Events

MWCC will present an information session on its new Health Information Management associate degree program and career opportunities in this growing field. The free information session, led by Associate Professor Mary Jo Bowie, MS, RHIA, RHIT, will take place Wednesday, May 14 at 5 p.m. at the Gardner campus, room 127.

Health information management is a vital component of the healthcare process. Individuals working in HIM are at the intersection of medicine, business and legal, and play a key role in ensuring that the healthcare organization is compliant with state and federal regulations regarding capture, storage and release of all medical data. In this career, individuals who have an interest in the medical field and information technology skills contribute greatly to the healthcare industry without being direct care providers.

This field is seeing rapid expansion with major federal initiatives, including the conversion of all medical records to electronic medium at a national level, and the conversion of the coding structure used throughout the U.S., as well as a new method of paying for healthcare (pay for performance). These initiatives will require significant new hiring of HIM-credentialed employees to meet workforce needs over the next 10 years.

In addition to serving as an Associate Professor Ms. Bowie is a consultant and owner of Health Information Professional Services in Binghamton, New York.  She is an active member of the American Health Information Management Association and has been a consultant to acute care, long term care, drug and alcohol, ambulatory surgery centers and other facilities for 22 years. She has worked in the health information management profession for 27 years and is the author of several textbooks including Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices and Understand ICD -10-CM and ICD-10-PCS: A Workbook.

MWCC is currently accepting applications to this academic program, which will begin this fall. For more information call 978-630-9292 or email mjaillet@mwcc.mass.edu.

Shakespeare a la carte

April 15, 2014

The Mount Players, a student performance group, will present Shakespeare, a la carte on Thursday, April 24 at 12:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center theatre. The 30-minute show will include scenes from Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Macbeth and Julius Caesar. Admissions is free.

Theatre at the Mount will present the children’s show Disney’s My Son Pinocchio, Jr., April 15 through 18 for school groups and April 19 at 2 p.m. for the general public. The performance is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International of New York. All seats are $6. Tickets may be purchased through the box office at 978-630-9388.

Mount Wachusett Community College’s Anatomy and Physiology and Human Biology Club will host a “Delete Blood Cancer” donor drive on Wednesday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gardner campus. The event, which registers potential bone marrow donors with the Delete blood Cancer DKMS registry, is open to the public.

Delete Blood Cancer DKMS assists patients with blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma, and also helps patients with certain autoimmune disorders, including aplastic anemia, sickle cell anemia, and other rare genetic disorders.

The registry process takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to fill out a form, review eligibility and health guidelines and swab the inside of the cheek. Swabbing helps determine a personal Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) type. HLA are protein markers on cells that are used in matching donors with patients. They are inherited, which is why most patients match with donors from the same ethnic background. Prospective donors will be listed on the registry by their HLA type. Volunteers may become a match in a month, a year or longer, or may never be called.

Blood cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths and kills more people under age 20 than any other disease in the U.S. Bone marrow and stem cell transplants can be life-saving treatment for blood cancers like leukemia and approximately 70 other diseases. Patients in need of transplants must find genetically compatible donors to provide marrow or stem cells. While 30 percent of patients can find a matching donor within their family, 70 percent must turn to the national registry to find one. Each year, more than 10,000 patients need transplants using donated marrow or cells. Only half will receive them.

Delete Blood Cancer DKMS started with one family’s search for a bone marrow donor and is today part of the world’s largest bone marrow donor center. The organization leads the fight against blood cancer by working with families, communities and organizations to recruit more donors and provide more patients with second chances at life. To date, the organization has registered more than four million potential donors and facilitated more than 40,000 life-saving transplants around the world. For more information, visit deletebloodcancer.org.

 

Job Fair Fashion Extravaganza March 2014

Student John Day organized a career fashion show to promote the upcoming Job Fair 2014. Pictured at left, three students who are dressed to impress, and on the right, three who are not.

Students and area employers are gearing up for MWCC’s annual job fair, which will take place Wednesday, April 2 in the Commons. The event is open to MWCC students from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and to students and the general public from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to dress for success and bring their resumes.

The MWCC Job Fair is an annual event on-campus that is growing in popularity each year as evidenced by the increased attendance of participating employers, students, and community members, said Patricia Brewerton, Coordinator of Career Planning and Placement.

MWCC students attended workshops throughout the spring semester focusing on resume writing skills, dressing for success, and developing soft skills that are critical to the interview process. To showcase the upcoming job fair, student John Day organized a boisterous career fashion show on March 25. The fashion extravaganza featured students dressed in appropriate and inappropriate attire for the workplace.

