News Releases

Surgeons at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital now using the da Vinci Xi, the latest, most advanced robotic surgical system


Surgeons at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital are now offering advanced robotic-assisted operations to local patients needing surgical care.

The addition of the new da Vinci Xi Surgical System will allow surgeons at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital to operate robotically for a number of complex surgeries. This means that the advantages of robotic surgery - smaller incisions, less blood loss during surgery, fewer complications and shorter recovery periods – will now be available to patients here in the community.

Surgeons Matthew Brown, MD, and Adam Blau, MD, lead the robotic surgery program at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. Dr. Brown is associate chairman of surgery at Hallmark Health and he also oversees the Tufts Medical Center surgical residency program at Hallmark Health. Dr. Blau completed a fellowship in robotic and minimally invasive abdominal surgery at Albany Medical Center, training under one of the nation’s leaders in robotic abdominal surgery.

“Providing robotic-assisted surgery to our patients is part of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital’s focus on growing services and offering more advanced surgical options,” said Dr. Brown, MD. “Our goal is to provide a high level of care to patients here in the communities where they live, and reduce the number of unnecessary hospital visits to Boston.”

Surgeons specifically trained on the da Vinci Xi at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital will be able to perform numerous kinds of abdominal, gynecological, and urological operations. Specifically, surgeons can offer robotic-assisted hernia repair, complex abdominal wall reconstruction, anti-reflux surgery, gallbladder surgery, surgery of the small and large intestine, weight-loss surgery, prostate surgery, kidney surgery, and surgery of the ovaries and uterus.

The robotic system acts as an extension of the surgeon's eyes and hands, giving the physician 3-D magnified vision and 360° dexterity of four arms, which allows for more effective, precise surgical movements. The surgeon is 100% in control of the robot, which translates his/her hand movements into smaller, more precise movements of tiny instruments inside the patient’s body. The immersive 3D-HD vision system provides surgeons a highly magnified view, virtually extending their eyes and hands into the patient.

“Patients who have robotic-assisted surgery often recover faster, have less post-operative pain, and need little or no narcotic pain medicine compared to open and laparoscopic surgeries,” said Dr. Blau. “It is very exciting to offer patients the latest surgical techniques at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital.”

For more information on minimally invasive and robotic surgical options at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, visit


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Wakefield, Massachusetts - Wakefield Memorial High School juniors Gianna Palmerino and John Roche hope they will never have to use CPR in a real-life situation, but thanks to the training they recently received, they both feel confident that they would know what to do in an emergency. Gianna and John were part of a group of Wakefield High 11th graders who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training as part of a community outreach program by the Cardiovascular Center at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Hallmark Health.

The program, funded by the annual Stride for Healthy Communities fundraising walk has trained 900-1200 high school students each of the past seven years. Each student is given a Family & Friends CPR Anytime training kit, developed by the American Heart Association. The kit includes an inflatable learning “Manikin”, bilingual instructional DVDs, reminder cards, and full instructions. Hallmark Health certified CPR trainers and athletic trainers provide hands-on instruction for all of the students.

According to Linda Leis, lead community health educator at Hallmark Health, there has been a drop-off in the number of people learning CPR. “The program was put together to reach out to young people, get them engaged, and boost the number of trained individuals in our community. We are currently working with the high schools in Malden, Medford, Melrose and Wakefield, who have incorporated this training into their health and physical education curriculum.”

The training doesn’t end at the end of each session, however. Each student is then asked to take their kit home and use it to train other people. Gianna will be training her mother, while John is prepared to train his younger brother. Both feel confident that they would be able to initiate CPR in an emergency.

“We trained 100 students this year,” said Paul Uva, wellness instructor at Wakefield Memorial High School. “It has been a great working relationship between Wakefield Memorial High School and Hallmark Health. The students come away with a greater knowledge of what to do and how to do perform CPR during a crisis situation.”

“We are very proud of the students who participate in this program,” said Laurence Conway, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Center at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. “These training sessions are giving the teens the skills to jump in to help in the event of an emergency. When CPR is administered outside of the hospital, it increases the chance of survival for the patient by three times.”

WHS CPR students b
Wakefield High School 11th grade students with their CPRAnytime kits.


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During this cold weather stretch, the staff of the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Maternal-Newborn unit wish to remind you about keeping your baby warm while travelling.

  • cold baby 2• Store the car seat portion of the infant seat inside the house when not in use.
  • • Dress your child in thin layers- as a general rule of thumb, infants should wear one more layer than adults.
  • • If you have a hat and a coat on, your infant will probably need a hat, coat and blanket.
  • • Tighten the straps.
  • • Use a blanket over the straps.
  • • Don't forget hats, mittens, socks/booties.


Special thanks to our family of models Kristina, Patrick and baby Olivia!

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics


$16 Million Facility will be Joint Venture with Shields Health Care Group and bring a new level of service to the community

Medford, Massachusetts – Just 12 months after affiliating with Wellforce, Hallmark Health today announced a major new investment, filing plans with the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission to build an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) at its Lawrence Memorial Hospital campus in Medford. The proposed 17,500 SF facility, with an estimated total project cost of $16 million, will be developed and managed in partnership with Shields Health Care Group of Quincy. The design of the facility and number of operating rooms is currently being finalized.

“This is a major step in support of our vision to continue a robust health care presence in Medford by bringing more of the types of services to Lawrence Memorial Hospital that serve the community’s needs today and for the future,” said Alan Macdonald, president and CEO of Hallmark Health. “There is growing focus on providing greater access to services outside of the inpatient hospital setting. Ambulatory care, including outpatient surgery, urgent care and wellness programs, is often more convenient for patients and can be more cost effective. We are excited to partner with Shields Health Care Group, who is an industry leader in developing community-based ASCs throughout the region.”

