Berkshire Medical Center

Pittsfield, MA, United States

Berkshire Medical Center

Pittsfield, MA, United States
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"Our proposal to ensure safe patient care comes directly from the nurses at Berkshire Medical Center," said Alex Neary, a longtime BMC nurse and chair of the MNA Bargaining Committee. "We have proposed that the hospital should follow its own staffing guidelines from 2015, but with increased numbers of LPNs.  Nurses are being pushed beyond our ability to provide safe care. The hospital refuses to commit to following their own staffing guidelines." "We have spoken to hospital supervisors about these problems during our monthly labor-management meetings, handed our unsafe staffing forms to managers in real-time and across the bargaining table. Yet BMC refuses to agree to the evidence-based solution put forward by its own nurses. Instead, the hospital has attacked us, maligning our reputations and lying about the basic facts of bargaining. The truth is that we have worked hard for months to reach a fair agreement that protects our patients and properly values nurses." Key outstanding issues in bargaining include safe patient limits for nurses targeted to BMC patient needs, security improvements and making sure BMC does not erode nurses' health insurance benefits and working conditions. Recently, BMC nurses enrolled in family health insurance plans learned that they already pay 40 percent to 70 percent more than managers and doctors. In addition to that disparity, the hospital wants BMC nurses to double what they pay for health insurance premiums, from 10 percent to 20 percent. "To ask nurses to double their contribution to health insurance premiums when many of us already pay much more than managers and doctors is unfair and disrespectful," Neary said. "Hospital management has made it clear that they do not value or respect their nurses even though without us BMC would be inoperable." "As registered nurses, we are 100% dedicated to highly skilled and compassionate care. Together with the rest of our team, we strive to deliver the high quality care that management markets to our surrounding community. We are proud of the high quality of care that we are able deliver to our patients on a daily basis. "Too often, we don't have the nurses and other team members available to deliver the quality of care that our patients deserve. When nurses are pushed beyond our ability to work safely and to care for ourselves, patient care suffers.  Corners get cut, communication gets lost, and things can get missed. There isn't enough time for the personal touches and nuances that are integral to the nursing profession.  There isn't enough time for patient and family education. Too often, we aren't able to answer call lights in a timely manner, and care delays throughout the hospital are excessive.  Nurses are burned out. BMC must do better! "We call upon David Phelps, CEO and the BHS Board of Trustees to settle a fair contract." The BMC nurses' previous contract with the hospital expired on Sept. 30, 2016, but was extended. Negotiations between the MNA and BMC began in October 2016. A federal mediator joined the process in April 2017. The next bargaining date is schedule for Wednesday, May 10. Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

IRVINE, CA, November 08, 2016-- Dr. Nosratola Vaziri has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Originally from Tehran, Iran, Dr. Vaziri obtained his MD degree from Tehran University Medical School in 1966. He continued his medical education after relocating to the United States in 1969, beginning with a medical internship in the Department of Medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Ill. Dr. Vaziri also completed a residency in internal medicine through a combined program at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass. and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY. He then completed a second residency in internal medicine through a combined program at Wadsworth VA Hospital and UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Vaziri remained at UCLA Medical Center to complete a renal fellowship from 1972 to 1974. He also became licensed to practice in the State of California in 1972. Furthermore, Dr. Vaziri became board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Nephrology. In 1999, he earned an ASH certification as a hypertension specialist.Dr. Vaziri has primarily utilized his strong educational foundation in the field of academia. He has been affiliated with the University of California, Irvine (UCI) since 1974, when he joined the university as Assistant Professor and Director of the hemodialysis unit. He was appointed as Chief of the Nephrology and Hypertension Division in 1977, promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1979, Professor of Medicine in 1982, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics in 2002, and Professor of Biological Sciences in 2005 at UCI's School of Medicine. He served as Vice Chairman of Academic Affairs (1982-1994) and Chairman of the Department of Medicine (1994-1999). Since his retirement in 2011 he has continued his active laboratory and clinical research on a full time basis as a Professor Emeritus at UCI.In addition to his skills in teaching, Dr. Vaziri is noted for the extensive research he has conducted over the years. He is internationally recognized for his research in the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in hypertension and kidney disease progression, molecular basis of dyslipidemia of nephrotic syndrome and renal insufficiency and the effect of renal failure on intestinal microbiome and epithelial barrier structure and function. His research over the past 4 decades has resulted in over 550 original scientific publications and 190 invited reviews, editorials and book chapters for which he has received numerous honors and awards including Golden Apple Award, Lauds and Laurels Award, NKF's Spirit of Nephrology Award, Athalie Clarke's Outstanding Health Science Researcher Award, American College of Physicians Laureate Award, the 2014 UCI Clinical Translational Scientist of the Year Award, and the 2016 UCI Distinguished Emeriti Award, among others.Over the years, Dr. Vaziri has remained current in the evolving medical field through affiliations with numerous professional societies. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Society of Nephrology, the Western Association of Physicians, the American Paraplegia Society, the American Society of Hypertension, the Association of Professors of Medicine, and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, among other associations. Dr. Vaziri has also provided editorial services to several medical journals and publications. Dr. Vaziri has received many awards and formal honors over the years as a result of his contributions to the field of medicine. Most recently, he was named an Outstanding Professor Emeritus and he received a Distinguished Emeriti Award from the University California Irvine Emeriti Association in 2016. He was named Clinical and Translational Scientist of Year by the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science in 2014, and in 2010, he received a certificate of recognition for his academic achievements from the California State Assembly. Dr. Vaziri was chosen to be featured in the 51st through 70th editions of Who's Who in America, the 7th and 8th editions of Who's Who in American Education, the 1st through 8th editions of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, the 28th through 43rd editions of Who's Who in the West, and multiple editions of Who's Who in the World.For more information about Dr. Vaziri's career, achievements, awards and publications, please visit About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at

