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2008 Press Releases

The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has named Michael Souza as Vice President Network Development
 
Boston (Dec. 23, 2008) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has named Michael Souza, a resident of North Andover, as Vice President Network Development. In his position, Souza will be responsible for the expansion of clinical services throughout a broad geographic area, establishing new partnerships and alliances, as well as Multispecialty Ambulatory Care Centers.
 
Souza has 27 years of experience in nationally recognized acute care, managed care and management consulting organizations. Before joining Mass. Eye and Ear, Souza’s professional positions included serving as the Administrative Director for Partners Radiology and, most recently, as Vice President of Business Development at Alliance Imaging, the nation’s leading provider of imaging solutions, including MRI, PET and CT. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Middlebury College and his master’s degree in Engineering Management from Northeastern University.  In his spare time, Mike enjoys sports and the outdoors with the family, as well as writing poetry.  In 2006, he was named the first Poet Laureate of North Andover.                                               

The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary  names Jeffrey Pike as Vice President of Surgical Services

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Dec. 23, 2008) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has appointed Jeffrey Pike as Vice President of Surgical Services.  In the position, he will oversee the management and function of all hospital- related surgical operations at Mass. Eye and Ear’s main campus and suburban locations.

Before joining Mass. Eye and Ear, Pike served as an Administrative Director in the departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he was responsible for the financial, academic and clinical administration of two academic physician practices. Prior to holding the position of Administrative Director, Pike also served as a Budget Director, Senior Finance Manager and a Revenue Manager for Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Pike has a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Suffolk University Sawyer School of Management and is a member of Phi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Appoints Gayle Fishman, R.N., B.S.N., M.B.A., as Vice President of Clinical Services

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (Nov. 17, 2008)—The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has named Gayle Fishman, a resident of Wellesley Hills, Mass.,  Vice President of Clinical Services.

Fishman received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in business administration from Boston College, with a concentration in finance and marketing.

Prior to joining Mass. Eye and Ear, Fishman worked as a registered nurse in cardiac, surgical and medical intensive care specialty units. For more than 10 years, she has served as a Principal and Senior Management consultant HealthSystems Redesign, Inc., a firm specializing in strategic planning, financial and operations assessment, process redesign and implementation. Fishman has also served as director of the Medicare Product Line of Physician’s Health Services, where she was responsible for developing health care management programs and reducing costs. In addition, Fishman has worked as a project manager for the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she directed the development of an operating database to manage patient flow, among other important service oriented management functions. Ms. Fishman has also served as a Project Specialist and senior Analyst at Partners Health Care in Boston.

Sheila Borboli-Gerogiannis, M.D., F.A.C.S., joins the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service.

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

BOSTON (Oct. 22, 2008) – Sheila Borboli-Gerogiannis, M.D., F.A.C.S., a resident of Newton, Mass., has joined the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service. Dr. Borboli-Gerogiannis attended medical school in Greece, where she received several awards for her accomplishments throughout her education. She completed a medical internship at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and her ophthalmology residency at Mass. Eye and Ear. She also completed a cornea fellowship at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. 

Before arriving at Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. Borboli worked in private practice and with the Veterans’ Administration in Mississippi. In addition, she was recently appointed as Clinical Instructor in Ophthalmology at Tulane University. Dr. Borboli will be working at Mass. Eye and Ear in Boston and at its suburban locations where she will be integrating Cornea and Refractive Surgery.

Kenneth Chang, M.D., Joins the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

BOSTON (Oct. 22, 2008) – Kenneth Chang, M.D., has joined the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service. Dr. Chang recently finished his fellowship at Mass. Eye and Ear in Neuro-Ophthalmology this summer. He attended medical school at the University of Hawaii and received a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his medical residency at Loma Linda University.

Dr. Chang is excited to continue working at the Mass. Eye and Ear. “Teaching is a rewarding experience and I’m glad to be able offer my knowledge to others here at Mass. Eye and Ear.” Aside from teaching, Dr. Chang enjoys camping, fishing and photography. His wife is a family physician in Upham’s Corner in Dorchester, Mass.

