Veterinarian selected for fellowship

Deborah Thomson has been selected to participate in the highly competitive 2019-2020 American Veterinary Medical Association Fellowship program. Thomson is the daughter of Dr. Jim Thomson of Berkshire Medical Center and his wife, Meryl.

During her tenure as an AVMA fellow, Thomson will spend one year in Washington, D.C., as a full-time member of staff for a congressional office or congressional committee. She will use her veterinary expertise to provide guidance on policy issues such as food safety, public health, animal welfare, research and small business policies. In September, Thomson will interview with congressional offices to receive her year-long placement. Once placed, she will support the activities of that office full-time.

Thomson is an experienced veterinary practitioner who has worked most recently as a small animal relief veterinarian in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has also performed extensive volunteer work, including serving as a head veterinarian for the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps during the 2018 Camp Fire. During this period, she was responsible for the care of more than 300 animals per day and supervised up to 20 volunteers per day.

She has also worked as a volunteer surgeon for exotic animals at Foothill College Veterinary Technology Program, provided complimentary veterinary care to the pets of people experiencing homelessness through VET SOS in San Francisco, taught future veterinarians from the University of California-Davis and abroad, and volunteered with Rural Area Veterinary Services to provide veterinary care to multiple Apache reservations in Arizona.

Thomson holds bachelor of music and science degrees from McGill University in Montreal. She received her doctor of veterinary medicine degree and certificate in international veterinary medicine from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2012.


North Adams man earns national designation

Andrew Alcaro, a commercial lines coverage specialist with Greylock Insurance Agency's Williamstown office, has earned a commercial lines coverage specialist designation from the Hartford School of Insurance. The National Underwriter Company established the designation to highlight agents who demonstrate extensive knowledge in the areas of property and casualty insurance and have applied that knowledge in real-life case study exercises. The Hartford School of Insurance is authorized by the NUC to confer designation. Greylock Insurance Agency is a subsidiary company of Greylock Federal Credit Union. Alcaro jointed Greylock in March, 2018. He resides in North Adams.



BMM staffer receives financial planner designation

Lauren Russo of Berkshire Money Management has earned her financial para-planner qualified professional (FPQP) designation from the College of Financial Planning. In order to receive this designation, Russo completed a 10-module course of study encompassing the financial planning process, the five disciplines of financial planning and general financial planning concepts, terminology and product categories. The course culminated in an exam that tested her ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.

As an FPQP, Russo is a key player on BMM's financial planning team, with demonstrated competence in gathering, reviewing and analyzing clients' financial information and constructing personal financial statements to give clients a comprehensive picture of their financial well-being. The team is headed up by Zack Marcotte, who is a certified financial planner.



Nurse to receive prestigious award

Billie Lynn Allard, the administrative director of Population Health and Transitions of Care at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, will receive one of the nursing profession's highest honors when she is inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing at its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., in October. The AAN is composed of 2,400 of the nation's top nurse researchers, policy makers, scholars, executives, educators and practitioners from across the country.

Fellow selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current academy fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel comprised of elected and appointed fellows and selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee's nursing career has influenced health policies and the health and well-being of all.

"I am honored to be recognized by my professional nursing colleagues for work developing transitional care and population health programs at SVMC," Allard said. "I look forward to making continuing contributions to improve health care outcomes for our communities."