The Residency Update

E-Newsletter of  the 
UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency

March  2011

Inside This Edition
Meet Our New Interns!
Our New Chief Resident, Kristen Kavulich, DO
News Around the Residency
A Conversation with.....Beth Mazyck, MD
Celebrations and Congratulations!

Meet Our New Interns!


The record-setting application year we had in 2010-11 has wrapped up with a very successful Match this week! We are delighted to welcome six talented young physicians who will begin training with our program this coming summer.

Once again, we have drawn a group of residents with diverse roots and training to serve our culturally rich community. This group brings a blend of outstanding academic records, teamwork and communication skills, and concern for the underserved.  


Nicolas Hernandez, MD earned his medical degree in 2008 from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico. In 2003, he received his BS in Biology from SUNY Stony Brook. Nicolas has an extensive background of community service and volunteering. Nic did an awesome job as a subintern here a year ago while enrolled in studies at New York Medical College. After years of visits since his youth for church meetings, he is almost as at home in Leominster as he is with this family in New York. His personal interests include music and sports. 



montoyaRyan Montoya, MD is a fourth-year student at UMass Medical School who earned his BA in Biology from Harvard College in 2005. He spent many years as a laboratory researcher at the Forsyth Insitute in Boston. Ryan has a longstanding interest in both art and medicine and he has been published twice in the Journal of Dental Research. In additon to being a hedge fund manager, Ryan also is an avid photographer and continues to draw recreationally.

muriglanStephanie Muriglan, MD is a fourth-year student at St. George's University who received her BA in Biology (1999) and MS in Biology from New York University as well as her MA from the College of New Jersey. Stephanie worked as an EMT in New York City for several years after her studies. She is drawn to the work of our community health center due to witnessing profound gaps in care from an urban ambulance.  She's served as President of her school's chapter of Women in Medicine, speaks Spanish fluently and enjoys camping and photography.

pinedaLuisa Pineda, MD is a fourth-year student at Ross University. A native New Yorker, Luisa graduated from Hunter College with a BA in Biology in 2006. Luisa worked as an EMT before attending medical school. She has a strong interest in preventive medicine and pediatrics and is fluent in Spanish. Luisa enjoys teaching as well as biking and skiing and is looking forward to training in New England.

richardsSamantha Richards, DO is a fourth-year student at University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. A product of a farm family in Maine, she graduated summa cum laude with her BA in Spanish from Hillsdale College in 2004. Samantha has interests in community mentoring and teaching. In addition to playing the harp and having authored a children's book, Samantha enjoys dancing and gardening in her spare time.

Jennifer Wang, DO is a fourth-year student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine who earned her BA in Biology from Cornell University in 2006. Jen enjoys the versatility of family medicine and is particularly interested in addiction medicine. She joined us for an elective here last year, showing her outstanding clinical care and team work at the ACTION Health Center and in work with the residents. She grew up in Hudson, MA and enjoys all forms of dance.

 Introducing our New Chief Resident!

Kristen Kavulich, DO 



At the February 8 annual retreat for both the Worcester and Fitchburg residents, we elected a new Chief Resident for 2011-2012. Congratulations to Kristen Kavulich, DO! 

Kristen hails from Wappingers Falls, NY and earned her BA from Marist College and her

medical degree from LECOM. Her personal interests include snowboarding and live music and on her web profile, she has this to say about choosing to train in Fitchburg:

"This is the best family medicine residency program! It is the perfect balance between practice in a busy community hospital and access to the tertiary care is a wonderful and busy experience."   

This year's retreat theme was "All You Ever Wanted to Know and More About Caring for Yourself...So You Can Care for Others." Morning discussions were led by Hugh Silk, MD; Suzana Makowski, MD and Melissa Blacker, MA of the UMMS Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society. Following lunch, residents and faculty opted to either ski at Mount Wachusett or relax with a massage at the Inn.


A big "thank you" to Tamara Cullen and the current chief residents from Worcester and Fitchburg for organizing a wonderful (and relaxing) retreat for all!



    News Around The Residency  
Dr. Felix Chang was the invited speaker during the UMass HealthAlliance Grand Rounds on March 1. His lecture was titled "Standard of Diabetes Care 2011: What's the Evidence?" Dr. Chang also lectured at the UMass Complementary and Alternative Medicine Interest Group in Worcester on March 3. The topic: "Nei Dan Qi Gong: The Internal Elixir." Handouts will soon be distributed.

Dr. Jim Ledwith's Thursday Morning Memo from January has been featured in the latest issue of UMass Med Now. To read his submission, titled "Sadly Successful," just click here.

MassAFP Spring Refresher April 1-2   

Don't forget that the MassAFP Spring Refresher is being held in our own front yard this year, at the FourPoints by Sheraton in Leominster, on Friday, April 1- Saturday, April 2.

Please attempt to attend all or part of the meeting. On Friday morning, we are making arrangements to host our AAFP President, Roland Goertz, MD, MBA, FAAFP, for a tour of our teaching health center.

Our residency will host an exhibition booth along with CHC to inform our graduates and colleagues of the active program at UMass Fitchburg.  We'll be contacting graduates and asking them to stop by.

Dr. Bob Baldor will lead a Maintenance of Certification SAM (self-assessment module) on Saturday. We are eager to use a similar approach to teaching residents in some core content areas to help prepare them for the Board exams. If you haven't ever attended a group SAM, we encourage you to try it and help us develop this type of approach for our residents. Dr. Felix Chang will also be presenting an update on Antibiotics at the conference.  


