New Cardiologist Joins Berkshire Health Systems

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Dr. Stephen R. Phlaum
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems announces the appointment of Dr. Stephen R. Phlaum, a board certified and fellowship trained cardiologist, to the medical staffs of Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital.
 
He also joins the provider staff of Cardiology Professional Services of BMC and will provide cardiology care for patients in South Berkshire through Cardiology Professional Services of Fairview Hospital.
 
Phlaum is accepting new patients in need of cardiology care and is partnered with Drs. Peter Chien, Andrew Potash, Jialin Su, Georgianne Valli-Harwood and Shyama Wickramaaratchi at Cardiology Professional Services. 
 
He comes to the Berkshires from the state of Florida, where he worked with Sacred Heart Medical Group in Miriamar for more than 15 years. He previously was in practices in St. Louis.
 
He is board certified in cardiovascular disease and was fellowship trained in interventional cardiology at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Phlaum received his medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital at the Washington University School of Medicine.
 
Phlaum specializes in general cardiology and echocardiography.
 
For an appointment with Phlaum, ask your primary care physician for a referral or for more information call Cardiology Professional Services of Fairview Hospital at 413-854-9777.
 

Tags: BHS,   BMC,   

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Pittsfield Rallies for Reproductive Rights

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nearly 200 people gathered at Park Square on Sunday in solidary with reproductive rights and to mourn the Supreme Court's overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

"My wish is that we can take this energy that's here today and all the people that didn't work out to be here today, to really take this energy and to funnel it so that we can take real action," state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier said.

"And the change is not something that's going to happen in a couple of months or even a couple of years but we have to be as strong as the opposition because we know we're that we're the majority, it's just that so far, we're not the majority that votes. So we've got to get to work, we need to do it strategically and persistently."

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday voted to reverse the 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the nation. This ruling means that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion and it undermines other right to privacy decisions including contraception, marriage and medical issues. 

"It's pretty shattering," Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said. "It brings us back more than 50 years."

Massachusetts is one of 35 states, including the District of Columbia, where it is still legal to have the procedure after the ruling. Abortions are potentially illegal or soon to be illegal in at least 11 states and illegal in five, according to Politico.com.

On Friday, Republican Gov. Charlier Baker signed an executive order protecting access to reproductive health care services in the commonwealth. The order gives health-care professionals protection from legal liability from professional sanctions issued under the laws of other states.

"I am deeply disappointed in today's decision by the Supreme Court which will have major consequences for women across the country who live in states with limited access to reproductive health care services," Baker said. "The commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman's right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access."

Numerous officials have weighed in, with District Attorney Andrea Harrington saying the reversal "threatens the health and safety of women nationwide by limiting access to safe reproductive health care and undermining the public's trust in law enforcement."
 
"Abortion bans disproportionately harm sexual abuse, rape, incest, human trafficking, and domestic violence victims," she said. "This decision will only strip survivors of gender-based violence of their safety, dignity, and autonomy and severely jeopardizes our ability to hold criminals accountable."
 
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren called it a "five-alarm fire" and with other Democrats called on the president "to mobilize a whole-of-government response to protect abortion rights."
 
Two Republican candidates for office cheered the decision, with gubernatorial hopeful Geoff Diehl and Leah Allen, endorsed by the party for lieutenant governor, said they supported "the proper interpretation of our Constitution" by placing the question of abortion back to the states. 
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