UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - October 19, 2021/COMMUNITY
Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk. Please continue to send us your announcements, celebrations, and accomplishments to [email protected].
Table of Contents
Message from the Chair
Upcoming Events
Focus of the Week - Community
Frankly Speaking Podcast
Faculty Presentations/Publications
Clinical Services Spotlight
Message from the Chair

Thank you all for everything you do, every day, to assure the best care for our patients and to support each other.
Please note the change of date, and reserve December 14, 2021 from noon to 1:00 pm for the Department’s virtual Annual Awards Ceremony (in lieu of Grand Rounds). The Department’s annual awards recognize individuals who have contributed to the Department’s mission of service and teaching. 
Please plan to join our next Town Hall on Tuesday, November 2nd. We will have key updates including COVID policies, the UMMH strategic plan, the Department strategic planning process, and a finance update.
Upcoming Events

FMCH Grand Rounds
Tuesday, October 19th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, "Family Medicine in Liberia: History, Challenges, Successes and Opportunities". Presented by Olga Valdman, MD, Richard Sacra, MD, and Beshoy Sidhom, MD.
Meeting ID: 191 986 273 Passcode: FMCH

FMCH Grand Rounds
Tuesday, October 26th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, "The 4th Trimester: what can be done prenatally to prepare women for the challenges of birth and the 12 weeks after delivery?". Presented by Sara Shields, MD, Kristina Gracey, MD, MPH and Kathleen Barry, MD.
Meeting ID: 191 986 273 Passcode: FMCH

American Board of Family Medicine Maintenance of Certification
KSA (SAM) Workshop: “Care of Children”
Thursday, November 18, 2021, 8:00 – 10:00 AM
WEBINAR (no need to leave your desk) Link will be sent prior to 11/18/2021
We will complete the latest (just released) 60 question Care of Children KSA via a virtual CME event. You will record your answers while we work through the KSA, then after completion, log into your ABFM account and enter the results and claim your CME credits through the ABFM. Successful Completion of the Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) Module is eligible for up to 10 ABFM Credit Hours.
See the attached invitation for a WEBINAR to complete the ABFM KSA: Caring for Children. To register, please complete and follow the directions on the attached registration form.
Focus of the Week - Community

Community health, engagement and retention: Moving toward inclusion with a culture of tracking

Meaningful engagement with community: from hosting the school’s Population and Community Health Clerkship to recognizing it as a proven DEI strategy for increasing retention among faculty, staff and students from marginalized groups, our department is engaged with multiple communities.

We need to measure, value and reward community engagement. How do we define the quality of our work in community partnerships?  How do we effectively share details of our engagement with all stakeholders?  A decade ago, we asked you to “create learning environments to have students and residents gain appreciation for the impact of neighborhood/community on health and how to work creatively with patients and agencies to intervene at the neighborhood level.” 

Now we have an opportunity to track, measure and communicate our engaged activities in ways that are inclusive and maximize impact without taking too much time and energy away from the activity itself. That opportunity comes through Collaboratory, the online repository that UMass Chan has invested in to help us track community-engaged activity - the people, projects and places involved as well as the outputs and outcomes for learners, community partners and the institution. Strong reporting functions make it a useful tool for engaged faculty developing promotion portfolios and for administrators documenting program impact for funders. It’s designed to allow students to enter activities as a proxy for faculty review and approval. Please start documenting and tracking your engaged activity; reach out to [email protected] and we’ll help you get started. 

“If health is socially determined, then health issues are best addressed by engaging community partners who can bring their own perspectives and understandings of community life and health issues to a project. And if health inequalities are rooted in larger socioeconomic inequalities, then approaches to health improvement must take into account the concerns of communities and be able to benefit diverse populations.” (From the Principles of Community Engagement p17)
FMEC Annual Conference  
Congratulations to the following faculty, residents, and students who were able to attend and disseminate our work. If I missed anyone, please submit to next week's Tuesday Talk.
James Ledwith MD, and in absence, students Camila Hernandez, Jack Dufton, Ekaterina Skaritanov, Benjamin Potee, and Alex Richard. “Coordinating Healthcare Students to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons from a Major Academic Institution”
Charlotte Walmsley, MS4. Best Prose Essay for “Being Useful”.

