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Two Baystate Physicians Honored for Excellence in Emergency Care

SPRINGFIELD — Two Baystate Medical Center physicians were honored recently by the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians (MACEP) for advancing excellence in emergency care.

Dr. Sunny Mani Shukla received the Emergency Medicine Fellow of the Year award, and Dr. Lauren Westafer received the Emergency Medicine Resident of the Year award, during MACEP’s recent annual meeting.

The Emergency Medicine Resident and Fellow of the Year awards recognize an outstanding emergency-medicine resident and emergency-medicine fellow in Massachusetts, whose combination of clinical promise, leadership, ability to think outside the box, and commitment to patients and emergency medicine separate them from others.

Westafer earned her doctor of osteopathic medicine and master of public health degrees from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Blogging on emergency medicine even before her residency, today she co-hosts an educational podcast and frequently tweets and blogs about important and interesting articles, keeping her colleagues up to date on the latest in emergency medicine.

Westafer regularly takes on additional tasks as part of her residency, including providing statistical mini-lectures to colleagues. An adjunct assistant professor at Western New England University College of Pharmacy, she lectures pharmacy students preparing to enter the field of medicine. She has also been recognized as a Knowledge to Action Fellow by the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Assoc. (EMRA) and the New York Academy of Medicine.

“Dr. Westafer is an incredibly talented physician with the potential to contribute greatly to academic emergency medicine. Her ability to review the current literature and distill it into an easily digestible format is incredibly valuable and will make her a strong contributor in the future,” said Dr. Niels Rathlev, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Baystate.

Shukla, who received his medical degree from Manipal University in Karnataka, India, completed a residency in emergency medicine at Baystate. He participated in MACEP’s Leadership & Advocacy Fellowship Program in 2014, and recently designed the Baystate Emergency Department’s Administrative Fellowship.

He was also selected by the EMRA as one of 10 residents nationwide to receive an EDDA scholarship, which provides financial assistance to resident leaders to attend the Emergency Department Directors Academy, designed to help them develop leadership skills that will advance their careers, their local emergency departments, and the specialty of emergency medicine.

Shukla, who provides emergency care at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, was also the second-place winner in the Emergency Medicine Physicians’ emp.com third annual Video Challenge, allowing residents to show off their residency program in a creative way. As secretary/newsletter editor for the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Emergency Medicine Practice Management and Health Policy Section, he also uses his talents to mentor residents in writing scholarly articles.

“Dr. Shukla has tremendous potential as a future leader in healthcare,” Rathlev said. “He has a particular interest in administrative matters and is currently obtaining his MBA at UMass Amherst. He is an active contributor to important patient-care and safety initiatives at Baystate Health.”

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