions. Spanish-speaking attorneys will be available.

Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 19: BusinessWest and the Healthcare News will present the inaugural Healthcare Heroes Awards at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden. This new recognition program was created by the twin publications to recognize outstanding achievement across the region’s broad and diverse healthcare sector. Nominations were accepted in a number of categories, including ‘Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider,’ ‘Innovation in Health/Wellness,’ ‘Community Health,’ ‘Lifetime Achievement,’ and many others. A panel of judges determined the winners, who will be profiled in the Sept. 4 issue of BusinessWest and the September issue of HCN. American International College and Trinity Health are the presenting sponsors of Healthcare Heroes. Additional sponsors are Bay Path University, Baystate Health, Cooley Dickinson Health Care, Elms College, and Renew.Calm. Tickets to the event are $85 each, with tables available for purchase. For more information or to order tickets, call (413) 781-8600.

Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass.

Nov. 2: Comcast Business will present the Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass. at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News. The seventh annual business-to-business show will feature more than 150 exhibitor booths, educational seminars, breakfast and lunch programs, and a day-capping Expo Social. Current sponsors include Comcast Business (presenting sponsor), Johnson & Hill Staffing Services and Wild Apple Design Group (executive sponsors), Inspired Marketing (show partner), MGM Springfield (corporate sponsor), Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst (education sponsor), Xfinity (social sponsor), and the Better Business Bureau (contributing sponsor). Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $800. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Modern Office Sections

Progressive Environment

Cooley Dickinson Health Care is no stranger to environmental awareness, recently earning the Greenhealth Partner for Change award from Practice Greenhealth for the fifth consecutive year.

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading healthcare community dedicated to transforming healthcare worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint and becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice.

The Partner for Change award is one of the organization’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the healthcare sector. The award recognizes healthcare facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury-elimination, waste-reduction, recycling, and source-reduction programs. At minimum, facilities applying for this award must be recycling 15% of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution-prevention programs in many different areas.

Among Cooley Dickinson’s recent environmentally friendly practices, it has recycled 65 tons, or 85%, of the construction waste during the construction of the Comprehensive Breast Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital; replaced kitchen dishwashers, saving 50% of water and energy use; arranged contracts for 3,500 kwh of solar power under a 20-year agreement, which is 30% of CDH’s annual usage; and replaced and upgrade lighting to LED technology in 15,000 square feet of the CDH property.


“Cooley Dickinson’s employees take pride in our sustainability efforts to lessen our impact on the environment and look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to continue this work across the country.”


“As a Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Award winner, Cooley Dickinson is committed to improving the health of our patients, staff, and community as a whole,” said Anthony Scibelli, vice president, Operations and chief administrative officer. “Cooley Dickinson’s employees take pride in our sustainability efforts to lessen our impact on the environment and look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to continue this work across the country.”

Practice Greenhealth recently released its eighth annual Sustainability Benchmark Report, analyzing data from leading hospitals and health systems across the country, giving a snapshot of trends in environmental performance and sustainability in energy, water, toxics, food, and other categories. Among the findings:

• While U.S. hospitals emit an estimated 8% of the nation’s greenhouse-gas emissions, in the last three years, the percentage of facilities that have a written plan to address climate-change mitigation has nearly doubled. Also, the percentage of facilities that generate or purchase renewable energy has increased by 81%.

• Hospitals in the U.S. produce more than 4.67 million tons of waste each year. But in the last two years, the percentage of facilities that have taken measures to reduce the generation of pharmaceutical waste has grown by 11%. Leading hospitals are routinely achieving a 30% recycling rate — more than double the early EPA goal of 15%.

• More hospitals are purchasing products with safer chemicals. In 2016, the percentage of hospitals prioritizing furniture and medical furnishings free of halogenated flame retardants, formaldehyde, perfluorinated compounds, and PVC (vinyl) more than doubled from the previous year. A total of 78% of hospitals have chemical or purchasing policies that identify specific chemicals of concern to human health and the environment, with 79% purchasing certified green cleaning chemicals and 30% indicating they have programs in place to purchase furniture or furnishings that avoid chemicals of concern.

• Currently, U.S. hospitals use more than 7% of the nation’s commercial water supply. However, in the last three years, the percentage of facilities that benchmark water usage has doubled. During that time, there’s also been a 36% increase in the percentage of facilities that have a written plan to reduce water use over time with specific goals and a timeline. However, only 17% of hospitals reported any water-reduction projects in 2015.

“Our annual Sustainability Benchmark Report allows us to share how the nation’s leading hospitals are making progress year after year to improve health and reduce environmental impact while delivering strong financial return,” said Cecilia DeLoach Lynn, director of Sector Performance and Recognition for Practice Greenhealth. “We are proud to see more hospitals than ever appointing sustainability leaders to oversee environmental performance.”

Departments People on the Move
Jacqueline Charron

Jacqueline Charron

The Professional Women’s Chamber (PWC) announced that Jacqueline Charron, chief risk officer and senior vice president of Operations and Information Technology for PeoplesBank in Holyoke, has been named the PWC 2017 Woman of the Year. The Woman of the Year award is presented to a woman in the Western Mass. area who exemplifies outstanding leadership, professional accomplishment, and service to the community. This award has been given annually since 1954. Liz Rappaport, secretary of the PWC board committee, said the selection committee was thoroughly impressed with Charron’s work-life balance, as evidenced by her pursuit of education while managing her career and being the mother of four children. “The PWC recently had a work-life balance panel at a luncheon, and we loved how, through her application, Jackie personified work-life balance,” Rappaport said. Charron earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Mount Holyoke College while working as a teller at PeoplesBank. She went on to receive an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She has done post-graduate work at Babson College (Mass. Bankers Assoc. School of Financial Studies), Villanova University (master certificate in Lean Six Sigma), and the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Leadership Program. After 32 years, Jackie continues to build a successful career at PeoplesBank, where today she leads a team of 40 associates in deposit operations, information technology, electronic banking, and risk and compliance. She has served at the leadership level of many community and business organizations, including the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Girls Inc., the South Hadley and Greater Holyoke chambers of commerce, and United Way of Pioneer Valley. She also enjoys volunteering at the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Road Race and at activities and fund-raisers that support her children’s academic and athletic interests. She can be found working the concession stand at a high-school girls’ soccer game or attending a gala for the Fine Arts Center or Bright Nights. A celebration in Charron’s honor will be held on Thursday, June 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carriage House, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by contacting Jessica Hill at [email protected].

