2020 – 2021
50 Year Members
Charles A. Birbara, MD
Hannes J. Scheffel, MD
Imre G. Toth, MD
25 Year Members
Vasanthi Arakali, MD
Frederic Baker, MD
Patricia D. Chernosky, MD
Lisa B. Noble, MD
Paul M. Steen, MD
Sara G. Shields, MD
Congratulations to Our Members
President American College of Physicians (ACP)
George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA
Congratulations to George Abraham, MD, MPH, on his recent appointment. Dr. Abraham was elected the President of the American College of Physicians (ACP) for the term of 2021-22. ACP is the largest medical specialty society in the world with 163,000 members. He is the first physician of Indian origin to secure this coveted position. Dr. Abraham is also the Chair of the Board of Registration in Medicine (BOIM), the first Indian to hold that position in Massachusetts. Dr. Abraham has previously swerved ACP in many capacities including Governor of the Massachusetts chapter and Chair of Bord of Governors. He was awarded the John H Clarke Leadership Award this year by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). He is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Chief of medicine and Emeritus President of medical staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Dr. Abraham is double board-certified in internal medicine and infectious disease. He gained his medical degree from Christian Medical College, India and received his Master’s in Public Health from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research interest includes travel medicine and infection control and he has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications to his name.
Dr. Abraham earned his medical degrees from the Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India. He completed his residency and chief residency at Saint Vincent Hospital and received his Master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Additionally, Dr. Abraham is board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease. He is the President-Elect and a Regent of the American College of Physicians (ACP). He is an Emeritus Chair of the Board of Governors of the ACP. Dr. Abraham is also the Chair of the Infectious Disease Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He has served as the Governor of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians, as a trustee of the Massachusetts Medical Society, as President of the Worcester District Medical Society, as the Chief Medical Officer of the Central Massachusetts Independent Physician Association and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.
2021 MMS/WDMS Community Clinician of the Year
Nancy W. Detora, MD
Dr. DeTora Graduated summa cum laude from Michigan State and she completed her medical training from their University College of Human Medicine. She went on to complete a Combined Residency followed by a Fellowship in Developmental and Ambulatory Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Since 1983, she has remained on staff at UMMHC, St Vincent Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Dr. DeTora recently retired but her career in Auburn spanned decades, making literally thousands of children healthier. She was an inspiration to her colleagues, one who stood out for her excellent care and devotion to her patients. One colleague attested to her unpretentious manner and in particular commented that “she treated her patients as extended members of her family and seemed to know most patients on a first name basis… she provided the utmost respect for her patients, recognizing that their perspective and work experience was every bit as valuable as her own.” Her care was individualized and personalized and her impact on the community has been truly remarkable.
Dr. DeTora was (and is) a valuable educator, working closely with a variety of students aspiring to be healthcare providers, sharing her knowledge and perspectives on how to best provide patient care. She was incredibly devoted to the community but that extended beyond Auburn, MA. For years, she served as the medical director, and led a biannual trip with the Auburn Middle School, deep into the Ecuadorian Amazonia Rainforest, introducing them to the culture of the Kichwa natives. This now a twenty-five-year tradition. From one of the parents, “… I always felt she was truly invested in the health, growth and development of each of my daughters but also the well-being of the family as a whole…. Her wit was so fun and her laughter contagious… Each of my three daughters had a unique relationship with her and maintain contact even now, sharing pictures of their children and special events…. Congratulations to Dr. Detora!
2021 WDMS Editor’s Award
Peter Martin, Esq.
Mr. Martin concentrates his practice on healthcare law, representing hospitals, long-term care facilities, physicians and other facilities and providers facing complex regulatory and contractual issues throughout Massachusetts and beyond. Peter’s clients include ambulatory care facilities, hospices, community health centers and home health agencies as well as social workers, counselors and psychologists.
His expertise includes licensure, professional discipline, reimbursement with 3rd-party payors and breaches of security and privacy, corporate compliance, counseling and contract negotiations, fraud and abuse and regulatory investigations, managed care issues, and more.
Mr. Martin has enthusiastically been writing a legal column for our magazine, Worcester Medicine, for years. In fact he has contributed to nearly every issue of WM for the past 20 years. His submissions always relates to the theme of each issue, is informative and is of great interest. Not only does he support our Magazine, but he has appeared as a guest on our television program, Health Matters, sharing his expertise with the Worcester community. Mr. Martin is a true advocate for WDMS, our constituents and the Worcester medical community at large. Congratulations to Mr. Martin!
30th Annual Dr. A. Jane Fitzpatrick Community Service Award
John Broach, MD, MPH
Dr. John Broach is an attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is a graduate of the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and received a Master of Public Health from the Northwestern University Graduate School and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency and of the Fellowship in Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management, at UMass. He joins our faculty in the Division of Disaster Medicine and is active in CEEPET and DMAT. Dr Broach has been in instrumental in preparing UMass for emerging infectious diseases, such as H1N1 and Ebola, and under his leadership and guidance the DCU Center was transformed into a field hospital to treat COVID patients during the pandemic in 2020-2021. Congratulations to Dr. Broach!
