News Releases

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.

Hallmark Health Medical Staff Members Named Among Top Doctors in Boston Magazine

Congratulations to the members of the Hallmark Health medical staff who have been named Boston’s 2017 Top Doctors by Boston magazine. The listing recognizes 21 physicians affiliated with Hallmark Health in 16 different specialties. The annual list of the region’s top doctors highlights local physicians most highly recommended by their peers.

This recognition of our medical staff is representative of the expertise of all of our physicians and the top-quality health care they provide in the region. 

Top Doctors 2017

Wellforce and its provider organizations in partnership with Fallon Health, will offer a new managed care option—Wellforce Care Plan—for MassHealth members. The creation of Wellforce Care Plan is part of the state’s reform of MassHealth to include Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in which physicians, hospitals, insurers and other health care providers work together to provide integrated care with the goals of improving health outcomes and containing costs. 

Effective March 1, 2018, MassHealth members identified by the Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS) as being a patient of certain primary care providers (PCP) at Lowell Community Health CenterNew England Quality Care AllianceTufts Medical CenterHallmark Health, and Circle Health (Lowell PHO) will be enrolled in Wellforce Care Plan. MassHealth is a state-administered Medicaid program—funded by the state and federal governments—that provides health care to eligible people who need health coverage.

“With our experience providing integrated care through other government programs, Fallon Health is perfectly positioned to provide care under the ACO model,” said Richard Burke, President & CEO of Fallon Health, referring to Fallon Health’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) – Summit ElderCare – and Senior Care Options/Special Needs Plan –NaviCare. “We believe this approach will help reduce fragmented care, improve health outcomes and contain costs.”

“We’re pleased to partner with the many outstanding providers that make up Wellforce to provide high-quality, highly coordinated care,” he added.

A key component of ACOs like Wellforce Care Plan is the utilization of community-based health and social service organizations to improve behavioral health care, put in place long-term supports and address health-related social needs—all of which contribute to better health outcomes.

“When Tufts Medical Center, Circle Health and Hallmark Health joined together as Wellforce, we made a commitment to helping the state lower health care costs and to enhancing the services and care we provide in our communities. The Wellforce Care Plan furthers that mission. I know our patients will benefit greatly from this partnership with Fallon Health and the Commonwealth,” said Norm Deschene, CEO, Wellforce

To enroll in Wellforce Care Plan, individuals must live in the Wellforce Care Plan service area, which includes the Merrimack Valley, the North Shore, and parts of Boston and the South Shore. More information about Wellforce Care Plan will be available in the fall at

Lawrence Memorial Hospital: Committed to the Future

Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford is changing, and here is why.

Health care is changing to better serve patient needs.

Advances in technology and medications, combined with improved health screenings and better health management, have dramatically changed the way health care is delivered. Growing outpatient procedures, advances in day surgery, and the availability of telemedicine, have greatly decreased the need for overnight hospital stays that were once the norm.

As a result, the way hospitals deliver health care is also changing. In days past, admitting a patient to the hospital was the common approach to caring for a chronic ailment or health problem, having a low-risk general surgical procedure, or even a diagnostic test or a biopsy. Today, our goal is to help keep our patients out of the hospital; to manage chronic conditions so that patients are not at risk for complications requiring hospitalization; and to advance outpatient services that better meet patient-care needs. It is better for our patients and represents a fundamental shift in health care, in how we care for our patients, and how care will be reimbursed.

Today at Hallmark Health, nearly 60 percent of the patient services we provide is outpatient care, a dramatic change from just a few years ago, and entirely consistent with other hospitals in the Commonwealth. Our inpatient beds are now underutilized as inpatient stays have decreased. At Lawrence Memorial Hospital the average daily census of our medical/surgical inpatient beds is 17 patients – less than one third of the licensed capacity. Instead there is growing demand for outpatient care.