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Jim Ayres

Jim Ayres

United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) announced that its board of directors has appointed Jim Ayres the organization’s next president and CEO, effective June 12. Ayres, who currently serves as the CEO of the United Way Hampshire County, will succeed Dora Robinson, UWPV’s most recent president and CEO and current president emeritus. Ayres comes to UWPV from United Way of Hampshire County (UWHC), where he has served as CEO and executive director since 2011. During his tenure there, he expanded the donor base and increased both funding diversity and overall revenue at a time when many United Ways nationally had experienced shrinkage. Prior to joining UWHC, he served for 12 years as the executive director of the Center for New Americans, an education and resource center for immigrants, refugees, and other limited-English speakers in Western Mass. With roots in the Springfield public schools, where he worked as a parent community and involvement coordinator, he has extensive experience working with school systems, local and state governments, community coalitions, workforce boards, and other nonprofit organizations to develop programming and policy. He is the incoming board president of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network and an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Administration and Philanthropy at Bay Path University. He holds master’s degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. UWPV will celebrate Ayres’s arrival at the organization’s 95th-anniversary celebration on Wednesday, May 31 at the Barney Carriage House at Forest Park.

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Mark Foster

Mark Foster

Jay Seyler

Jay Seyler

Shana Hebdrikse

Shana Hebdrikse

Jessica Menard

Jessica Menard

PeoplesBank announced the appointment of Mark Foster to vice president, operational risk manager; Jay Seyler to vice president, business banking officer; Shana Hendrikse to business banking officer; and Jessica Menard to commercial credit officer. Foster brings more than a decade of financial and audit experience, and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut. He is an RSA Archer-certified administrator and was named a 2015 RSA Archer Innovation Award winner. Seyler possesses more than 30 years of banking and financial experience, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Bryant University and an MBA from Western New England University. Hendrikse brings more than a decade of banking and financial experience, and holds a master’s degree from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree from Saint Leo University. She has completed training through the New England School of Financial Studies at Babson and holds a certificate in financial studies. Menard possesses close to a decade of banking and commercial-loan experience, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Bay Path University. She has completed training through the Risk Management Assoc., the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc., and the Center for Financial Training.

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Hyman Darling

Hyman Darling

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that attorney Hyman Darling recently took the oath of office as the incoming president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). He was sworn in as president at NAELA’s annual conference along with other incoming members of the executive committee, and will officially assume his duties as NAELA president on June 1. In addition to accepting the office of the presidency, Darling was also honored as a NAELA fellow for 2017. The fellow designation is the highest honor bestowed by NAELA, and is granted to members who have careers in elder law and who have made exceptional contributions to the field. Election as a NAELA fellow signifies an attorney recognized by his peers as a model for others, and an exceptional lawyer and leader. The most significant component in the selection process is commitment and contributions to NAELA through committee participation, programs, and leadership. Upon accepting the fellow award and the presidency, Darling proceeded to address his NAELA colleagues, thanking them for record-high conference attendance and laying out his plans for the coming year. Much to the delight of the audience, his remarks were delivered entirely in rhyming verse. Darling is a partner at Bacon Wilson, where he has practiced since 1981. He concentrates in the areas of trusts, estates, taxes, estate planning, probate, guardianships, special needs, and elder law. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, he served as a trust officer. He has been a frequent presenter for both the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. He has also spoken for NAELA at several conferences, both local and national. He is an adjunct faculty member at both Western New England University School of Law and Bay Path University. Darling serves on many local planned-giving committees, and is a frequent lecturer for professional and civic groups in the Pioneer Valley. He is a member of the Special Needs Alliance, and is also a former president of the Hampden County Estate Planning Council.

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Kevin Maltby

Kevin Maltby

Bacon Wilson, P.C. also announced that attorney Kevin Maltby is a recipient of 2017’s Excellence in the Law Pro Bono Award from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. He was recognized for his pro bono efforts in connection with the Springfield District Court’s Lawyer for a Day program. With the support of the Hampden County Bar Assoc., Maltby led the 2012 effort to establish the weekly program, and he is currently working on significant expansion of pro bono services offered by the Hampden County Legal Clinic. He was inspired to initiate the Lawyer for a Day program after taking note of numerous people trying to represent themselves in court, often unsuccessfully, due to their unfamiliarity with the law and court procedures. In addition to the District Court Lawyer for a Day program, Maltby contributes his time to numerous other pro bono programs, including the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. Dial-a-Lawyer program, and the Hampden County Bar Assoc. Lawyer on the Line program. He is the current president of the Hampden County Bar Assoc., where he also serves on the pro bono committee. He is a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s standing advisory committee on professionalism, and is an adjunct professor at Bay Path University, where he teaches advanced litigation.

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Thomas Walbridge

Thomas Walbridge

Community Health Programs has named Thomas Walbridge its new chief financial officer. He will oversee the health network’s budget, financial operations, and planning. Walbridge has served as chief financial officer and vice president for the Kinsley Group Inc. and as CFO for the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority; he was also director of finance and human resources at Six Flags New England. His early professional career was spent in the banking sector in Pittsfield. He holds a business degree from Babson College and an MBA from Western New England University. CHP finished its 2016 fiscal year with an operating surplus of nearly $700,000, on revenues of $14 million. During that year, CHP increased its patient and client numbers from 16,000 to more than 22,000, with the addition of two new practices in North Adams and other new-patient outreach. During 2016, employment at CHP grew from 140 to 175 and continues to expand. Walbridge is also the founder and operator of LuckBridge Sports LLC, a company that creates affordable, inclusive team-building opportunities for youth and coaches in the developmental and advanced instruction of baseball and basketball. He volunteers in his community with youth sports programs, the American Red Cross, the March of Dimes, the Agawam Chamber of Commerce and the Agawam Rotary.

