Heywood Healthcare Honors Physicians during Annual Physician Recognition Event

November 23, 2015

(Gardner, MA) During its annual Physician Recognition Dinner, held November 17, members of the Heywood Healthcare medical staff were honored for their commitment to their patients and the Greater Athol and Gardner communities. 

At the event, physicians were recognized for their life-long dedication to Heywood and Athol Hospitals, their community and the medical profession. Long-time area physicians lauded include: Dr. Owen Christensen, a well-known and respected physician and wound care specialist, and Ophthalmologist Dr. Fotios Ganias, who has been on staff at Athol Hospital for 40 years. 

During the event, Michael Mutchler, MD, of Cornerstone Family Medicine in Gardner, was presented with the prestigious James A. Faust Pillar Award for Physician Excellence, the highest honor the hospital bestows on its physicians. A well-known and beloved primary care provider, Dr. Mutchler has been a leader in adolescent medicine the Greater Gardner region for nearly 20 years. 

“We are privileged to present Dr. Mutcher with this award recognizing his exceptional talent, compassion and expertise in primary care and especially his commitment to the adolescents of our region. His contribution to our hospitals, our patients and the health of our community is immeasurable,” said Dr. James Faust. “Not only does Dr. Mutchler exemplify compassionate care, he also is he an active member of many committees and his vision has helped lead and grow our family practice staff.

Recipients of the James A. Faust Pillar Award for Physician Excellence are highly respected members of the medical field and proven community leaders who best reflect the six Pillars – People, Quality, Service, Stewardship, Growth and Community – the core values of Heywood Hospital.

Previous physicians honored with this award include Elizabeth Nottleson, MD, David Gill, MD, M. Sheila Donnelly, MD, David Havlin, MD, John Harrington, MD, John Skrzypczak, MD, Michele Parker, MD, John Mulqueen, MD and James Faust, MD, the original recipient for whom the award was named.

In total, 12 physicians were acknowledged for 5 – 15 years of service and 11 physicians were recognized for 20 – 55 years of service to the hospitals and the communities they serve.

In addition, Heywood Healthcare welcomed 18 new physicians to the medical community: Ophthalmologic Surgeon Muna Ahmad, MD; general surgeon Mark Aranson, MD; Wound Care specialist Konstantino A. Avradopoulos, MD; Hospitalist Ranadhir R. Beereddy, MD; Ophthalmologic Surgeon Jo-Ann C. Chang, MD; Radiologist Patricia A. Cross, MD; Emergency Medicine physician Adam Darnobid, MD; primary care and Obstetric physician Katherine E. Fitzgerald, DO; Pathologist Abby M. Hornstein, MD; Hospitalist Ramzi W. Khazen, MD; Wound Care specialist Howard C. Lederman, MD; Pediatrician Sari T. Miettinen, MD; Gastroenterologist Phani K. Molakatalla, MD; Ophthalmologic Surgeon Balaji Perumal, MD; Emergency Medicine physician Lawrence Proano, MD; Radiologist Kenneth Sicard, MD; Pulmonologist and Sleep Medicine specialist Joseph W. Walek, MD; and Pathologist Victor Zota, MD.


Pictured Left to Right are Michael Mutchler, MD, daughter Mikayla and wife, Michele Parker, MD.

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About Athol Hospital
A member of the Heywood Healthcare system, Athol Hospital is a 25-bed non-profit, acute care and outpatient facility serving the communities of the North Quabbin region of Massachusetts. Athol Hospital’s services include 24/7 Emergency Care, Oncology, Radiology and Laboratory, Diabetes Center and Center for Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. It is designated as a Critical Access Hospital and Primary Stroke Center, licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and accredited by the Joint Commission.

About Heywood Hospital
A member of the Heywood Healthcare system, Heywood Hospital is a 134-bed acute care hospital in Gardner, MA, which provides a broad range of high quality medical, surgical, obstetrical, pediatric and behavioral health services on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The hospital’s Centers of Excellence include the Watkins Center for Emergency and Acute Care; the LaChance Maternity Center; the Diabetes Center; and the Heywood Heart and Vascular Center, an affiliate of the Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence at UMass Memorial Health Care.

About Heywood Healthcare
Heywood Healthcare is an independent, community-owned healthcare system serving north central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. It is comprised of Heywood Hospital, a non-profit, 134-bed acute-care hospital in Gardner, MA; Athol Hospital, a 25-bed not-for-profit, Critical Access Hospital in Athol, MA; Heywood Medical Group with primary care physicians and specialists located throughout the region. The organization includes five satellite facilities in MA; Heywood Rehabilitation Center in Gardner; West River Health Center in Orange; Winchendon Health Center and Murdock School-based Health Center in Winchendon; Heywood Charitable Foundation; the North Quabbin Community Coalition, an affiliate organization; and upcoming in 2016, The Quabbin Retreat in Petersham.