Home Visit Reminder
If a resident is setting up a home visit, you need to let Erik and Lisa know so that time can be blocked! Sessions have not routinely been blocked and as a result the resident has not always attended the home visit.


Privacy Reminder

Remember, pictures are protected health information (PHI) too! Staff members should not take pictures of patients, procedures or co-workers without a proper authorization under the UMassMemorial Medical Center's Policy#1411. Even with authorization, these pictures may not be removed from the organization. Posting pictures on social networking sites like Facebook, My Space or Twitter is a privacy breach!

Professional Life Beyond the Office Walls

As family physicians engaged in our communities, we are often called upon to speak with and serve organizations outside of our offices to advance the health of the community or the work of our professional organizations.


The program is in the process of re-organizing an inactive program of committee assignments that will offer an opportunity to engage in these activities during the residency. Opportunities may be at CHC, our hospital, the medical school, MassAFP, WNDMS, community organizations, and others. 

Global Health Track Blog

The Global Health Track's trip to Nicaragua has wrapped up! The successful trip is the first for the new Global Health Track, directed by Anna Doubeni, MD. Read all about it in the Global Health Blog written by Fitchburg intern Elliot Schaeffer, DO.  Our Worcester residents and fellows in the Track who completed the trip are Amber Wiekamp, Christina Mota, and Juan Carlos Ramos, who of course all appear in the blog as well. Thanks to Elliot for doing such a wonderful job blogging from Nicaragua! 

                               A March Conversation with.....

                 Beth Mazyck, MD, Senior VP of Clinical Services


"I've wanted to be a doctor since I was three years old," says Beth Mazyck, MD, Senior Vice President of Clinical Services for CHC Family Health Centers. "I first heard of family medicine in high school. I knew then....that's the kind of doctor I want to be!"

On a cold March afternoon, Dr. Mazyck reflects upon a medical career that spans well beyond the two coastlines she called home during her formative years. Raised in small-town Hanover, New Hampshire, she headed west for college, majoring in Psychology at the University of Oregon. Upon graduation in 1979, Dr. Mazyck began applying to medical schools. 

In 1980, she enrolled at George Washington University School of Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. To finance her medical training, Dr. Mazyck applied for and received a military scholarship from the U.S. Army. Required to serve at least four years of active duty, in 1987 Dr. Mazyck completed her Family Medicine residency in Fort Gordon, GA at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center. 


She also traveled extensively, spending the next decade as a family physician with the U.S. Army in Germany, New York and in North Carolina, meeting her husband O'Neill along the way.  It was in 1996, serving as a residency faculty member at Fort Bragg in North Carolina that Dr. Mazyck decided to return to New England.

"I liked teaching. I applied to every Family Medicine residency in New England and really liked Fitchburg," she remembers. "And I remember Peter McConarty interviewing me, too," she adds with a laugh. After five years teaching at the UMass Fitchburg Family Residency, Dr. Mazyck was appointed Residency Director in 2001, a post she held until Dr. James Ledwith took the reins in 2008.



Congressman John Olver honors Dr. Mazyck

for 30 years of service in the U.S. Army as well

as community service to Fitchburg over the

past 14 years.

With the creation of Community Health Connections in 2002, she also assumed the role of Medical Director, a title she still holds. A member of the United States Army Reserves since 1996, Dr. Mazyck also has the distinction of serving with the same unit (the 399th Combat Support Hospital) for ten years.


Most recently, Dr. Mazyck led the team that applied for and received the $10.7 million federal stimulus grant for CHC's current expansion and renovation. The new health center, she points out, is only one of many exciting changes that the coming decade will bring to central Massachusetts. "If health care payment reform is done right, primary care will have a new prominence and respect in the medical community."

A resident of Princeton, MA since 1996, Dr. Mazyck and her husband O'Neill have six children; three teenagers and three adult sons. (Look for one of her oldest sons to appear in a national commercial for Starbucks later this year!) 

In May 2011, she will mark 30 years of service with the U.S. military. Looking back at the trajectory her career has taken, Dr. Mazyck recalls her earliest days as a medical student. "I kept my options open. But I knew I wanted primary care," she explains. "Family medicine always seemed like the most interesting, exciting, and people-oriented specialty to me. And it still does."

Michael Smith, Associate Director of Admissions, would like to thank Dr. Mazyck for generously sharing her time in speaking with him for this profile.


                           Celebrations and Congratulations!                             


Congratulations to two members of the residency family who are celebrating the births of two strapping young men earlier this month!

On March 1, Tim Lowney, PGY-1 and his wife Rebecca welcomed William Timothy Lowney. As Tim writes, "William joins super-stoked big sister Elizabeth. I am still horfifically sleep deprived but elated!"



And hot on William's heels came Leander Carl Apostoleris born March 2 to Dr. Nicholas Apostoleris and his wife Catherine. Leander weighed 7 lbs 10 oz and was born at Heywood Hospital.  




And proving you are never too old to celebrate your big day, we want to wish Happy Birthday to......

 1/1   Awais Siddiki (PGY-3)
1/25  Sean Haley (PGY-3)
  2/1  Michael Lowney (PGY-2)
2/23  Minh Nguyen (PGY-2) 

Got news for our next newsletter?

Contact Dr. Ledwith at 
or Michael Smith, Associate Director of Admissions, at