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Christopher Scott

Christopher Scott

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) announced the hiring of Christopher Scott as the dean of the School of Health & Patient Simulation. Scott had been the interim dean since the retirement of Michael Foss in 2016. His previous positions at STCC include assistant dean for the School of Health & Patient Simulation and director of Clinical Education and SIMS Medical Center. Scott will lead a school that offers the most competitive programs at STCC and is home to the Northeast’s largest patient-simulation training facility. The SIMS Medical Center at STCC provides a clinical setting to train students as well as healthcare providers. Scott played a key role in expanding the facility when he was hired as director in 2010. At the time, the center included 18 patient simulators and five rooms and provided 3,000 simulation experiences each year. Today, there are 52 simulators and 12 rooms, or simulation areas, and more than 20,000 simulation experiences. As dean, he is responsible for the overall leadership of the school as well as for the daily and long-term operation of all the credit and non-credit health programs. About 800 students are enrolled in credit and non-credit programs. The school includes more than 100 full-time and part-time faculty and staff. Scott sees his mission as helping to meet the community’s health care needs and ensuring access to the degree and certificate programs, which include cosmetology, dental assistant, dental hygiene, diagnostic medical imaging, interdisciplinary health studies, medical assistant, medical laboratory technician, nursing, rehabilitation therapies, respiratory care, and surgical technology. Scott, who holds a master’s degree in health education and curriculum development from Springfield College, is currently is completing his doctorate of education in higher education administration from Northeastern University in Boston. A certified healthcare-simulation educator, Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in emergency medical services management from Springfield College.

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Bruce Marzotto

Bruce Marzotto

Lee Bank announced that Bruce Marzotto, senior vice president of Commercial Lending, has been named a Community Bank Hero by the Warren Group and Banker & Tradesman. Community Bank Heroes is an annual award that honors the achievements, commitment, and dedication of financial professionals who go above and beyond for their institution and community. Award recipients are nominated by their peers and selected by Banker & Tradesman’s editorial board; this year’s 13 winners hail from community banks throughout Massachusetts. Marzotto has been with Lee Bank for 10 years and has worked in banking in Berkshire County for 40 years. After receiving his associate’s degree at Berkshire Community College, he continued his education through banking courses with the American Institute of Banking as well as the New England School of Banking at Williams College. As former treasurer of the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Great Barrington Little League, and Boy Scouts of America Troop 23, he is continuing his community involvement as a trustee of the newly organized Great Barrington Municipal Affordable House Trust. The Community Bank Heroes awards will be distributed at a dinner event on Tuesday, May 23 at the Hyatt Regency Boston hotel. Recipients will be featured in the May 22 issue of Banker & Tradesman. To see a full list of the Community Bank Heroes and for more information about the awards dinner, visit www.thewarrengroupevents.com/communitybankheroes.

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Sharon Dufour, chief financial officer for Luso Federal Credit Union, and Kimberly Anderson, Community Relations representative for Luso, were recognized on National Financial Educators Day for their hard work and dedication to promoting financial-literacy education in Ludlow, Hampden, and Wilbraham. Nominated by Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, Dufour and Anderson, supported by Luso Federal Credit Union and a grant from the Joseph and Anna C. Dias Family Foundation, help bring financial-literacy education to thousands of youth in the three communities. Every child in Ludlow schools and St. John the Baptist School, kindergarten through grade 8, participates in a JA program each year, as well as all the students at Thornton Burgess Middle School in Hampden and Wilbraham Middle School. Dufour and Anderson not only secure the funding for the programs, but recruit and train nearly 100 volunteers to deliver the programs. Dufour and Anderson also teach multiple JA programs each year.

Agenda Departments

White Lion Wednesdays

Through Aug. 27: White Lion Wednesdays returned to Springfield on May 17 and will run through Aug. 27, presented by Berkshire Bank in partnership with the Springfield Business Improvement District (BID) and Springfield’s White Lion Brewing Co. Touted as one of last summer’s “Best Pop-up Beer Gardens” by Food & Wine magazine, Raymond Berry, president of White Lion, said this season will be even better. “White Lion is ecstatic to kick off this year’s beer garden series in May. Last year’s series had great attendance and obtained national recognition; we will look to capitalize on its success, and we are honored to be part of a collection of creative programs in the heart of downtown Springfield,” he said. “During the series, brewer Mike Yates will introduce a new beer commemorating the grand opening of Springfield’s Union Station. The honorary selection follows last year’s releases, which celebrated the Eastern States 100th anniversary, and the history of Springfield brewing in partnership with the Springfield Museums.” Again, the Springfield Business Improvement District will host White Lion Wednesdays, rotating between three locations from 4 to 8 p.m.: One Financial Plaza at 1350 Main St., Tower Square Park at 1477 Main St., and the Shops at Marketplace at the rear of 1341 Main St. More details on White Lion Wednesdays, including locations and dates, can be found at springfielddowntown.com/white-lion-wednesdays.

‘An Afternoon with Tom Ahern’

June 1: Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation invites regional nonprofit staff to attend “An Afternoon with Tom Ahern,” a two-part workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. at Jane Iredale Cosmetics, 50 Church St., Great Barrington. Back by popular demand, Ahern will present two back-to-back workshops: “The Big (little) Diff: Writing for Online Readers,” a discussion of best practices in writing for web, e-mail, and social-media platforms; and “Writing a Powerful Case for Support,” which will review effective fund-raising methods. The New York Times calls Ahern “one of the country’s most sought-after creators of fund-raising messages.” This event is part of Berkshire Taconic’s popular annual Seminars in Nonprofit Excellence series. Tickets are $40 per person, and light food and beverages will be provided. To register, visit www.berkshiretaconic.org/ahern.

