Sunday, August 30, 2015

National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Help raise awareness in the fight against childhood cancer by joining us for a ceremony in front of City Hall as we recognize September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Mayor Alex B. Morse invites you to attend this special celebration on Tuesday, September 1 at 4:00 pm outside City Hall.  Mayor Morse is inviting the community of Holyoke to participate in programs and activities during the month of September that will raise awareness for the families and victims of pediatric cancer.  This is a time to remember the children we have lost, celebrate survivors, raise money for research, and support families facing childhood cancer and fight back.

Please join Mayor Morse and many other agencies and organizations as we decorate the front of City Hall with a memorial gold wreath. No family has to face cancer alone!

For more information, please contact Nilka Ortiz in the Mayor’s Office at (413) 322-5510 or

Friday, August 28, 2015

Holyoke Detective Jennifer Sattler Receives International Award for Excellence in Performance

From Holyoke Police Chief James Neiswanger:

“Last year, Detective Jennifer Sattler was recognized by the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement (MAWLE) for the 2014 Excellence in Performance Award.  Captain Denise Duguay nominated Detective Sattler for this award. 

I am extremely proud to announce that since that time, MAWLE forwarded this nomination of Det. Jennifer Sattler on to the International Association of Women Police, who accepted it and bestowed upon Detective Sattler their own Excellence in Performance award.  This is a very prestigious award and it is an incredible honor.  This Excellence in Performance Award is presented to an officer who distinguishes herself through superior attention to duty or outstanding investigative effort, which leads to the identification, location or arrest of a major criminal or criminal activity. There are numerous examples of assorted violent and/or other serious felony cases solved by Detective Sattler, each of which resulted in significant and substantial prison sentences.

These cases involved her great work on homicides, bank robberies, home invasions and sexual assaults.  Det. Sattler was presented with this
international award in Cardiff, Wales, on August 23, 2015.   

I wish to formally commend Detective Sattler's positive work ethic and her fierce determination to solve and arrest violent dangerous felons.

It is quite an honor to have her receive this international recognition”.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peter Blanchette: Archguitar Master

Peter Blanchette: Archguitar Master
Plays his self-designed,11-string, Archguitar live at the GCA Beer Garden

Friday, August 28 & Saturday, September 19
5:30-9:30pm / No Cover / Donations Encouraged
(Beer Garden Hours: Friday, 12pm-10pm, Saturday, 4pm-10pm)

contact Mark Sherry (music producer) at

Enjoy drinks, dinner, and a concert from musical virtuouso Peter Blanchette in the Gateway City Arts outdoor Beer Garden.

Blanchette, inventor of the 11-string archguitar, will perform the two shows as part of the new Gateway City Live's concert productions. “Blanchette is an ace on this, his self-designed instrument.”
– Billboard Magazine.

His repertoire of unusual and internationally acclaimed arrangements and compositions spans from medieval to classical, and contemporary to ethnic.

Blanchette is a veteran performer of such high profile venues as NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His CDs receive heavy airplay on WAMC, WNYC, and WFCR. His classical/jazz concept recording, “Had Miles Met Maurice” was selected by AudioPhile Magazine as a “Top 100 Jazz CD of 2001.”

In 2011, he received New England Public Radio Foundation’s Arts and Humanities Award for outstanding individual artist. As a composer, he has contributed to such television programs as HBO’s “Sex and the City,” USA Network/NBC’s “Royal Pains,” and PBS’ “Inside the Tuscan Hills.” Among other film work, Blanchette worked extensively with director John Turturro on Turturro’s film Illuminata.

In the late 1990′s, the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) commissioned Blanchette to compose scores to the Buster Keaton silent comedies “The General” and “The Navigator” which resulted in sell-out performances in venues around the Northeast. “His updated film scores make the silents sing.” – Boston Sunday Globe

He is also the founder and Artistic Director of the critcally-acclaimed Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra (

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mayor Morse Announces Appointment of Steven Grande as Chair of MIDAC with Focus on Targeted Plan for Workforce Development

Mayor Alex Morse is pleased to announce the appointment of Steven Grande, President of Meridian Industrial Group in Holyoke, as the new Chair of the Mayor’s Industrial Development Advisory Committee (MIDAC). The announcement follows ongoing efforts to engage the manufacturing community and revisit the objectives and efforts of the committee to better serve both the manufacturers and the Holyoke community at large.