Mass. Eye and Ear Team Awarded NIH Grant to Study Genetic Factors Underlying Glaucoma
Contact: Mary E. Leach
617-573-4170

Boston (Sept. 24, 2008) – The Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) today awarded grants, estimated to be up to $5.5 million for six studies aimed at finding genetic factors that influence the risks for stroke, glaucoma, high blood pressure, prostate cancer and other common disorders.

Two researchers from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary received a grant for the only ophthalmology project funded in this initiative. Lou Pasquale, M.D., co-director of the Mass. Eye and Ear Glaucoma Service and assistant professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and Janey Wiggs, Ph.D., Mass. Eye and Ear physician/researcher, will serve as co-primary investigators on a two-year, $850,000 project that involves identifying and characterizing POAG susceptibility to reveal environmental determinants that influence the disease process and to better understand how the environment and genetics contribute to this complex disease. The other members of the glaucoma research team include David Hunter, Sc.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Jae Hee Kang, Sc.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Jonathan Haines, Ph.D., Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

The grantees will use a genome-wide association study to rapidly scan markers across the complete sets of DNA, or genomes, of large groups of people to find genetic variants associated with a particular disease, condition or trait.

“Genome-wide association studies are helping us take major strides towards identifying the genetic variants associated with common diseases,” said National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Acting Director Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., who is co-chair of the GEI coordinating committee. “This initiative will yield valuable information about the biological pathways that lead to health and disease and about how genetic variants, environmental factors and behavioral choices interact to influence disease risk. Such information is vital to our efforts to develop more personalized approaches to health care.”           

GEI is collaboration between genetic researchers and environmental scientists. Six GEI-supported genome-wide association studies, overseen by NHGRI, are already under way. Two additional GEI studies, supported and managed by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, have also begun. In addition, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is overseeing GEI-supported research that seeks to develop wearable sensors and other technologies to accurately measure personal exposures to environmental agents.              

Funding for the latest round of studies was contributed by all of NIH’s 27 institutes and centers. The principal investigators, their approximate funding for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, and their research projects are:

Kathleen Barnes, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; $1.2 million. Genome-Wide Associations: Environmental Interactions in the Lung Health Study.
Myriam Fornage, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston; $1.1 million. Genome-Wide Association Study of Longitudinal Blood Pressure Profiles from Young Adulthood to Middle-Age.
Christopher Haiman, Sc.D., University of Southern California, Los Angeles; $210,000. A Multiethnic Genome-Wide Scan of Prostate Cancer.
John Heit, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; $1.1 million. Genome-Wide Association of Venous Thrombosis (Blood Clots in Veins).
Braxton Mitchell, Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore; $1.1 million. Genetic Risk to Stroke in Smokers and Nonsmokers in Two Ethnic Groups.
Louis Pasquale, M.D., Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, $850,000. Genes and Environment Initiative in Glaucoma.

Data from the genome-wide association studies will be deposited in the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), http://view.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/dbgap, at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a part of the National Library of Medicine at NIH, which will manage the vast amount of genetic, medical and environmental information that emerges from GEI. To encourage rapid research advances, and in keeping with the principles pioneered by the Human Genome Project, all data generated through these initiatives will be made available to researchers, consistent with NIH’s data-sharing policy for NIH-supported, genome-wide association studies, which is available on NIH’s Office of Extramural Research Genome-Wide Association Studies Web page at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/.

For researchers who want to view genome-wide association data produced by GEI, dbGaP offers two levels of access. The first is open-access, which means the information will be available without restriction on the Internet, and the second is controlled-access, which requires preauthorization for the individual researcher seeking to view it. The open-access section will allow users to view study documents, such as protocols, questionnaires and summaries of phenotype data. The second is the controlled-access portion of the database, which allows approved researchers to download individual-level genotype and phenotype data from which the study participants’ personal identifiers, such as names, have been removed. More information on genome-wide association studies can be found at www.genome.gov/17516714. More information on environmental impacts on health can be found at www.genome.gov/17516715

Mass. Eye and Ear Ranked Among “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report
Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (July 11, 2008) — Massachusetts Eye and Ear ranks among the top five in both of its specialties in the 2008 edition of “America’s Best Hospitals,” published by U.S. News & World Report magazine. Mass. Eye and Ear ranked number four in Ophthalmology and number five in ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat).

