UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - January 17, 2023/COMMUNITY

Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk. Please continue to send us your announcements, celebrations, and accomplishments to

Table of Contents

Upcoming Events

Focus of the Week - Community


Presentations & Publications

Department Member Recognition

Frankly Speaking Podcast

Upcoming Events

FMCH Grand Rounds

Tuesday, January 17th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, "Inclusive Communication: The Language of Belonging", presented by Tiffany Cook, MA.

Meeting ID: 191 986 273 Passcode: FMCH

FMCH Grand Rounds

Tuesday, January 24th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, "Navigating the Substance Use Disorder System in Massachusetts-Referrals, Consults, and More", presented by Hugh Silk, MD, James Ledwith, MD, Jay Broadhurst, MD, Heidi Ginter, MD, Kavita Babu, MD, Jillian Joseph, MPAS, PA-C and Justin LaPorte.

Meeting ID: 191 986 273 Passcode: FMCH

FMCH Grand Rounds

Tuesday, January 31st, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, "Management of First Trimester Pregnancy Loss", presented by Kristina Gracey, MD, MPH.

Meeting ID: 191 986 273 Passcode: FMCH

Focus of the Week - Community

The UMass Chan tribute to Martin Luther King will be held on January 25th at noon. President and CEO of Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Michael Curry, JD, will serve as the keynote speaker. More details here:

RSVP here:

As we begin a new year and a new semester, MassAHEC would like to thank FMCH faculty for their many and various roles in educating the 1st and 2nd year medical and advanced practice nursing students enrolled as Rural and Urban Health Scholars. With thanks to Suzanne Cashman and Nick Hajj as leaders of RHS and Sara Casey and Kendra Marien for UHS, plus Frank Domino, Karen Rayla, and Lorna Chiasson for their ongoing support. Please see the attached list for those involved this academic year to date. (sorry if we missed anyone – please let know). Thanks so very much!  

A reminder for clinicians and staff that the Neighborhood Navigator tool can be used to address social determinants of health with your patients for issues ranging from food, housing, financial resources and other important connections for people in need.

For those of you on EPIC - this database is the Findhelp and CommunityHELP that is built into the EHR. For all others, consider making it a favorite on your computer(s) so that you can use it in real time in exam rooms and your office.

The MA EOHHS and MBHP have announced 25 designated Community Behavioral Health Centers (CBHCs) to expand access to routine, urgent, and crisis treatment for mental health conditions and substance use disorders. The CBHCs will provide same-day evaluation and referral to treatment, evening and weekend hours, timely follow-up appointments, and evidence-based behavioral health treatment, in person at their community-based locations and via telehealth for all ages and all communities across the Commonwealth with 24/7 community-based mobile crisis intervention and stabilization, as an alternative to hospital emergency departments.

February 7, 2023 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day to acknowledge how HIV disproportionately affects Black people. Check out the Black/African American People and HIV page on NEAETC’s online HIV Resource Library to learn more!


Past editions of the Tuesday Talk Newsletter are available here under Resources.

REMINDER: The UMMH Opioid Task Force is developing tools that will help our care teams provide the best care possible to patients in need of chronic opioid therapy. The Chronic Opioid Registry was updated, improving its accuracy and utility for managing patient panels. One key care recommendation is yearly completion of a Controlled Substance Agreement (CSA) for all patients on chronic opioid therapy.  January 10 was the launch date for a new care gap that will be seen in the Epic storyboard for any patient for whom the Controlled Substance Agreement (CSA) is expired or not present. Please refer to the attached Communication and "Opioid Recommendations" quick guide for more details. UMMG providers can also use the Ambulatory Referral for Opioid Management to obtain a consultation by an experienced provider to review appropriateness of opioid therapy and/or obtain recommendations for therapy adjustment.

SAVE THE DATE: The MassAFP Annual Meeting and Spring Refresher will be March 24-25. See the attached flyer for more details or go to: massafp.orgManju Mahajan is co-chair of the MassAFP Education Committee. 

UMass Department of Family Medicine & Community Health (FMCH) Climate Survey

Please look for an email this week to take our annual FMCH Climate Survey. Thank you for working with us to develop a departmental diversity plan that responds to identified needs among our faculty, staff, and learners on both the school and clinical sides. We have made strides in developing a strategic plan for diversity based on prior results. Your participation in this survey will help us to continue to take steps towards meaningful and data-driven action to create a more inclusive work space. This survey is intended for faculty, staff, residents, and fellows who identify as members of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH). Your responses are anonymous and data will only be shared in ways that protect individual identities. Our Diversity Equity Action Plan (DEAP) team appreciate your time and effort in helping us to move this initiative forward.

The Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion is bestowed annually upon an individual or group exemplifying characteristics embodied in UMass Chan’s diversity statement and values. The Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion award will be presented at the Medical School’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. Any questions may be directed to the Diversity and Inclusion Office at 508-856-2179 or

The new VISTA curriculum will have 8 Pathways. All students need to choose a Pathway. Pathways include the following themes:

  • Inequity/Advocacy/social justice ​
  • Entrepreneurship/biomedical innovation​
  • Clinical care​
  • Research​
  • Population/global/community health​
  • Health systems science ​
  • Education​
  • PURCH - Springfield students

Students will be required to work on a project over 3.5 years. This will replace Capstone projects. They can be very diverse in nature. Faculty who mentor students on their project will meet with them initially and then periodically.