TendHealth Faculty COVID Recovery Series
You matter! The Department wants to support you through your COVID recovery efforts. We have hired TendHealth to provide recovery courses for our faculty.  A series of four sessions over two months will guide you through recovery and build resilience. 
Learn new concepts, build resiliency, and find community through live courses.
The team of expert and diverse instructors bring together a community of like-minded health professionals to learn new skills and expand our insights.
Faculty will need to choose one cohort and stick with it for all the sessions. 
TEND is able to move the start date of the faculty cohorts back to hopefully avoid cancelling patient sessions. Here are the new dates:
Cohort 1: Mondays 8-9:15am, 11/1, 11/15, 11/29, 12/13
Cohort 2: Fridays 4-5:15pm, 11/5, 11/19, 12/3, 12/17
RSVP as soon as possible to Jennifer Masoud to reserve your spot in your chosen cohort,

UMass Chan Medical School is implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to information systems. MFA is a digital authentication method that requires two or more forms of verification factors before access is granted. Prior to MFA, only a valid username and password have been required. Adding a second form of authentication is a best practice. MFA registration is required for all who use UMass Chan information systems, including email. Students, faculty, and staff must register by Friday, December 17th. You will need to choose at least one secondary authentication method: a text to a mobile device; a phone call to a mobile device or landline; or an alert on the Microsoft Authenticator mobile app. Similar to our current use of the Duo app to access HR Direct, Microsoft Authenticator provides a secure method for multi-factor authentication. To learn more about multi-factor authentication and how to register, visit the MFA information page. The Help Desk will also host training sessions on Thursdays from noon to 12:30 to assist users in learning how to register. Register here for a session. By December 31st, all users will need to use MFA. If you have any questions, please contact the IT Help Desk via chat, email or phone (508-856-8653).
REQUIRED TRAINING: School faculty and staff
In compliance with the requirements of Title IX, 34 C.F.R. §106.45(B)(1)(III), UMass Chan requires training for all faculty and staff entitled 'Title IX for Higher Education' by October 29, 2021. The course takes an estimated 17 minutes to complete. Please access it in the Learning Management System (LMS): LMS Access and Information Page or direct access: You will need to log in using your employee ID#.

The WFMR Structural Oppression and Anti-Racism (SOAR) Committee is planning a number of upcoming didactic sessions as part of the SOAR framework for residents. We are looking for faculty and residents interested in co-facilitating the following sessions:
  • Intersectional Feminism and Reproductive Justice on 11/16/21 (specifically looking for faculty co-facilitator)
  • Anti-AAPI Racism (AY21)
  • Oppression Against Indigenous Peoples (AY21)
  • Anti-Latinx Discrimination (AY21)
  • Disability, Ableism, and Holding Medicine Accountable (AY22)
  • Immigration and Colonialism (AY22)
  • Medicine and the LGBTQ+ Community (AY22)
If you are interested or have questions, please contact Jordan Howard-Young, MD at

Please consider for in-person learning Pri-Med East 
Thursday−Saturday, December 9−11, 2021 at the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center. Many of our colleagues will be presenting for 19 AAFP CME hours. This year’s keynote speaker is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD on: “Themes From the Future of Medicine”. I hope to see you there.

Program Dates: September 1st, 2021 to October 31st, 2021.
Using your smart phone and/or smart watch track the number of steps each week and enter it into the data base link that will be sent out at the end of each week by your designated team leader. You can choose your own team, designate a name for your team and a leader who can keep track of data by each team member using a smart link. Your team leader will complete the first sign up survey after which we will create a “team link” for you where each member of your team can enter their own numbers/data. It will take less than a minute for the whole week’s activity tracking. Incentive: Improve team bonding, improved physical activity, friendships among co-workers, recognition in the Tuesday Talk and system wide recognition at the end of the program.

