As Director of Medical Services at Deerfield, Dr. Hagamen has treated thousands of students and overseen improvements that have made the health center what it is today. After 27 years of dedication to Deerfield, he will retire at the end of the academic year.
After graduating from Dartmouth medical school, Dr. Hagamen served two years in the National Health Service in New York and arrived in Greenfield, MA in 1984, seeking a place to raise a family. Dr. Hagamen joined the health center when a Deerfield graduate practicing medicine in Greenfield encouraged him to apply.
When he first arrived at Deerfield, the physical health center building looked very much as it does today, but Dr. Hagamen explained, “the services here have expanded significantly.” During his time here, Dr. Hagamen implemented many changes to improve patient care. Ms. Kate Rolland, Director of Nursing and a close colleague and friend to Dr. Hagamen, explained, “he increased the nursing staff, created a role for a medical driver, advocated for increased nurse practitioner hours and [expanded] counseling staff services; he created a concussion protocol, a psychotropic medication protocol, and he is a big advocate for the trainers and athletic staff.”
Over the years, students’ demands of the health center have evolved. Dr. Hagamen stated, “as students’ needs have changed, we’ve had to change with those needs.” For example, during his time at Deerfield, the number of concussions per year has increased from around 5 to more than 100. Today, the health center receives over 10,000 student visits per year.
Sophia Centola ’18 suffered a stress fracture in the fall of 2015 and was treated by Dr. Hagamen. Being a dedicated cross-country runner, she explained that Dr. Hagamen’s optimism and understanding throughout her treatment was valuable to her. Centola felt disappointed that she couldn’t apply any pressure on the leg and, in turn, couldn’t run. However, as the fracture healed, Centola recalled, “[Dr. Hagamen] gave me a lot of suggestions of what I could do to train instead of running, so I could stay in shape for the sport.”
When Dr. Hagamen retires, he will move to Turner’s Falls and plans to travel and bike. He will also continue to help others in need by doing volunteer work.
His successor in the Deerfield health center will be Dr. Byrant Benson. In 2001, Dr. Benson graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine and Bay State Hospital in Springfield. “We are very fortunate to be getting a doctor of his caliber to replace Dr. Hagamen,” explained Dean of Faculty, Mr. Taylor. He continued, “he has seen a wide range of patients and cases, so he is very well prepared to deal with the kinds of medical issues that he is likely to encounter at Deerfield.”
“What I will miss about Dr Hagamen is his calming presence. He always has a caring manner in which he looks at all situations. I appreciate all that he has taught me over the years and he will be greatly missed every day,” said Medication Nurse and Assistant Director of Nursing, Ms. Caryn Gardner. Mr. Taylor added, “we are very [lucky] to have had a doctor who is as dedicated to the school and his patients as Dr. Hagamen has been during his tenure at Deerfield.”