Discussions about Race

June 2-3, 9-10: Cooley Dickinson Health Care, the United Way of Hampshire County, and the Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College are addressing the issue of racism, as well as race-related incidents that continue to occur both locally and nationally, by offering a series of community dialogues on race in Northampton and Amherst. Community members who live or work in Hampshire County are invited to attend either of the sessions. The two-part dialogue will be offered Friday, June 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College, Wright Hall, 5 Chapin Dr., Northampton. A second two-part session will be offered Friday, June 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road, Amherst. Event organizers say they aim to move toward solutions rather than continue to express or analyze the problem; to reach beyond the usual boundaries, offering opportunities for new, unexpected partnerships; and to unite divided communities through a respectful, informed sharing of local racial history and its consequences for different people in today’s society. The community dialogue is free, and lunch will be provided. Attendance is limited to 30 people, and participants must attend both Friday and Saturday. When registering, people will be asked their name, the organization they represent, if any, and their race/ethnicity. Organizers are asking about race/ethnicity as they have a goal of 50% participation from people of color. To register, call (888) 554-4234 by Tuesday, May 30. You will receive confirmation on whether you have been selected to attend a session.

WGBY Asparagus Festival

June 3: The WGBY Asparagus Festival returns to the Hadley Town Common from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to once again celebrate the region’s legacy of agriculture and community. The family-friendly, outdoor event features more than 90 local food, crafts, and agricultural vendors at a Farmers’ & Makers’ Market. In addition, there will be entertainment displays, kids’ games, and a live visit from PBS Kids character Curious George. A large “Rooted in the Valley” stage will feature popular performers. Family entertainer Tyler Conroy will start off the day, followed by bands Western Den and Parsonsfield, which were selected by Northampton-based Signature Sounds. Western Den blends “compelling lush harmonies with ambient textures,” and Parsonsfield “trades instruments, shares microphones, and sings in tight multi-part harmonies,” according to each of the bands’ websites. More than a dozen Pioneer Valley culinary artisans, local brewers, and regional food vendors will offer a wide variety of snacks and meals. Taste original dishes from Mi Tierra, Esselon Café, or Spoleto. Visit the Wheelhouse Farm, UMass Dining, or Hadley Fry King food trucks. Or, go on the sweeter side and sample asparagus-flavored ice cream from Flayvours of Cook Farm, maple treats from the North Hadley Sugar Shack, or a specialty from the Florence Pie Bar. Other food vendors include North Hadley Congregational Church, Harmony Springs, and Dean’s Beans. In addition, a large craft-beer tent will provide tasting opportunities from popular local breweries (craft beer tasting tickets available at wgby.org/beer). The WGBY Asparagus Festival is open to the public and free with a recommended donation of $5 per person. It will be held rain or shine. Donations directly benefit public television and education efforts in the Western New England region. The event is sponsored by the Dennis Group, Greenfield Savings Bank, Whole Foods Hadley, and Alternative Recycling Systems. Media sponsors include the Daily Hampshire Gazette, MassLive, and Yankee magazine.

Girls on the Run 5K Celebration

June 4: Girls on the Run of Western MA will host its 5K celebration at Springfield College. The run will begin at 10:30 a.m., but festivities, including a group warm-up and talk by Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper, will begin at 10 a.m. Early arrival is suggested. There will also be food trucks and face painting. Girls on the Run is a physical, activity-based, positive youth-development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in grades 3-8. During the 10-week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections, and encourage community service while they prepare for an end-of-season, celebratory 5K event. Participation in the 5K event is open to the public. Girls on the Run drew 500 girls and 160 volunteer coaches to the program this season, more than 1,200 participants are expected at the 5K event. Last season’s event brought together more than 1,000 program participants, families, friends, and community members. The event will begin on the track and do two loops around the campus. The cost is $20 for adults and $12 for children, and includes an event shirt. To register, visit www.girlsontherunwesternma.org, or register on site the day of the event beginning at 8:30 a.m.

‘Meeting Your Mission Through Integrated Communications Strategies’

June 9: Bay Path University, partnering with the Human Service Forum, will host a free conference and workshop, “Hot Topics: Meeting Your Mission Through Integrated Communications Strategies,” for area nonprofit management and leadership. The session is being presented by Bay Path’s MS in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy and MS in Strategic Fundraising programs and will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Blake Student Center, where Amy Sample Ward, CEO of the Oregon-based Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), will present to attendees. The morning session and presentation by Ward will be followed by a hands-on workshop at Wright Hall that will provide building blocks for area nonprofit professionals. The program, “Community-Driven Communications,” will outline community-driven communication strategies, including the use of social media, and provide templates and plans attendees can complete and implement with their organizations. According to Sylvia de Haas-Phillips, director and assistant professor of the MS in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy and MS in Strategic Fundraising programs, the event will help nonprofits more effectively use digital, social, and mobile technologies in engaging supporters and in collaborating with other community organizations. Full participation in the breakfast presentation and afternoon workshop earns CFRE points towards certification or recertification. Those interested can register at bit.ly/2q4hHmv. Ward is a speaker and author; her latest book is Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to Implement Online Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage Your Community. In addition to serving as CEO of NTEN, she educates and supports nonprofit organizations nationwide in using integrated communications strategies to create meaningful engagement.

40 Under Forty

June 22: The 11th annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, honoring 40 of the region’s rising stars under 40 years old. An independent panel of judges has chosen the winners, and their stories are told in the April 17 issue and at BusinessWest.com. The event is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Moriarty & Primack, Health New England, the Gaudreau Group, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Six-Point Creative Works, Renew.Calm, Baystate Health, and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. Tickets cost $75. A limited number of standing-room-only tickets are available, but are expected to sell out quickly. To purchase tickets, call (413) 781-8600.