A wide range of local employers offering job opportunities in a number of growth oriented fields will be in attendance, including human services, criminal justice, business, retail, and the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

MWCC will present an information session on its new Health Information Management associate degree program and career opportunities in this growing field. The free information session, led by Associate Professor Mary Jo Bowie, MS, RHIA, RHIT, will take place Wednesday, April 2 at 5 p.m. at the Gardner campus, room 127.

Health information management is a vital component of the healthcare process. Individuals working in HIM are at the intersection of medicine, business and legal, and play a key role in ensuring that the healthcare organization is compliant with state and federal regulations regarding capture, storage and release of all medical data. In this career, individuals who have an interest in the medical field and information technology skills contribute greatly to the healthcare industry without being direct care providers.

This field is seeing rapid expansion with major federal initiatives, including the conversion of all medical records to electronic medium at a national level, and the conversion of the coding structure used throughout the U.S., as well as a new method of paying for healthcare (pay for performance). These initiatives will require significant new hiring of HIM-credentialed employees to meet workforce needs over the next 10 years.

“MWCC is poised to meet these industry needs through the implementation of this new program,” said Margaret Jaillet, Associate Dean of MWCC’s School of health Professions, Public Service Programs and Social Sciences.

“Our new Health Information Management program offers students an opportunity to attain a credential as a registered health information technician or certified coder. Both of these credentials will be highly sought after in the coming years due to the national initiatives,”

In addition to serving as an Associate Professor Ms. Bowie is a consultant and owner of Health Information Professional Services in Binghamton, New York.  Previously she served as an instructor in the Health Information Technology program at Broome Community College in Binghamton. She is an active member of the American Health Information Management Association and has been a consultant to acute care, long term care, drug and alcohol, ambulatory surgery centers and other facilities for 22 years. She has worked in the health information management profession for 27 years and is the author of several textbooks including Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices and Understand ICD -10-CM and ICD-10-PCS: A Workbook.

MWCC is currently accepting applications to this academic program, which will begin this fall. For more information call 978-630-9292 or email mjaillet@mwcc.mass.edu.

Jillian Johnson in library

Student Trustee Jillian Johnson, who aspires to become an orthodontist, began her academic studies at age 16 in MWCC’s Pathways Early College Innovation School.

Motivated teens interested in paring two years of time and expenses off their college education should check out the Pathways Early College Innovation School at Mount Wachusett Community College. Praised by state education officials, parents and participating students, the two-year, dual enrollment program allows high school juniors to simultaneously earn their high school diploma and a transferable associate degree in the academic program of their choice.

Twenty new students will be accepted into the program for the fall semester, beginning Sept. 3. A series of required, two-day information sessions have been scheduled throughout the spring and summer.

One of the first two innovation schools created in Massachusetts in 2010 under Governor Deval Patrick’s education reform bill and the state’s first early college innovation school, Pathways provides high school juniors and home schooled students the opportunity to accelerate the pace of their academic careers using school choice funds to cover tuition and fees.

“Pathways has given me a support net that I will use for the rest of my life,” said Jillian Johnson, a Liberal Arts and Sciences major who serves as student trustee on MWCC’s Board of Trustees. “I have grown as a person and would not be who I am today without it. I have discovered new passions and rediscovered old ones. This program has shown me to not just meet expectations, but to surpass them. It taught me to go above and beyond. I recommend this program for any student who is willing to put in the work and wants something more than just average,” she said.

“This program was ideal for me. I love the atmosphere, the teachers, and my peers. Everyone wants to see you succeed and encourages you to do your best. Pathways taught me to not ignore opportunities and to experience new things. I have become a new person and I’m proud of my accomplishments and who I am thanks to the Pathways program.”

Her mother, Julie Johnson, also praised the program for the opportunities it creates. “It was great for Jillian to have an alternative to high school. She needed to be challenged and put in an environment that supports and encourages personal and academic growth. Pathways allowed Jillian to finish her high school requirements while tackling new subjects to work toward her associate degree. The flexibility of the Pathways program allowed Jillian to become her own person and have the independence and responsibility that a young person needs. I have nothing but good things to say about the program. It was the perfect match for her.”

The Pathways innovation school is a partnership between MWCC and the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District. Students are enrolled in college courses and integrated into campus life, and receive personalized advising from MWCC’s Division of Access & Transition throughout their studies. Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matthew Malone, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell D. Chester and Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland have been among the officials to visit the Pathways school and praise it as an innovative, successful model.

To be eligible, students must live in Massachusetts, possess a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0, be at least 16 years old and entering grade 11 by the start of the fall semester, and be recommended by the sending school.

