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Press Releases 2007

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Awarded Allergan Horizon Grants

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Nov. 19, 2007) — Allergan has awarded 2008 Horizon Grants to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) Cornea and Glaucoma Services. The award recipients were announced at the 2007 AAO annual meeting in New Orleans.

The Horizon Grants awarded to MEEI, totaling $80,000, were created by Allergan to support fellowship programs in ophthalmology at academic medical institutions. An independent advisory committee selects recipients, who are chosen based on the strength of the fellowship program, and its clinical and research plan, among other criteria. Eligible programs are those which conduct clinical research in the diagnosis or pharmacological treatment of glaucoma, corneal and retinal diseases.

“By supporting its fellowships, these grants will assist MEEI’s Cornea and Glaucoma services to continue the important research that will ultimately lead to better treatment for patients diagnosed with potentially blinding diseases,” said Joan W. Miller, Chief of Ophthalmology at MEEI and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Appoints Prabhakar Ajith as Payroll Supervisor

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Nov. 8, 2007) - The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) recently appointed Prabhakar Ajith, a resident of Westwood, Mass., to the position of Payroll Supervisor. Mr. Ajith previously worked at Faulkner Hospital as Accounts Payable and Payroll Supervisor.

Mr. Ajith obtained a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Kerala University, as well as a graduate degree in accounting from Bangalore University in India. Mr. Ajith is an active member of the American Payroll Association. He completed classes in his field as part of ongoing professional development. Mr. Ajith currently is working towards a master’s degree in accounting and financial management.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Appoints Ashley Ditta as Security Department Manager

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Nov. 8, 2007) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) has recently appointed Ashley Ditta, a resident of Jamaica Plain, Mass., to the position of Security Department Manager. Prior to joining MEEI, Ms. Ditta worked for the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance as a Fraud Investigator for the Program Integrity Department.

Ms. Ditta received a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. She worked as an investigative intern in the Special Investigations Unit within the Department of Police and Security at Massachusetts General Hospital. Ms. Ditta has professional affiliations with the American Society for Industrial Security as well as organizational affiliations with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology.

 

Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary Physician to Receive Academy’s Highest Honor, Be Honored with Named HMS Professorship

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Nov. 7, 2007) – Claes H. Dohlman, M.D., Harvard Medical School Professor of Ophthalmology and cornea surgeon at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), will receive the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s most prestigious award, the Laureate Recognition Award, at the Academy’s annual meeting held this weekend in New Orleans. In addition, a new Harvard Medical School professorship named in his honor will be announced at a special reception at the meeting.

“I have known and worked closely with Claes Dohlman for more than 40 years and can think of no one who has done more to improve eye care, prevent blindness and restore sight internationally,” said Deborah Pavan Langston, M.D., MEEI physician and Harvard Medical School Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, who nominated Dr. Dohlman for the Laureate Award.

Dr. Dohlman’s surgical innovations in keratoplasty and keratoprosthesis have made him internationally recognized as the “father” of modern corneal science.

“In addition to his clinical contributions to the field, Dr. Dohlman has trained and mentored more leaders in ophthalmology than any other individual I can name,” said Joan W. Miller, Chief of Ophthalmology at MEEI and Chair of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. “The awards he has received in recent years, and the contributions to the Professorship named in his honor, are testaments to this history.”

Born in Uppsala, Sweden, Dr. Dohlman received his schooling in Lund, receiving his medical degree in 1950 and his ophthalmology training in Lund under Professor Sven Larsson. He was an ophthalmology fellow in the United States from 1952 to 1954, working under Dr. Jonas Friedenwald, at the Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and at the Retina Foundation in Boston, supervised by Drs. Endre Balazs and Charles Schepens. Dr. Dohlman continued his interest in biochemistry of the cornea, and he finished his doctorate in biochemistry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. In 1958 he received an invitation to come to Boston and work at what was then the Retina Foundation (now Schepens Eye Research Institute), as well as at the MEEI and Harvard Medical School.

