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At 2010 Commencement, the Rain Was No Pain When heavy rain began to come down early the morning of May 8, it seemed everyone connected with the MGH Institute had the same thought: Yes! Unlike previous years, when graduation ceremonies were held under a tent on the lawn of Harvard Medical School, the 2010 Commencement was moved indoors to the Hynes Convention Center, making the inclement weather a moot point. “I think everyone smiled knowing we wouldn’t have to deal with the rain,” said Institute President Janis P. Bellack at the school’s 30th graduation. The abundance of seating on the main floor and in the horseshoe balcony – almost 3,000 people could be accommodated – eliminated the need to restrict the number of guests,

as had been the case in recent years due to the limited number of seats that could fit under the Harvard tent. It also allowed the Board of Trustees and the faculty to sit together for the first time on stage. A total of 353 More than 350 students graduated at the Hynes Convention Center. students received their degree or certificate in nursing, physical therapy, speech-language Helping Larry Bird pathology, medical imaging, clinical All In A Day’s Work investigation, and reading. Almost When former Boston Celtics great 2,000 people attended the ceremony. Larry Bird has a problem with his Keynote speaker Edward O’Neil, back these days, he pays a visit to PhD, MPA, FAAN, told the students Josh Corbeil ’10. they face myriad new challenges as Corbeil, who graduated in May continued on page 11 with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, is the Head Athletic Trainer for the Indiana Pacers where Bird is president of basketball operations.

A Great College to Work For

“I see him every day during the season,” said Corbeil, a native of Attleboro. “He’s a great guy to work for.”

Institute recognized in three categories by Chronicle of Higher Education The MGH Institute is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. It was one of only 97 institutions in the United States to achieve “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. The Institute was included in the Small Colleges division for schools that have fewer than 3,000 students. The Institute was recognized for: • Collaborative Governance, defined as faculty members being appropriately involved in decisions related to academic programs; • Work/Life Balance, defined as policies that give employees the flexibility to manage their personal lives; and continued on page 15

He joins Michael Reinold ’04 of the Boston Red Sox as an Institute graduate who is head trainer of a professional sports team. While Corbeil said his new degree will help him keep the Pacers on the court and out of the training room, the team has also begun using his credentials to recruit free agents. “I’m the only trainer in the league who has a DPT, and we let players know that as they consider where to continued on page 11

President’s Corner


s this issue of The Graduate goes to press, the Institute has just been named a “2010 Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the most widely read and respected news source for colleges and universities. The Institute has long been known – and nationally ranked – for the quality of its academic programs. This new designation affirms the distinction of our work environment, a critical element that supports the excellent work of our faculty and staff which in turn directly impacts Janis P. Bellack, President the quality of education we provide to our students. I’m hopeful that being recognized as a 2010 Great College to Work For will increase regional and national recognition among our higher education colleagues. The past six months have been a busy time at the Institute. We have had two highly successful accreditation team visits – one for the Institute as a whole and one for our Speech-Language Pathology program. We celebrated Commencement in May at a new venue, the Hynes Convention Center, when 353 students received their degrees. In addition, we welcomed a new Dean of the School of Nursing in June, added nine new faculty positions in response to growing enrollments, adopted a policy that requires students to have their own laptops to fully and readily access the increasing use of electronic learning resources, and reconfigured several spaces to expand student study space as well as labs for clinical practice opportunities. We are continuing the process of planning or exploring several new degree programs, which we will share more about in future issues.

Accreditation Visit Highlights Strengths In March, culminating a two-year self-study process and report, the Institute was visited by an eight-member peer review team representing the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) to evaluate the extent to which the school’s programs, processes, resources, faculty, and students reflect the Commission’s established regional accreditation standards. The team’s exit report highlighted the Institute’s many strengths, including: • the new academic organizational structure of two Schools: Nursing and Health and Rehabilitation Sciences; • our strong, highly ranked academic programs; • our committed faculty, staff, and students; • the relationship with Partners HealthCare and access to clinical learning facilities; and • our engaged and supportive Board of Trustees. The team encouraged us to continue careful attention to balancing growth with new resources; enhance fundraising to reduce dependence on tuition and fees; and enhance research without altering the Institute’s strong commitment to teaching excellence. In November, the visiting team chair and I will appear


MGH INSTITUTE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS ADMINISTRATION Janis P. Bellack, President Alex F. Johnson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Atlas D. Evans, Vice President Office of Finance and Administration Christopher Hartley, Executive Director Office of Institutional Advancement Bette Ann Harris ’83, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs

Robert E. Hillman, Associate Provost for Research

Carolyn F. Locke, Dean Office of Student Affairs Denis G. Stratford, Chief Information Officer

Academic Departments Laurie Lauzon Clabo, Dean School of Nursing

Gregory L. Lof, Chair Communication Sciences and Disorders Leslie G. Portney, Interim Dean School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Chair, Physical Therapy Richard Terrass, Director Medical Imaging

before the Commission for a formal review, and we will be notified of the Commission’s action shortly thereafter. I expect the Institute to be reaccredited for the maximum ten year period, which is critical to ensure our students have continued access to federal financial aid. Speaking of financial aid, we are busy planning our 4th Annual Scholarship Gala which will be held on Thursday, October 28, 2010, at the Park Plaza Hotel. The Gala is our major fundraising event to support student scholarships to reduce our students’ dependence on loans. Our goal this

Scholarship Gala Slated for October 28 Plans are well under way in preparation for the MGH Institute’s 4th Annual Scholarship Gala on Thursday, October 28, 2010. The event, entitled “Educating Future Leaders in Health Care,” will be held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in the heart of the Back Bay from 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Christopher Hartley, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, expects the gala to exceed last year’s record of $305,000 raised for scholarships. “We continue to reach out to people both within the Institute community as well as those who have the same commitment to providing the best health care education as we do,” Hartley said. “As the school’s largest fundraiser, it remains crucial to continue to increase the funds available for scholarships to deserving students.”

