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The Grapevine


  • Louann Villani has accepted the position of nursing informatics specialist. In this position, Villani is responsible for supporting the implementation of several key information services initiatives throughout Albany Med, as well as functioning as the Hospital IS liaison.

New Faces...

  • Rick Werwaiss has been appointed director of principal gifts for the Albany Med Foundation. Werwaiss will plan, organize, coordinate and direct Medical College fundraising efforts that focus on capital gifts from alumni and individuals across the country. In addition, he will assist the director of leadership gifts and senior colleagues in identifying institu- tional funding priorities. Prior to joining Albany Med, Werwaiss served as executive director of the Heritage Breeds Conservancy and Northeast Livestock Alliance in Great Barrington, Mass., organizations dedicated to the conservation of rare and endangered livestock breeds, where he was responsible for all financial, operational and program activities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

Upcoming Events...

  • “Breathing Easier: Smoking Cessation Strategies in Patient Care” will be the topic of Nursing Grand Rounds from noon- 1pm Monday, Jan. 22 in MS-169.

  • A free seminar on Parkinson’s disease will take place at 6pm Jan. 31 at the Albany Marriott, Wolf Road. Presenters from the Neurosciences Institute will include Eric Molho, MD, Donald Higgins, MD, and Anne Barba, PhD. To register, call toll-free 1-877-262-7797.

  • The annual “Vermont Border-to-Border in 24 Hours” 330-mile snowmobile ride to benefit the cystic fibrosis patients here at the hospital through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Donna M. Crandall Memorial Foundation takes place Feb 3. To make a donation or to register, call Tom Potanovic in CT scan at 262-3036.

  • Mark your calendar for Sunday, Feb. 11 for the Albany Med Employee Bowl-a-thon to benefit the Children’s Hospital. The event will be held at the Latham Bowlers Club. For more information, call the development office at 2-3322.

  • The 19th Annual Emergency Medicine Winter Symposium will be held Feb. 12-14 at the Grand Summit Resort, Mt. Snow, Vermont. This symposium is for emergency medicine physicians and other emergency medicine providers. For more information, contact the office of continuing medical education at 2-5828.

  • The 22nd Annual Obstetrics and Gynecology Conference takes place Feb. 14-16 at Stratton Inn, Stratton Mt., Vermont. This conference is for OB/GYN practitioners and this year will include a primary care component. For more information, contact the office of continuing medical education at 2-5828.

Did You Know?

  • Donald McGoldrick, MD, professor of medicine (and retired chief of nephrology) won the Men’s 60 Singles Irish National Tennis Championship in Dublin, Ireland in November. Congratulations!

To submit your news to The Grapevine, e-mail Albany Med Today on the Groupwise system. Please submit items at least three weeks before the publication date.

43 New Scotland Avenue (Mail Code 125) Albany, New York 12208

Change Service Requested

On the Job

Brian Mooney

Brian Mooney is accustomed to answering pleas for help with audio/visual equipment in rooms throughout Albany Med; but it was the request to have the foosball table removed from ME-400 that made him stop in his tracks one recent afternoon.

A foosball table in a lecture hall? Brian shakes his head and laughs about it.

“I don’t know how it got in there, but we’ll find a way to get it back to the student lounge,” he says.

This willingness to help out with good humor has earned Mooney a solid reputation among co-workers and students. His high standard of service is reflected in the number of employees who say hello to him as he passes through the MS building at a fast clip on his way to the ME building. Everyone seems to know him.

Mooney’s official title is senior desktop specialist, but in the last 11 years, he has become the go-to guy whenever there’s a problem with the A/V equip- ment. From a professor in the middle of a lecture who experi- ences a breakdown in the pro- jector to a confused presenter trying to use the smart touch white boards in a conference room; Mooney can walk more than five miles a day through the halls of the Medical Center, responding to calls for help.

“It’s fun, it’s hectic,” Mooney says of the pace. “Your pager can go off at any time and you have to be ready at a moment’s notice.”