After his arrival in Boston, Dr. Dohlman started the Cornea Service at MEEI for the clinical care of corneal patients, as well as related training and clinical research. He also started a laboratory for corneal physiology at the Retina Foundation. These activities grew substantially over the years to become a large referral service for complicated cornea conditions in patients, as well as a program for two-year fellowship training and corresponding research in various aspects of corneal disease. Dr. Dohlman’s own research during this time changed from biochemistry to corneal physiology and included research in the areas of corneal edema and corneal nutrition. A number of clinical studies on keratoplasty, corneal edema, herpetic infections, and trauma were published in collaboration with his fellows.

In 1968 Dr. Dohlman was appointed assistant professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School; in 1969, associate professor; and in 1974, full professor. That same year he became chairman of Harvard’s Department of Ophthalmology, Chief of Ophthalmology at MEEI, and director of the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology at Harvard. He stayed in these administrative positions for 15 years. During this time there was less time for personal involvement in research, but the clinical colleagues and scientists he had previously recruited continued his established research areas. In 1989, at the age of 67, Dr. Dohlman retired from the administrative positions but continued to work full time (six days a week) with corneal patients, teaching residents and fellows, and conducting research. His interests gradually became more focused on the development of keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea) surgery. He and his clinical and laboratory collaborators have developed keratoprosthesis designs, surgical techniques, postoperative treatments, and repair procedures to a degree that has made this procedure considerably more successful than previously. More than 1,000 Boston Keratoprostheses have been implanted worldwide. Although 85, Dr. Dohlman continues to work full time at the MEEI.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Appoints Reza Dana, M.D., to Professor of Ophthalmology

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston ( Nov. 5, 2007) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s (MEEI) Reza Dana, M.D., M.Sc., M.P.H., a resident of Cambridge, Mass., has been promoted to Professor of Ophthalmology by the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Dana serves as Director of Cornea and Refractive Surgery and is a surgeon at MEEI.

He completed his medical education at John Hopkins University, followed by residency in Ophthalmology at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Dana has also completed Fellowships in Cornea and External Diseases at Wills Eye Hospital, in Immunology and Uveitis at MEEI, and ocular Immunology at the Schepens Eye Research Institute.

In addition to clinical responsibilities at MEEI, he is also a Senior Scientist and W. Clement Stone Scholar at The Schepens Eye Research Institute. Dr. Dana has authored more than 170 peer-reviewed articles, reviews and book chapters. Some of his most recent research includes a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which revealed the previously unknown reason for the transparency of the human cornea. Dr. Dana is a member of the Committee of Immunology at Harvard Medical School as well as Director of the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program.

Dr. Dana is on the editorial boards of several publications including Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Cornea, and Ocular Surface. He has been recipient of the Research to Prevent Blindness William and Mary Greve Special Scholar Award and the Physician-Scientist Merit Award, the Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Cogan Award of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology for his contributions to the field of ophthalmology and ophthalmic science. He is currently Senior Editor of Encyclopedia of the Eye, which is expected to be published in 2009.

 

Demetrios Vavvas, M.D., Ph.D., Joins the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Sept. 25, 2007) - Demetrios Vavvas, M.D., Ph.D., a resident of Boston, Mass., recently joined the Retina Department of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). Dr. Vavvas attended Medical School at Boston University and completed his residency at MEEI, where he also served as Chief Resident and Director of the Eye Trauma Service. He is Board Certified in Ophthalmology.

Dr. Vavvas completed a vitreoretinal fellowship at MEEI and was awarded with the Fellow of the Year Teaching Award in 2007. He is actively involved in research and has had several journal articles published, including articles in Nature and Ophthalmology. Dr. Vavvas is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

 

Carolyn E. Kloek, M.D., Joins Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Sept. 17, 2007) Carolyn E. Kloek, M.D., a resident of Boston, Mass., recently joined the Comprehensive Ophthalmology Department at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). Dr. Kloek attended Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at MEEI, where she was Chief Resident in Ophthalmology.

Dr. Kloek has professional affiliations with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Association for Research in Vision in Ophthalmology. She is a published author of several journal articles, including articles in Ophthalmology and the Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

 

Kevin S. Emerick, M.D., Joins the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Sept. 17, 2007) – Kevin S. Emerick, M.D., a resident of Boston, Mass., recently joined the Otolaryngology Department of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). He specializes in head and neck surgical oncology and reconstruction, including the management of mucosal cancer, advanced skin cancer and the use of sentinel lymph node mapping.