Nancy Putnam. Gala co-chairs once again are Ari Buchler and Elizabeth (Trish) Joyce. Cathy E. Minehan, Chair, Massachusetts General Hospital Board of Trustees, is the Master of Ceremonies. Several alumni have joined the Gala committee this year, including Virginia Capasso ’94, Melissa Ghiringhelli ’03, MaryEllen Graham ’09, Flore Marie Guerrier ’98, along with faculty members Patrice K. Nicholas ’94 and Elise Townsend ’06. For more information on how you can become a table sponsor, or to purchase individual tickets, contact Jean-Marie Bonofilio at

Honorary co-chairs for this year’s event are former Board Chair Matina S. Horner, along with George and

We will soon launch an online suggestion box, Institute Input, on the Web site ( It will provide me with an opportunity to hear ideas and suggestions from members of the Institute community – including you, our alumni – and I encourage you to send your ideas and questions. I will either respond personally or forward your message

(As of Aug. 1, 2010)

Presenting Sponsor Nancy and George Putnam

Scholarship Champion CVS MinuteClinic John Hancock Financial Services Massachusetts General Hospital Dr. and Mrs. Charles A. Sanders

Scholarship Investor PhaseForward

Scholarship Partner Boathouse Elizabeth T. and Mark S. Joyce MGH Nurses’ Alumnae Association Cathy E. Minehan Partners HealthCare Barbara and George Thibault

Scholarship Advocate Janis P. Bellack Gretchen Biedron ’95 and Mark Biedron Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Brigham & Women’s Hospital Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Bette Ann Harris ’83 Mary Higgins & John Lechner Matina S. Horner Massachusetts General Physicians Organization Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

While 69% of students receive some sort of financial assistance, graduates on average owe $88,000 after completing their education.

year is to raise at least $400,000. If you or someone you know would like to purchase tickets or sponsor a table, please go to We promise you an enjoyable and memorable evening.



to the most appropriate individual. Institute Input is one new way we are striving to live our commitment to a climate of continuous improvement in all we do. I hope you are enjoying these waning days of summer with your family and friends. In summer, the song sings itself. -- William Carlos Williams

Janis P. Bellack

President and John Knowles Professor

Ari and Helene Buchler Ann W. and Herbert C. Caldwell Laurie L. and Glenn N. Clabo Connaughton Consulting Julie Atwood Drake Atlas and Margaret Evans Julia Greenstein & Paul Bleicher Christopher Hartley & Micah Buis Robert E. Hillman & Sheila McElwee Kris Anne Hormann & Gordon A. Hymers iFactory, a division of RDW Group Alex and Linda Johnson Gregory Lof & Thomas Mutschler Newton-Wellesley Hospital Patrice Nicholas ’94 and Thomas Nicholas Alex Paul-Simon Leslie and Merrill Portney Isaac Schiff Diana and Ron Scott Dorothy A. Terrell Debra Weinstein & Anthony Rosenzweig James and Sheila Wolf Ellen and Peter Zane


INSTITUTE AT A GLANCE Remembering Marjorie Ionta Marjorie K. Ionta, a pioneer in physical therapy both in Boston and nationally who played a key role in the creation of the Institute, passed away in March.

Featured preceptor Melissa Caron Ghiringhelli CSD ’03 with CSD Chair Dr. Gregory Lof and Clinical Instructor Chuck Jeans at the MGH Preceptor event.

Saying ‘Thank You’ to Preceptors The Institute threw a series of events in June to thank the more than 400 clinical preceptors who work with students at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. More than 100 employees of Spaulding turned out for three separate events on June 21-23, held at the network’s main campus in Boston, Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, and Spaulding Hospital Cambridge. The next day, a similar number of preceptors, alumni, faculty, and staff mingled under the Bulfinch Tent at Mass General. “Strengthening our relationship with key clinical sites such as Spaulding and Mass General is very important,” said School of Nursing Dean Laurie Lauzon Clabo, PhD, RN. “It’s wonderful to have an opportunity to thank them in person.” “The future of our programs, the future of our professions, rests with those who are helping to educate the next generation of health care professionals,” noted School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Interim Dean Leslie Portney, DPT, PhD, FAPTA.

ALONG THE WATERFRONT n Two faculty members have been chosen as 2010 Champions in Health Care by the Boston Business Journal. School of Nursing Professor Patrice Nicholas, DNSc, MPH, RN, ANP, FAAN, was one of three recipients in the Nurse category. Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Clinical Assistant Professor Carmen Vega-Barachowitz, MS, CCC-SLP, was one of three recipients in the Community Outreach category. Both women will be honored in September.


“Her influence was important to the formation of the Institute, and the expectations of innovation and professionalism pervade all of our programs,” said Leslie Portney, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Interim Dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Marjorie Ionta was one of the MGH Institute’s original faculty members.

Miss Ionta, who started her career in the 1940s, was chief physical therapist in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1958-1981. Considered stern but fair, Miss Ionta played a large role in transforming physical therapists from technicians to the influential health care professionals they are today. “She was talking about this and pushing her therapists to grow way before it was fashionable,’’ BA Harris, Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs who was a student of Miss Ionta’s in the 1970s, said in an article in The Boston Globe. “She had high standards. But if you were accepted by her, she would support you forever.’’ Miss Ionta was one of the Institute’s first faculty members and was designated as the school’s first professor emerita.

n The Department of Physical Therapy received the recredentialing certificate for its Clinical Residency in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy and Manual Therapy at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting last February. The residency program, which was originally credentialed in 2003, prepares clinicians to sit for board certification and is an important component of the Institute’s commitment to post-professional education. To date, five residents have completed the program, three of whom have already attained board certification.