For several decades, MIDAC has existed as an advisory advocacy group of manufacturers who meet periodically with the Mayor to provide insight and feedback on the needs of the manufacturing community, essentially serving as the primary liaison between the City and local industry.

The appointment follows over a year’s worth of visits to Holyoke manufacturing companies made by the Mayor and his economic development team to hear directly from industrialists about their priorities and suggestions on how to better utilize existing partnerships with organizations outside their sector to effectuate change.

“Just as many manufacturing companies have had to adapt to the changing economy, I think we have to take a close look at how industrialists engage with the City, our schools and other community partners to be more proactive in meeting our workforce development needs,” said Steven Grande. “That will include increased involvement with Dean Tech in order to better serve youth and industry as a pipeline for manufacturing jobs. Most importantly, we have to change the overall perception that exists around a career in manufacturing by introducing our youth to all the positive attributes that can come with the job, like high paying salaries and management opportunities. The City has a clear focus on facilitating process and technology innovation in our sector which I can assure you, in today’s economy you’ll lose relevance fast if you don’t. I appreciate the Mayor’s conscious effort to convene and work with manufacturers in order to better address our needs, and I appreciate the trust he’s deposited in me to serve as a liaison to our sector and work towards fulfilling our common goals.”

“As I mentioned in my State of the City earlier this year,” Mayor Alex Morse said, “manufacturing continues to grow throughout the Pioneer Valley, but with a whole generation of skilled workers beginning to retire, the challenge exists in finding skilled workers to take their place. Keeping this in mind, the workforce development organizations that exist locally and regionally have spent the last decade developing model training and education programs. The challenge now is ensuring that manufacturers remain engaged and present in order to work collaboratively to not only grow and maintain the success of their businesses, but also address the community’s need to provide well-paying employment opportunities. We are fortunate to have so many leaders in our business community that are invested in the overall success of our City and are willing to devote their time and resources to make Holyoke a better place.”

Grande follows long-time chair Jim Segalyn, owner of Holyoke Machine Company. Morse said of Segalyn: “I thank Jim for his many years of service and commend him for his success in focusing attention on critical needs of the manufacturing community that have become a staple of the City’s goals, such as reducing the costs and barriers to do business and preparing pad ready sites for new development.”

Steve Grande became President of Meridian Industrial Group in 2009 and has increased his involvement in the business community over the last few years, serving as on the Board of Directors for the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, the Taxpayers Association and Square One, as well as serving as President of the Western Massachusetts chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association and Board Member for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. As President of Meridian Industrial Group, Mr. Grande has brought over 25 years of experience in business ownership, sales and management to implement cost-control measures that have allowed the company to evolve and modernize in order to better serve the demands of the emerging industry of precision machining. Meridian Industrial Group provides machining services to customers in the commercial, aerospace and defense industries throughout New England, the Northeast and across the US, including the manufacturing of parts in components of NASA spacecraft.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Michael T. Ipekdjian Appointed Director of Transitional Care & Case Management at Holyoke Medical Center

Holyoke Medical Center has appointed Michael T. Ipekdjian R.N., BSN as the hospital's Director of Transitional Care/Case Management.

With deep experience in nursing and case management in the community hospital setting, Ipekdjian will lead HMC's transitional care and case management programs. In this role, he will oversee the hospital's registered nurses and social workers, and communicate with internal and external partners to improve case management and care coordination.

"Mike brings the leadership and vision necessary to help HMC achieve the highest levels of patient care," said Spiros Hatiras, President and Chief Executive Officer of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems, Inc. "We are confident in his ability to leverage his case management experience to ensure that patients can access a full scope of community services across the continuum."

Ipekdjian said, "Joining HMC is a tremendous professional opportunity. I look forward to working with a highly committed team of colleagues to ensure that patients can access complete, comprehensive healthcare, and the important community resources that contribute to quality healthcare."