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the hospital in the top five in one or both of its specialties since the magazine began publishing its annual survey of hospitals in 1990.

“Mass. Eye and Ear is pleased to be recognized for the dedication of our physicians, nurses and other staff, who provide the best possible specialty care daily to patients from around the world,” said Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary President and CEO John Fernandez.

U.S. News & World Report conducts the “America’s Best Hospitals” survey in collaboration with RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Physician Receives Award from Research to Prevent Blindness

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (July 9, 2008) – Massachusetts Eye and Ear physician Cynthia Grosskreutz, M.D., Ph.D., has been granted a $60,000 RPB Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award by Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB). Established in 1995, the RPB Lew R. Wasserman Merit Awards provide unrestricted support to mid-career M.D. and Ph.D. scientists who hold primary positions within departments of ophthalmology and who are actively engaged in eye research at medical institutions in the United States. Dr. Grosskreutz is one of 97 scientists at 41 institutions who have been honored with the award.

“I feel privileged to have been selected for this award,” says Dr. Grosskreutz, “It will greatly help further my research into the causes of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.”

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

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 6, 2008) — Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary recently presented Amy McCarthy, R.N., a resident of Weymouth, Mass., with the Charles Wood Award for Exceptional Patient Service.

McCarthy has been a registered nurse for 12 years and has been with Mass. Eye and Ear for eight years. She is currently a nurse in the hospital’s pediatric unit. McCarthy’s past experience ranges from caring for newborns in the intensive care unit to caring for geriatric patients in a long term care facility.

“Amy is a valued member of the pediatric team. She demonstrates daily her confidence in her clinical decision making and nursing practice. She is an asset to the nursing profession and to the hospital,” said Carol Covell, R.N., M.S., Executive Vice President of Patient Services.

The Charles Wood Award was established in honor of the long-time Mass. Eye and Ear General Director and Trustee, and recognizes an Mass. Eye and Ear employee whose exemplary activities benefit the well-being of patients and the hospital.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse, Marylou Butler, R.N., Awarded Norman Knight Clinical Practice Excellence Award

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 6, 2008) — Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary nurse Marylou Butler, R.N., a resident of Billerica, Mass., was recently awarded the Norman Knight Clinical Practice Excellence Award.

Butler has been an employee at Mass. Eye and Ear for 39 years has been a clinical leader in the Emergency Department for the past three years. In her current position, she coordinates the clinical aspects of the emergency department and oversees the day-to-day tasks of nurses and nurse assistants. Before joining MEEI, she received her nursing diploma from the Malden Hospital School of Nursing. She is currently working on her master’s degree in management at Cambridge College.

The Norman Knight Clinical Practice Excellence Award was established in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Two awards were established in his name to recognize achievements by nurses in two critical areas- clinical practice and leadership. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 6, 2008) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary has presented Anne Marie Picariello, L.P.N., a resident of Quincy, Mass., with the Rita Kelly Memorial Scholarship.

Picariello joined Mass. Eye and Ear in June 1998 and is currently a clinical coordinator in the hospital’s Facial Plastics and Cosmetic Surgery Center. She has a superb work ethic and excellent clinical skills.

“Anne Marie continues in her style of competency — improving the patient experience and making the hospital a better place for patients, staff, and visitors to receive and provide care,” said Carol Covell, R.N., M.S., Executive Vice President of Patient Services.

The scholarship is named in honor of the late, long-time Mass. Eye and Ear operating room nurse Rita Kelly.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Cassie Cole, R.N., Receives Norman Knight Excellence in Leadership Award

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 6, 2008) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary recently awarded Cassie Cole, R.N., a resident of Burlington, Mass., with the Norman Knight Excellence in Leadership Award.

