UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - December 13, 2022/EDUCATION

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

Table of Contents

Message From the Chair

Welcome From the Chair

Upcoming Events

Focus of the Week - Education


Department Member Recognition

Frankly Speaking Podcast

Clinical Services Spotlight

Message From the Chair

On Saturday morning, December 10th, we hosted a very successful Family Medicine Town Hall with 75 family physicians from across the state attending. The focus was, and will continue to be, consolidating our thinking and amplifying our power to speak with one coordinated voice about the changes needed to safeguard the future of Family Medicine and the important role primary care plays. Leadership for this effort comes from the four medical schools and the MA Academy of Family Physicians, coordinated by: Ron Adler, MD, Vice-President, Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians; Wayne Altman, MD, Professor & Chair of Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine; Renee Crichlow, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Codman Square Health Center; Vice-Chair of Health Equity, Boston University Medical School, Department of Family Medicine; Emily Chin, MD, President, Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians; Rebekah Rollston, MD, MPH; Family Physician, Cambridge Health Alliance; Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and myself. We reviewed the Primary Care for You (PC4Y) proposed legislation. The following day, family medicine leaders met with representative from pediatrics and internal medicine to engage them in this discussion. Thanks to everyone who attended for making it a great session. If you want to be on the listserv for future discussions, please let know.

Welcome from the Chair

As we continue to use Tuesday Talk to improve communication across the department, I want to start to officially welcome new faculty and staff to our department. Julia Bindon, MD, started in October as a hospitalist, Laura Schoerning, DO, started December 1st at Hahnemann, and Sydney Kroll, NP started December 5th at Benedict. MassAHEC and NEAETC hired James Laford as an intern. Welcome to these new colleagues.

 Upcoming Events

FMCH Department Town Hall

Tuesday, December 13th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Meeting ID: 915 8133 4605 Passcode: 334605

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Thursday, December 15th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm, "The US Community Mental Health Center System and the Broken Promises of Deinstitutionalization", presented by Brian P. Daly, MD.

Meeting ID: 818 349 233 Passcode: PsychGR1

Focus of the Week - Education

Undergraduate Medical Education News

UMass Chan-Lahey Affiliation

Last week, UMass Chan and Lahey have taken the next step in making this vision a reality by signing a master affiliation agreement. Approval of the affiliate site by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) is the next step, which is expected in or around March 2023.

It is anticipated that the first UMass Chan-Lahey students will matriculate in the summer of 2024, and that each year UMass Chan would accept approximately 25 students who will be enrolled at UMass Chan-Lahey. These medical students would follow the core curriculum of the T.H. Chan School of Medicine at UMass Chan in Worcester, with all their clinical experiences taking place at Lahey. UMass Chan-Lahey medical students will also have a special new focus on leadership, health systems science and interprofessional education.   

Graduate Medical Education News

Congratulations to the Palliative Medicine Fellowship and the Geriatric Fellowship for their outstanding match. We look forward to welcoming Mark Skiba, MD, PhD, back to UMass for the Palliative Medicine Fellowship and Drs. Hawa Abu and Sher Bano to the Geriatric Fellowship. Thank you to all the faculty, residents, and fellows who work so hard this time of year on the admissions process for all our GME programs.  

Faculty Development

Annual Department Retreat

We look forward to hosting our annual department retreat this Spring. Please mark your calendars.  


May 11th, 12:00 - 6:00pm, South Street Campus, Shrewsbury


Scholarship Opportunities

If you have worked with a student or resident on scholarly work, there is an opportunity for them to share the research with other residents and students at 2023’s National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is now accepting applications for poster displays during National Conference, July 27–29 in Kansas City, MO. Topics can include: Clinical inquiry, Community project, Educational program or Research. This contest is open to any AAFP resident or student member eligible to attend National Conference. Up to 50 posters will be selected for onsite display. Of those, the Top 12 will be invited to give a brief oral presentation for peer review. Submit your application by April 1st. For additional information, contact Ashley Herman by email or at (800) 274-2237, ext. 6361.


Past editions of the Tuesday Talk Newsletter are now available on the UMass Chan department website under Resources. The following is the link:

The People of Color (POC) Affinity Group Social Gathering and Meeting

The POC Affinity Group has joined with the Diversity and Inclusion Office and will be holding a dinner/social gathering, on December 15th, to strengthen the conversations and camaraderie that began at its first meeting. You must register to attend.

December 15th at 5:00pm.

Register here.

