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The BMC Brief

May 22, 2013 Volume 2, Issue 10

Pediatric Memorial Service Celebrates Life and Love

On May 21, staff from the Department of Pediatrics gathered with patient families who had lost a child for a memorial service commemorating the young lives and legacies left behind. Tables draped in white linen dressed with flickering candles and bouquets of pastel flowers stood at attention in the FGH conference room, transformed from its usual boardroom style. Soothing notes plucked on harp strings wafted around the room as attendees filtered in carrying long-stemmed white roses.

White roses
White roses filled a vase after the flower ceremony.

“As you look around the room, you may recognize the familiar faces of the many caregivers who provided care to your child and family,” said Robert Vinci, MD, Chief of Pediatrics, in his opening remarks. “While we may have only shared in a very small part of your child’s life, please know that they have touched our lives forever.”

The program, led by Selin Tuysuzoglu Sagalowsky, MD, Pediatrics Chief Resident, included poetry readings, musical performances and a flower ceremony.

Maryellen McDonough, RN, read the poem “My Little Butterfly” by Barbara Ann Rogers. Erica Kaye, MD, Pediatric Resident, sang Pink’s single “Beam Me Up” accompanied by fellow resident Sal Casella, MD, on the acoustic guitar. Laura Bishay, MD, Pediatric Resident, read excerpts from “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran and “When We Watch a Sailboat Leaving Port” by Henri Nouwen. Julie Herlihy, MD, Pediatric Attending, read poet E.E. Cummings’ “i carry your heart with me.”

Maria Trozzi, MEd, Director of the Good Grief Program, played piano while Lara Batey, MD, sang Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be.” Moises Fernandez Via represented the BU Arts Outreach Initiative and played a musical selection on the piano to allow for a moment of introspection.

A special flower ceremony gave staff and families a chance to honor the lives of the children. As Sagalowsky read the names of the deceased aloud, the patient families and staff carried a white rose to the front of the room to place into a large vase. The roses together formed a magnificent bouquet to commemorate the memory of each child lost.

Sister Maryanne Ruzzo closed out the ceremony with a prayer and reflection.

“We can be angry and we can be sad,” said Ruzzo. “Our ‘why’ questions have not been answered, and will never be answered. But we can learn that our presence to one another, our love and support of one another and our celebration together of those whose lives were too short give us a glimpse into the mystery of life and death.”

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Smiles, Laughter Abound at Cancer Survivorship Celebration

The bright, sunny skies outside the Shapiro lobby May 18 echoed the cheerful sentiments within when more than 300 cancer survivors, their families and friends gathered for the ninth annual Cancer Survivorship Celebration. The event featured live music, a raffle and a Wall of Hope where survivors wrote personal reflections. Lunch was served to attendees by the more than 30 volunteers who comprise BMC’s Friends of Women’s Health and by BMC Cancer Support Services staff. Each survivor received a corsage donated by the Friends and was escorted to their seat by BMC Cancer Care staff, dressed in tuxedoes, to the cheers of fellow staffers and volunteers.

Cancer survivor luncheon
The luncheon was held in BMC's Shapiro Center

The event began with an invocation by BMC Chaplain Sam Lowe, MDiv, PhD, followed by remarks from Kathleen Finn, MSN, NP, Director, Cancer Support Programs; Chris Andry, PhD, Executive Director, Cancer Care Services; and David Seldin, MD, PhD, Chief, Hematology-Oncology. BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh, a cancer survivor, then welcomed guests to the celebration.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year and it’s great to see old friends and new faces,” said Walsh. “Thank you for coming today to celebrate each other and to celebrate life.”

Walsh was followed by three patient speakers. Joyce Gandy, a two-year survivor, encouraged attendees to participate in support groups, while Joseph Banks, Jr. reminded the audience to reach out to loved ones for support and not take things for granted. Zahra Haghighatjoo, a two-year survivor, expressed her gratitude to BMC for the care she received here.

Attendees then enjoyed lunch provided by Smokey’s Longhorn Catering and had a portrait photo taken with their families by Atlantic Photo.

Transportation for the event was provided to survivors and their families by the Bishop family and table flower arrangements were donated by The Blooming Place. Donated raffle prizes included Red Sox tickets and Elizabeth Grady gift bags.

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BMC ITS Replaces Help Desk with Service Desk

In an effort to provide better customer service to staff, BMC Information Technology Services (ITS) has rolled out a new Help Desk, called Service Desk, which includes an online component, called ServiceNow. With ServiceNow, staff can log their requests online without the need to call the Service Desk. Benefits of the new online system include improved ITS response time and the ability to track the status of each request in real time.

BMC Service Desk
BMC Service Desk homepage

According to Steve Groff, Director, IT Infrastructure, there are also benefits behind the scenes.

“With the old Help Desk tool, we were unable to capture and track data on how ITS was performing,” he says. “With the ServiceNow system, we can now measure performance on the 6,000 incident reports and requests that we receive a month and provide the best service possible to our customers.”

Groff notes that ServiceNow includes a feature that automatically escalates a request if it is not completed with a certain time.

“This helps ensure that an employee’s request is always addressed,” he says.

Users also can access the system to get information on system outages.

