In the News
November 2, 2018 - UMassMed NowDavid Ayers, Patricia Franklin highlight Value of Patient-reported Outcomes Registries in NEJM Catalyst
A new analysis by UMass Medical School orthopedic outcomes researcher Patricia Franklin, MD, MBA, MPH, and orthopedic surgeon David Ayers, MD, affirms the value of patient-reported outcomes registries. Published in the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst on Oct.
October 30, 2018 - Medical Press
Every day, as the opioid epidemic continues to grip the country, more than 115 people in the United States die from overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study by Gerardo Gonzalez, MD, associate professor of psychiatry, examines how one health care system may have missed opportunities to prevent overdose deaths, providing a valuable analysis that may give key insight for all providers to help stem the number of fatal overdoses. The findings were published online on Oct. 24 in Psychiatric Services.
October 29, 2018 - Worcester Business Journal
Massachusetts residents will soon go to the polls to consider Question 1, a ballot measure mandating specific nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in all hospitals. Before deciding, voters should follow the path of any good business: determine the financial investment and the return on that investment. A new report helps us do that.
The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission is an independent state agency created to monitor growth of healthcare costs. It analyzed Question 1 to understand its impact on costs. It issued a report of its findings Oct. 3.
October 25, 2018 - Boston Herald
Eighteen-year-old Ryan Doyle of Wilbraham got the surprise of a lifetime when he found out he would be attending a World Series game in a private suite at Fenway Park.
Doyle, who was diagnosed with bone cancer last year, has been battling the disease at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center. Upon finishing a cycle of chemotherapy and being discharged from the hospital Tuesday, Doyle was presented with four tickets to last night’s game.
October 24, 2018 - Telegram & Gazette
A cancer patient being treated at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center will be in the stands at Fenway Park Wednesday night for Game 2 of the World Series. On his discharge from the hospital, oncology patient Ryan Doyle of Wilbraham received four tickets to the game, courtesy of Walsh Brothers Construction of Boston. Ryan, who says his favorite player is catcher Sandy Leon, plans to attend Springfield College in the spring.
October 16, 2018 - Telegram & Gazette
On Nov. 6, Massachusetts voters face a decision on Question 1, a ballot question that would regulate the ratio of nurses to patients in health care facilities.
After watching dueling TV advertisements on this question — one of three on the ballet — I have some questions of my own: What is Question 1? What is the problem Question 1 is designed to solve? What is the best solution to the problem? Is a “yes” vote the right solution?
October 16, 2018 - Worcester Business Journal
Labor-versus-management fights usually take place in a meeting room, or maybe on the picket lines. This one will take place at the polls.
Massachusetts voters will go to the ballot Nov. 6 to decide whether limits should be placed on how many patients are assigned to a registered nurse at a hospital or other care facility.
October 15, 2018 - Worcester Business Journal
On Nov. 6, Massachusetts voters will be tasked with deciding three ballot questions, but the one with the most reverberating impact on the Central Massachusetts economy is – by far – Question 1.
If passed, this ballot initiative would mandate healthcare providers meet certain required nurse-to-patient ratios in a complex system based on the situation: an emergency room nurse can only care for one critical patient at a time or five non-critical patients; in maternity, one active labor patients at a time or six postpartum, etc., etc.
October 15, 2018 - Worcester Business Journal
A year ago, UMass Memorial Health Care made a belated leap into using electronic patient records, capping off a four-year planning period and a $650-million investment.
"It took years of planning just to get to the point of last October," Mark Sugrue, associate chief nursing officer for the Worcester-based health network.
More than a year after its Oct. 1, 2017 rollout, however, UMass officials says they have seen the benefit of such a wide-scale investment at its hospitals and in physicians' offices.
October 12, 2018 - GoLocal Worcester
UMass Memorial Healthcare announced that they are opposed to mandated nurse staffing ratios, citing the impacts the requirements would have on their ability to provide emergency care to patients.