Shields Health Care Group has a track record of successfully developing ASCs through joint-venture partnerships with hospitals and providers. Shields Health Care Group brings operational discipline, developing and managing multispecialty ambulatory care facilities that deliver patient-centered medical services more cost effectively. The planned Shields partnership puts Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford in the company of other successful Shields projects including the development of a multispecialty ASC in Dedham in partnership with New England Baptist Hospital, and with a new center under construction in Shrewsbury in partnership with UMass Memorial Medical Center.  The ASC is a joint venture project among Hallmark Health, Shields Health Care Group and physician groups including the Tufts Medical Center Physicians Organization. With this project, Tufts Medical Center surgeons will also be performing surgeries and procedures at the new ASC in Medford, saving many patients a trip into Boston.

Hallmark Health and Tufts Medical Center have been partnering on clinical integration of services since Hallmark Health joined Wellforce as a third founding member last January. At that time, leaders from the organizations discussed finding ways to bring specialized care traditionally performed at academic medical centers into the community hospital setting for the benefit and convenience of patients. These efforts include the collaborative Tufts Medical Center Cancer Center in Stoneham, the recent establishment of the joint neurosurgery program at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, and bringing advanced endoscopy, thoracic surgery and gynecologic services to Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital patients in the community.

 “This is a wonderful example of bringing together the strengths of community and academic medicine to serve patients,” said Norm Deschene, CEO of Wellforce. “Patients expect and deserve great access, convenience, quality and affordability. By working together as Wellforce on this new center, our members are planning for the future of health care.”

ASCs are medical facilities that offer less-complex outpatient, or “day -surgery” procedures. Patients arrive, undergo surgery and depart, usually within a few hours.  ASCs have demonstrated an ability to improve customer service and quality while simultaneously reducing costs for procedures appropriate for this setting. 

 “This is a terrific opportunity for the Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Medford and the surrounding communities,” said Thomas A. Shields, president and chief executive of Shields Health Care Group. “Major stakeholders in health care are asking us to move toward value without sacrificing quality, and putting an emphasis on convenience for the patient.  This is exactly the type of service that area residents want, with access to experienced medical professionals within their community.”

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About Hallmark Health

Hallmark Health is a coordinated system of hospitals, physician practices and community-based services providing care for communities throughout north suburban Boston.  Since its inception in 1997, Hallmark Health has been committed to its mission of providing quality care for its communities and achieving clinical excellence for the patients it serves. The system includes Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health Medical Associates; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; and Lawrence Memorial/Regis College School of Nursing.

Hallmark Health is a founding member of Wellforce, along with Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health. For more information, visit

About Wellforce

Wellforce is the health system formed by Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health in 2014. On January 1, 2017, Hallmark Health joined as the third founding member. Wellforce provides hospitals and physicians with a better option for collaboration. Our system brings together the strengths of academic medicine and community care in a model that respects both equally. Our patient-centered, value-driven members are dedicated to providing patients with the highest-level of care when and where they want it. Wellforce includes nearly 3,000 physicians, 12,000 employees, four community hospital campuses, one academic medical center, a children’s hospital and $1.7 billion in revenue.


About Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children

Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. The Medical Center features a level one trauma center with rooftop helipad, the largest heart transplant center in New England and a renowned research program, ranking among the top 10 percent of independent hospitals to receive federal research funding. The Tufts Medical Center Physicians Organization is the faculty practice of Tufts MC with nearly 600 physicians. The 1,800-physician strong New England Quality Care Alliance represents our strong commitment to health in the community. Tufts Medical Center is a founding member of Wellforce, along with Circle Health and Hallmark Health. For more information, visit

About Shields Health Care Group

A family-owned and -operated business, Shields Health Care Group provides MRI, PET/CT, Radiation Oncology and Ambulatory Surgical Center services at more than 30 locations across New England. Through joint-venture partnerships with as many as 20 top hospitals and healthcare providers, Shields delivers cutting-edge technology, provider expertise and affordability while prioritizing the patient experience above all. Additionally, Shields ProCare offers medical imaging equipment maintenance and service throughout New England. Every Shields center is ACR accredited.

extreme cold

With the return of below-freezing temperatures in New England, the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford emergency departments have put together some tips for staying safe and healthy in the extreme cold.

  • • When going outside, dress in layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of one single heavy layer. Wear a hat and gloves, and try to cover all exposed skin. Also, cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
  • • If you need to be outdoors, take frequent breaks where it is warm
  • • Know the signs of frostbite. In extreme cold, frostbite can happen in under a minute. Symptoms include a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance to your skin. The most common areas affected by frostbite are fingers, toes, earlobes and the tip of the nose.
  • • Pay attention to your body. Shivering is an important sign that you are losing body heat. Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can retain heat. Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
  • • Stay hydrated, especially if you are doing any physical activity outdoors.
  • • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Although alcohol might make you feel warm, it actually decreases your core temperature and can be dangerous.
  • • Be a good neighbor. Check on elderly family and neighbors or those with disabilities to make sure they are warm and safe.
  • • Keep pets safe and indoors. Although dogs and cats have fur, they suffer in the cold just like humans.

For emergencies and more urgent cold-related situations, call 911, visit our emergency departments at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital or Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, or visit Hallmark Health Urgent Care Centers at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford or Hallmark Health Medical Center at 30 Newcrossing Road in Reading.

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Surgeons at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital now using the da Vinci Xi, the latest, most advanced...


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