BFAIR Walk for Independence

June 24: Berkshire Family & Individual Resources (BFAIR) announced its second annual Walk for Independence. Last year, the inaugural walk along the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail saw participation of nearly 100 walkers of all ability levels, with this year already set to exceed that number. A stroll to Cheshire and back (with or any distance in between), the walk will be a fund-raising event in which BFAIR participants, community members, and sponsors can get involved in through sponsored walking, lunch, bucket raffles, and entertainment. Starting and finishing at the Adams Visitors Center, the walk is a day of fun and helps BFAIR share its mission to enrich the lives of people of all ages and abilities by providing positive life experiences and advocacy through distinctive, individualized, quality services. As a local nonprofit, BFAIR relies on public funds to provide critically needed residential, vocational, habilitative, and clinical services for adults, adolescents, and children with developmental disabilities, autism, and acquired brain injury, as well as home-care services for the elderly. The registration fee for the walk is $25 for adults and $12.50 for children 10 and younger. Registration includes a picnic lunch and ball-cap giveaway. Interested walkers can register online at thedriven.net/bfairwalk, by calling (413) 664-9382 ext. 40, e-mailing [email protected], or visiting www.bfair.org. In addition to registering, walkers may seek individual sponsors by asking family and friends to support their walk. Donations are accepted via thedriven.net/bfairwalk, or donation envelopes can be provided for walkers. Corporate sponsorships are available for the trail, mile, bronze, silver, and gold levels, ranging from $100 to $2,500, respectively. Interested businesses should contact Jennifer Civello at [email protected] for more information. Current gold-level walk sponsors include Greylock Federal Credit Union, MountainOne, and the Print Shop Williamstown.

Nomination Deadline for Healthcare Heroes

June 29: Healthcare Heroes, an exciting recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector, was launched this spring by HCN and BusinessWest. Sponsored by American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, and Renew.Calm, with additional sponsorships available, the program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and individuals providing that care. Nominations are now being sought — and will be accepted until June 29 — in the following categories: Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider; Innovation in Health/Wellness; Community Health; Emerging Leader; Collaboration in Health/Wellness; Health/Wellness Administration/Administrator; and Lifetime Achievement. The nominations will be scored by a panel of judges to be announced in the coming weeks. The winners will be chosen in July and profiled in the September issue of HCN. The guidelines to consider when nominating individuals, groups, or institutions in these various categories are available at healthcarenews.com and businesswest.com/healthcare-heroes.

Brightside Golf Classic

July 24: More than 200 golfers are expected to participate in the 37th annual Brightside Golf Classic at Springfield Country Club in West Springfield. “This event raises funds to continue Brightside’s mission to support our community’s most vulnerable children and their families,” said Allison Gearing-Kalill, vice president of Fund Development for Mercy Medical Center and its affiliated services. Two tee times are available. Breakfast and registration for the morning session begins at 7 a.m. with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Lunch and registration for the second session will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. The evening reception will be held immediately following the tournament from 5 to 8 p.m. Prices include green fees, golf cart, breakfast or lunch, a gift and swag bag, and reception featuring cocktails, food stations, auction, networking, and live entertainment. On-course food and beverages will be provided by event sponsors throughout the day. Golfers will also be eligible for a chance to win prizes and participate in raffles during the day. For more information on sponsorships, donations, and attending the event, contact Gearing-Kalill at (413) 748-9986 or [email protected] Information is also available at www.mercycares.com/brightside-golf-classic.

Departments Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]
A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts / May 30, 2017

Special Delivery

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The Post Office Food Drive for the Northampton Survival Center took place on May 13. Postal trucks delivered more than 24,000 pounds of food, with hundreds of volunteers working in two-hour shifts to unload, sort, weigh, and box up the donations. Top: volunteers Cher Willems, Debin Bruce, Elaine Findley, Tyler Lacombe-Bart, Liz Bedell, and Talia O’Shea sort boxes, cans, and glass. Bottom: volunteers Jake Greenburg, Lucas Steblea, and Reed Shimmelfing help a postal worker unload the truck.

All You Need Is Love

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Mercy Medical Center’s first annual Caritas Gala raised $358,316 to expand and enhance Mercy Behavioral Health Care’s opioid-treatment and addiction-recovery programs, including a new inpatient step-down treatment program for post-detox services. Themed “All You Need Is Love,” the inaugural gala was held at the MassMutual Center in March. John Sjoberg and Brenda Garton-Sjoberg served as honorary chairpersons of the event. Sjoberg serves as chairman of the board for Mercy and as vice chairman of the board for Trinity Health – New England. Garton-Sjoberg has served as honorary chairperson of Mercy Gift of Light. Pictured, from left: Alice Kennedy, director of Special Gifts, Fund Development, Mercy Medical Center; Dr. Mohamed Hamdani, committee member, Opioid Project; Sr. Mary Caritas; Dr. Robert Roose, vice president, Mercy Behavioral Health Care; Allison Gearing-Kalill, vice president, Fund Development, Mercy Medical Center; Sjoberg; Garton-Sjoberg; Dean Whalen, chair, Opioid Project; and Daniel Keenan, regional vice president, Advocacy and Government Relations, Trinity Health – New England.

Unified Against Bullying

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More than 650 people gathered at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on May 16 to celebrate diversity through fashion at a fund-raiser for Unify Against Bullying. Students of all shapes, sizes, styles, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and physical ability from 30 different schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut strutted their stuff at the nonprofit’s third annual Fashion Show, presented by Robert Charles Photography of East Longmeadow. Greta Salóme (top), Icelandic performer, joined the students on stage for a moving performance which portrayed an example of dealing with bullying and what it takes to rise above it. During the skit, she performed her song, “Hear Them Calling,” which she sang in the finals of Eurovision in 2016. Bottom: a runway model performs in a skit about bullying.
Photos by Robert Charles Photography

Earning and Learning

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Sharon Dufour, chief financial officer for Luso Federal Credit Union, and Kimberly Anderson, Community Relations representative for Luso, were recognized on National Financial Educators Day for their hard work and dedication to promoting financial-literacy education in Ludlow, Hampden, and Wilbraham. Nominated by Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM), Dufour and Anderson, supported by Luso Federal Credit Union and a grant from the Joseph and Anna C. Dias Family Foundation, help bring financial-literacy education to thousands of youth in the three communities. Every child in Ludlow schools and St. John the Baptist School, kindergarten through grade 8, participates in a JA program each year, as well as all the students at Thornton Burgess Middle School in Hampden and Wilbraham Middle School. Dufour and Anderson not only secure the funding for the programs, but recruit and train nearly 100 volunteers to deliver them. Dufour and Anderson also teach multiple JA programs each year. Pictured, from left: JAWM Development Director Megan Beliveau; Dufour; Anderson; and JAWM Program Manager Abigail Ames.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Health Care, the United Way of Hampshire County, and the Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College are addressing the issue of racism, as well as race-related incidents that continue to occur both locally and nationally, by offering a series of community dialogues on race in Northampton and Amherst. Community members who live or work in Hampshire County are invited to attend either of the sessions.

