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The BMC Brief

September 16, 2011 Volume 1, Issue 9

Longtime Employees Offer Advice to Younger Generation

The key to any organization’s success is its people and the mix of knowledge, expertise and experience they bring to their workplace.

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On Sept. 20, BMC will recognize that success at its annual Employee Recognition event, held on the Moakley Green from 4-5:30 p.m. The hospital will honor the dedication and commitment of 737 employees who have served five, 10, 15 and 20-plus years.

In honor of this event, BMC Brief staff asked longtime employees the key to their success and advice they have to offer to the millennial generation of staff. Below are their reflections.

Try to learn something new every day. I still am!
Joe App, RN
Menino Pavilion OR
30 years

Work together, be a team player and enjoy one another.
Kathy O’Donnell, RN
Newton Pavilion SICU
35 years

Take advantage of all educational opportunities. Be patient, respectful and smile a lot. Do the best you can at whatever you do. Accept change and everything will be all right.
Eldra Cummins, Unit Coordinator
5W ICU, Menino Pavilion
35 years

Be pleasant to your co-workers, take time to improve your skills and stay at your job – don’t quit!
Janice Robbins, Executive Assistant to the Chair
Family Medicine
35 years

It has always been important to me to really like what I do and to continue learning new things. Look at what you do as a profession, and not just a job.
Maxine Kessler, Director, Medical Affairs and Graduate Medical Education
Medical Staff Affairs
40 years

Treat everyone - patients, families and co-workers - with dignity and respect. Do not let yourself be pulled into office gossip and remember that nobody knows everything, so always ask for help or advice when you need it.
Carole Anderson, Manager, Patient Financial Services
40 years

Stick with things, and when opportunities arise, take them. Also take any classes offered. They can broaden your horizon, inside and outside the workplace.
Jacqueline Fuller, Managed Care Services Representative
Patient Ambulatory Services
40 years

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iPads Help Deliver Efficient Patient Care

In a sign of the technology times, BMC physicians are using their personal iPads to access two clinical applications that are part of a patient’s electronic medical record, SCM and Logician. Physicians are able to review a patient’s vitals and make, review and approve care notes on an iPad while at the patient’s bedside or during an outpatient medical appointment.

Use of the lightweight tablet computers began in April, when Information Technology Services (ITS) piloted the technology with 40 physicians.


“We piloted the iPads because we recognized that mobile technology is moving forward and we wanted to harness it for patient care,” says Dan Newman, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer. “It’s a really nice way to enhance the quality and improve the efficiency of care.”

For Jason Pittman, MD, PhD, Orthopaedics, the iPad has been a timesaver.

“It’s a quick way to pull up patient notes,” says Pittman. “I can do it from home or at the hospital, which is really convenient.”

Physicians also can connect to their BMC email and calendar, notes Newman, and all information is accessed over a secure connection. If an iPad is lost or stolen, information is impossible to access, thanks to security measures implemented by ITS.

ITS leaders say the next step is to make more Citrix applications accessible via the tablets. BMC staff who own iPads also may access hospital systems, including email and calendars.

“We watch technology trends for those that can best be applied to our environment,” says Meg Aranow, Chief Information Officer and Vice President, ITS. “Opening the workplace to personal devices is one that looked like a smart play, and early feedback has confirmed that.”

Learn how to use iPads at BMC.

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Physician Authors Best Practices for Treating Victims of Sexual Assault

Judith Linden, MD, Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine, recently authored an article on the treatment of adult victims of sexual assault in an acute care setting, which appeared in the Sept. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The article utilizes a clinical vignette to illustrate evaluation and treatment protocols and was written to educate primary care and emergency physicians about the best practice models of treating individuals presenting with sexual assault.

Judith Linden, MD
Judith Linden, MD 

Linden has served as a certified sexual assault examiner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for more than 10 years. She conducted an extensive analysis and assessment of literature on providing care to sexual assault victims. By incorporating national guidelines, as well as areas of controversy in the field, Linden presents a comprehensive educational tool that practitioners can reference in order to provide state-of-the-art care to victims of sexual assault.

“Caring for a victim of sexual assault is truly complex and can involve a host of psychological, medical and legal issues,” says Linden. “I hope that this article will help demystify and clarify the issues for emergency and primary care practitioners and help standardize care models so that we can deliver optimal care to victims of sexual assault.”

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What Do You Do, TranSComm?