Cole joined the Mass. Eye and Ear in February 2006 and has served in the position of clinical leader in Pediatrics for the past year. “In this year Cassie has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and excellent clinical decision making. Cassie is a valued member of the Pediatric team and is an asset to the nursing profession and Mass. Eye and Ear,” noted Carol Covell, R.N., M.S., Executive Vice President of Patient Services.

The Norman Knight Excellence in Leadership Award was established in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Two awards were established in his name to recognize achievements by nurses in two critical areas- clinical practice and leadership. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Nurse Receives Norman Knight Clinical Practice Award

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 6, 2008) — The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary recently awarded Ann Goulette, R.N., a resident of Wakefield Mass., with the Norman Knight Clinical Practice Excellence Award.

Goulette has been with Mass, Eye and Ear for 18 years. She has worked in a number of the hospital’s clinical departments and has worked in Pediatrics for the past four years. Goulette serves on the Education Council and Professional Nurse Advisory Council.

“Ann’s positive attitude and professionalism, along with her enthusiasm, makes her a respected member of the pediatrics team and an asset to the nursing profession and Mass. Eye and Ear,” said Carol Covell, R.N., M.S., Executive Vice President of Patient Services.

The Norman Knight Clinical Practice Excellence Award was established in honor of long-time Mass. Eye and Ear friend Norman Knight. Two awards were established in his name to recognize achievements by nurses in two critical areas- clinical practice and leadership. Among his contributions is the Norman Knight Hyperbaric Medicine Center, the only hospital-based center in the Boston area that provides hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Otologist Appointed as Professor at Harvard Medical School

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 5, 2008) — Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary otologist Steven D. Rauch, M.D., a resident of Watertown, Mass., has been appointed Professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Rauch completed his residency in otology and laryngology at Mass. Eye and Ear, where he is now a member of the Otology Service. Dr. Rauch is Associate Medical Director of the hospital’s Jenks Vestibular Laboratory and chairs the hospital's Human Studies Committee. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and on the Council of Scientific Trustees of the Deafness Research Foundation. Dr. Rauch is President-elect of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. He is currently a principal investigator and chair of an NIH NIDCD-funded multi-center treatment trial of sudden deafness.

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Researcher John Guinan, Ph.D., Appointed as Professor at Harvard Medical School

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (June 5, 2008) — John Guinan, Ph.D., a resident of Newton, Mass., has been appointed as a Professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Guinan is currently a principal investigator at the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory of Auditory Physiology, the largest hearing research facility in the world, located at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. (With more than 30 years of experience as a hearing researcher, Dr. Guinan is the author of numerous publications on the topic, with a concentration on reflexes of the peripheral auditory system.

Dr. Guinan is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering, and a doctorate in communications biophysics. He is an active member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.

Grant Given from Prevent Blindness America to Help Treat Corneal Diseases

Contact: Public Affairs
617-573-3340

Boston (May 30, 2008) —  A grant from Prevent Blindness America has been awarded to corneal specialist Dr. Reza Dana, M.D. M.P.H., M.Sc, of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, to help fund his study “The Effectiveness and Safety of Topical Bevacizumab (Avastin) for Treatment of Corneal Growth of Blood Vessels that Obscure Vision.” The $35 thousand dollar grant will help Dr. Dana research and test the Avastin drug in order to help treat patients with this disease.

The objectives of Dr. Dana’s study are aimed to find a treatment for corneal diseases through testing patients on how often these diseases occur as well as how severe they are. He plans to accomplish this through eye exams and other physical examinations, reporting on subjects, and changes in blood pressure, as well as testing the effectiveness of the drug by documenting a series of follow-up photographs evaluating any progress.

Currently, there is no specific pharmaceutical treatment for the growth of blood vessels in the eye. Many take steroids, inject muscle relaxants, use laser surgery or membrane transplants, but all of these treatments have limitations. “We hope to use this grant to find a treatment for the growth of blood vessels in the eye so that many can have their vision back,” says Dana.