Dr. Emerick attended Medical School at Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at MEEI in the Harvard Combined Otolaryngology Program.

Dr. Emerick completed a fellowship at the University of Michigan where he specialized in head and neck surgical oncology and reconstruction. Dr. Emerick received the Outstanding Teaching Award at MEEI in 2006. He is a published author of several recent journal articles, including articles in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and Head and Neck.

 

Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology Awarded Grant by Research to Prevent Blindness

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Sept. 13, 2007) - Harvard Medical School’s (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology has been awarded an $110,000 unrestricted grant by Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB. The grant will support research into causes, treatments, and prevention of diseases that cause blindness. RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Joan W. Miller, M.D., Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at HMS and Chief of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) will direct the research and appropriate the funding.

“With the funding provided by RPB, the Department of Ophthalmology will be able to continue necessary research and discoveries that will help to understand factors leading to vision loss. This research will ultimately provide the best treatment to our patients,” said Dr. Miller.

 

Stacey C. Brauner, M.D., Joins Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Sept. 11, 2007) – Stacey C. Brauner, M.D., a resident of Newton, Mass., recently joined the Comprehensive Ophthalmology and Glaucoma Services Departments at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). Dr. Brauner received her medical training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed her ophthalmology residency and glaucoma fellowship at MEEI.

Dr. Brauner is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Glaucoma Society. She is a published author of several journal articles, including publications in Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology.

 

Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology Receives Grant from the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

BOSTON (Sept. 13, 2007) – Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Ophthalmology has been awarded a grant of $155,000 by the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund. Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) and Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at HMS will designate how the distribution of funding will be distributed, which will support research into the causes, treatments and prevention of blindness diseases.

“The Department of Ophthalmology is grateful for the opportunities that will enable us to conduct research and make new discoveries because of financial support given by the Massachusetts Lions Research Fund,” said Dr. Miller.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Simmons Lessell Selected as Ophthalmology Teacher of the Year

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (August 10, 2007) - Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) Neuro-Ophthalmologist, Simmons Lessell, M.D., a resident of Lexington, Mass., has been chosen as Ophthalmology Teacher of the Year. The recipient of the Teacher of the Year award is a member of the faculty that is voted on and selected by residents. Dr. Lessell earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College.

Dr. Lessell completed his residency in Ophthalmology at MEEI. Dr. Lessell previously served as MEEI’s Director of Neuro-Ophthalmology and has been a Surgeon in Ophthalmology for the past twenty years at MEEI. He is a Harvard Medical School Professor of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Lessell currently sits on the Editorial Boards of the Archives of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Neuro- Ophthalmology.

 

Scott H. Greenstein, M.D, Joins the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

BOSTON (Sept. 13, 2007) – Scott H. Greenstein, M.D., a resident of Boston, Mass., recently joined the Department of Comprehensive Ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). Dr. Greenstein attended Medical School at Cornell University Medical College, and completed his residency in ophthalmology at The New York Hospital- Cornell Medical Center. Most recently Dr. Greenstein was Chief of Ophthalmology at both Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut and Waterbury Hospital, in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Prior to joining MEEI, Dr. Greenstein worked in private practice in Connecticut. Dr. Greenstein is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Hugh Curtin Chosen as Ear Nose and Throat Department Teacher of the Year

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (August 22, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s (MEEI) Hugh Curtin, M.D., a resident of Wellesley, Mass., Chief of Radiology at MEEI and Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, has been awarded the William Montgomery Teaching Award for Teacher of the Year. The recipient of this award is elected by the graduating class of the MEEI Department of Otology and Otolaryngology.

Prior to joining MEEI, Dr. Curtin was Director of Radiology in the Head and Neck Division at the University of Pittsburgh and Chief of Radiology at the Pittsburgh Eye and Ear Hospital. As Chief of Radiology at MEEI, Dr. Curtin participates extensively in the residency and fellowship programs of the various Harvard teaching hospitals. Dr. Curtin has been bestowed with many awards and honors; among them, the Jack Wittenberg Teaching Award from the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Presidential Citation by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery for his contributions to the field of head and neck imaging.



Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Researchers Outline Surgical Technique for Implantable Telescope for Severe Age-related Macular Degeneration
Study published in the August Issue of Archives of Ophthalmology

Contact: Public Affairs
(617) 573-4170

BOSTON (Aug. 13, 2007) -- Recent studies have explored the use of an implantable prosthetic device -- an implantable miniature telescope -- for end-stage age-related macular degeneration. While the device has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, physicians have described a recommended surgical technique to ensure proper product placement while minimizing damage to the eye. Their technique is published in the August issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

AMD is the leading cause of irreversible visual impairment and blindness among persons aged 60 and older. With the elderly population steadily growing, the burden related to this loss of visual function will increase. “At the very end stages of this disease, vision is very poor and quality of life is compromised,” said Lead Author Kathryn Colby, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Joint Clinical Research Center at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. “An implantable miniature telescope can improve the vision and quality of life for patients, but surgeons must be very careful in implanting it.”

The implantable telescope has completed two years of follow-up in a pivotal multicenter trial. In this phase 2/3 clinical trial, 206 patients received the telescope prosthesis implant. One-year outcomes showed that 67 percent of eyes with the implant achieved a three line or greater improvement in best-corrected distance visual acuity, as indicated by reading an eye chart, compared with 13 percent of the fellow eyes in control patients. Meaningful improvements in quality of life measurements were also shown.

Surgical implantation of this device is challenging, the authors wrote. It is critical that surgeons not view this first-of-a-kind device as simply a larger intraocular lens, like that used to replace the lens in cataract surgeries. The paper describes the recommended surgical technique, based upon the results of the clinical trial and will be a useful resource for ophthalmic surgeons when the device is approved for use.

The authors of the paper include Dr. Colby, David Chang, M.D., University of California, San Francisco; Doyle Stulting, M.D., Ph.D., Emory Vision Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; and Stephen S. Lane, M.D., Associated Eye Care, Stillwater, Minn. This device is being developed by VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.

For more information visit www.visioncareinc.net.

 

Jennifer Street Joins the Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary as VP of Communications

Contact: Public Affairs
(617) 573-4170

Boston (Aug. 1, 2007) – Jennifer Street, news director for WBZ-TV Channel 4 and WSBK-TV Channel 38, has joined the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) in the new position of vice president of communications. The announcement was made by John Fernandez, MEEI president and CEO.

"An important component of MEEI’s planning for the future involves increased communication with our various audiences. As a highly regarded journalist, team builder and strategist, Jennifer is the ideal individual to lead our efforts to spread the word about the hospital’s unsurpassed quality of care, medical education and teaching excellence, and innovative research programs," Fernandez said.

Street's distinguished 17-year career at WBZ-TV culminated in 2005 with her promotion to news director. In that capacity she was responsible for all broadcast and website editorial content, news branding and business strategy. Prior positions at WBZ-TV included assistant news director, executive producer and line producer. In recent years WBZ-TV has won numerous journalism awards including three national Edward R. Murrow Awards (2006, 2000 and1999) and an Associated Press Award for News Station of the Year (2004).

Street began her broadcast career at WCSC-TV in Charleston, South Carolina and led the station's coverage of Hurricane Hugo, which won a George Polk Award and a George Foster Peabody Award for Public Service.

"It has been an honor and privilege to have served the viewers of WBZ for so long. I now look forward to new challenges," Street said. "It is exciting to join the senior management team of this world-renowned hospital at a pivotal time in its history. The public will hear much more about the Mass. Eye and Ear. I look forward to leading these communication efforts."

Fernandez acknowledged the outstanding contributions of MEEI's Director of Marketing Carol Brennan and Director of Public Affairs Mary Leach, who will continue to lead these areas as the senior members of Street's communications team.

Originally from Ridgefield, Conn, Street graduated from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in 1987. She lives in Newton with her husband and two sons.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Ranked a Top Hospital for Ears and Eyes in U.S. News’ “America’s Best Hospitals”

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (July 13, 2007) -- The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ranked in the top five hospitals in the nation for ear, nose and throat and for ophthalmology (eyes), according to U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. The rankings consist of the 50 highest-scoring hospitals.

Of more than 5,000 hospitals evaluated, MEEI ranked fourth in ear, nose and throat, and fourth in ophthalmology. MEEI has been ranked in the top five in one or both of its specialties each year since the magazine began publishing its annual survey of hospitals in 1990.

