UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - December 29, 2020
Tuesday Talk - New Format!
The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Monday Morning Memo has undergone a facelift - Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk. Please let us know what you think of the new format.

We will have a focus of the memo each week, along with timely upcoming events and other announcements.

Week 1 – Clinical Updates
Week 2 – Education Updates
Week 3 – Community Health Updates
Week 4 – Research Updates
Week 5 - (when available) – Other

Please continue to send us your announcements, celebrations, and accomplishments to [email protected]. Feel free to title according to the focus area. We look forward to hearing your news!
Upcoming Events
FMCH Grand Rounds
Paul Dworkin, MD presents "Neurodevelopmental Approaches to Supporting the Health of Children and Families" on December 29nd, Tuesday - 12pm - 1pm

FMCH Virtual Town Hall Meeting
January 5th, Tuesday - 7:30am – 8:30am: Zoom information to follow.

FMCH 2020-2021 Annual Faculty Awards Ceremony
January 12th, Tuesday - 12pm - 1pm: Please join us (virtually) to acknowledge great teaching, great care and community engagement in our department.

FMCH Virtual Town Hall Meeting
January 19th, Tuesday - 12pm - 1pm: Zoom information to follow

Department News Spotlight

True North- Health Equity in Well Child Care Visits
The Health System has taken major steps towards improving health equity in Well Child Care Visits. As providers of pediatric care, we are asking our team to evaluate the number of well child visits overdue and those due during the 2020-2021 period and work towards notifying those patients or parents that the well child exam is due. Below are some key points to remember when scheduling or completing well child care visits:
  • Consistent with previous guidance, all well-child care should occur in person whenever possible and within the child's medical home where continuity of care may be established and maintained.
  • Our goa is to see in person children less than 4 years of age and those who require vaccination or a physical exam for more complex reasons.
  • Telehealth visits are part of a combined matrix of care options available to provide the right care in the right place at the right time. Use of telehealth should be based on the medical condition, preferences of the patients, families, provider and resources available.
  • Elements that require in=person care include, at a minimum, the initial newborn visit, the comprehensive physical examination; office testing, including laboratory testing, hearing, vision and oral health screening, fluoride varnish and immunizations.
  • All pediatric health care services, including telehealth, should be coordinated through the medical home.
  • Items that cannot be done during telehealth; the complete physical exam, vaccinations and those with complex medical issues.
  • All telehealth visits should be followed up with a physical exam as soon as feasible.
  • Parents should be educated on the processes in place to make the medical home a safe place for the clinical visit.
  • Visits must be audio/video for telehealth.

Paula Gardiner, MD is seeking providers to participate in a study: Perspectives on Motivating Lifestyle Change in Women with Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy. The purpose of this study is to identify providers’ perspectives on dietary counseling and barriers faced in counseling pregnant women with obesity, chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, or a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Additionally, we hope to elucidate referral patterns and barrier faced in providing referrals to dieticians and nutritionists in these populations. 
Clinical Services Spotlight: COVID 19 Updates
As this year draws to a close, I want to thank everyone for all that you do to care for our patients and communities throughout this tumultuous year. As we look ahead to 2021, with light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, I am grateful to the army of scientists and their colleagues who have managed the extraordinary feat of creating vaccines for COVID-19 in less than a year. I know we will do our part to help in the enormous task of getting the vaccine to essential workers and to patients. And for the foreseeable future, I know we will continue to come together to serve our patients, and support our colleagues, through the second surge.

Current Status
  • Statewide metrics show overall test positivity stable at 7.3%. The positivity rate for UMass internal lab testing of symptomatic patients is now 18.4% (and 3.7% for asymptomatic patients).
  • Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to trend upward, currently about 2156.
  • Inpatient census at UMass Memorial of COVID-19 patients is 152 (35 in ICU) as of Monday am.
  • The average age of those infected has begun to increase, and the age of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 is now 69.
  • Bed availability, especially for critical care, is very tight across the system.
  • The DCU field hospital census is 37. Alpha and Bravo pods are open, and Charlie pod is on standby with likely opening to 60 beds on Tuesday.
  • The third FMCH inpatient team began December 13th and continues, with effort from both Barre and Hahnemann physicians.
  • Visitors to non-COVID hospitalized patients are limited to 1 per day during visiting hours. Visitors are still prohibited for COVID patients (with end of life exceptions).
  • At present 257 individuals are unable to work due to COVID, with obvious impact on a number of services. Please remain vigilant at home and at work with regard to social distancing and mask use.
  • There are currently no concerns about PPE availability.
  • The Command Center reopened and can be reached at [email protected], or by phone (774-441-8886).

Vaccine Rollout
  • Vaccine information is constantly updated on the Hub @
  • Many of our clinicians have gotten their first vaccine dose or are scheduled!
  • Tier 1a1, 1a2, and 1a3 employees have been invited to schedule. If you think you should have gotten an invite but have not, FIRST, search for the email from health stream or sign into E-Learning. It is very easy to miss the email.
  • Invites for 1a4 (all other caregivers) should begin in early January.
  • It is recommended that vaccination among a group of providers be staggered. There is a chance that symptoms may limit working the following day. We strongly encourage scheduling your vaccine before a day off, and at least not before you are scheduled to cover a vital clinical service such as inpatient or L and D.

Wellness Resources
  • Wellness Rounds have resumed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 5:45 - 6:30 via Zoom, hosted by Dan Mullin, Ethan Eisdorfer, or Shahida Fareed. Everyone should feel free to drop in as often as they like.

  • The Caring for the Caregiver Program provides resources such as the Caregiver Support Line (508-334-HELP) and The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers a variety of services and supports (including virtual peer support and wellness tips. EAP can be accessed at 866-263-3525, or, [company code UmassMemorial]. More information is available on the Caring for the Caregiver page.

Working on Wellness
Yoga Classes with Dr. Liz Erban

Please join department members for early morning gentle yoga, Wednesday mornings 6:30am via Zoom. Much appreciation to Dr. Erban for hosting these outstanding classes. (flier attached)

Zumba with Dr. Anna Zheng
Please join department members Monday mornings at 6:00am, Thursday evenings at 6:00pm, Saturday mornings at 9:00am and get moving with Zumba via Zoom. Much appreciation to Dr. Anna Zheng for hosting these outstanding classes. (flier attached)