Emergency Medicine Physician Honored with BMC Patient-Centered Award

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. A BMC Emergency Medicine physician has been recognized with the 2021 Patient-Centered Physician Award, presented annually to a physician who exemplifies the philosophy of patient-centered care at BMC. 
Batya Cohen, MD, a member of the BMC Emergency Department, was awarded the honor during a special ceremony in May.
According to a press release, Dr. Cohen received praise from her colleagues at BMC for her patient-centered commitment to compassionate care. The award is based on nominations received from members of the BMC staff, and Dr. Cohen received numerous nominations. 
Included among them were comments such as:
"Her kind demeanor speaks to the soul. The entire ED team has learned many lessons from her in humanity and her approach to patients. I am often drawn to her when she is working for that simple reason."
"I have seen Dr. Cohen sit and comfort a crying patient because they had no one else to turn to. She is the definition of a patient-centered physician."
"Dr Cohen shows compassion and respect to every patient she encounters."
"Dr. Cohen always approaches patients in a friendly and empathetic way. This approach provides a calming and reassuring environment which immediately helps promote healing."
"She always shares stories to empower us, to remind us, to enlighten us on how to be more patient-centered in the hardest of times, during stressful times, every day, every patient, every moment."
"She is the backbone of the Emergency Department."
The staff of Berkshire Medical Center submitted nominations for the award. 
Also in a press release: the award focuses on communicating with patients and families, involving patients in healthcare decisions, taking the time to talk with patients and listen to their concerns, and working collaboratively and respectfully with all other members of the care team so that everyone can do their very best in addressing patient care issues. These behaviors exemplify a growing philosophical belief that all care activities must be centered around the patients' needs, rather than hospital or individual routines and schedules.
The Patient-Centered Physician Award is presented each year, normally in conjunction with National Doctors Day. Previous recipients of the Patient Centered Physician Award are: Drs. Robert Wespiser, Richard Perera, Todd Lasner, Ronald Hayden, Paula Aucoin, Andrew Beckwith, Wade Gebara, Rocco Iannucci, Marcella Bradway, William DeMarco, Michael McHugh, Michael DeLeo, Hafez Alsmaan, Dennis Owens, Cynthia Callahan, Henry Rose and Adrian Iusco.

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Berkshire NAACP President Reflects on Juneteenth Origins, Plans Rally

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Juneteenth was celebrated Saturday for the first time as a local, state, and national holiday.  
The city of Pittsfield added the holiday to its municipal roster in May, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill making Juneteenth a state holiday last July, and President Biden signed a bill making it a national holiday on Thursday.
Berkshire NAACP President Dennis Powell spoke to iBerkshires about the origins of the date and its implications in modern-day society.
Though he is glad to see it adopted nationally, Powell expressed mixed feelings about Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery and has been celebrated in some parts of the country as Emancipation Day.  
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