The Residency Update

     E-Newsletter of  the UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency

July  2010
Inside This Edition
Graduation 2010!
News Around the Residency
June Residency Spotlight: Sean Haley, Chief Resident
Celebrations and Congratulations!
   Graduation 2010!
Residency Director James Ledwith, MD welcomes friends and family to the evening's program
On Saturday night, June 26, the Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency and the Sports Medicine Fellowship hosted their annual graduation ceremonies and reception at the Chocksett Inn in Sterling, MA.  In addition to faculty tributes to the graduates, the PGY-2 resident class put together a terrific slideshow send-off for their friends and mentors.
 Congratulations to all!
One of the evening's highlights was a surprise vocal  
performance by graduating resident Annliza Piacitelli
who was accompanied on guitar by graduating resident Karla Cristo's husband, Roberto! 

Graduating Family Medicine residents
(from left):  

Annliza Lachica Piacitelli, MD
Karla Siva Dias Christo, MD
Roberto Larios, MD
Edna Amarkai MarkAddy, MD
Sarah Rebekah Leonard, DO  
Roland Ivan Saavedra, MD (not pictured)



  Graduating Sports Medicine fellows:  
  Jeffrey Dabrowski Manning, MD (left) 
  Darius Kazimir Greenbacher, MD


Other awards presented:
Teacher of the Year: Sury Venkatt, MD 
Specialist Teachers of the Year: Paul Block, MD; Peter Wilson, MD 
Special Recognition: Tom Weisman, MD, in recognition and appreciation of over
20 years of outstanding service to the Residency, Specialty and the Fitchburg   

The Department and the residency wish to acknowledge HealthAlliance Coordinated Primary Care and Community Health Connections Family Health Center for their generous support of and donation to the festivities.
   News Around The Residency  
Welcome, New Residents!
Welcome to our five newest residents!  We are delighted to have these five talented young physicians train with us at Fitchburg Family Medicine beginning this coming summer. If you would like to learn more about each resident, as well as see a photo, please access our resident web page here. (Our PGY-1s are listed on top.) 

Amanda Iantosca, DO    NY College of Osteopathic Medicine
Timothy Lowney, DO     Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Rocio Nordfeldt, MD    Universidad San Martin de Porres (Peru)

Matthew Plosker, MD    Ross University School of Medicine
Elliot Schaeffer, DO   Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Accreditation News
We were pleased to receive word from ACGME that the residency and the Sports Medicine fellowship were successfully re-accredited this year! The residency has a four-year accreditation cycle and the fellowship will have five years. Our success in the process is due to a great group of faculty who pitched in to revise curriculum and, in particular, to Elaine Desjardins, Program Administrator, who engineered a year-long process to assure that all documentation was complete and accurate.

Donna Peloquin, LPN
greeted CHC and residency staff recently on "Thank You Thursday", a tradition of expressing our appreciation of those with whom we work and who are so necessary to the excellent care we provide


Morning Report
The program thanks Tom Weisman, MD for his contributions to Wednesday morning didactics on evidence-based medicine and medical problems solving.

After more than 20 years, Dr. Weisman is resigning from his important role in helping shape our curriculum. We are grateful for his keen interest in the development of our residents' skills and in the integrity of the family medicine residency. As we move into the new academic year, we will strive to incorporate the problem-solving process into most of the morning teaching sessions.

We are almost there! The EMR team is working diligently on finalizing protocols for the initial implementation phase. Firm updates are expected soon.
Great news!  We have Lab and Pharmacy available to our patients at extended hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday!  

On July 20, the Cultural Diversity program held an interactive exploration of the cultural diversity of the residency and our community, capped with an 
"international" dinner. 


Cheryl Divito, DO, leads a break-out session at the Spring Resident Retreat at the Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster.  The agenda included an overview of resident surveys and program evaluations and an early discussion of next year's resident recruiting cycle.
 July Residency Spotlight
  A Conversation with Sean Haley, Chief Resident 
"I always knew I wanted to go to medical school," Sean Haley
tells me during a break for lunch at the recent Fitchburg resident retreat. Sean become the new Chief Resident on July 1. "I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor."
A native of Swansea, MA, Sean graduated in 2000 from The  College of the Holy Cross where he earned his BA in Chemistry in
a Pre-med track. Anticipating that he would eventually apply to
medical school, Sean accepted a position upon graduation as a Research Chemist with the Cabot Corporation in Billerica, MA.
In 2002, he left Cabot to join Transform Pharmaceuticals, a start-up corporation in Lexington where he worked as an Associate Scientist and Analytical Chemist. Two years later, Sean applied and was admitted to PCOM (Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine) where he remained active in a number of volunteer and community service organizations.
Applying to residency programs, he focused on the only dually-accredited Family Medicine residency in Massachusetts, not far from where he was raised. "The Fitchburg community is a very diverse population with a diverse set of medical issues," he explains. "We're a close-knit group of residents with a lot of responsibility in a small, community hospital."

Sean intends to practice outpatient primary care upon graduating in 2011. Now commuting from Boston, he's a self-described "beach bum" in the summer months, and enjoys skiing and camping. A Labor Day wedding to his fiance Jodi is fast approaching. And with the new PGY-1 class already orienting to residency, Sean looks forward to mentoring them as their chief resident. "I pursued a career in family medicine because of the wide array of medical conditions we need to know how to treat."  

Michael Smith would like to thank Sean for agreeing to speak with him for this month's profile.
   Celebrations and Congratulations!
Congratulations this month to the following FFMR individuals (and one from the Worcester residency, too!)
Congrats to Raj Hazarakia, MD for graduating from the Quality Scholars program on June 24. The Center for Advancement of Primary Care and the Office for Quality and Patient Safety sponsored the program.

Raj presented his quality improvement project on "Reduction on Waiting Times for a CHC Suboxone Program for Opiate Addiction" on June 17. His work has already made a significant impact on care in the health center. He was honored with the second place award in the judging of poster presentations. Congratulations, Raj!

Congratulations to Jeff Manning, MD and Herb Stevenson, MD who gave a podium presentation: "Shoulder Injury in a Football Player (not Tom Brady)" at last month's American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in Baltimore.  
Congratulations to Felix Chang, MD for becoming a US Citizen as well as having received his Certification in Structural Acupuncture for Physicians from Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Ledwith wanted to also extend congratulations to his colleague, Stacy Potts, MD, Program Director of the Worcester Family Medicine residency, for her recent  completion of the NIPDD fellowship (National Institute for Program Director Development.)
Got news for our next newsletter?
Contact Dr. Ledwith at 
or Michael Smith, Associate Director of Admissions, at