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Thursday, May 12 2016

New Support Group & Photo Exhibit at BFMC

Adapted from Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC) press releases:

Baystate Franklin Medical Center will begin offering a free, monthly, Stroke Support Group on Tuesday, May 17th, from 10AM to 11AM, in Conference Room C, facilitated by BFMC Emergency Department Nurse Educator & Stroke Coordinator Diane Stephan, RN, BSN.  In addition, there will be an opening reception for this summer's photo exhibit at the hospital, Sharing Our Bliss, on Thursday, May 19th.

Stroke Support Group
3rd Tuesday of Every Month

The goal of this new support group will be to create an atmosphere of caring and cooperation; promote new goals and friendships for stroke survivors, their families, and caregivers; renew hope; and encourage independence.  All stroke survivors, their family members, and their caregivers are welcome to attend.  Participants will be invited to share their experiences and discuss their concerns with medical professionals and with others who've had similar experiences.  No pre-registration is required and refreshments will be served.

Facilitator Stephan joined the BFMC staff as Emergency Department Nurse Educator in 2013 and added her present role as stroke coordinator in October 2015.  She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where she obtained her BSN.  “I am excited to be starting this stroke support group,” Stephan commented.  “I had been hoping to form one for some time, as I know there is a critical need for such a group in the Baystate Franklin community.”

It was partially because of encouragement from Greenfield resident Terry Ruggles that Stephan finally took steps to initiate the group.  After his wife suffered a stroke in January, Ruggles began searching for a support group and found nothing within 25 miles of Greenfield.  He called BFMC to inquire about such a group, and was referred to BFMC and Baystate Noble Hospital Regional Director of Quality Gina Campbell who, in turn, referred him to Stephan.

Ruggles noted, “We were thrilled with the care my wife received when she had her stroke. From the paramedics who were at our house before I even got off the phone with 911, to the Emergency Department staff, to the neurologist who actually spoke with me from his car to advise us on options – everyone was supportive and 100% attentive to our needs.” Stephan hopes to feature guest presenters at some sessions, such as a neurologist, social worker, paramedic, or other medical professionals.  Ruggles added, “I will be at the first meeting with my ‘show-and-tell,’ my wife.”

For more information on the Stroke Support Group, email Diane Stephan or call her at (413) 773-2641.

Sharing Our Bliss Opening Reception
Thursday, May 19th, from 5:30PM to 7PM, in the hall outside Oncology

BFMC will host a reception and open house, for photographers contributing to the exhibit Sharing Our Bliss, on the main floor of the hospital.  This exhibit features a collection of photographs by 20 members of the Base Camp MeetUp Group "Base Camp Photo Adventures in the Pioneer Valley and Beyond".  The event is free and open to the public, light refreshments will be available, and many of the photographers will be on hand.

Sharing Our Bliss, which will be on display in the Oncology hallway through the summer, includes photos depicting images of things that brought the photographers a moment of bliss and joy.  This is the 3rd display of Base Camp MeetUp Group photos to be installed in the Oncology wing at Baystate Franklin.  The displays are changed out every three months with a new theme chosen for each display.

Base Camp’s MeetUp group is for anyone who has a camera and enjoys photography.  Members are active and passionate about learning, sharing skills, and group photo adventures.  Various leaders organize events, trips, displays, and fun photo outings.  All skill levels and cameras, film or digital, point and shoot or manual, are welcome.  For more information about the group, visit and search for “Base Camp”.