FMCH Teacherless Writing Group Opportunity
Are you wishing you could write more? Would you like to move it up on your priority list?
Would seeing friends and writing make it easier to put it up higher in your goals? Join family medicine faculty at our monthly Teacherless Writing Group where we read our work to each other, give and receive loving feedback and write for 12 minutes. We have been meeting on Tuesday nights, previously over dinner at Fatima’s, this past year on Zoom, and lately outside in warm weather. We are open to other options for time and place. If you would like to participate in a doodle poll for the date and time of our next meeting, send an email to one of the following members: Lucy Candib ([email protected]); Lisa Gussak ([email protected]); Katharine Barnard ([email protected]); or Stacy Potts ([email protected]). We hope you will join us!

Teaching of Tomorrow (TOT)
January 7-8 and March 25-26, 2022
Registration is Open! 
For over 25 years, UMass faculty from the departments of Family Medicine and Community Health, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics have trained over 1,500 clinical faculty and preceptors from across the Northeast and beyond. TOT focuses on building and refining foundational skills for effective clinical teaching in both the inpatient and ambulatory settings. Preceptors from any specialty and discipline will enhance their clinical teaching skills through discourse and practice. TOT also provides valuable opportunities to network with other clinician educators. Our award-winning faculty utilize the principles of adult learning, drawing on participants’ experience and building knowledge through dialogue. The conference provides frequent opportunities to practice and assess new skills in a safe and fun environment.
  • Clinical educators – MDs, DOs, NPs, PAs, RNs, Behavioral Health, Pharmacists
  • Primary Care and Specialty providers
  • Teachers of students, residents, and advanced learners
  • Teachers in both In-patient and Ambulatory settings

Trying to Keep Up with the Literature?
The department pulls together the tables of contents (TOCs) for about 15 medical journals and distributes this bundle monthly to a select listserve that people can easily sign up for. The TOCs include 4-5 FM journals, JAMA, NEJM, AJPH, Health Affairs, Medical Care, JGIM, Am J Prev Med; etc. – lots of great articles that can easily be accessed through links within the bundle. We are also open to adding more journals if there’s an interest expressed! Take a look at what's been posted in the past several months by going to the department's web pages under the section on Research. You will see a tab in the left-hand margin for these TOC bundles that we post monthly (
If you’d like to be on the distribution list, please send an email to Judy Savageau ([email protected]). 

Research Forums:
In September, we started the first of this academic year’s research forums and invite all of you to attend (held through zoom). These run from September through June on the 3rd Friday of each month from noon-1pm. We would be happy to add you to our list of upcoming presentations (it’s very informal) if you’re working on a new project idea or an on-going project and would love some feedback from attendees. Please contact Judy Savageau ([email protected]) if you would like to be on our schedule of an upcoming presentation.
Research Web Pages:
Our department’s web pages have a specific section for ‘research’ ( where we list publications, presentations, student/resident projects, information on getting support from the department for your particular project, etc. Please be sure to let us know (or make sure you send a notice to the Tuesday Talk about, for example, a new publication) so that we can highlight your great work!
Frankly Speaking Podcast

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

Join us for an overview: Low back pain often leads to disability and loss of income and is a significant burden on patients and the healthcare system. While muscle relaxants are the third most common prescribed drugs in the treatment of low back pain, recent data demonstrating its use and efficacy are limited. This session discusses a recent systematic review of the safety, efficacy and accepted use of muscle relaxants in the treatment of low back pain. Don't miss this opportunity to learn how to provide low back pain treatments that have clear benefits for your patients.. Guest: Jill M. Terrien, PhD, ANP-BC, presents: "Muscle Relaxants for Low Back Pain: Are They Worth the Risk?". - Frankly Speaking Ep 246.
Faculty Presentations/Publications

One of our 2nd year medical students, Jessica Eskander, who worked with Hugh Silk and Judy Savageau over the summer months, was recently awarded First Place in their poster presentation category at the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians meeting: Eskander J, Savageau J, Silk H. Assessing the Oral Health of Worcester’s Homeless Population, October 16, 2021. We will soon be submitting this work for publication.