That is why this week we made the strategic move to consolidate our medical/surgical and intensive care inpatient units at Lawrence Memorial Hospital to Melrose-Wakefield Hospital with a vision that brings greater focus on ambulatory services and specialty care, emergency medicine and community programs to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. We want to build the right types of services for the future, and invest in the areas of health care where there will be the greatest need.

Our commitment to serving the health needs of our community is unchanged. First and foremost we continue to provide full service, high-quality, 24-hour emergency care at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Our emergency departments are designated Primary Stroke Services hospitals by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. We have strong relationships with the region’s ambulance services and other providers, who continue to put their unwavering trust in us with every patient they bring through our doors. If an inpatient stay or more advanced care is required, we will make the right transfer to the most appropriate facility, like we do now.

All other valuable specialty, outpatient and community services remain at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, including our urgent care center; inpatient behavioral health; radiology, mammography, and a wide range of advanced diagnostic imaging services; pharmacy and laboratory services; as well as our many outstanding community health programs.

Health care continues to be very much in need in our community. The future for Lawrence Memorial Hospital is to provide the right type of care in the right setting that our patients want and need. That is our focus as we plan for the future. We are confident we are taking the necessary bold steps now to support our vision and planning, and remain a leading provider of care in the community.


Alan G. Macdonald
President and Chief Executive Officer
Hallmark Health System, Inc.


Hallmark Health and Tufts Medical Center have established a new neurosurgery program at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital to bring advanced care and services to the community. Fellowship-trained neurosurgeon Mina G. Safain, MD, has been jointly hired by Hallmark Health and Tufts Medical Center to lead the new program. He will provide care at both Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Tufts Medical Center.

The neurosurgery program is an example of clinical integration of services between Hallmark Health and Tufts Medical Center since Hallmark Health joined Wellforce as a third founding member this past 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.

“Offering neurosurgery provides a service for our patients that few community hospitals can offer,” said Steven Sbardella, MD, chief medical officer at Hallmark Health. “Our clinical relationship with Tufts Medical Center enables us to bring more highly specialized care options to our patients.”

“We are extremely excited to work with the physicians at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and look forward to increasing the services available to care for patients with neurologic diseases,” said Carl Heilman, MD, neurosurgeon-in-chief at Tufts Medical Center. “Dr. Safain is an exceptionally talented and compassionate neurosurgeon and the perfect person to spearhead the launch of this new program.”

Dr. Safain’s clinical interests include all diseases affecting the brain, spine and peripheral nervous system.  He has specific interests in minimal access procedures for degenerative, infectious and oncologic spine disorders, as well as minimally invasive treatments for brain tumors, including neuro-endoscopy.

 “The opportunity to practice in the community is very important to me,” said Dr. Safain. “I look forward to working with the esteemed staff and providers at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital and treating the patients in the surrounding communities.”

“Welcoming such a highly-respected neurosurgeon as Mina Safain to our team is a tremendous benefit for our communities and patients across our system including Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital,” said Dr. Sbardella.

Dr. Safain, together with Ran Ku, PA, a neurosurgery physician assistant with more than 12 years of experience, will provide neurosurgery coverage and expertise five days a week.

Dr. Safain received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine.  He completed his neurosurgery residency at Tufts Medical Center serving as chief resident during his final year.  Dr. Safain also completed fellowship training in pituitary and neuro-endoscopic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Safain has published and presented nationally on a range of topics related to neurosurgical diseases and minimally invasive treatments for brain tumors.  

News & Events

  $1.45 million improvement project to enhance comfort and convenience for birthing families...


Not to be missed...  

Enhanced Creative Coping:
A new mom's group
Medford Family  Network
Monday, April 23-June 18

VNA and Hospice
Comedy Show FUNdraiser!
Giggles Comedy Club, Saugus, MA
Wednesday, April 25

Taste of Spring
Subaru of Wakefield
Thursday, May 10
10th Annual Christine
Cameron Symposium

MHA Conference Center
Burlington, MA
Friday, May 18

Melrose-Wakefield Hospital 
Golf Invitational

Kernwood Country Club, Salem, MA
Monday, June 25


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