UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - February 9, 2021
Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk.

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

UPST - UMass System-wide Townhall
(Unified Procurement Services Team)
February 9th, Tuesday - 10 - 11am

FMCH Grand Rounds
February 9th, Tuesday - 12 - 1pm: Presented by Ana Maldonado-Contreras, PhD, "Fetal Microbiome"

UMMS Virtual Town Hall Meeting
February 9th, Tuesday - 1 - 2pm
Passcode: 665013

Faculty Development Workshop - Virtual Instruction
February 10th, Wednesday - 8 - 9am: Presented by Reid Evans, PhD
RSVP to [email protected] for zoom information

Caregiver Stress First Aid Webinar
February 11th, Thursday - 6 - 7pm: Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD will be hosting.

FMCH Primary Care Research Forum
February 19th, Friday -12 - 1pm: Presented by Dan Mullin, PsyD, MPH, James Anderson, PhD (Bassett Healthcare Network and a former fellow in our dept.) and Steve Martin, MD, MEd. They will be presenting "Project ECHO and Primary Care Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders: Implementation and Clinical Outcomes". Password: FMCHFORUM

Faculty Development Workshop - Virtual Instruction
February 25th, Thursday - 12:15 - 1:15pm: Presented by Reid Evans, PhD
RSVP to [email protected] for zoom information

Faculty Promotion Workshop - Asst. Prof. to Assoc. Prof.
March 4th, Thursday 12 - 1:30pm: Presented by Warren Ferguson, MD
RSVP to [email protected] for zoom information

Faculty Promotion Workshop - Assoc. Prof to Professor
March 10th, Wednesday 7:30 - 9am: Presented by Warren Ferguson, MD
RSVP to [email protected] for zoom information
Department Member Recognition

Hugh Silk, MD, MPH, FAAFP, has joined the Medical-Dental Integration Steering Committee at the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) working on a new project that CDC's Division of Oral Health is leading to develop a National Framework for Medical-Dental Integration.

  • Hepatitis C and General Hepatology Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) You are invited to join an exciting virtual collaborative learning opportunity! A new cohort begins, Friday, March 5th, 12:30 - 1:30pm, with 10 sessions held bi-monthly. Register at

  • The FMCH Town Halls are once again being recorded for those unable to join the live meeting. A separate folder has been created on the FMCH website under Faculty Resources. No password is required to view these recordings. This URL will take you to the Faculty Resources portion of the FMCH website and it can be bookmarked for future reference.

  • More Changes to Parking As construction continues on the Medical School’s new education and research building, a significant portion of the First Road garage will be demolished. As a result, several hundred parking spaces will be eliminated, prompting a series of parking reassignments effective February 8. Those affected will be notified this week of their new assignment; individuals will be asked to go to the parking office to change to a new tag. The parking office, newly located to the first floor of the Lazare Research Building, will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, January 25-29 and February 1-5 to accommodate the exchanges. Badge access to the garages will change on February 8. 
Research Publications

  • Carole Upshur, EdD's article "When is it too much?" appeared in The Newsletter of the American College of Correctional Physicians, Vol 23, Winter 2020 p. 5 about experiencing a lock down in a Head Start classroom and the need for better gun legislation and behavioral health services for children. It had previously appeared as an item in the DFMCH Thursday Memo and chillingly came out two days after the Capitol riot when our Congress members were similarly cowering on the floor of the House and Senate.

  • Carole Upshur, EdD, published an article, "How coronavirus (and other human disease) is related to climate change"  in the January-April 2021 issue of Terra Firma, The Sierra Club's Lower Hudson Valley publication.