What does TranSComm do?
TranSComm (Transportation Solutions for Commuters, Inc.) coordinates the transportation needs of staff and students of Boston Medical Center, Boston University Medical Campus and Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program. It offers environmentally-friendly programs that decrease traffic congestion and increase air quality for employees, students, patients, visitors and community members. The services include personalized commuter assistance, carpools, shuttle buses, MBTA passes, Zipcars, bikes and walking tours.

TranSComm staff
TranSComm staff, left to right:
Jen Covinp, Lisa Zhang and Maureen Flaherty

What are the walking tours?
The tours are guided lunchtime walks for staff and students that are arranged by TranSComm in collaboration with WalkBoston. We walk for our health and to learn about the rich history of the surrounding neighborhoods. The walks are 60 minutes, rain or shine, and two of the most popular are the Discover Roxbury and Medical History walks. The walks are led by local residents who offer wonderful insight into their communities and the history behind them. The walks have become so popular, more have been added through the end of September. Learn more about TranSComm.

Do you know a department that should be profiled? Send your suggestions to communications@bmc.org.

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In Their Words

Patients share their BMC experience

I am writing to thank the nursing staff for the care they provided to me, my unborn child and my family during a 30-day hospital stay in the anti-partum unit during February and March. The nurses made an extremely scary situation bearable. I unfortunately developed shortened cervix in the second trimester of my pregnancy and thus was ordered on complete bed rest and under close supervision. I am a medical provider and that turned out to be a bad thing. I imagined every negative scenario, and the amount of anxiety was immeasurable. The nurses were extremely caring and patient.

Letter writing 

Cathy on the dayshift and Mary on the nightshift were my rocks. These ladies went above and beyond to help me. Cathy took the time out of her busy schedule (whether I was her patient or not) to teach me how to crochet in order to pass the time. Maria is probably one of the most comforting and reassuring nurses I have ever met. Just her presence makes me feel reassured.

Natalia’s presence in the room to make sure I was ok meant the world to me. As a nurse manager, Natalia went above and beyond, and she saw me through the toughest time of my life. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to her. When things turned sour for me, Natalia was in the intensive care unit, and my family and I owe her and her staff a tremendous debt of gratitude. The tagline for BMC is exceptional care without exception and these staff members are truly exceptional. Thank you and may God continue to bless you.

It is truly an honor knowing we are in the same profession. Maria, Cathy, Angela, Natalia and many more: you ladies rock!

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News of Note

Physicians join BUAP
Four primary care physicians from Neponset Valley Health Care Associates have joined the Boston University Affiliated Physicians (BUAP). They are Ralph Bevivino, MD, Chris Perkins, MD, and Louis Silvagnoli, MD, who will practice out of Norwood, Mass., and Joseph Horan, MD, who will practice out of Foxboro, Mass.

Samet and Saitz named co-editors of journal
Jeffrey Samet, MD, MPH, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, of the Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, have been named editors in chief of the journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice. The journal, with 34,000 subscribers, covers clinically relevant research across a wide spectrum of substance abuse and addictive behavior.

Richard Saitz, MD, MPH
Richard Saitz, MD, MPH

Saitz, Lebelle to speak at Recovery Day Policy Forum
Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, Director, Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, and Colleen LaBelle, RN, Director, Office-Based Opiod Treatment (OBOT) program, will participate in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services’ Recovery Day Policy Forum on Sept. 26. Saitz will give the keynote address at the eighth annual forum that focuses on the changing landscape of health care. LaBelle will serve as one of two panelists at the event.

Barsoum named Director of Interpreter Services
Gerard Barsoum has been named Director of Interpreter Services. In this position, he will oversee 50 interpreters who offer services in 18 languages. Barsoum, who is multilingual, previously held a leadership position within BMC’s Information Technology Services (ITS).

Verville named Senior Director of Revenue Integrity
Rachel Verville has been named Senior Director of Revenue Integrity. In this role, she is responsible for the development of standards to ensure the integrity of both professional and facility revenue charge capture, as well as all aspects of the charge description master and fee schedule formulation, review and maintenance for optimal revenue generation and compliance with third-party payer requirements. Verville previously served as Director of Revenue Integrity at Partners HealthCare.

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Awards and Accolades

Gold Plus Award

BMC recently received the Gold Plus Award for its delivery of stroke care by the Stroke Collaborative Reaching for Excellence (SCORE), a voluntary statewide quality improvement collaborative administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The Gold Plus Award acknowledges hospitals for their compliance with the quality measures within the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Program. BMC received the award for its dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, screening. The hospital is rated second in the state for its advanced screening of stroke patients and third for compliance with the administering the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stroke Scale to all stroke patients on admission.

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