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UMass physician receives Lifetime Achievement Award for injury prevention
During the Dec. 3 conference of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, titled “Forging New Frontiers,” Worcester physician Dr. Michael P. Hirsh was given the coalition’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his 30 years of work in the field of injury prevention.
Dr. Hirsh is a professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at UMass Medical School and surgeon-in-chief of UMass Memorial’s Children’s Medical Center. Other roles include division chief of Pediatric Surgery and Trauma, and associate surgical director of the Trauma Center and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
His career has focused on the development and implementation of innovative interventions to prevent pediatric injuries and address firearm injuries. Following the loss of his best friend in a firearm incident, Dr. Hirsh co-founded Goods for Guns, a firearm-exchange program that has taken more than 3,200 guns off the street in the last 15 years.
In 2012, his prevention work led him to serve as the Central Massachusetts Regional Public Health Alliance’s medical director for the state Department of Public Health. The alliance is a consortium of seven area municipalities. Injury prevention is now one of the five top priorities of the region’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which aims to make the region New England’s healthiest by 2020.
Dr. Hirsh’s work has impacted hundreds of thousands of lives; he also has helped usher dozens of people into the field of injury prevention. Injury Free Coalition for Kids founder and Executive Director Dr. Barbara Barlow said she couldn’t think of anyone who deserved the award more than Dr. Hirsh.
“I have worked with Dr. Hirsh much of his career and I have seen the impact he has made and the contributions he continues to make in the field of injury prevention,” she said.
Injury Free Board President Wendy Pomerantz, MD agreed. “Dr. Hirsch has done amazing work in preventing injuries to children in his own community and throughout the entire nation. His passion is palpable and contagious, and he is well deserving of this award.”
“Early on in my pediatric trauma experience, I realized that without devoting a significant part of my energy to prevention I would be relegated to running a M.A.S.H. unit patching up injured kids and sending them back out to be injured again,” Dr. Hirsh said. Dr. Barlow’s methodology “gave me the model to mimic, and I was on my way. “
Dr. Hirsh called the award a wonderful recognition of that path, which has yielded positive impacts. His work has established a number of programs that are instrumental in improving the health and safety of children by preventing injuries both locally and nationwide. Among them are gun-buyback and teen-driving programs, and Safety Street, a program that teaches children about safety in their homes, on the streets and in their communities.
Sen. Moore announces 80th Citizens’ Legislative Seminar
Sen. Michael O. Moore, D-Millbury, announced that the 80th Citizens’ Legislative Seminar will be held on March 27 and 28 at the Massachusetts State House. CLS is a program that aims to better educate the public on the state legislative process.
Established in 1976 through a collaborative effort of the state Senate and University of Massachusetts, the two-day seminar features presentations by senators and staff on aspects of the day-to-day experience of legislators. Topics will include the history and processes of the Legislature, and the parliamentary role of the Clerk of the Senate.
“This program provides an exciting opportunity for residents to gain a first-hand perspective about what it’s like to serve in the Senate,” said Moore. “Past participants from our area have found the program to be both informative and enjoyable.”
The CLS culminates in a simulated legislative hearing and Senate session in which participants are invited to use what they have learned and participate as “senators” in a live debate. All residents of the Second Worcester District are invited to contact Sen. Moore’s office at 617-722-1485 or online at www.SenatorMikeMoore.com no later than Jan. 5 in order to be nominated. Participation is on a first-come first-served basis.
The Second Worcester District includes the towns of Auburn, Grafton, Leicester, Millbury and Shrewsbury; Precincts 2 and 4 in Northbridge; Upton; and Wards 5-7, and Precincts 1 and 5 in Ward 8 in Worcester.
Levenson lauded by Southgate, Shrewsbury nursing center boards
On the occasion of his two-year anniversary as president and CEO of Southgate at Shrewsbury, Dana Levenson was recognized by the board of directors of both Southgate and its sister company, Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, as a model CEO and administrator.
John Lauring, chairman of both boards, said Levenson “… has the full support of the board as he has accomplished the mission with which he was charged when he was hired, which was improving the profitability of Southgate and Shrewsbury Nursing, while enhancing the already successful customer experience.”
Southgate at Shrewsbury is a 440,000-square-foot Independent and Assisted Living facility with 231 luxury apartments as well as two restaurants, a bowling alley, a fully equipped health club including a swimming pool, a 200-seat theater, and a woodworking shop. Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is a 99-bed, 5-star-rated skilled nursing facility. Southgate has been in business since 1989 and Shrewsbury Nursing was established in 1969.
Levenson, whose background was investment banking and public service, joined the privately owned Shrewsbury-based Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in November 2015. Since then, the number of residents at Southgate has increased significantly, and Shrewsbury Nursing continues a 5-star rating by Nursing Home Compare, the official U.S. government website that ranks skilled nursing facilities across the country.