Helping Out at Partners Health Expo The Partners Channel 7 Health Expo had just opened five minutes earlier, and already Physical Therapy student Beatrice Giurlani was helping people with their posture.

In all, close to 70,000 people attended the event, which for the fourth consecutive year featured booths from all of the affiliates of Partners HealthCare.

Giurlani, a native of Italy who is completing her degree later this summer, worked with an attendee who was sitting at a high table in front of a computer. Using techniques she had learned during the past two years, she gave booth visitors tips on how to work with less pain while using a computer.

In addition to the booth, firstyear nurse practitioner student Stephanie Lubin-Levy and faculty Anne Lamontagne RN, BSN gave Department of Physical Therapy Clinical Assistant Professor a 30-minute talk on how parents Anne McCarthy Jacobson and former New England great Tedy Bruschi give football pointers at the and children can avoid bullying. Patriots Health Expo. McCarthy Jacobson was Bruschi’s physical It was based upon a service therapist during the linebacker’s recovery from a stroke. learning project Lubin-Levy and The recently retired linebacker has seven other NP students did consistently credited the physical during the spring semester in which therapy care from Dr. McCarthythey worked with children at the Jacobson as the major reason he Charlestown Boys and Girls Club. returned to play another three years Also, Clinical Assistant Professor for the team. Anne McCarthy-Jacobson, DPT, MS, NCS, shared the stage with New England Patriots legend Tedy Bruschi, who suffered a stroke in 2005.

It was part of the MGH Institute’s participation in the June 12-13 free event, held annually at the Hynes Convention Center. More than a dozen students and alumni volunteered throughout the weekend, distributing information on the school’s several degree programs.

Bernhardt Tapped to Run Charlestown Health Center

Institute Ranked 23rd Largest by Boston Business Journal

Clinical Assistant Professor Jean Bernhardt, PhD, MSN, MHA, FNP-BC, is the new Administrative Director of the MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center.

The MGH Institute moved up the ranks in the annual listing of graduate schools published by the Boston Business Journal.

Dr. Bernhardt will continue to teach health care administration and management in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, as well as serve as the coordinator of the DNP for Nurse Executives program. She arrived at the Institute in 2009.

The list, entitled “Area’s Largest Graduate Schools” and published in the newspaper’s March 26-April 1 edition, placed the school 23rd in size out of 25 schools listed.

Previously, she spent 23 years in several capacities at the North End Community Health Center. n School of Nursing Professor Inge B. Corless, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named the second Amelia Peabody Professor in Nursing Research. The endowed chair was created in 1993 to serve three goals in research and scholarship: to allow the recipient to conduct his/her own research, to assist other faculty to develop their own work, and to teach and mentor nursing students. n Several faculty gave talks and presentations this past spring: CSD Chair Gregory Lof, PhD, CCC-SLP, presented twice at the Speech Pathology Australia:

The ranking is based upon the number of students enrolled. The Institute reports a total of 962 students – 543 full-time and 419 part-time.

2010 National Conference in Melbourne, Australia; Provost Alex Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP, spoke to the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan; Professor Patrice Nicholas, DNSc, MPH, RN, ANP, FAAN, gave the Commencement keynote address at Fitchburg State College, her undergraduate alma mater; and Physical Therapy Clinical Associate Professor Cynthia Zadai, DPT, MS, CCS, FAPTA, gave the keynote address to new physical therapy graduates at Washington University St. Louis.


INSTITUTE AT A GLANCE Laptops Now Required In Class It’s official: the sound of pen on paper has been replaced by the clickclack of laptops.

studying with their laptops while waiting for their next class to begin.

Starting with the new cohort of Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students in May, the Institute now requires all students use laptops during academic classes.

“I had to have a laptop as an undergraduate, but I wasn’t required to bring it to class,” said Murphy, who graduated from Holy Cross in pre-med and French. “This has been a bit of an adjustment to follow along in class, but I like it.”

School officials believe the new policy will improve learning with multi-media presentations and encourage student participation in course and faculty evaluations. In addition, it will allow faculty to virtually eliminate classroom handouts, strengthening the ‘Go Green’ initiative that already has produced substantial cost savings since its launch in 2009. Sarah Murphy and Liz McEvoy recently were sitting in the thirdfloor student lounge in Building 36. The two Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, who began in May, were – what else? –

Physical Therapy students follow Clinical Assistant Professor Laura P. Busick’s lecture on their laptops.

Although faculty at undergraduate schools are concerned that laptop use could be distracting, McEvoy believes that fear is unfounded at the Institute. “It takes a bit of self-restraint, because if you wanted to you could surf the Internet or be on Facebook for the entire class,” said McEvoy, a business graduate from St. Anselm College. “But there’s no point in doing that here because the pace is so fast and you can’t afford to miss anything.”

Department of Physical Therapy Clinical Assistant Professor Laura P. Busick, PT, DPT, MS, NCS, said she believes the policy is working as intended. “I really haven’t seen students using their laptop in class for things other than taking notes or following the PowerPoint presentation,” she said. Students’ laptops have been encrypted over the past few months by the school’s Information Technology department to meet new Massachusetts General Hospital privacy guidelines.

The Beginnings of a Blog For Provost and Academic Vice President Alex F. Johnson, PhD, CCC-SLP, his inspiration to create a blog came in the form of a guest talk at the June faculty meeting. After listening to Mike Young’s presentation “Social Networking in Education,” Dr. Johnson decided to start blogging.