The two-part dialogue will be offered Friday, June 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College, Wright Hall, 5 Chapin Dr., Northampton. A second two-part session will be offered Friday, June 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road, Amherst.

Event organizers say they aim to move toward solutions rather than continue to express or analyze the problem; to reach beyond the usual boundaries, offering opportunities for new, unexpected partnerships; and to unite divided communities through a respectful, informed sharing of local racial history and its consequences for different people in today’s society.

The community dialogue is free, and lunch will be provided. Attendance is limited to 30 people, and participants must attend both Friday and Saturday. When registering, people will be asked their name, the organization they represent, if any, and their race/ethnicity. Organizers are asking about race/ethnicity as they have a goal of 50% participation from people of color.

To register, call (888) 554-4234 by Tuesday, May 30. You will receive confirmation on whether you have been selected to attend a session.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Mercy Medical Center’s first annual Caritas Gala raised $358,316 to expand and enhance Mercy Behavioral Health Care’s opioid-treatment and addiction-recovery programs, including a new inpatient step-down treatment program for post-detox services, giving individuals a better chance at long-term recovery.

Themed “All You Need Is Love,” the inaugural gala was held at the MassMutual Center in March. John Sjoberg and Brenda Garton-Sjoberg served as honorary chairpersons of the event. Sjoberg serves as chairman of the board for Mercy and as vice chairman of the board for Trinity Health – New England. Garton-Sjoberg has served as honorary chairperson of Mercy Gift of Light.

“We are extremely grateful to the Sjoberg family for their unwavering support and commitment to Mercy and the Caritas Gala. Thank you to the Gala committee members, sponsors, donors, attendees, and volunteers who contributed to the event’s success,” said Allison Gearing-Kalill, vice president of Fund Development, Mercy Medical Center. “We are overwhelmed by the tremendous support of our community; these generous contributions enable us to continue to expand, enhance, and educate about our services in order to help more individuals fight the disease of opioid addiction.”

Plans are already underway for the second annual Caritas Gala, which will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the MassMutual Center. Honorary chairpersons are Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani and Paul and Anna Mancinone.

Photos and videos from the 2017 Caritas Gala can be found at www.mercycares.com/caritasgala and on the Mercy Fund Development Facebook page. For more information about Mercy Behavioral Health Care services, visit www.mercycares.com/behavioral-health.

Features

Program Recognizes Excellence, Innovation, Service to Region

healthcareheroeslogo021517-pingThe time for talk is over; the time for action is now.

That’s action in the form of nominations for Healthcare Heroes, an exciting recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector, launched this spring by BusinessWest and HCN.

Presented by American International College with supporting sponsors Bay Path University, Elms College, and Renew.Calm, with additional sponsorships available, the program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and individuals providing that care, said Kate Campiti, associate publisher of BusinessWest and HCN.
Nominations are now being sought — and they will be accepted until June 29 — in the following categories:

Categories

(Click on each category to go to it’s nomination form)

The nominations will be scored by a panel of judges to be announced in the coming weeks. The winners will be chosen in July and will be profiled in the Sept. 4 issue of BusinessWest as well as the Sept. issue of HCN.
What follows are the guidelines to consider when nominating individuals, groups, or institutions for these various categories. All this information and applications will be available at businesswest.com/healthcare-heroes/healthcare-heroes-nomination-information-criteria/.
As you consider the award categories, please keep in mind the following guidelines in preparing your nomination:
Criteria: The criteria for the award and how the nominee fits the criteria for the chosen category;
Accomplishments: What are the nominee’s specific accomplishments, and how were they achieved;
Impact: What measurable impact the nominee has had on the population served in the health and wellness community;
Uniqueness: Is there anything else that makes the nominee exceptional or unique? Provide any other information that will aid in the judges’ consideration of the nomination; and
Eligibilty: Nominees must work in either Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, or Berkshire county, and organization nominees (which may be for-profit or not-for-profit) must have offices in Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, or Berkshire county; nominations may be self-nominated or nominated by another person; and nominees cannot be a member of the judges’ panel or a member of a judge’s immediate family.

Award Category Descriptions

(Click on each category to go to it’s nomination form)

Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider

Who is eligible: Company or organization which has shown leadership and excellent service over a sustained period of time by providing quality care, and is considered exemplary by patients and peers.

Judging Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of high quality care and continuous improvement. Successful submissions should also demonstrate an area of going above and beyond in terms of training, new programs, best practices, and staff/service user engagement.

Innovation in Health/Wellness

Who is eligible: A company, organization, individual, or group of individuals responsible for development of a new procedure, treatment, program or service that can save lives or improve quality of life. The award may be given for either new innovations or for the refining of existing procedures, treatments, programs or services.

Judging Criteria: The innovation should be expansive in scope so that it now, or could in the future, affect many people’s lives. The application should provide information on the size of the target population and the potential dollar value of the market.

Community Health

Who is eligible: Company, organization, individual, or group of individuals responsible for promoting healthy living, bringing attention to a health/wellness issue, or solving a problem through community outreach.

Judging Criteria: Impact on the community, fulfilling a need otherwise not met in the community.

Examples but are not limited to: Community education efforts, donation of facility resources for community use, outreach to at-risk youth, volunteer service projects, events and activities designed to address local community needs.

Emerging Leader

Who is eligible: Individual, early in their career, who is making a significant impact in the health/wellness industry, exemplifying true leadership, and acting as a role model for others.

Judging Criteria: The judges will be looking for an individual who is rising through the ranks and establishing themselves as future leaders in the health/wellness industry. The winner of this award will be someone who outshines their peers in many ways and helps their organization surpass the competition.

Collaboration in Health/Wellness

Who is eligible: Two or more entities which demonstrate creative and effective collaborations for the purpose of addressing significant health and wellness needs or common problems and standards in community.

Judging Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of excellence in strategic collaborations promoting cooperation, sharing of resources and expertise and mutual support with a focus on outcomes, value and initiatives. Effective elimination of organizational silos and promotion of more holistic approaches to care and service.