“MEEI’s continuous ranking as one of the nation’s best hospitals is made possible by the excellence and dedication of the professionals that provide care to our patients every day,” said John Fernandez, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

The "America's Best Hospitals" rankings were produced by RTI International, a leading research organization in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

 

The Court Rules in Favor of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Visudyne (QLT Inc.) Case

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (July 10, 2007) -- The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) announces that today, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Judge William G. Young, following a Nov. 6, 2006 jury decision, ruled in favor of MEEI on claims of unjust enrichment and unfair trade practices against QLT Inc.

Judge Young found QLT Inc. liable for 3.01% royalty on worldwide net sales of Visudyne and awarded prejudgment interest on past royalties due at the Massachusetts statutory rate of 12 %. In addition, Judge Young awarded MEEI attorney’s fees of more than $14 million. The case, which began in 2000, relates to the development of Visudyne as a treatment for the wet form of macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 in the Western world. Visudyne was the first drug therapy approved for this devastating disease and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000. As of the end of March 2007, net worldwide sales of Visudyne were approximately $2.314 billion, according to QLT Inc.

“Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is proud of the pioneering work of its researchers, Drs. Joan Miller and Evangelos Gragoudas, in the development of this landmark treatment,” said John Fernandez, MEEI president and CEO. “This ruling will help us further our mission to improve clinical care, train the next generation of medical leaders, and perform research to develop more treatments for those who suffer from debilitating disorders.”

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Appoints Christine A. Finn as Clinical Pharmacist

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3341

Boston (June 21, 2007) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) has appointed Christine Ann Finn, a resident of Framingham, Mass., as Clinical Pharmacist. Ms. Finn completed a residency in pharmacy practice at Boston Medical Center and earned a doctor of pharmacy degree from Northeastern University Bouve College of Health Services.

Prior to joining MEEI Ms. Finn worked as a Clinical Pharmacist at the Boston Medical Center and as a Senior Clinical Pharmacist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Ms. Finn completed a pharmacy internship at MEEI in 2000. She now returns as a Licensed Pharmacist with the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy and a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist.

She served as co-editor and wrote articles for the BWH Pharmacy and Therapeutics Perspectives. A research project conducted in 2004 concerning the Effect of Pharmacist-run Sedation Rounds on Clinical Outcomes in the Medical Intensive Care Unit is currently being reviewed for publication for Critical Care Medicine.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Appoints Troy Sims as New Director of Environmental Services

Contact: Vannessa Carrington
617-573-3341

Boston (June 21, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) has named Troy Sims, a resident of Roslindale, Mass., as Director of Environmental Services. Prior to joining MEEI Mr. Sims served as Sodexho General Manager II for the Environmental Services Department at Milton Hospital.

Mr. Sims has worked within the Sodexho Health Care Division at several hospitals. At Melrose Wakefield Hospital he served as Operations Manager for the Environmental Services Department. In addition, he worked as Manager of Environmental Services at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

 

Mayor Thomas Menino Proclaims Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Social Work Department Day

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 21, 2007) — Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has declared June 21, 2007 as Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) Social Work Department Day. Mayor Menino’s proclamation recognizes the 100th Anniversary of the MEEI Social Work Department, which is the second oldest social work department in the country in a hospital setting, for its numerous contributions to the field of social work practice including:
Establishment of an ocular tuberculosis class in 1921 to educate and support TB patients
Studies which contributed to the establishment of lip reading classes in public schools, the outlawing of BB guns and early intervention programs to meet the needs of blind children
A 1966 study of children with strabismus (cross-eye), which led to the establishment of groups in Boston to help parents manage medical care.

The Social Work Department was founded in1907 to help patients and families cope with physical, social and emotional traumas that result from sensory loss and diseases affecting the eyes, ears, nose and throat.

The department initially addressed this objective by means of a public health focus, assisting physicians in preventing blindness through the provision of supportive treatment, financial aid and health education. Today, these goals are accomplished through the use of focused interventions, interpersonal relationships and community services.

During the first quarter century, the MEEI Social Work Department made significant strides in the prevention of ocular tuberculosis, deafness, and blindness from glaucoma. In addition, a nationally recognized 1920 study of premature infants with retrolental fibroplasia (RLF) conducted by the department ultimately led to a change in community attitudes about accepting blind children in nursery schools and foster care.