“I plan to use this to keep friends, colleagues, and students up to date on academic life at the Institute,” said Dr. Johnson, “and hopefully to initiate some discussion around issues.” At press time, he had posted three entries and plans on continuing to write on a regular basis.

ALONG THE WATERFRONT n The Institute this spring joined the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, becoming only the second institution of higher education in the Boston area to become an institutional member. The organization’s goals include improving access to and the quality of post-secondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students.


“I am finding that the blog is a way to let people respond at their convenience,” he noted. “I have already heard from many students and alumni, and I look forward to focusing on trying to attract even more to these discussions.” You can read Dr. Johnson’s blog at

n School of Nursing Associate Professor Janice Goodman, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, has been awarded a research grant of $289,000 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further her investigations into postpartum depression. As principal investigator, Dr. Goodman will collaborate with co-investigator Dr. Ed Tronick from Children’s Hospital in Boston during the grant’s two-year tenure.

Keeping Her Eye on the Nursing Prize As an undergraduate fine arts major, Lindsey Butterfield knew creating a painting about nursing would be a good assignment for her. What she created is an artistic creation that almost defies written description. “When I found out it would be on what nursing means to me, my head was filled with ideas,” said Butterfield, who is completing her Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the MGH Institute. “I tend to infuse my life and observations into my pieces, and it seemed logical that I would eventually attempt to translate nursing into art.”

present for births, deaths, and everything in-between,” she explained. “Although

BSN student Lindsey Butterfield with her Eye of Nursing artwork, located in the first floor food court of Building 36.

She produced a multi-media piece of art entitled “The Eye of Nursing.” Currently hanging on the first floor of the Catherine Filene Shouse academic building, the 24” x 36” piece has an eyeball as its focal point. The canvas artwork includes a combination of Photoshopped pictures, acrylic paint, and dozens of quotes, thoughts, and sayings that she used scrapbook techniques to cobble together. Many of the eye’s elements, including the iris, are made up of outstretched hands which the Brandeis University graduate says “represents the presence of the nursing force and also the need for many nursing acts to be fulfilled.”

these are distinctly different experiences, being present for both has imbued me with a sense of honor and renewed my purpose in this profession.”

The assignment was for “The History of Nursing” class she and her fellow career changers took early in the 14-month program. Many students wrote essays or poems, while others joined Butterfield in rendering a more visual version of what nursing means to them.

Currently studying for the NCLEX-RN exam to earn her nursing license, Butterfield is considering a wide range of tracks including labor and delivery, operating room, and hospice care. Whichever route she takes, it’s clear she will keep her eye on the prize.

“It became quite literally a piece through the eyes of the nurse, as we have the unique perspective of being

Watch Lindsey explain how she created her artwork at

n  Communication Sciences and Disorders Chair Gregory L. Lof, PhD, CCC-SLP, has been elected to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council. Dr. Lof is the only representative from Massachusetts. His three-year term begins in January 2011. n  School of Nursing Clinical Assistant Professor Gail Gall ’97, APRN, BC, was recognized in June at the 20th anniversary celebration of the MGH Student Health Center at Chelsea High School.

Gall, who was the center’s first nurse practitioner, spent nine years helping shape it to become a model facility that now assists more than 1,200 students annually. n  A dozen faculty and students presented their research at this year’s Association for Psychological Sciences (APS) Annual Conference, held in Boston in May. All of the Institute’s six poster presentation submissions were accepted, according to Professor Anthony Guarino, PhD, who organized the project.


INSTITUTE AT A GLANCE They Didn’t Just Walk the Walk Eight first-year students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders surpassed their $15,000 goal when they walked in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in May. The students joined the effort for different reasons; some did it in tribute or honor of a family member who had been affected by cancer, while others walked for prevention and awareness. But they had one thing in common – to help find a cure for breast cancer research. “Participating in the walk started off as an idea that turned The CSD cohort raised more than $15,000 participating in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. into a pretty big, eight-person project that we became very devoted about,” said Maria Montague of the 39-mile walk. “We were all really excited to participate. It is such an important issue to raise awareness and support for.” The group – which included Hope Wallace Hill, Allison Prusiewicz, Eryn Almeida, Katie Gilroy, Maureen Durkin, Gina Ferraresi, and Laura Zekanovic – began its efforts in February, not exactly the best time for outdoor training. Plus, finding even short periods of time to break away from the rigorous academic course load they have has proved to be a challenge. But they started with short walks that became increasingly longer, and held several fundraisers on and off campus to surpass their goal.

Stay Connected to Your Fellow INSTITUTE Alumni The Institute now has a presence on both the Facebook and LinkedIn social networking sites, and we encourage all alumni to use these sites to stay connected to your classmates and other Institute colleagues. Search for: MGH Institute of Health Professions Alumni Association

ALONG THE WATERFRONT n School of Nursing Clinical Associate Professor Ellen Long-Middleton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC accepted a post-doctoral fellowship in the HIV/AIDS Nursing Care and Prevention Research Training Program at the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing. She begins her yearlong sabbatical in September.


PT Club Continues Its Community Service The PT Club continues to make community service a hallmark of the organization. The club in April raised $4,000 during its annual Dodgeball Tournament to support the Foundation for Physical Therapy. The amount garnered Honorable Mention, the fifth consecutive year the club has received that distinction. In June, during the American Physical Therapy Association’s national convention in Boston, club members distributed 75 pairs of brand new sneakers and socks to children in homeless shelters and other programs in the Boston area. Their efforts were part of the Shoes4Kids initiative.

n Eight nurse practitioner students who are entering the Master of Science in Nursing program this fall have each been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. It was created to enable schools of nursing to expand student capacity in accelerated baccalaureate and master’s programs, and build a more diverse workforce ready to serve the needs of a changing patient population.