Health/Wellness Administration/Administrator

Who is eligible: Individual, or group of individuals, whose performance, care and leadership is considered exemplary by patients and peers.

Judging Criteria: Increased efficiency in the delivery of services, increased employee morale, improved profitability.

Lifetime Achievement

Who is eligible: Individual who has dedicated their career to improving the quality and delivery of healthcare in the Western Mass. community. This person should have at least 20 years in the health/wellness field.

Judging Criteria: A lifetime career in the health care field, making an impact through care, either by the number of people affected or the scope of his/her contributions, dedication to his/her field.

Submitting multiple nominations does not enhance your chances of winning.

Agenda Departments

‘Home Care and Financing Strategies’

May 16: Monson Savings Bank will host a complimentary workshop titled “Home Care and Financing Strategies: A Workshop for Families and Caregivers,” featuring Paul Hillsburg, president and owner of Amada Senior Care of Western & Central Massachusetts, and Nancy Simms, sales vice president, Long Term Care for Highland Capital Brokerage. Finding the right senior care for you or a loved one can be overwhelming and time-consuming. This event is designed to help people learn and understand what options there are for care and how to pay for it. Hillsburg and Simms both have extensive backgrounds in long-term healthcare and understand how daunting the process can be. This workshop will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Monson Savings Bank Corporate, 107 Main St., Monson. It is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. “So many people are concerned about senior care these days,” said Steve Lowell, president of Monson Savings Bank. “The options are confusing, and people want to know how they can help their loved ones live as independently as possible. We want people to know that the event is open to the public, not just our customers.” Seating is limited. Those interested may call Anna Calvanese at (413) 267-1221 or e-mail [email protected] to RSVP.

Run for River Valley

May 20: River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC), an affiliate of Holyoke Medical Center and member of Valley Health Systems, will hold its sixth annual Run for River Valley fund-raiser on Saturday, May 20. Funds raised will support RVCC in providing critical behavioral-health and other supportive services to individuals, families, and groups throughout the Pioneer Valley. “Research shows that exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. This event helps raise funds for our programs, but it also promotes the importance of exercise and wellness for everyone in our community,” said Angela Lozano Callahan, RVCC’s Marketing and Development specialist. The 5K run and 1.5-mile walk will take place at Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at Elks Lodge 902, 250 Whitney Ave., and the race begins at 9:30 a.m. An awards ceremony will be held at the Elks Lodge following the race. The registration fee is $25 ($10 for children 12 and under). Adults who pre-register will save $5, and the first 100 registrants will receive a free race T-shirt. To register online, visit accuspec-racing.com or download a registration form at rvcc-inc.org. The deadline for mail-in registration is Saturday, May 13, with online registration accepted until Wednesday, May 17. Sponsors of the 2017 Run for River Valley include PeoplesBank, Palmer Paving Corp., Holyoke Gas and Electric, Hamel’s Catering, Laurel Pure, and Gallagher Real Estate. For additional information, visit www.rvcc-inc.org or contact Angela Callahan at (413) 841-3546 or [email protected].

‘An Afternoon with Tom Ahern’

June 1: Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation invites regional nonprofit staff to attend “An Afternoon with Tom Ahern,” a two-part workshop from 1 to 4 p.m. at Jane Iredale Cosmetics, 50 Church St., Great Barrington. Back by popular demand, Ahern will present two back-to-back workshops: “The Big (little) Diff: Writing for Online Readers,” a discussion of best practices in writing for web, e-mail, and social-media platforms; and “Writing a Powerful Case for Support,” which will review effective fund-raising methods. The New York Times calls Ahern “one of the country’s most sought-after creators of fund-raising messages.” This event is part of Berkshire Taconic’s popular annual Seminars in Nonprofit Excellence series. Tickets are $40 per person, and light food and beverages will be provided. To register, visit www.berkshiretaconic.org/ahern.

Discussions about Race

June 2-3, 9-10: Cooley Dickinson Health Care, the United Way of Hampshire County, and the Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College are addressing the issue of racism, as well as race-related incidents that continue to occur both locally and nationally, by offering a series of community dialogues on race in Northampton and Amherst. Community members who live or work in Hampshire County are invited to attend either of the sessions. The two-part dialogue will be offered Friday, June 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College, Wright Hall, 5 Chapin Dr., Northampton. A second two-part session will be offered Friday, June 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road, Amherst. Event organizers say they aim to move toward solutions rather than continue to express or analyze the problem; to reach beyond the usual boundaries, offering opportunities for new, unexpected partnerships; and to unite divided communities through a respectful, informed sharing of local racial history and its consequences for different people in today’s society. The community dialogue is free, and lunch will be provided. Attendance is limited to 30 people, and participants must attend both Friday and Saturday. When registering, people will be asked their name, the organization they represent, if any, and their race/ethnicity. Organizers are asking about race/ethnicity as they have a goal of 50% participation from people of color. To register, call (888) 554-4234 by Tuesday, May 30. You will receive confirmation on whether you have been selected to attend a session.