Riascos D.,Northwestern University | De Leon D.,Northwestern University | Baker-Nigh A.,Northwestern University | Nicholas A.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | And 5 more authors.
Acta Neuropathologica | Year: 2011

The reasons for the selective vulnerability of distinct neuronal populations in neurodegenerative disorders are unknown. The cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain are vulnerable to pathology and loss early in Alzheimer's disease and in a number of other neurodegenerative disorders of the elderly. In the primate, including man, these neurons are rich in the calcium buffer calbindin-D 28K. Here, we confirm that these neurons undergo a substantial loss of calbindin in the course of normal aging and report a further loss of calbindin in Alzheimer's disease both at the level of RNA and protein. Significantly, cholinergic neurons that had lost their calbindin in the course of normal aging were those that selectively degenerated in Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, calbindin-containing neurons were virtually resistant to the process of tangle formation, a hallmark of the disease. We conclude that the loss of calcium buffering capacity in these neurons and the resultant pathological increase in intracellular calcium are permissive to tangle formation and degeneration. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Richardson W.S.,Ochsner Clinic | Fanelli R.D.,Berkshire Medical Center
Surgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques | Year: 2010

Background: The development and implementation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines involves many challenges. The Society of the American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) has been at the forefront of guideline development for laparoscopic surgery since 1991, providing its membership with guidelines on the clinical application of procedures and the granting of privileges. The objective of this study was to assess the use of SAGES guidelines by its members. Methods: An electronic survey of SAGES members was conducted via e-mail in August 2007. Members were asked if they used the guidelines, how often, for what purposes and when, and to rank the frequency of use and the usefulness of each of the 26 guidelines. They also were asked to suggest topics for new guideline development and to provide comments. Results: Two hundred thirty-nine SAGES members (4.1%) responded to the survey; 121 (50%) responders used the guidelines. Of these, 95% accessed the guidelines monthly or less often, 58% after hours, 52% during work hours, and 9% while on call. Reasons for guideline use included developing practice protocols (56%) and patient treatment paradigms (51%), creating education and training guidelines for staff privileges (35%), and credentialing new medical staff (25%). The most often used and most useful guidelines included clinical application guidelines on laparoscopic bariatric, antireflux, biliary, and colorectal surgery, laparoscopic appendectomy, and deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis. Some respondents indicated no knowledge of guideline existence and made requests for new guidelines. Conclusions: The results of this survey provided valuable information about current use of SAGES guidelines by its members. The pattern of use highlights the need for interventions that increase member awareness and adoption of these guidelines. Such efforts are currently underway. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Michaels B.M.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Csank G.A.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Ryb G.E.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Eko F.N.,Tulane University | Rubin A.,Berkshire Medical Center
Aesthetic Surgery Journal | Year: 2012

Background: There are several commercially available neurotoxins to improve facial aesthetics, but few prospective, randomized trials have been conducted without commercial support to compare these agents. Objectives: The authors present the results of a study examining and comparing the effects of onabotulinumtoxinA (BoNT-ONA; Botox, Allergan, Inc., Irvine, California) and abobotulinumtoxinA (BoNT-ABO; Dysport, Ipsen Ltd, Slough, UK). Methods: The authors enrolled 53 patients in a prospective, randomized trial in which each patient received a dose of BoNT-ONA on one side of the upper face and BoNT-ABO on the other. The effects of each agent were monitored and recorded over 150 days according to each patient's ability to elevate the brow, wrinkle count (as measured by the Visia system; Canfield Imaging Systems, Fairfield, New Jersey), and assessment of Fitzpatrick wrinkle scale rankings by blinded graders. Results: Results showed no statistically significant differences between the two agents. Both agents yielded measurable improvements on wrinkles of the upper face at 150 days. Conclusions: At the current pricing of the agents, BoNT-ABO offers a significant cost savings over BoNT-ONA, with a comparable efficacy. The effect of both drugs appears to be more prolonged than indicated in the current manufacturer guidelines. © 2012 The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc.