“Pathways students are motivated and mature,” said Pathways Director Natalie Mercier.  “They are not just passing classes at MWCC, they are thriving,” she said.

Upcoming information sessions will take place April 8 & 10; May 6 & 8; June 10 & 12; June 24 & 26; July 8 & 10; July 22 & 24. The first day of each session is the information portion and will be held in room W11 from 6 to 7 p.m. On the second day of each sessions, students are required to take the Accuplacer test. This will take place at noon in the Testing Center, room 129.

For additional information or to arrange an appointment, contact  Natalie Mercier at nmercier@mwcc.mass.edu or 978-630-9248.

Jerry Sabatini, front row, second from right, and the Indian Hill Big Band will present a free jazz concert on March 28 at 8 p.m. in MWCC’s theatre. Broadcasting and Electronic Media students will record the concert to create a DVD.

The Indian Hill Big Band, led by trumpeter, composer and educator Jerry Sabatini, will present a free jazz concert Friday, March 28 at Mount Wachusett Community College, 444 Green Street. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the theatre of the Raymond M. LaFontaine Fine Arts Center.

Founded in 1998 and based in Littleton, the Indian Hill Big Band performs America’s greatest music at venues throughout Greater Boston and beyond. Several of the members are active professional musicians from the local area who perform regularly with orchestras, chorales, musical theater organizations, ethnic music ensembles and other jazz groups.

Sabatini is recognized in the Boston jazz scene as an adventurous, creative and diverse trumpet player, improviser, composer and educator. Known for his wide range of musical taste, he performs in projects ranging from traditional jazz and Balkan brass bands to the music of the Middle and Far East and the avant guard. As an instructor, he directs jazz ensembles at Indian Hill Music School, Joy of Music Program in Worcester, and Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, where he also teaches jazz history.

The concert will serve as a live training event for MWCC’s media students, who are also involved with promotion and event management.

Audio Engineering students will record sound that night with nearly 40 microphones and later mix the raw recording in the college’s audio production studios.  The audio mix will be synchronized to a multi-camera video recording of the event produced by MWCC’s Video/Film students, who will record the concert with six synchronized cameras.

Photography students will take photos at the event for imagery needed by Graphic Design students who will create DVD package designs. The end result will be a full concert DVD and cable television program.

“As the music and performing arts program continues to grow at Mount Wachusett, I met with Susan Randazzo, Executive Director at IHMS, to explore prospects for partnership between our two schools, said Dr. Stephen Grieco, Dean of MWCC’s School of Liberal Arts, Education, Humanities and Communications. “This concert not only creates a collaborative partnership but allows for a unique learning experience for our students. As dean, I am excited to extend this opportunity to our community and am looking forward to this concert production led by Jerry Sabatini, his talented musicians, and our dedicated MWCC Media Arts & Technology faculty and students.”

During this public event, concert attendees agree to be recorded in the audience in photos, video and/or audio for DVD, Internet, television and other promotional materials. Seating will be available on a first-come, first served basis. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m.

The Indian Hill Big Band is an ensemble at the Indian Hill Music School, which offers private lessons and group experiences for all ages, styles, and levels. For more information, call 978-486-9524 or visit www.indianhillmusic.org.

Mount Wachusett Community College’s Broadcasting and Electronic Media program prepares students for careers in television, radio, cable TV, sound recording, photography and related electronic media programs. For more information, contact MWCC at 978-630-9110 or admissions@mwcc.mass.edu, or visit http://mwcc.edu.

 

Kevin Hines

International speaker, author and mental health advocate Kevin Hines, one of approximately 30 people to survive a suicide attempt at the Golden Gate Bridge, will be the keynote speaker at a Mental Health Awareness Conference on Thursday, March 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Colonial Hotel in Gardner.

The free conference, sponsored by the SHINE Initiative, Mount Wachusett Community College, and Heywood Hospital, will also include a panel presentation and luncheon.

Hines, author of Cracked, Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt, has spoken to audiences around the world about his firsthand experience with suicidal thoughts and his eventual attempt in 2000 by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge. He now promotes suicide awareness internationally, speaking with student, professional and veteran affairs audiences about his battle with bi-polar disease and his ongoing crusade to live mentally well.

He has been featured in the critically acclaimed film “The Bridge,” on Larry King Live, 20/20, Anderson Cooper 360, Good Morning America, and Ireland’s famed Tonight with Vincent Browne. Hines has been featured in hundreds of radio, film, and television media outlets. His articles have appeared in the San Francisco Medical Magazine, The Santa Barbara Independent, New Voices at Bay, National Council Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Advancements in Psychiatric Treatment and other publications. He was recently honored as a Lifetime Achievement Award Winner by The National Council for Community Behavioral Health.