Most of the classrooms and conference spaces have been outfitted with new “smart” white boards, which look just

like a normal white board that uses dry-erase markers, but are really large computer screens with touch capabili- ties. Presenters can tap the white board and direct their lectures with their fingertips, or use special pens to “write” on the board.

“We just have to continue to remind people not to use dry erase markers on the electronic boards,” Mooney says.

students can get their educa- tion,” Mooney says.

Mooney combines his tech- nology savvy with an eye for logistics. When outdated lab space was being renovated for high-tech classrooms on J-3, Mooney helped solve the puzzle of turning an odd-shaped room with large columns that obstructed view into a room where professors could engage their students.

“It’s fun, it’s hectic...your pager can go off at any time and you have to be ready at a moment’s notice.”

He knows that his efforts are appreciated.

“It’s important to make sure the equipment works right all the time—so the

The solution: seven large plasma televisions mounted on the walls near clusters of worktables. In this way, a pro- fessor can manage a class of

90 students, who are able to watch the lecture on the TV screens without strain.

For Mooney, however, the best part of his job is his partic- ipation in the National Residency Matching Program, which matches medical students to residencies. Brian manages the electronic application service, compiling all the students’ information for a national database of medical programs through which the students are matched. He ensures the soft- ware is working and answers questions from students and program administrators to keep the process smooth and organized. And he’s there to watch the students on the exciting National Match Day.

“I think Match Day is just the best day of the year,” he says. “In fact, that’s probably one of the things I enjoy the most: My work with the students.”

Vol. 2, No. 1


January 15, 2007

Albany Med



Local Woman Promotes Organ Donation at Rose Bowl Parade

Saratoga County resident Tammy Mitchell represented the Capital Region and organ donation when she rode on the “Donate Life” float in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day. She also honored her late son, Thomas “Tommy” Gailor Jr., 21, a Schuylerville High School graduate, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2003. Three days after the accident, while Gailor was on life support at Albany Med, his mother made the decision to donate her son’s organs, which ultimately benefited five people, including a 14-year-old who had been sick for years with liver disease.

The 2007 Donate Life Rose Parade float marked the fourth appearance of the donation and transplant community in the parade, but was the first time Albany’s Center for Dona-

a strong advocate and voice for organ donation and last year donated proceeds from a “motorcycle run” in memory of Tommy to CDT to help raise awareness that organ transplants “really do save lives.”

“I am honored that CDT asked me to ride on the float

“Donating Tommy’s organs not only saved the lives of five people, but gave hope and comfort to my family.”

tion and Transplant sponsored someone from the Capital Region to ride in honor of CDT’s donor families. The CDT is Albany Med’s Organ Procure- ment Organization (OPO).

Since donating her son’s organs, Mitchell has become

to represent all their organ and tissue donor families,” said Mitchell. “Donating Tommy’s organs not only saved the lives of five people, but gave hope and comfort to my family, knowing that a part of Tommy lives on in others.”

White Coats for PAs

Glenn Davenport

Jena Gregware, a member of the Class of 2009 of the Center for Physician Assistant Studies at Albany Med, receives her white coat from Donna Cisek, Class of 2008, during a ceremony Jan. 3 in ME-700. The White Coat cere- mony was held to welcome the new class into the profes- sion. The 31 new students also signed an honor code and recited the Physician Assistant Oath. A similar ceremony is held each August for new medical students at Albany Med. The Center for PA Studies is a two-year Master’s program that involves class instruction, clinical rotations,

and research. Students come mainly from health care or biomedical research back- grounds, but the Class of 2009 includes a former athletic trainer, an equestrian instructor and a Catholic priest. They range in age from 21 to 48 years old, with women making up 68 percent of the class. A physician assistant is a health professional who is qualified by academic and clinical train- ing to provide health care services with supervision by a licensed physician. Physician assistants may perform diag- nostic and therapeutic care in any setting in which a physician renders care.

Photos courtesy Donate Life Float Committee

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