In honor of its 100th anniversary, the MEEI Social Work and Discharge Planning Department will present a conference, “Interpersonal Neurobiology: Relationships and the Power to Change the Brain,” featuring Dr. Daniel Siegel. The June 21 conference will discuss recent studies that suggest an impact of interpersonal relationships on neural development, and discuss clinical applications to promote well-being in individuals, couples and families. State Senator Harriette Chandler, a member of the Health Care Financing Committee in the State Senate, is expected to read a resolution from the House and Senate congratulating the Social Work Department and the MEEI. This conference is currently sold out.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Employee Receives Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 14, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) presented Margaret Penney Capra, R.N., B.S.N, a resident of Wakefield, Mass., with the Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service. The award recognizes employees whose exemplary activities benefit the well- being of patients. The award was established so individuals can enhance their talents further through education to mutually benefit the award winner and MEEI.

Ms. Penney Capra has worked at MEEI for over 20 years in departments including Pediatrics and most recently in the Surgicenter. “Ms. Penney Capra is well respected by the surgeons, anesthesia staff and her nursing colleagues,” said Carol Covell, Executive Vice President of Patient Services for MEEI.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Employee Receives Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 14, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) employee Unseul Charles, a resident of Milton, Mass., recently received the Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service. The award recognizes employees whose exemplary activities benefit the well- being of patients. The award was established so individuals can enhance their talents and further their education to mutually benefit the award winner and MEEI.

Mr. Charles has worked at MEEI for 19 years. “He is an asset to our organization and a pleasure to work with,” said Carol Covell, Executive Vice President of Patient Services for MEEI. Mr. Charles has twice been chosen as employee of the month.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Employee Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 14, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) presented Mary Powers, R.N., a resident of Newburyport, Mass., with the Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award. The Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practices Award honors the nurse who demonstrates a long- term commitment to the provision of quality care for MEEI patients.

Ms. Powers joined MEEI in 1998 and is currently a nurse in the pediatric unit. “She is a nurturing person and a patient advocate. She is dedicated to making a difference in patients’ lives by providing the best clinical care for each patient she encounters,” said Carol Covell, Executive Vice President of Patient Services for MEEI.

Norman Knight has supported MEEI for many years. Two awards were established in his name to recognize achievements by nurses in two critical areas - clinical practice and leadership.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Employee Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 14, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) presented Diane McBrine, R.N., a resident of Tewksbury, Mass., with the Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award. The Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award honors the nurse who demonstrates Norman Knight’s commitment to the provision of quality care for MEEI patients.

Ms. McBrine has worked at MEEI for 20 years. She currently is a nurse in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit. “Ms. McBrine continues to enhance the image of nursing through her professional practice. She maintains the highest standard of care and is admired for her knowledge, compassion, and skill,” said Carol Covell, Executive Vice President of Patient Services for MEEI.

Norman Knight has supported MEEI for many years. Two awards were established in his name to recognize achievements by nurses in two critical areas - clinical practice and leadership.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Employee Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 14, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) employee Debbie Rich, R.N., a resident of Wakefield, Mass., recently received the Norman Knight Leadership Excellence Award. This award is given to the nurse who demonstrates leadership qualities which inspire others.

Ms. Rich has been at MEEI since 1982. Currently she is Nurse Manager in MEEI’s ambulatory care unit. Originally an L.P.N, Ms. Rich furthered her education to earn her R.N. and bachelors degree in nursing. Currently she is in school earning her masters degree. “Ms. Rich is a pleasure to work with and her dedication to patient care is outstanding,” said Carol Covell, Executive Vice President of Patients Services for MEEI.

Norman Knight has supported MEEI for many years. Two awards were established in his name to recognize achievements by nurses in two critical areas - clinical practice and leadership.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Employee Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Nursing Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 14, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) employee, JoAnn Graziano, R.N, a resident of Kingston, Mass., recently received the Norman Knight Excellence in Leadership Award. This award is given to the nurse who demonstrates leadership qualities which inspire others.

