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Chair's Corner

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March 31, 2022

Colleagues and fellow department members,

I hope this message finds you all well as spring approaches. Longer days and warmer weather are finally on the horizon!  

March 30 is National Doctors Day. Established in 1933, this day is used to recognize the incredible work of physicians and their contributions to the communities they live in. I would like to thank everyone who is recognized on this day for their outstanding performance and courage, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your passion and leadership are an integral part of our community and we are proud to call you our colleagues.

I am excited to announce new roles and promotions throughout the department.  Please join me in congratulating Zaida Ramirez-Ortiz, Ph.D., Nancy Anoruo, M.D., Mary Flynn, M.D., and Soroosh Kiani M.D. on their new roles. In addition, Mary O’Brien, M.D., and Mitchell Gitkind, M.D. have been promoted to associate professors.

Next month, we will be holding the Howe Lecture Series titled, “Hospital at Home, Considering the New Interface of Medicine, Technology, Humanity and Ethics in The Hospital at Home Care Model,” on April 7, 2022 at noon. This endowed lecture was established in memory of Phyllis M. Howe and is a forum to identify and discuss current dilemmas in moral and ethical medical decision making. This lecture series will feature panelists David Clive, M.D., Taki Michaelidis, M.D., M.B.A., Jessica Boatman, M.D., and Eric Thibodeau, B.S.N, R.N.

We have a lot of great accomplishments this month from our department. Lara Kovell, M.D. and her team, were awarded a PCORI grant titled, “Community-based, family-center, trauma-informed approach to timely detection and management of early postpartum hypertension.” Additionally, Megan Orzalli, Ph.D. was recently awarded funding from the Smith Family Awards Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research to study, “The role of tonic interferon signaling in cutaneous antiviral defense.” Finally, Lenka Drahoradova, N.P. and the Division of Geriatric Medicine, were recently awarded “Level 2 Status” as an Age-Friendly Health System–Committed to Care Excellence by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The Geriatric Medicine team has been recognized by the IHI as a leader in the commitment to the care of older adults, guided by age-friendly practices across the four M’s: What Matters,Medication, Mentation and Mobility. Congratulations to all!

Kevin Donahue, M.D. Director of Electrophysiology Research and the Cardiovascular Basic/Translational Science Group recently published his work titled, “Heterogeneous repolarization creates ventricular tachycardia circuits in healed myocardial infarction scar” in Nature Communications. In addition, Apurv Soni, M.D., Honghuang Lin, Ph.D., and Laura Gibson, M.D. recently had their siteless digital trial examining the performance of COVID tests in patients infected with the Omicron variant highlighted by the New York Times, Boston Globe, TheHill.com, and WCVB-TV. Lastly, be sure to check out this month’s Chair’s Spotlight , where we are featuring the work of Vandana Nagpal, M.D. and her efforts leading the Wellness Program for the UMass Internal Medicine Residency. This program focuses on providing resources for residents and addressing the challenges that working in the prolonged pandemic has created.

More great work is yet to come, and I look forward to our continued success as we progress further into the year. I express my deepest thanks for all your hard work and dedication!

Sincerely,
Dave

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