The requirements are slated to be Question 1 on the ballot this November.
October 2, 2018 - Boston Globe
Dr. Sundeep Shukla expected his patient would be upset to learn that he was stuck in the emergency room. The man was waiting for a bed in a psychiatric facility, but they were all full. But Shukla did not predict what happened next.
The patient leapt off his gurney and punched Shukla, hard, in the right jaw. Pain shot down his neck. He had little time to pause: Another ambulance arrived, and the doctor rushed off to treat a stroke patient.
September 28, 2018 - Outpatient SurgeryThe platform lets surgeons toggle between white light and narrow band imaging, which uses filtered light to enhance the visibility of vascular structures.
September 26, 2018 - Worcester Business Journal
UMass Memorial Health Care has created an opioid task force to collect data on opioid use, establish priorities for patient care initiatives and catalog efforts to prevent and treat opioid use.
The new board, which was announced by UMass Memorial on Sept. 21, will be led by Dr. Kavita Babu, a toxicologist and emergency medicine physician at the hospital. Babu, who is also an associate professor at the UMass Medical School, was named the hospital's chief opioid officer.
September 22, 2018 - Telegram & Gazette
When Massachusetts voters cast their ballots in November, they’ll be asked to decide on a long-running battle between hospitals and unionized nurses.
In short, should there be legal limits on the number of patients assigned to hospital nurses?
On one side are hospital administrators and a long list of medical organizations that say government-imposed ratios will drive up medical expenses, possibly by more than $1 billion, and take away the flexibility hospitals need to run their operations.
September 20, 2018 - Telegram & Gazette
UMass Memorial Health Care, the region’s largest health care system, announced the appointment of Dr. Kavita M. Babu as its first chief opioid officer at a launch of a systemwide Opioid Crisis Task Force Thursday evening.
“With 14,000 people and 100 different practice sites, we have a role to play,” said Dr. Eric W. Dickson, president and CEO, in comments before the formal announcement at the Beechwood Hotel.
September 16, 2018 - Telegram & GazetteA team of trauma surgeons from UMass Memorial Medical Center has received a financial boost in their efforts to train teachers and students in high schools around Central Massachusetts in a lifesavingtechnique that is gaining national prominence.
September 12, 2018 - Telegram & Gazette
One hundred years ago this month, what’s considered the deadliest disease outbreak in human history, the influenza pandemic of 1918, roared into Central Massachusetts.
The pandemic came in three waves and lasted 15 months. The second wave, which took off in Massachusetts in September, when a massive outbreak occurred at Fort Devens, was the worst.
Overall, the “Spanish flu,” as it was termed, caused more deaths than AIDS did in 40 years or the bubonic plague did in a century, according to historian John M. Barry, who wrote the book, “The Great Influenza.”
September 11, 2018 - Telegram & Gazette
A highly influential but sometimes controversial national panel of health experts has drafted a new guideline that says women older than 30 can forgo a Pap smear test to detect cervical cancer cells and depend on other testing to keep them safe.
Not so fast, however, say local medical experts in gynecology who are looking for guidance beyond the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation that women age 30 to 65 can undergo testing for human papillomavirus instead of the Pap smear, which has been around for more than 50 years.
September 9, 2018 - Telegram & Gazette
Prior to beginning his job as UMass Memorial Health Care’s vice president of government and community relations, James Leary held that title for nine years at UMass Medical School.
He served as a state representative for the 14th Worcester District from 2000-2007. Other work experience includes acting as senior adviser to former Gov. Deval Patrick, chief of staff to then Lt. Gov. Timothy Murphy, and as an assistant district attorney as well as several years in private practice.
September 8, 2018 - Telegram & Gazette
Gavin Trottier, 3, tries on the helmet of race car driver Bryan Rogers at UMass Memorial Medical Center on Wednesday. The New England Race Car Association’s Sports Car Club of America Foundation was on the hospital campus to cheer up kids from the Children’s Medical Center.