Ms. Graziano joined MEEI in 2003 and is currently Nurse Manager for MEEI’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit and its Morse Laser Center. “She takes pride in her work and continues to challenge herself and the staff. Ms. Graziano is admired for her compassionate and caring attitude as she always maintains the highest standard of care,” said Carol Covell, Executive Vice President of Patient Services at MEEI.

Norman Knight has supported MEEI for many years. Two awards were established in his name to recognize achievements by nurses in two critical areas - clinical practice and leadership.


Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Awards Belinda Van Tassell the Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 14, 2007) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) presented Belinda Van Tassell, R.N., a resident of Shirley, Mass., with the Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship. The Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship is given to a candidate who best depicts a dedication for learning and a motivation for professional development.

Ms. Van Tassell joined MEEI in 1981. She originally started as an L.P.N. before continuing her training and education to receive her R.N. Currently she is attending the University of Lowell to receive her BSN and works in MEEI’s Ambulatory Care Unit. “Belinda is a dedicated nurse who has continued to advance her education and we are all very proud of her,” said Carol Covell, Executive Vice President of Patient Services for MEEI.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Social Work Department

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617-573-3340

Boston (June 7, 2007) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its Social Work Department. The department is the second oldest social work department in the country in a hospital setting.

In 1907 the Social Work Department was founded to help patients and families cope with physical, social and emotional traumas that result from sensory loss and diseases affecting the eyes, ears, nose and throat.

The department initially addressed this objective by means of a public health focus, assisting physicians in preventing blindness through the provision of supportive treatment, financial aid and health education. Today, these goals are accomplished through the use of focused interventions, interpersonal relationships and community services.

During the first quarter century, the MEEI Social Work Department made significant strides in the prevention of ocular tuberculosis, deafness, and blindness from glaucoma. MEEI studies also led to the passing of bills that established lip-reading in public schools and outlawed BB guns. In addition, a nationally recognized 1920 study of premature infants with retrolental fibroplasia (RLF) conducted by the department ultimately led to a change in community attitudes about accepting blind children in nursery schools and foster care.

In honor of its 100th anniversary, the MEEI Social Work and Discharge Planning Department will present a conference, “Interpersonal Neurobiology: Relationships and the Power to Change the Brain,” featuring Dr. Daniel Siegel. The June conference will discuss recent studies that suggest an impact of interpersonal relationships on neural development, and discuss clinical applications to promote well-being in individuals, couples and families. State Senator Harriette Chandler, a member of the Health Care Financing Committee in the State Senate, is expected to read a resolution from the House and Senate congratulating the Social Work Department and the MEEI. This conference is currently sold out.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Hires David C. Read as Director of Ophthalmology

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617-573-3340

Boston (May 14, 2007) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) has hired David C. Read , a resident of Topsfield, Mass., as Director for Ophthalmology. In this position, Read will be responsible for all administrative and operating aspects of clinical, research and teaching divisions for the department of ophthalmology.

Prior to joining MEEI, Read most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), where he was responsible for eleven divisions including hematology-oncology, gastroenterology, pulmonary, genetics, infectious disease, renal, cardiology, experimental therapeutics, sleep, rheumatology and endocrinology.

He has also served Administrative Director for Cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he managed the annual operating budget of the Cardiology division, and as business manager for the cardiothoracic surgery division at New England Deaconess Hospital.

Read received a master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Boston College, and a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from Northeastern University. Read currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the East Coast Greenway.

 

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Awards Grant to Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Staff, Inc. Grant Will Be Used to Improve Patient-Physician Communication

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617-573-3340

Boston (May 17, 2007) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and its physicians, in Boston, MA, is one of 15 provider groups in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine that has received a Quality Award grant from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to improve clinical quality and patient safety. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Staff, Inc. was awarded the grant to improve the consistency and accuracy of translation information between physicians and non-English speaking patients.

“We are honored to receive this Quality Grant award,” said Carol A. Covell, R.N., M.S., executive vice president of patient services. “Our physicians and staff are continually seeking new ways to improve patient safety and the quality of care.”

Harvard Pilgrim’s eighth annual Quality Grants Program will fund 15 physician group initiatives that focus on preventive care, managing chronic diseases, and application of health information technology to improve patient care. The Harvard Pilgrim Quality Grants program has funded more than 125 initiatives since its inception, which have totaled nearly $10 million dollars. Physician leaders in Harvard Pilgrim’s network helped select the winning proposals from 25 submissions. Review criteria included demonstrated need, innovation in providing care, sustainability and the potential for transferring successful programs to other practice settings. The results of the grant programs are shared with other Harvard Pilgrim providers so that their “best practices” can benefit a broader patient population.