There are 3 ways to get onto a list for potential students to work with:

  1. Put your name out there with an area that you are interested in (e.g. substance use disorder or women's health) and which Pathway or Pathways appeal to you and you will be put on a list for students to look at
  2. Have an idea for a project and forward that project and students can look at your idea
  3. Already have a project you are working on and list that and a student can join your project with you.

If you have an idea, please reach out to Hugh Silk at

Mindfulness and Compassion During Tumultuous Times - Essential Tools to Remain Steady and Whole, presented by Paula Gardiner, MD, MPH, CMMT and Gail Gazelle, MD, MCC, CMMT.

Friday, May 5, 2023, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm (ET)

At this in-person program, you will acquire practical strategies to quiet your mind and gain mastery over worries and self-doubt. You’ll learn about the neuroscience behind mindfulness and meditation, and practice with a variety of readily accessible tools that will help you attain calm, clarity, and the balance you need to build resilience and avoid physician burnout. Event Info (

Presentations & Publications

Stacy Potts, MD, recent publication titled "Grandfathered In?":

Potts SE. Grandfathered In? Fam Med. 2023;55(1):57-58.

Paula Gardiner, MD, MPH, CMMT, recent published paper titled "Lessons Learned from Clinicians in a Federally Qualified Health Center: Steps Toward Eliminating Burnout".

Authors Andrew W. Cauley, Alexander R. Green, Paula M. Gardiner

Publication date 2022/12/12; Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine; Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

Amber Cahill, PsyD, Philip Day, PhD, & Ashley Mitton, PsyD delivered a 6-hour virtual Ethics in Integrated Care training for clinicians across the state of Oregon who are working in integrated primary care settings. 

Department Member Recognition

Hugh Silk, MD, MPH, FAAFP, has been selected to serve on the Maternal and Child Health Bureau's (MCH/B) Oral Health Think Tank. This is an effort of the Consortium for Oral Health Systems Integration and Improvement (COHSII) with funding from HRSA. The goal of the Think Tank is to inform discussions about integrating oral health care in safety net settings serving the MCH population. Project staff and consultants will gather information from Think Tank members and four to six successful, long-standing statewide programs to develop a report for the MCHB to assist with integration efforts and resource development. 

Frankly Speaking Podcast

A weekly Podcast series covering newsworthy topics in primary care medicine.

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Please join us for an overview: Join us to discuss the results of a randomized controlled trial that evaluated the influence of increased dairy intake on fractures in older adults. Learn how this simple intervention can significantly mitigate the risk of falls and fractures in this vulnerable population. Guest: Jill M. Terrien PhD, ANP-BC, presents: "Reducing Senior Falls and Fractures with Milk?". - Frankly Speaking Ep 311.

Clinical Services Spotlight:




  • The COVID variant XBB.1.5 is now called "Kraken."
  • Kraken accounts for the most cases of COVID at this time. In the most recent weeks, it accounts for 43% of variants.
  • COVID cases in the US rose 44% last week.
  • BQ1.1 is the second most common.


  • The current 7-day average positivity rate is 15.3%.
  • There were 74 in-house patients with positive COVID test on 1/15 (66% fully vaccinated).
  • 16 of the 74 are in the ICU (15 of the 16 are fully vaccinated).


  • MA had 9,360 new COVID cases in the last week with 142 deaths.
  • The 7-day average percent positivity was 12.25%.
  • There were 1,250 patients hospitalized with COVID (119 in the ICU).


Advocacy/ Health Care Changes

Expansion of Postpartum Medicaid Coverage.

In one of his final acts as Governor, Charlie Baker signed into law a permanent expansion of MassHealth coverage for postpartum care to 12 months after childbirth. Previously, MassHealth only extended postpartum coverage for 60 days. The coverage expansion will allow an additional 8,000 individuals annually to access coverage for a full year after pregnancy. In July 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the state's request for a 12-month coverage policy, under flexibility granted by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Codifying this policy into law ensures that MassHealth continues offering that coverage permanently. The MMS supported the legislation that effectuated this change, advocating that continuous postpartum coverage is key to combating racial inequities in maternal health and improving patient outcomes. 

Source: MMS Newsletter


HHS extends Public Health Emergency another 90 days beginning January 11, 2023

Medicare Cuts

Congress passed their year-end legislation last week that results in a 2.0% physician payment cut.


Updates for Billing and Coding 2023

The Billing and Coding team has had several sessions to inform us about changes for 2023. The last session was focused on mainly inpatient coding. Please review the attached slides. 

Wellness Resources

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.

Yoga Classes with Dr. Liz Erban

New members always welcome. Please join for early morning gentle yoga, Wednesday mornings 6:30am via Zoom. Much appreciation to Dr. Liz Erban for hosting these outstanding classes. 

Join Zoom Meeting ID: 923 9393 3653 Passcode: 764113