2020 WDMS Career Achievement Award
Jeffrey Geller, MD, MPH
Dr. Geller was the President of the American Psychiatric Association, 2020-2021. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and recently served as Medical Director of the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, a 290 bed public psychiatric hospital serving adults and adolescents. Prior to taking this position, Dr Geller spent 25 years as the Director of Public Sector Psychiatry at UMMS.
Dr. Geller is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Prior to assuming his position on the APA Board of Trustees as President-Elect, Dr. Geller spent 11 of the past 13 years on the Board as Area 1 Trustee or APA Vice President. Dr. Geller has served in the APA Assembly in various roles, including on the Assembly Executive Committee, for 18 of the past 25 years. He has been the Personal Accounts column editor for Psychiatric Services since the inception of this column in 1994. He has also as well been a Psychiatric Services last Book Review Editor. Dr. Geller has served on multiple components of the APA, most particularly those focusing on public sector psychiatry and global psychiatry.
2021 WDMS President’s Award
City Manager of Worcester
Mr. Augustus was appointed as the city manager of Worcester in 2014. He is a former Massachusetts State Senator, and the former chief of staff for Congressman James McGovern. Before becoming City Manager, he worked as Director of Government and Community Relations at the College of the Holy Cross. As City Manager, he has focused on continuing Worcester’s economic development renaissance, supporting education and making city government inclusive for all residents of New England’s second-largest city. During the past year, the City of Worcester faced the unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic. City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., along with the his administration, Mayor Joseph M. Petty, WDPH Medical Director, Dr. Michael Hirsh, the City Council and many dedicated community partners, helped steward the City through this trying time. With Mr. Augustus’ leadership, the City established the first-in-the-state temporary homeless shelters, providing care for some of our most vulnerable, while also easing the burden on our hospital systems by keeping beds open for other patients. The City opened the State’s first COVID-19 field hospital with the help of UMass Memorial, which was put into operation twice during the pandemic, established financial relief to small businesses and partnered with local agencies to help with rental assistance for those whose suffered job loss as a result of the pandemic. The City Manager also answered calls to address systemic racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd last year. This year, he announced an Executive Order and several action items geared toward dismantling structural racism and ensuring equality for all residents of Worcester. Through it all, the City Manager has overseen a City that continues to attract developers and investors, with exciting projects such as Polar Park, home of the Worcester Red Sox, opening in May, and a new South High Community School coming online this fall.
2021 WDMS President’s Award
Michael Hirsh, MD
Medical Director of WDPH
Dr. Michael Hirsh, Medical Director of the WDPH, is committed to public health in the Greater Worcester community with roles such as Assistant Vice Provost for Health and Wellness Promotion and Professor of Surgery at UMMS and he is Surgeon-in-Chief of Pediatric Surgery at UMMHC. He is a Co-Director of the Injury-free Coalition for Kids chapter in Worcester and Director of the Gun Buyback Program. Since 2012, Dr. Hirsh has been the medical director for the city of Worcester and this past year, has been a critical part of the COVID-19 response team. His expert guidance with daily news briefings, PSAs and town hall style events to educate the community has successfully guided our all of us through the difficult days of the pandemic. Dr. Hirsh has put in thousands of hours during the pandemic response. Examples of his efforts include:
- Working with college consortium about testing, outbreak containment on campuses
- Reviewing higher education commencement plans for COVID safety
- Reviewing movie set protocols
- Reviewing COVID-19 policies for Woo Sox / Polar Park
- Collaborating with numerous other city departments and local businesses to provide medical guidance
- Participating in calls with public, private and parochial schools about safety concerns and protocols
- Weekly check ins with the hospitals and health centers
Dr. Hirsh has received countless Public Health and Community recognition awards, the most recent being last week; the Heart of Gold Award from the American Heart Association and the Harvey Ball Award in last October, along with Mayor Petty and City Manager Ed Augustus.
2021 WDMS President’s Award
Mayor, City of Worcester
Mr. Petty, Executive Secretary to the employee’s retirement system of the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, is serving his twelfth two-year term as Councilor-At-Large and his fifth term as Mayor of the City of Worcester. He is also the Chairman of the Worcester School Committee.
He is a graduate of Holy Name Central Catholic High School, Worcester. He received a BS in Business Administration from Nichols College, Dudley, and a law degree from New England School of Law, Boston. Mayor Petty is truly committee to the City of Worcester and its residents. He believes providing reliable police and fire services and exercising budgetary prudence at City Hall are issues of high priority. He promotes improving our infrastructure, especially in our neighborhoods. But during this past year, Mayor Petty has worked tirelessly, along with his constituents to oversee and manage our community and its resources, working collaboratively with other city officials and organizations to guide our city through the COVID pandemic.