WGBY Asparagus Festival

June 3: The WGBY Asparagus Festival returns to the Hadley Town Common from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to once again celebrate the region’s legacy of agriculture and community. The family-friendly, outdoor event features more than 90 local food, crafts, and agricultural vendors at a Farmers’ & Makers’ Market. In addition, there will be entertainment displays, kids’ games, and a live visit from PBS Kids character Curious George. A large “Rooted in the Valley” stage will feature popular performers. Family entertainer Tyler Conroy will start off the day, followed by bands Western Den and Parsonsfield, which were selected by Northampton-based Signature Sounds. Western Den blends “compelling lush harmonies with ambient textures,” and Parsonsfield “trades instruments, shares microphones, and sings in tight multi-part harmonies,” according to each of the bands’ websites. “As a public television station, our WGBY Asparagus Festival is so rewarding to us because it not only raises funds for local educational programs and services, but also helps fulfill our mission of connecting Western New England,” said Lynn Page, WGBY’s interim general manager. “Seeing so many community partners and so many neighbors from around the region, you really leave the event feeling good, feeling like you’re a part of the community.” Attendees will leave the event feeling well-fed, too. More than a dozen Pioneer Valley culinary artisans, local brewers, and regional food vendors will offer a wide variety of snacks and meals. Taste original dishes from Mi Tierra, Esselon Café, or Spoleto. Visit the Wheelhouse Farm, UMass Dining, or Hadley Fry King food trucks. Or, go on the sweeter side and sample asparagus-flavored ice cream from Flayvours of Cook Farm, maple treats from the North Hadley Sugar Shack, or a specialty from the Florence Pie Bar. Other food vendors include North Hadley Congregational Church, Harmony Springs, and Dean’s Beans. In addition, a large craft-beer tent will provide tasting opportunities from popular local breweries (craft beer tasting tickets available at wgby.org/beer). The WGBY Asparagus Festival is open to the public and free with a recommended donation of $5 per person. It will be held rain or shine. Donations directly benefit public television and education efforts in the Western New England region. The event is sponsored by the Dennis Group, Greenfield Savings Bank, Whole Foods Hadley, and Alternative Recycling Systems. Media sponsors include the Daily Hampshire Gazette, MassLive, and Yankee magazine.

40 Under Forty

June 22: The 11th annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, honoring 40 of the region’s rising stars under 40 years old. An independent panel of judges has chosen the winners, and their stories are told in the April 17 issue and at businesswest.com. The event is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Baystate Health, Moriarty & Primack, Health New England, the Gaudreau Group, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Six-Point Creative Works, Renew.Calm, and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. Tickets cost $75. A limited number of tables are available, and some individual and standing-room-only tickets are also available, but are expected to sell out quickly. To purchase tickets, call (413) 781-8600.

BFAIR Walk for Independence

June 24: Berkshire Family & Individual Resources (BFAIR) announced its second annual Walk for Independence. Last year, the inaugural walk along the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail saw participation of nearly 100 walkers of all ability levels, with this year already set to exceed that number. A stroll to Cheshire and back (with or any distance in between), the walk will be a fund-raising event in which BFAIR participants, community members, and sponsors can get involved in through sponsored walking, lunch, bucket raffles, and entertainment. Starting and finishing at the Adams Visitors Center, the walk is a day of fun and helps BFAIR share its mission to enrich the lives of people of all ages and abilities by providing positive life experiences and advocacy through distinctive, individualized, quality services. As a local nonprofit, BFAIR relies on public funds to provide critically needed residential, vocational, habilitative, and clinical services for adults, adolescents, and children with developmental disabilities, autism, and acquired brain injury, as well as home-care services for the elderly. The registration fee for the walk is $25 for adults and $12.50 for children 10 and younger. Registration includes a picnic lunch and ball-cap giveaway. Interested walkers can register online at thedriven.net/bfairwalk, by calling (413) 664-9382 ext. 40, e-mailing [email protected], or visiting www.bfair.org. In addition to registering, walkers may seek individual sponsors by asking family and friends to support their walk. Donations are accepted via thedriven.net/bfairwalk, or donation envelopes can be provided for walkers. Corporate sponsorships are available for the trail, mile, bronze, silver, and gold levels, ranging from $100 to $2,500, respectively. Interested businesses should contact Jennifer Civello at [email protected] for more information. Current gold-level walk sponsors include Greylock Federal Credit Union, MountainOne, and the Print Shop Williamstown.

Nomination Deadline for Healthcare Heroes

June 29: Healthcare Heroes, an exciting recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector, was launched this spring by BusinessWest and HCN. Sponsored by American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, and Renew.Calm, with additional sponsorships available, the program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and individuals providing that care. Nominations are now being sought — and will be accepted until June 29 — in the following categories: Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider; Innovation in Health/Wellness; Community Health; Emerging Leader; Collaboration in Health/Wellness; Health/Wellness Administration/Administrator; and Lifetime Achievement. The nominations will be scored by a panel of judges to be announced in the coming weeks. The winners will be chosen in July and profiled in the Sept. 4 issue of BusinessWest as well as the Sept. issue of HCN. The guidelines to consider when nominating individuals, groups, or institutions in these various categories are available HERE.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) announced the hiring of Christopher Scott as the dean of the School of Health & Patient Simulation.

Scott had been the interim dean since the retirement of Michael Foss in 2016. His previous positions at STCC include assistant dean for the School of Health & Patient Simulation and director of Clinical Education and SIMS Medical Center.

“Chris Scott is the perfect choice. He has demonstrated that he will uphold the standards of excellence for our programs that have made our graduates so sought-after by employers, while making sure STCC remains on the forefront of innovative healthcare education,” said Dr. Arlene Rodriguez, vice president of Academic Affairs at STCC. “He’s truly a visionary leader.”

Scott will lead a school that offers the most competitive programs at STCC and is home to the Northeast’s largest patient-simulation training facility. The SIMS Medical Center at STCC provides a clinical setting to train students as well as healthcare providers.

Scott played a key role in expanding the facility when he was hired as director in 2010. At the time, the center included 18 patient simulators and five rooms and provided 3,000 simulation experiences each year. Today, there are 52 simulators and 12 rooms, or simulation areas, and more than 20,000 simulation experiences.

As dean, he is responsible for the overall leadership of the school as well as for the daily and long-term operation of all the credit and non-credit health programs. About 800 students are enrolled in credit and non-credit programs. The school includes more than 100 full-time and part-time faculty and staff.

Scott sees his mission as helping to meet the community’s health care needs and ensuring access to the degree and certificate programs, which include cosmetology, dental assistant, dental hygiene, diagnostic medical imaging, interdisciplinary health studies, medical assistant, medical laboratory technician, nursing, rehabilitation therapies, respiratory care, and surgical technology.

“We want to make sure that our community understands what health programs are offered at STCC, and we want to ensure that we set our community up for success to enroll and graduate from our health programs,” Scott said. “We’re really about community engagement.”

Scott, who holds a master’s degree in health education and curriculum development from Springfield College, is currently is completing his doctorate of education in higher education administration from Northeastern University in Boston. A certified healthcare-simulation educator, Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in emergency medical services management from Springfield College.