In a Word – Perfect! The Medical Imaging Class of 2010 has achieved perfection. All 12 students who completed the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Medical Imaging have passed the profession’s national certification exam, administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. “We’re very pleased that our recent graduates have achieved this important milestone in their career,” said Program Director Richard Terrass, MEd, RT(R), FAEIRS. “It’s a testament to their dedication and effort that they have completed the final portion of their education and can now enter the workforce as registered radiologic technologists.” Graduates like Benjamin Delahanty, who received the program’s Clinical Excellence Award, is a great example of this dedication and effort. A film major at Boston College prior to being accepted into the program, he decided to change his focus in life by going into a new career. “Film brought optimism, hope and happiness to people just like health care,” said Delahanty. “Both industries combine my interests in working collaboratively, thinking creatively and thoroughly, and making people feel the optimism that I had felt so many times in my own life. Medical imaging combines my interest in medicine with my love for technology and passion for working with people to ultimately make a positive difference in their lives.” Helena Giordano, who was the Student Government Association representative for her class, won the Academic Excellence Award. “A career involving imaging, anatomy, and a person-toperson connection was what I desired,” said Giordano, who graduated from Regis College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and from Boston University with a Master of Arts in Anatomy and Neurobiology. “This will allow me to meld my interests and people skills.” This was the fifth class to graduate from the program. n Jorge Sanchez de Lazoda, who works in the Information Technology department, was the first recipient of the Employee of the Year Award. The surprise announcement of the $2,500 award was made at the first Institute-wide employee outing in May. n Three faculty research grants have been awarded for the 2010-2011 academic year: School of Nursing Assistant Professor Alex Hoyt, MS, FNP. PhD: Person,

Levangie Named Physical Therapy Associate Chair Pamela K. Levangie, PT, DSc, FAPTA has been named the new Associate Chair in the Department of Physical Therapy. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to join the faculty,” said Dr. Levangie, who started on July 1 as a full Professor. “I recognize the excellent reputation that the faculty, staff, and students have earned nationally, and am excited to be part of such a dynamic and forward-thinking group.” Dr. Levangie received her Bachelor of Science Dr. Pamela Levangie in physical therapy from Northeastern University, her Master of Science from Boston University, and her Doctor of Science in Epidemiology from Boston University’s School of Public Health. She was a member of Boston University’s physical therapy faculty for 23 years before joining Sacred Heart University in Connecticut in 1996. “We are truly fortunate to have Dr. Levangie join us at this critical time in the Institute’s growth,” said Department Chair Leslie Portney, DPT, PhD, FAPTA. “Pam has been a wonderful colleague for such a long time, and I am looking forward to working with her as we move forward.” Place, and Prevention in Primary Care: A Multilevel Analysis of Variation in Behavioral Health Preventive Service Delivery; School of Nursing Assistant Professor Lynda Tyer-Viola, PhD, RN: The Lived Experience of Pregnancy with Chronic Illness; and Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Assistant Professor Lauryn Zipse, PhD, CCC-SLP: Investigation of Rhythmic Processing in Aphasia.




Two Alumni Awards Added at Commencement The Board of Trustees this year approved the creation of two new awards to be given annually at Commencement ceremonies. The Emerging Leader and Alumni Service awards joined the long-standing Bette Ann Harris ’83 award.

Bette Ann Harris ’83 Distinguished Alumni Award Connie Dahlin ’91, ’98, currently serves as clinical director of the Palliative Care Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, and co-director of the hospital’s Outpatient Palliative Care. A board-certified nurse practitioner, Dahlin has been at the forefront of the national nursing palliative care movement for more than a decade. Serving as president of the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association earlier this decade, she advocated for science and evidencebased practice to move end-of-life care beyond hospice. She has published extensively in the professional literature, including 17 book chapters and 27 journal articles. And last year, she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the profession’s most prestigious recognition.

Connie Dahlin is flanked by President Dr. Janis P. Bellack, left, and Associate Provost Bette Ann Harris.

Her nominator especially noted her political advocacy on behalf of mental health care, and her “absolute commitment to excellence.”

Alumni Service Award

“It is Connie’s special qualities of kindness, compassion, dedication, empathy, commitment to care, perseverance, and wisdom, combined with her scientific knowledge, clinical expertise, and scholarly contributions, that make her so deserving of this award,” her nominator wrote.

Patrick Alexis ’03 has worked as a speech-language pathologist at the John Winthrop Elementary School since graduating from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Emerging Leader Alumni Award

In addition to providing speechlanguage services to the Boston public school’s student population, he has distinguished himself as a leader among his colleagues.

Susan Lax ’04, a graduate of the Direct-Entry Nursing program, is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at a private practice in Cambridge where she specializes in treatment of individuals and families with trauma-related disorders. She has devoted much of her career to studying and integrating nontraditional treatment modalities of nutrition, sleep, and exercise with traditional psychotherapy and medication. Lax has established herself as an innovative and successful leader in caring for people with severe and chronic mental illness, achieving remarkable results with those she treats, including dramatic reductions in hospital length of stay so they may return to their homes and communities.


Perhaps most importantly, though, is his service to the Institute. “The Institute has done so much for me that I can never do enough for it,” he said recently. Accordingly, he has volunteered for many CSD and Institute events, has been an ambassador for the Institute to the community, and served as president of the Alumni Board for two years. He also serves as a clinical preceptor for CSD students. As his nominator wrote, “There has been no better, clearer, or more committed voice for the Institute than Patrick’s.”

