Area briefs: Cronin tapped for St. Patrick's Ambassador award; I-391 … – GazetteNET

HOLYOKE — The St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke has selected Claire D. Cronin for its 32nd Ambassador Award. The award is goes to a person or group who has worked to promote the relationship between the people of Ireland and the people of the United States.
Cronin is a United States ambassador to Ireland nominated by President Joe Biden in June 2021. She served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives prior to this position and was the first woman to serve as House majority leader.
During her service as a legislator, Cronin was also chair of the Committee on the Judiciary, where she was the architect of significant pieces of legislation, including major criminal justice and police reform.
Karen Casey, 2023 Parade President, said, “We are so honored to have Ms. Cronin as our Ambassador Award recipient. Ms. Cronin has done amazing things for mental health, domestic violence and veteran services. She will be a remarkable addition to our parade, and I’m so excited to meet her and her family and march with her on parade day! This is a wonderful choice and I couldn’t be happier.”
Cronin will be honored at the Ambassadors Award Breakfast the morning of the parade on Sunday, March 19, at the Wyckoff Country Club. To purchase tickets, please contact Cathy McEvady at 413-313-5559.

HOLYOKE — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is announcing a full closure of the bridge that carries Interstate 391 northbound and southbound over city streets in Holyoke, starting on Tuesday.
The closure will last approximately six months and will allow crews to complete repairs. A detour will be in effect for the duration of the closure.
Northbound traffic will use exit 6 (Commercial Street), while truck traffic will utilize exit 5 (Main Street) and follow the posted detours.
Southbound traffic will be detoured down South Street, and then enter I-391 southbound from the Main Street on-ramp.
Message boards, signs, traffic control devices, and police details will be used to guide drivers safely through the work zone.

NORTHAMPTON — Community members interested in learning about their options for weight loss surgery are invited to attend a free, virtual information session with bariatric surgeon Dr. Ursula McMillian. Upcoming information sessions will be offered on the following dates: Thursday, Jan. 19; Wednesday, Feb. 15 and Wednesday, March 15; sessions are held from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Weight loss surgery is considered by the medical community to be the most effective and enduring option to reduce body weight in people who are considered morbidly obese.
Session topics include the obesity epidemic and the history of weight loss surgery; goals and benefits of surgery; the types of weight loss surgeries performed at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and the patient’s journey leading up to, during and after surgery.
McMillian is the medical director of Cooley Dickinson’s Bariatric and Weight Management program, which is part of Cooley Dickinson Medical Group General Surgical Care, located at 15 Atwood Drive in Northampton. The hospital announced its new surgical weight loss program earlier this year. The program is designed for people who have tried other weight loss methods, and combines surgery with lifestyle changes that must be made prior to any procedure.
To register for an information session, contact Heather at; call 413-584-4637; or complete the online form. Once registered, participants will receive a Zoom link to join the virtual event.
SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health will hold a free Virtual Heart & Vascular Health Lecture Series during the month of February beginning with a look at “From Arteries to Afib: With New Advancements, Is Cardiac Surgery The Answer?” on Sunday, Feb. 5.
The lecture series, presented by the Baystate Heart & Vascular Program as part of American Heart Month, will focus on the latest advances in heart and vascular care. Baystate cardiac surgeon Dr. Siavash Saadat will lead the first lecture on the latest advances in cardiac surgery, which begins at noon.
The free lectures will continue with “Advanced Cardiac Imaging: Beyond Echo and Nuclear Tests,” on Feb. 12, presented by Baystate cardiologist Dr. Brian Wasserman. He will discuss the latest testing available to evaluate chest pain, heart disease and other heart-related issues.
On Feb. 19, the virtual series continues with “Pain in My Legs: Do I Need Go Talk To a Vascular Doctor?” presented by Baystate vascular surgeon Dr. Hazel Marecki. She will talk about updates in vascular care and the latest advances in vascular surgery.
The series will end on Feb. 26 with “Watching Your Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol and Weight — What’s The Big Deal? Don’t Wait for Symptoms,” presented by Elizabeth Jarry, CNP at Baystate Cardiology. She will discuss cardiac risk factors and how they relate to metabolic syndrome.
Question-and-answer session. Registration is required for each session by visiting
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