Eko F.N.,Tulane University | Ryb G.E.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Drager L.,Berkshire Medical Center | Goldwater E.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | And 2 more authors.
North American Journal of Medical Sciences | Year: 2013

Background: Early surgery for appendicitis is thought to avoid complications associated with appendiceal rupture. Aims: This study was to evaluate the effect of timing of surgery on complications, length of stay (LOS) and cost in patients undergoing appendectomy. Materials and Methods: Retrospective review of 396 patients with appendectomies from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2007 was performed. Demographic data, time of presentation, physical findings, diagnostic data, operating room times, LOS, cost and complications were collected. Patients were divided into 4 groups based on time from presentation to appendectomy. Results: Pathology confirmed appendicitis in 354 (89%) patients. Most patients (90%) had surgery within 18 h of presentation. Timing of surgery did not affect the incidence of purulent peritonitis (P = 0.883), abscess (P = 0.841) or perforation (P = 0.464). LOS was significantly shorter for patients with emergency department registration to operating room times less than 18 h (P < 0.0001). Costs were significantly higher for patients with times to operating room greater than 18 h (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Timing of surgery did not affect the incidence of complications or perforated appendicitis. However, delay in surgical consultation and surgery are associated with increased LOS and increased hospital costs. The optimal timing of appendectomy for uncomplicated acute appendicitis appears to be within 18 h of emergency department presentation.

Parashette K.R.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Makam C.R.,Berkshire Medical Center | Cuffari C.,The Johns Hopkins Childrens Center
Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology | Year: 2010

Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) therapy has re-defined our treatment paradigms in managing patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis. Although the ACCENT studies showed proven efficacy in the induction and maintenance of disease remission in adult patients with moderate to severe CD, the pediatric experience was instrumental in bringing forth the notion of "top-down" therapy to improve overall clinical response while reducing the risk of complications resulting from long-standing active disease. Infliximab has proven efficacy in the induction and maintenance of disease remission in children and adolescents with CD. In an open-labeled study of 112 pediatric patients with moderate to severe CD, 58% achieved clinical remission on induction of infliximab (5 mg/kg) therapy. Among those patients who achieved disease remission, 56% maintained disease remission on maintenance (5 mg/kg every 8 weeks) therapy. Longitudinal follow-up studies have also shown that responsiveness to infliximab therapy also correlates well with reduced rates of hospitalization, and surgery for complication of long-standing active disease, including stricture and fistulae formation. Moreover, these children have also been shown to improve overall growth while maintaining an effective disease remission. The pediatric experience has been instructive in suggesting that the early introduction of anti-TNF-α therapy may perhaps alter the natural history of CD in children, an observation that has stimulated a great deal of interest among gastroenterologists who care for adult patients with CD. © Parashette et al.

Counihan T.C.,Berkshire Medical Center | Danielson P.D.,Johns Hopkins Hospital
Military Medicine | Year: 2012

The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq witnessed the first widespread use of U.S. Army Forward Surgical Teams (FSTs). Although doctrinally designed to support maneuver brigades in a linear front conflict, FSTs were quickly adapted to fulfill area support and special operation support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. FST's were also split to cover a greater area in both theaters. We now report further adaptation of the split FST role to meet the unique requirements encountered during the final phase of Operation New Dawn. Maintaining resuscitative surgical capabilities for U.S. Forces withdrawing under combat conditions required changes in techniques, tactics, and procedures. We describe our experience within three different scenarios in which elements of an FST were successfully employed and discuss operational planning considerations.

Chen W.,Berkshire Medical Center | Flynn E.A.,Berkshire Medical Center | Shreefter M.J.,Berkshire Medical Center | Blagg N.A.,Berkshire Medical Center
Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Schistosomiasis remains a major threat to women's health in many resource-poor countries and is being seen with increasing frequency in developed countries among immigrants and tourists who have a history of freshwater exposure in endemic areas. CASE: A 28-year-old asymptomatic African immigrant presented with an abnormal Pap test result showing rare atypical squamous cells. Colposcopy examination showed pale-yellow, finely granular cervical lesions. Calcified Schistosoma hematobium eggs were identified by histology but were absent in urine and stool specimens. Praziquantel treatment was initiated promptly, avoiding significant morbidity. CONCLUSION: The differential diagnosis of female genital schistosomiasis should be considered for patients who have a history of residence in or travel to endemic areas, including asymptomatic patients and patients presenting a long time after exposure. © 2012 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

PITTSFIELD, Mass., Feb. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) nurses, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), will hold an informational picket on Tuesday, Feb. 28 to call attention to the hospital's failure during ongoing contract...

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