A Passion For Teaching by 2010 Watts Recipient The passion Associate Professor Marianne Beninato, DPT, PhD, has for teaching students in the Entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Science in Physical Therapy for International Students degree programs was a key reason that she was chosen the 2010 recipient of the Nancy T. Watts Award for Excellence in Teaching. In announcing the surprise award at the 2010 Commencement ceremony, Institute Provost and Academic Vice President Dr. Alex Johnson cited comments submitted in support of Dr. Beninato. “She leads quietly by example, and truly enriches the educational experience by being innovative, enthusiastic,

and supportive while maintaining high standards for all,” wrote one person. And in an astounding display of unity, one of her nomination letters was signed by the entire 2010 DPT class. “I was completely surprised by all this,” said Dr. Beninato, who joined the faculty in 1995. “It’s a wonderful honor.”

Associate Professor Marianne Beninato with Provost Alex Johnson.

At Commencement, Rain Is No Pain - continued from page 1 Dr. Chisholm, who stepped down as Dean after seven years and will return to full-time teaching later this year after a sabbatical, was honored for her leadership in helping the program grow during her tenure.

they enter the health professions at a time of great change. He pointed to the work needed to implement the new health care reform as a prime example of what they will face compared to previous graduates. “You may not have signed up for this, but you’re going to have to take on a larger leadership role,” said Dr. O’Neill, director of the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco. He added he believed they were ready for the challenge. School of Nursing Dean Margery Chisholm, EdD, RN, CS, ABPP, gave the main address at the School’s award ceremony to the new Registered Nurses, Nurse

In addition, this was the last year the Institute issued Commencement Speaker Dr. Ed O’Neil addressing the 353 graduates at Hynes degrees in the Convention Center. Graduate Program in Practitioners, and current nurses Clinical Investigation. who graduated with an advanced The Board of Directors voted in degree. 2008 to close the program due to shrinking enrollment.

Helping Larry Bird All In A Day’s Work - continued from page 1 sign,” he said, noting that just one-third of the league’s 30 teams have a physical therapist as head trainer. “It’s a real selling point because we know how to treat them in different ways, which can help them avoid injuries as well as heal faster.” Not only that, he says his being a physical therapist means the players tend to respect his opinions more frequently.

Like Larry Bird. After all, there’s been no reports of any recurring back pain while he’s been with the Pacers.

Josh Corbeil, head trainer of the Indiana Pacers.



COMMUNICATION SCIENCES AND DISORDERS Alexandria Laris ’03 is living in Chicago

and working as a full-time, school-based SLP. She started her own private practice, Social Butterfly, Inc. last summer specifically for children with social language needs and specializing in social language groups to treat both pragmatic and social skill deficits. She also got married in July 2010.

Congratulations to Naomi Silberg Gerstenblith ’03 and her husband, Adam Gerstenblith, who welcomed Ayla Rose Gerstenblith in June.

New Physical Therapy Center Opens The Department of Physical opened a new Center for Physical Therapy Clinical Education and Health Promotion in May. Student clinicians, supervised by Institute faculty, provide pro bono services to individuals in the local community who may not otherwise have access to physical therapy care or those whose insurance benefits have expired but still need continued therapy. “The Center gives our students another way to get hands-on clinical experience,” said Jane Baldwin, DPT, NCS, Associate Director of Clinical Education and Clinical Assistant Professor who oversees the Center along with Clinical Assistant Professor Mary Knab, DPT, MS.

Richard Lania is assisted by students Priyanka Dutta (left) and Swati Dutta while Clinical Instructor Janine Iannillo looks on.

“The Center is one of the many ways that our students are able to embrace and exercise the core values of our profession,” added Dr. Knab. The idea of creating a pro bono center for the local community had been discussed for several years. The Center is the latest in-house clinical facility for Institute students. It joins the Speech, Language and Literacy Center and Aphasia Center for speechlanguage pathology students, and the simulation labs and Home Health Center used by nursing students. Ultimately, said Dr. Baldwin, students from across the Institute’s disciplines will use all in-house facilities to become better interprofessional health care providers.

Jennifer Liakopoulos O’Connell ‘03, left, and Tovah Segelman Ferges ‘03 were back on campus in June to run in the annual Battle of Bunker Hill 8k Road Race that finishes right in front of the IHP. Not content to do just short races, both women also recently completed their first half marathons. Leah Donnell Winthrop ’04 will be

starting a new job at Wellesley High School in September after six years at Winthrop Middle School. She will continue her work at the Child Development Network.

MEDICAL IMAGING Kim Russell ‘06 recently was hired at MGH West Imaging in Waltham.



Saying ‘No’ to Bullying


Tim Fagerson ’94, ’03 raised more First-year nurse practitioner students with the children with whom they worked on anti-bullying techniques at the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club. Back row: Stephanie Lubin-Levy, Kayse Eichelberger, Micayla Hinds. Middle Row: Erika Clyons, Lesley Manganello, Ashley Garneau, Sneha Rao. Front row: Anna Peary.

Several first-year nurse practitioner students spent the spring semester at the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club working with children to identify, deal with, and ultimately reject bullying.

aftermath of a South Hadley High School student’s suicide after allegedly being cyber-bullied. It has prompted Beacon Hill legislators to investigate passing anti-bullying laws.

The students met weekly with children from preschool through age 12 to build the rapport and trust needed to successfully implement their service learning project.

“It’s one thing to deal with it at school, but today they can’t get away from it once they go home because they can be bullied so many ways,” said Kayse Eichelberger. “They can’t escape it.”

Under the guidance of Clinical Associate Professor Anne Lamontagne, RN, BSN, the students used games and other interactive activities to teach the youngsters ways to combat bullying, not only face-to-face but in the electronic world. The issue has gained much attention in Massachusetts recently in the


Added Sneha Rao, “It’s a huge issue in the schools, even for kids who are very young.” The students used a grant from the school’s Community Project Fund to purchase journals and other working materials to implement this program for the children.