“The ServiceNow homepage will contain major outages information for all users, so if Logician or SCM, for example, has experienced a problem, staff will know that ITS is aware and working on resolution of the incident,” he says. “Employees will no longer need to call the Service Desk to find this information out.”

“We are pleased to offer this enhanced service to staff and welcome feedback on the new tool,” says Dave Peterson, Chief Information Officer.

ServiceNow is available on the BMC intranet under the “Help” tab. To learn more about ServiceNow, visit the ITS section of the intranet. Please note, staff still may reach the Service Desk by calling 414-4500.

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What’s for Dinner? Pork Medallions with Apples, Pears and Sage

Summer is just around the corner, so why not try this healthy option for dinner with your family? Check out this this delicious recipe from BMC Demonstration Kitchen Chef Tracey Burg.

This juicy, flavorful pork dish will satisfy your sweet tooth while packing in some serious protein per serving. The pork cooks quickly in a skillet, so it is easy to whip up on a weeknight. Fire up the charcoal to serve this with grilled veggies for a taste of summer in a side dish!

Pork Medallions with Apples, Pears and Sage

Pork Medallions with Apples, Pears and Sage


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin (or 4 4-oz pork chops)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 tsp)
  • 1 medium-size Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium-size pear
  • 1/2 cup apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped (or 2 tsp dried sage)


  1. If using tenderloin, slice the pork crosswise into eight medallions. Sprinkle pepper on to both sides of the pork medallions or pork chops.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the pork on both sides until evenly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the pork from the skillet and set aside. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  3. Add the onion, and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the apple and pears and sauté 3 minutes.
  4. Mix the cider and chicken stock with the cornstarch. Add to the skillet. Add the dried cranberries and sage. Return the pork to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 308
  • Total Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
  • Sodium: 72 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Cholesterol: 73 mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 24 g

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What do you do, Genetics Counselors?

Name: MaryAnn Campion, MS, CGC
Title: Prenatal Genetic Counselor
Department: Obstetrics and Gynecology
Years at BMC: 10

BMC Genetics Counselors
BMC Genetics Counselors

What do genetic counselors do?
We work with individuals and families to help them understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic diagnoses such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Down syndrome, and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. There are a variety of sub-specialties within genetic counseling, such as prenatal, pediatric and cancer. I am a prenatal genetic counselor, so I work with women and their partners when there is an increased risk for abnormalities in their pregnancy based on family history or results of prenatal screening/testing.

What is a typical day like for a genetic counselor?
We spend part of our days providing genetic counseling to patients and their families in the prenatal, pediatric and cancer clinics at BMC. This process integrates interpretation of family and medical histories, education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research, and counseling to promote informed decisions. All four genetic counselors at BMC also teach at Boston University School of Medicine in the master’s program in genetic counseling. It is one of only 32 genetic counseling training programs in the country, which makes this a very small, specialized field. Between our clinical and academic roles, we teach, mentor, supervise and conduct research projects with our students.

What do you like best about working as a genetic counselor?
We are an incredibly close group, which allows me to leverage the knowledge and experience of my colleagues. The patient population is another wonderful part of working at BMC, because they enable us to feel like we are really making a difference. They are very grateful that we will spend as much time as needed to help them decide on the course of action that aligns with their personal and family goals.

With the news of Angelina Jolie’s elective double mastectomy, what advice would you give women who are interested in genetic testing for breast cancer?
Gather your family history and make an appointment with a cancer genetic counselor. The amount of genetic information out there is overwhelming, yet can be empowering if used correctly. The first step is having a counselor help you review your medical and family history and decide whether testing is indicated. Our goal is to help patients feel supported and informed in this process.

What does your department do to maintain a healthy work-life balance?
We participate in a lot of advocacy events related to genetic conditions and disabilities and do activities like 5Ks and fun-runs. There are also about 100 genetic counselors in the Boston area, so we organize happy hours to get to know our colleagues around town.

Are you working on any interesting projects?
I’m working with researchers from the community health sciences departments at Boston University School of Public Health and Northeastern University to develop a “virtual counselor” to facilitate the collection of family health history information. It is our hope that one day, a patient sitting either at home or in a waiting room will be able to interact with the virtual counselor who will ask questions and collect the information needed to create a pedigree. Our goal is to make this electronic information available for the provider via the electronic medical record to use when making clinical decisions. This is a very innovative use of technology in health care and has the potential to revolutionize the way family health history is integrated into primary care.

Do you know a staff member who should be profiled? Send your suggestions to communications@bmc.org.

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News of Note

Support Services Carnival

Support Services Takes a Break to Enjoy Carnival Festivities

On May 2, Support Services staff took a time out to play carnival games like bean bag and ring toss in the hopes of winning prizes like Boston sports memorabilia, stuffed animals and more. Staff who organized the event also enjoyed treats like cotton candy, hot dogs and sausages donated by BMC vendors.

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Awards and Accolades

Ketline Edoard, RN, MSN

Ketline Edoard, RN, MSN, Clinical Manager, Physician and Affiliate Services, was named a 2013 New England Nurse.com Nursing Excellence regional finalist in the Volunteerism and Service category, one of six categories of excellence. Edoard was among 30 nurses from the New England region who was honored at the Nurse.com Nursing Excellence GEM Awards on May 13.

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