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, which is outlined in the attached nomination form. The form can also be found on the Diversity and Inclusion website. One-page nomination submissions are due to the Diversity and Inclusion Office by Friday, January 6, 2023.  To ensure that each candidate is evaluated on the same documentation, summaries in excess of one page will not be considered. The institutional 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

Palliative Medicine Fellowship Match

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Mark Skiba, MD, PhD, has matched into our Palliative Medicine fellowship program! Dr. Skiba earned his Bachelors of Science degree from Western New England College with a Major in Biology. He went on to obtain a PhD at Clark University in the field of Mammalian Genetics. Dr. Skiba then conducted five years of postdoctoral research in the field of Molecular Genetics in the laboratory of Dr. Kendall Knight at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He then obtained his MD at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and went through Medical Residency at UMASS/Memorial Health Care where he trained in Internal Medicine. Dr. Skiba has been practicing hospital-based medicine at Milford Regional Medical Center for the last twenty years. Congratulations to Sunita Puri, Fellowship Director and the Palliative Medicine team for a great match!

Erika Zimmons, program director of the Geriatrics Fellowship, has announced the new fellows for 2023-2024. Dr. Hawa Abu is completing her residency in Internal Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Dr. Sher Bano is completing her nephrology fellowship at Boston Medical Center and previously completed her Internal Medicine residency at UMass Chan Medical School. 

Advanced MA LTBI ECHO - Open to Massachusetts primary care team members including clinicians, nurses, care managers, community health workers, peer navigators, pharmacists, social workers! Course starts January 5, 2023!!

Interested in being able to test and treat your patients for latent TB infection within primary care and manage some of the more nuanced scenarios? Beginners and more advanced participants welcome! All participants will receive introductory material prior to the start of the seven session virtual and interactive course. You can receive up to 7 CME credits and the course is free. Find the details in the attached brochure. Register here.

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

Department Member Recognition

Erik Garcia was the keynote speaker at AIDS Project Worcester’s World AIDS Day celebration on December 1st. His presentation included slides on the history of the disease and the steps medicine needs to take to continue to reduce infections.  

Frankly Speaking Podcast

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

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Please join us for an overview: In 2015, a landmark study, LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy), found that early introduction to peanuts, at 4 to 6 months, significantly reduced the incidence of peanut allergies in all children but especially those at high risk for allergies. A recent survey of pediatric residents and attendings in a large academic center regarding knowledge and implementation of the guidelines uncovered a significant knowledge gap impacting the health of children. Join us as we discuss this gap and review the guidelines for preventing peanut allergies in infants and children. Guest: Susan Feeney, DNP, FNP, presents: "Preventing Peanut Allergies-Are You Following the Recommendations?". - Frankly Speaking Ep 306.

Clinical Services Spotlight:




  • COVID cases are up in MA about 19%.
  • There were 7,499 new COVID cases in the last week. 
  • The 7-day average percent positivity is 7.85%.
  • The total COVID cases to date are 2,124,243 with 22,574 confirmed deaths (total deaths per 1 million population, 3,275).


  • The current 7-day average positivity rate is 19.6% (increased from 8.7% 7-days ago).
  • Daily In-house confirmed positive cases in the prior 7 days - 69.
  • Of the 69 cases, 47 of the patients are fully vaccinated (68%).
  • Of the 11 in the ICU, 6 are fully vaccinated. 
  • Children less than 6 months of age will not be able to take the booster after the 3 Pfizer vaccines.

Radiology Update

For situations where you need an image read for a patient you will be seeing in your office that day and there is no report on file:

Please email Kristine Smith and Kelly Emrich. [Smith, Kristine , Emrich, Kelly]

The only request is that they only ask for studies for which the patient is coming in for a visit and there is no read yet, they are truly concerned about the read, or some other urgent reason. Requests for urgent reads on non-urgent or non-concerning studies, such as routine lung screenings only because the patient is curious about the results, will only delay other reads that may be more urgent or more delayed.



  • Several states have reported measles outbreaks including in children who are vaccinated. 
  • Some of the cases have required hospitalization.
  • In Ohio, more than half occurred in children less than 2 years of age. 


Winter Disease

Expect to see more viral and respiratory infections this winter. With workers returning to work and children in school, we can anticipate more respiratory illness to emerge due to being in a closed environment with air circulating. 

  • Remind patients to have Tylenol and ibuprofen handy for fevers. 
  • Remind patients to maintain hydration. 
  • Decreasing risks: hand washing, avoid close contact with those who are ill, stay home when sick, avoid touching your eyes and face. 

Flu vaccine is due by December 15th. 

Department Climate Announcement

Coming soon! The 2022 Climate Survey for evaluation of Racism and Microaggression and Equity and Inclusion in the Department. Stay tuned for updates!

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

Great time to join!

New members always welcome. Start your mid week with some relaxing yoga! 

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