Hugh Silk, MD, MPH, FAAFP presented with UMCMS medical students at the Learning Communities Institute Annual Meeting virtually on the topic of The Humanities Lab - Promoting projects in the Humanities in a Learning Community and Medical School on October 15th. 

Hugh Silk MD, MPH, FAAFP, Sara Shields, MD, and Philip Day taught a workshop with others on Seeing, Reading, Listening – Incorporating Medical Humanities into Family Medicine Core Sessions at Family Medicine Education Consortium in Pittsburgh, PA. 
Clinical Services Spotlight:

  • The current inpatient census of COVID-19 positive patients at the medical center is 30 as of 10/18 (11 in ICU). Of hospitalized patients, 7 are unvaccinated.
  • In house testing percent positivity is 11.2% for symptomatic patients (up from 9.6%) and 2.1% for asymptomatic patients (up from 1.8%).
  • COVID-19 positive employees in the past week: 4, all mild or moderate cases.
  • UMMHC is requiring mandatory vaccination for COVID and influenza. 
  • The flu vaccine must be completed by December 15. All requests for exemptions must be received by November 15.
  • Consequences of Vaccine Refusal
o  Caregivers who do not receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by November 1 and who are not granted a medical/disability or religious exemption, will be required to utilize heightened personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever they are onsite, undergo regular COVID-19 testing, and adhere to other infection control protocols. 
o  Caregivers not vaccinated by November 15 who are not granted an exemption will be put on a two-week suspended leave without pay. This also applies to all unvaccinated remote workers.
o  Unvaccinated caregivers who have not received an approved exemption and have not gotten either the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or a first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine by December 1, will lose their jobs and be ineligible to work at UMass Memorial Health until they are vaccinated.
  • Approximately 950 caregivers remain unvaccinated as of 10/18; 82 caregivers were vaccinated last week.
COVID-19 MA Update
  • Total confirmed cases in MA is 777,475.
  • The 7-day average percent positivity is 2.05%.
  • In MA, there are 541 patients hospitalized with 140 in ICU and 80 intubated. There are 18,439 confirmed deaths. 
  • Many entities in MA have enacted a mandatory vaccine statute. These include healthcare institutions, state employees, schools, and many other employers. 
COVID-19 Booster Updates
The FDA has approved booster doses for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. 
 Recommendation for booster
  • The following are eligible for a booster: 65 years or older, age 18 years or older living in long-term care facilities, those with underlying medical conditions, and those who work in high-risk settings. 
  • Moderna and Johnson and Johnson will follow similar criteria. 
Health Equity True North
Results 2021- Well Child Visit
Congratulations to the Family Medicine sites for your work directed at closing the gap in well-child visits in 2021.

Family Medicine University Benedict
Many thanks to the Medical Director and Manager and the entire team for meeting the reach goal for both Hispanics and Black/ African Americans. 
Barre Family Health Center and Hahnemann Family Health Center reached the target for one of the two goals. Many thanks to the Medical Director and Manager and the entire team for reaching these goals.
All teams (Barre, Benedict, Hahnemann, and Health Alliance Fitchburg) made great progress in going above and beyond in their aim to decrease the gap, improving 10%-44% above the baseline at the start of the True North effort. Congratulations to you all! Thank you for a job well done. 
Health Equity Metrics for 2022
We will continue with the Well Child Visit initiative and add osteoporosis screening as a new measure.
Stay tuned for the Family Medicine Health Dashboard in the upcoming Tuesday Talk. 
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.
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. Join Zoom Meeting
Zumba with Dr. Anna Zheng

Please join department members Monday mornings at 6:00am over ZOOM, Thursday evenings at 6:15pm**(30 Anna Street, NEW tall, spacious indoor location), some Saturday mornings at 9:15am and get moving with Zumba. Please note details and any changes via webpage: ZOOM still possible for all classes.

Much appreciation to Dr. Anna Zheng for hosting these outstanding classes. Join Zoom meeting: pwd=bzVnY0xXdFNTQkpQQ1hmZkw3Snh6Zz09.