“Clinical quality improvement is one of the items at the top of Harvard Pilgrim’s agenda,” said Dr. Roberta Herman, Harvard Pilgrim’s Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President. “The latest round of grants we awarded line up perfectly with the goal stated by the Institute of Medicine, that health care will be ‘safe, effective, efficient, patient-centered, timely and equitable’.”

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Appoints Nicholas Seremetis as Director of Dietary Services

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617-573-3340

Boston (April 23, 2007) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) appointed Nicholas Seremetis, a resident of Waltham, Mass., as the director of dietary services.

In his position, Seremetis implants online ordering for catering and par stocks, conducts community service projects to market the hospital and the department, is developing a new catering menu with a tasting event to introduce the quality of the items offered, as well as establishing new procedures and policies on patient care meals.

Seremetis gained his experience as the former director of food services for Sodexho at Children’s Hospital in Waltham, Mass. He received his associate’s degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and a certification in general management from Sodexho University.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Cheryl Barrett Receives YMCA Black Achievers Award

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617-573-3340

Boston (March 19, 2007) – Cheryl Barrett, a resident of Mattapan, Mass., and an assistant in the Human Resources Department at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), has been honored with the 2007 YMCA Black Achievers Award.

The YMCA Black Achievement Award is presented to black professionals to acknowledge achievements in their position and their dedication to volunteering their free time to youth in the community.

“Being raised by a single mother has shown me that all things are possible through strength and perseverance,” said Barrett.

All recipients of the YMCA Black Achiever Award volunteer at least 40 hours of service to Black Achievers-sponsored programs, which benefit the youth in the area.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Marie Sanon Receives YMCA Black Achievers Award

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617-573-3340

Boston (March 19, 2007) – Marie Sanon, a resident of Roslindale, Mass., an employee of the Medical and Surgical Department at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), has been honored with the 2007 YMCA Black Achievers Award.

The YMCA Black Achievement Award is presented to black professionals to acknowledge their past achievements in their position and their dedication to volunteering their free time to youth in the community.

“I am really happy that I won the YMCA Black Achievement Award. It really means a lot to me. I would like to thank MEEI and the YMCA for this honor,” said Sanon.

All recipients offered at least 40 hours of voluntary service to Black Achievers-sponsored programs, which benefit adolescents in the community.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Wilmayer Marcelin Receives YMCA Black Achievers Award

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617-573-3340

Boston (March 19, 2007) – Wilmayer Marcelin, a resident of Cambridge, Mass., and a Materials Assistant in the Operating Room at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), has been honored with the 2007 YMCA Black Achievers Award.

The YMCA Black Achievers Award is presented to black professionals to acknowledge achievements in their position and their dedication to volunteering their free time to youth in the community.

“The YMCA Black Achievers Awards is one of the most prestigious awards I have received in my life. It was really great to be among other local professionals of color who received this award. As the founder/president of Fantezi Kreyol Dance Company, INC., a non-profit organization that endorses Haitian dance as a cultural and educational tool, this award has given me encouragement to continue my work in the community, which benefits young people,” said Wilmayer.

All recipients volunteer of the Black Achievers Award Volunteer at least 40 hours of service to Black Achievers-sponsored programs, which benefit adolescents in the community.

 

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Appoints Bonnie Kelly as Director of Patient Access

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3341

Boston (Feb. 14, 2007) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has appointed Bonnie Kelly, a resident of Dracut, Mass., as Director of Patient Access Services.

Ms. Kelly previously served as Director of Patient Access at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Mass., and as Director of Patient Registration at Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, N.H. She is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Healthcare Access Managers, where she has served as President and Vice President, and currently holds the position of Nominating Chair. She earned a master’s degree in Healthcare Management from New England College in Henniker, N.H.

Founded in 1824, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) is an independent specialty hospital providing patient care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. MEEI is an international leader in Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology research and a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School. For more information, call 617-523-7900 or visit http://www.meei.harvard.edu.