In Memoriam


The MGH Institute community is saddened by the recent loss of: Kerri Lyn Biela, 27, a student in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Hélène Sargeant, 90, who served as a Trustee of the MGH Institute from 1985 - 1992, and as an Honorary Trustee since 1992.

than $1,0000 for The Community Table in Medway and ran the Boston Marathon in 4:42. “It was an amazing experience,” he said.

Donna Scarborough ’97 and James Zachazewski ’03 presented their poster

“Assessment of Leg Control During a Visual Task: a Feasibility Study” at the Orthopaedic Research Society, in New Orleans last March.

Andrea Bonanno ’98, ’04 and Diane Heislein ’91 co-authored the article,

“Effect of Exercise on Quality of Life and Functional Performance for Patients Undergoing Treatment for Gastrointestinal Cancer,” in Rehabilitation Oncology, published in May, 2009.

Susan DeMaggio ’00, ’02 and Daniel

J. Warren plan to be wed in August 2010. They will live in Boston after the wedding.

Edgar Savidge ’01, ’04 presented

“Rehabilitation for Femoracetabular Impingement,” at Sports Medicine 2010: Advances in MRI and Orthopaedic Management in Boston.

Alison L. Squadrito ’03 presented

“Management of the Acute Care Patient,” at Mission Hospital, in Asheville, North Carolina in May 2009. She continues to work as a physical therapist at MGH.

James Zachazewski ’03 presented “Management of Sports Injuries—What Youth League Coach Needs to Know” last March at the Norfolk Youth Lacrosse Association and the Medford Youth Lacrosse Association. He also presented a poster that same month with Donna Scarbourough ‘97—see above.


CLASS NOTES Matthew Nippins ’05 presented “The

Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapist as a Career Choice,” at the Northeastern University Physical Therapy Club last March.

Ann Barr ’06 has been named Vice

Provost and Executive Dean of the College of Health Professions at Pacific University.

Kelly Parker ’06 recently became certified

in vestibular rehabilitation by Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Elise Townsend ’06 authored the article, “Effects of Aquatic Aerobic Exercise for a Child With Cerebral Palsy: a Single Subject Design,” in Pediatric Physical Therapy. She also published the article, “Medial Temporal Lobe Memory in Childhood: Developmental Transitions,” in the December 2009 edition of Developmental Science, Early Electronic View. IN MEMORIAM James J. Leonardo ’09, founder of Leonardo Physical Therapy in Wilmington, MA, passed away in June, 2009.

Karen Pickell ’91 co-presented the

poster “Using Nurse Practitioner Case Manager Collaborative Model to Improve Operational Efficiency and House Staff Educational Experience” at the 2010 National Conference, American Case Management Association. The poster won the Best of Display Topic Award for clarity of concept.


Gallagher ‘94 co-authored “National Patient Safety Goals: What patients and families need to know” published in MGH Caring magazine.

PT Student Named Schweitzer Fellow Even though Cecilia Jiang is fortunate enough to be healthy, she has spent much of the past five years helping people with disabilities. Her efforts have resulted in her being named as a 2010 Albert Schweitzer Fellow. “People with disabilities are just as important as everyone else,” said Jiang, a first-year student in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program. “I hope to be able to do something that will help them and their families have a better quality of life.” She will work with Asian families through the non-profit organization Joni and Friends of Greater Boston, for which she already volunteers. Her PT student Cecilia Jiang wants to make a project aims to connect these families, difference helping people with disabilities. most of whom live in Chinatown where 30% of residents in that neighborhood live below the poverty line, with suitable respite care resources and connect the mothers with bi-monthly support groups through the non-profit organization. Jiang, who grew up in Taiwan, graduated in 2008 from the University of Virginia with a degree in biochemistry. During the next year, she plans to facilitate discussions on the Boston graduate school campus, focusing on health care disparities, cross-cultural sensitivity, and the spiritual aspects of caring for individuals with disabilities. One thing she wants to ensure is creating something that continues after her year-long fellowship ends, noting that improving health care for people with disabilities is not only cost effective but is a matter of basic civil rights. “I’ve seen too many programs fall apart after the person behind it leaves,” noted Jiang, who will receive a $3,000 stipend as a Fellow. “I hope to become a physical therapist who will provide quality care to all patients, and that this project will be a small step towards achieving quality and equality in the American health care system.”

Patricia Lowry ’94 presented “Diag-

nosis and Management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy,” at the Northeast Regional Nurse Practitioner Conference, in Manchester, New Hampshire. She continues to work at MGH as a nurse practitioner.

Alumni Reception Draws 100 At APTA Convention in Boston More than 100 alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the Institute mingled at the Institute’s alumni reception during PT 2010, the annual convention of the American Physical Therapy Association which was held in Boston in June.

Patrice K. Nicholas ’94 was one of two

New England nurses named directors of the 2009-2011 board of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

Patricia Flaherty ‘96, Virginia Capasso ’94, and three other nurses won 2nd place

for their poster “Process Considerations for Improving Committee Efficiency” at the 2010 Nursing Research Expo.

Clinical Instructor Kelly Macauley ’00, ’02 right, and Nicole Fluet ’08, had the time to reconnect at the event.