Panel speakers will include: Bryan Doe, Department of Veterans Affairs, Springfield Veterans Outreach; Dr. Stephanie Rodrigues, Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Dr. Heather Brenhouse, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience Psychology Department, Northeastern University.

The program will conclude with QPR training. QPR stands for Question, Persuade and Refer – three simple steps that can help save a life by recognizing warning signs of a suicide crisis.

“Mount Wachusett Community College is proud to continue this important initiative with our community partners to raise awareness of an issue that affects countless lives and families in the U.S. and locally,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino.

Mental health problems affect more than 50 million Americans and their families, including as many as 300,000 students and young adults in Massachusetts at any given time.

Established in 2004 by Fidelity Bank, the SHINE Initiative’s mission is to recognize mental illness in children and young adults as a mainstream health issue.

“Our focus on young people is fueled by the knowledge that half of lifetime cases of serious mental illness begin by age 14,” said Paul Richard, the SHINE Initiative’s executive director. “Mount Wachusett Community College is to be commended for recognizing that mental health is an integral piece of total wellness and not to be overlooked.”

For more information about the conference and to register online, go to http://mwcc.edu/continuing/conference or contact MWCC’s Division of Lifelong Learning and Workforce Development at 978-630-9525.

MWCC’s Student Life office will present a series of events throughout March in recognition of Women’s History Month.

Mary Holland

Vermont resident Mary Holland, naturalist, wildlife photographer, columnist and author, will speak on Wednesday, March 5 at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café. Holland’s work in environmental education includes directing the state-wide Environmental Learning for the Future program for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science for eight years, working as a resource naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, designing and presenting her own hands-on Knee-high Nature Programs for libraries and elementary schools throughout Vermont and compiling Vermont’s Rare Bird Alert for five years for the Vermont Center for Ecostudies.

She is the author of the children’s book, Milkweed Visitors and Naturally Curious:  A Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey Through the Woods, Fields and Marshes of New Englan, which won the 2011 National Outdoor Book Association award in the Nature Guidebook category. S

The mental health awareness exhibit “Nothing to Hide” will be on display in the Commons from March 10 to 26. Nothing to Hide is a museum-quality, photo-text traveling exhibit featuring photographs by Gigi Kaeser and interviews conducted by Jean Beard and Peggy Gillespie with families whose lives are affected by mental illness. The compelling accounts demonstrate strength, courage, integrity, and accomplishment in the face of the adversity and stigma of mental illness. By bringing visibility to these individuals and their families, Nothing to Hide helps dispel harmful stereotypes, myths, and misconceptions about mental illness.”

On March 23, the film Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide will be presented beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café. Created as a four-hour television series for PBS and international broadcast,  the film was shot in 10 countries, including Cambodia, Kenya, India, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia and the U.S.

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, the documentary series introduces women and girls who are living under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable — and fighting bravely to change them. Traveling with intrepid reporter Nicholas Kristof and A-list celebrity advocates America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde, the film reflects viable and sustainable options for empowerment and offers an actionable blueprint for transformation.

The Women’s Herstory Project returns this year featuring new mentors and role models. Professor Susan Goldstein’s Journalism 1 class and the Student Life office will display photos and written profiles of women from MWCC’s faculty and staff who play an important role in the lives of students on campus. The display will be located in the South Café through March 31.

On Wednesday, March 26, Women’s Appreciation Day will be celebrated from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the South Café. The event will include a performance by singer-songwriter Christa Gniadek. Gniadek blends raw emotion and humor into her songs, and sings with an honest self-assuredness of a person finding their way that is both charming and relevant. At first glance, Christa Gniadek seems like another pretty face with a guitar, but behind that also lies poignancy, grace, and tenaciously driven character, relatable at any age that everyone can appreciate and love.

On April 3, Meghan K. McCoy, M.Ed., program coordinator for the Massachusetts Agression Reduction Center (MARC) at Bridgewater State University, will present on Bullying and Cyber Bullying Prevention. The program begins at 12:30 p.m. in the North Café.

In working with the MARC program, McCoy has done extensive work in K-12 schools across Massachusetts and provides training, research and consultation about bullying and cyberbullying prevention, recognition, and intervention for students, faculty, administration, and parents. McCoy, who also teaches at Bridgewater State, has presented her work and the work of the MARC program at many state, regional, and national conferences and is heavily involved in research about bullying and cyberbullying prevention and intervention.   McCoy has also published work in the International Journal of Contemporary Sociology.