Most recently, Ipekdjian served as Case Management Supervisor at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pennsylvania, where he coordinated the day- to- day operations of the Case Management Department. He managed 21 fulltime employees, including Case Managers, and RN Nurse Navigators/Transitional Care Nurses. He coordinated with community agencies to facilitate communication and assure continuity of care, reviewed and developed readmission programs and chronic disease management metrics. As that medical center's MSICU Case Manager, he planned, coordinated, and facilitated the care and transition of patients through two intensive care units.

Ipekdjian is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, earning both his Associate and Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing. He is pursuing an MBA in Healthcare Management at Western Governors University and is expected to graduate in 2016.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Public Art Piece to be Unveiled in Holyoke at Mosher Street Bridge

The City of Holyoke will unveil a new public art project, “Arrivals,” under Mosher Street Rail Bridge on Wednesday August 19th, 2015 at 4:30 PM. There will also be tours of the project scheduled as part of the Celebrate Holyoke Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 21st, 22nd & 23rd.

“Arrivals,” the selected proposal for the Mosher Street Underpass Art Project, will transform a key gateway between the flats neighborhood and downtown Holyoke into a safe, inviting and creative attraction. The project consists of a 30 foot long glowing wall of light that depicts a historic scene of Main Street in Holyoke, punctuated by three vertical light boxes containing excerpts of local stories of arrival to the City. 

“The intention of the project is to contrast the singular image of the city with the multiple voices of residents’ arrival stories,” explained Joseph Krupczynski, one of the designers of the piece along with Caryn Brause. “The project is also responsive to the immediate context of the Mosher Street underpass, which is adjacent to the H.H. Richardson train station - one of the City’s great historic gateways - as well as Depot Square, which was the first and will be the next gateway for rail passengers to the City,” he said.

“Arrivals” captures Holyoke’s rich immigrant and migrant experience—the many stories of arrival that are shared by all Holyoke residents. The artists creating this project have captured those stories from families who arrived in Holyoke from 1890 to the present at several public input sessions that were conducted over the past few months. The project continues online at

The installation is the work of Brause and Krupczynski of the Center for Design Engagement (CDE), both are also faculty members at the UMass Amherst Department of Architecture. The entire project, part of a competitive call for public art at the Mosher Street underpass, is funded by $35,000 allocated from a Community Development Block Grant as part of a larger improvement project to upgrade streetscapes at the intersection of Mosher and Main Streets.

"I'm excited to be working on this project for so many reasons. The City of Holyoke is doing creative and ground-breaking work by considering art as an important part of public infrastructure,” said Caryn Brause. “The project also connects Holyoke's past and the historic train station with its future in an art installation that showcases the advanced capabilities of some of the area's fabricators."

“The Mosher Street Underpass Art Project is yet another example of what public art does for a community,” Mayor Morse writes in his blog. “When completed, the ‘Arrivals’ project will have the effect of making this heavily-traveled pathway better lit and more inviting. For folks traveling from the downtown to the flats, it will provide something educational and interesting to look at.”

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Holyoke Medical Center Prepares for Opening of Wound Care Center with Delivery of Two Hyperbaric Chambers

In preparation for the opening of Holyoke Medical Center's Wound Care Center this fall, two hyperbaric oxygen chambers were delivered this week to support the facility's efforts to treat serious chronic wounds. The Wound Care Center is a major strategic priority of HMC as it makes investments that will strengthen the level of community-centered care to effectively address patients' critical healthcare needs in the Pioneer Valley.

Weighing nearly 2,000 pounds each, measuring approximately nine feet by four feet by five feet in size, the chambers will treat serious chronic wounds for approximately 10 percent of the patients seen in the wound center. The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to heal chronic conditions, including diabetic foot ulcers and circulation ulcers, chronic bone infections, trauma and damage from radiation treatment.

"HMC is committed to delivering efficient, high quality healthcare to our patients, close to home. These hyperbaric chambers are only one component of our long-term efforts to bolster community-centered care," said Carl Cameron, Chief Operating Officer, Holyoke Medical Center.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is one of the state-of-the-art treatment practices and protocols which will be offered at the new Wound Care Center. Others include negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics. Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S.

The HMC Wound Care Center is a member of the Healogics network, the industry leader, which employs a rigorous scientific approach that explores, tests, finds and develops the clinically proven methods, protocols, pathways and technologies which reintroduce the body's innate ability to heal. The Wound Care Center will be located at 18 Hospital Drive, Holyoke.