It’s ‘Summer Science’ No More Classes now open to all students year-round The Institute is now offering science prerequisite courses year-round for students who are interested in pursing a career in the health professions. The courses, which replace the old Summer Science track, will be promoted by the Admissions Office and is expected to generate potential new students as well as revenue to help the school continue its growth. “We are very optimistic the Science Prerequisites for the Health Care Professions will meet the needs of a wide range of students, whether or not they plan to attend the MGH Institute,” said Provost and Academic Vice President Dr. Alex F. Johnson. The courses, most of which are on-line, meet or exceed the requirements of other universities’ health science prerequisite courses and are priced competitively. Incoming students in Speech-Language Pathology, Medical Imaging, and Direct-entry Master of Science in Nursing programs still must complete required courses prior to beginning their full-time education in September. The reorganized offerings now include a mandatory Exercise Physiology course for incoming Entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy students. Dr. Johnson expects more courses will be added over the next academic year. “Our goal is for the Institute to become known as the place to come for Science Prerequisite coursework,” he said. Registration for Fall 2010 Science Prerequisites for the Health Care Professions runs through September 8, the first day of classes. To register and see the list of courses available, go to

A Great College to Work For - continued from page 1 • Respect and Appreciation, defined as employees being regularly recognized for their contributions. “This is an affirmation from our faculty and staff that this is an institution that values and recognizes in tangible ways the involvement and contributions of every individual,” said President Janis P. Bellack. “We are very proud that the Institute is considered a great place to work, and are committed to assuring it remains so.” Department of Physical Therapy Clinical Associate Professor Cynthia Zadai noted the open lines of communication between the faculty and the administration.

“Decision-making in a shared governance model such as we have at the Institute allows for expression and consideration of both majority and minority opinions,” said Dr. Zadai, immediate past chair of the Faculty. “Input is regularly sought and thoroughly considered.” Brett DiMarzo, the school’s manager of admissions and current chair of its Staff Council, said employees are regularly recognized for their contributions. This includes the annual Partners in Excellence award, a monthly brown bag lunch in which employees sit to discuss topics with Dr. Bellack, and a newly established Employee of the Year award.

CLASS NOTES Capasso also presented “EvidenceBased Wound Care for Leg Ulcers: What Really Works,” in May at the Harvard Medical School Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Conference.

Patty McLoughlin ‘95, who lives in An-

chorage, Alaska, teaches human sexuality using the PLISSIT model, “as learned at the IHP with beloved mentors Linda Andrist and Elaine Young,’ she writes.

Mary-Liz Bilodeau ‘97, Marian Bartholomay ‘91, and three other nurses

won 1st place for their poster, “A Feasibility Study of Low-Cost Self-Administered Skin Care Intervention in Head-and-Neck Cancer Patient Receiving Chemoradiation” at the 2010 Nursing Research Expo. Both alumnae work at Mass General.

Charae Spuler ’99, a board-certified

pediatric nurse practitioner, has joined the primary care team at Families First Health and Support Center in Portsmouth, NH where she is the lead provider in the Well Child Program. A part-time faculty member at the IHP, she previously worked as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and then at private pediatric practices in the Boston area.

Laura Sumner ‘03, Sheila M. Burke ‘08, and two other Mass General nurses

presented their research findings: “The Evaluation of Basic Arrhythmia KnowledgeRetention and Clinical Application by Registered Nurses.” The study was also summarized in the May 27, 2010 edition of MGH Caring magazine.

Todd Hultman ’04 co-presented “Working with Families in Crisis: a Strength-Based Approach,” at the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association last March. Walter Zawacki ’06 recently co-authored the article, “Wound Dehiscence or Failure to Heal Following Venous Access Port Placement in Patients Receiving Bevacizumab Therapy,” in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

Stephanie Ahmed ’08 has been appointed secretary of Upsilon Lambda Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing in Boston. Sarah Lynn Dewitt ’09 and Joshua Eliot Holt married in June at the Rose Hill Estate in Aiken, S.C. Sarah is currently employed as an RN at Virginia Hospital Center. in Arlington, VA. Please submit your class note to



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Looking For Your PT Stories Calling all physical therapy graduates: We want your stories. To help celebrate 30 years of physical therapy at the Institute, the department is putting together a commemorative book that will be given to all attendees at PT30, which takes place on October 15-16.


Celebrating 30 years of Physical Therapy at the MGH Institute

Each fall, representatives from the Office of Student Affairs visit college campuses to discuss with interested students the advantages of a career in health care and why they should consider applying to the Institute. The 2010 schedule as of press time includes: Gordon College, Wenham, MA – September 15 Stetson University, Deland, FL – October 7 University of Tampa, Tampa, FL – October 12

October 15-16, 2010 We want to include For more info. go to remembrances of your time at the Institute – whether you attended school at Mass General, 101 Merrimac Street, or in the Navy Yard.

The book will include old photos and other historical information, and should be considered a keepsake. We ask that people keep their submissions to 200 words or less. High resolution photos gladly will be accepted, along with information on who is in the photo. Deadline for all submissions is September 19. Submit your story and photos to You also can post stories at a newly created Facebook page. Search “MGH Institute PT30.” For updates on speakers and information on purchasing tickets, becoming a sponsor, or purchasing an advertisement in the commemorative book, go to 16  THE GRADUATE  n   SUMMER 2010

Institute On The Road

Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL – October 12 University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL – October 13 University of Florida, Gainesville, FL – October 14 Colby College, Waterville, ME – October 18 Bates College, Lewiston, ME – October 19 Bowdoin College – October 19 University of New Hampshire (UNH), Durham, NH – October 19 Western Mass College Fair, Springfield, MA – October 26 UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA – October 27 If you would like more information about participating in the recruitment of students, please contact Manager of Graduate Admissions Brett DiMarzo at

MGH Institute of Health Professions is a member

Profile for Susan Reynolds

The Graduate Summer 2010  

Summer issue of the Alumni newsletter of the MGH Institute of Health Professions

The Graduate Summer 2010  

Summer issue of the Alumni newsletter of the MGH Institute of Health Professions