Department News Spotlight

DFMCH Mentorship Program – 2021-22
In 2013, the Department made a decision to invest in our growing number of junior and mid-career faculty through the establishment of a formal, structured mentorship program. Since then over 70 faculty have participated in the program as mentors or mentees and sometimes serving as both! We are so pleased with the success of the program and are happy to announce a 2021 offering which will officially launch this Spring.
We are asking those interested in participating fill out a brief application (see below), and commit to attendance at an orientation session, regularly scheduled meetings between mentor/mentee (every 6-8 weeks over the 18 month program), progress updates as determined by the program and completions of an overall evaluation of the program. We are looking for faculty members who seek some mentoring in achieving a goal related to developing an academic focus to their work, clinical/academic leadership, assistance with developing an identified project, career development, work-life balance, etc., and for mentors who are willing to share their expertise in these areas.
  • Want to participate as a mentee? We invite faculty members (preference is given to Assistant and Associate Professors) who are interested in establishing a relationship with a mentor to apply for acceptance into the program by filling out the following application. To be considered, please submit your completed application by Friday, February 26th. In the Spring we plan to invite all mentor/mentee pairs to join us for an event to officially launch the program and provide the pairs with some baseline program expectations.
  • Interested in serving as a mentor? If so, we invite Associate Professors and Professors to also complete a short application by Friday, February 26th and let us know which areas (identified above) you would be most interested in working on with a faculty member.
  • Already involved in the program? We have allowed successful pairs to continue in the formal program if they wish to do so. Please let Jennifer Masoud know if you would like to request doing so.

Health Equity Well Child Visit Improvement Initiative- True North
The Healthy Equity Task Force to Improve Well Child Visits solicit your assistance in identifying those patients within your practice who are due for WCC visits. Our goal is to improve the percentage of patients receiving visits and immunizations in a timely manner and to close the gap of missed visits among racial and ethnic minorities, specifically Hispanic and African American children. Well Child visits are at the core of Family Medicine. The institutional baseline is Hispanics is 64%; 59% African Americans; and 71% Whites
Target: Increase percentage of well child visits by 5% from baseline
Reach: Increase percentage of well child visits by 10% from baseline

Research Support
A reminder that the Department offers support for FMCH faculty research leading to scholarly publications and/or presentations. You can find more information, including a form for requesting support, on the FMCH website: Research Initiatives - UMass Medical School - Worcester
Clinical Services Spotlight: COVID 19 Updates
COVID-19 UPDATES (Information to share with your patients)
  • Vaccination for 75 years and older began this week on February 8.
  • The UMass vaccination site is located at the Mercantile Center.
  • Patients will receive an invitation from UMass and must schedule an appointment before arrival.
  • Due to limited vaccine availability, we are unable to invite all eligible patients at the same time. This means you may not receive an appointment invitation right away.
  • The Vaccination program will follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Massachusetts program.
  • Please direct patients to the UMass memorial Website for clear directions.
  • Patients 75 years and older desiring to register for COVID vaccination may call the 211 number for assistance in scheduling a vaccine appointment. The call service is available from 8:30am- 5:00pm. The site is staffed by 500 representatives who will book patients using the same access offered at the state’s website The call line is for Massachusetts residents over age 75 who have difficulty navigating online booking. 

COVID-19 UMass Community Testing Site:
201 Commercial Street, Worcester (intersection of Commercial St. and Mechanic St.)​​.
No appointment is required.               
Week of February 8, 2021:
  • Monday, February 8             11:00am to 3:00pm
  • Tuesday, February 9            11:00am to 3:00pm
  • Thursday, February 11        11:00am to 3:00pm                
Week of February 15, 2021:
  • Monday, February 15           Holiday / Presidents Day / No Testing
  • Tuesday, February 16         10:30am to 3:00pm
  • Thursday, February 18        10:30am to 3:00pm                
Week of February 22, 2021:
  • Monday, February 22           11:00am to 3:00pm
  • Tuesday, February 23          11:00am to 3:00pm
  • Thursday, February 25         11:00am to 3:00pm

COVID-19 Testing Compliance
The UMMS Testing site in the medical school has been available to employees since the last week of June 2020. The goal of the COVID-19 testing is to identify those individuals who test positive for COVID-19 who have no symptoms and may inadvertently spread virus on the campus. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and call EHS (508-793-6400) or SHS (508-334-2818) for testing.

The following individuals are required to be tested:
  • All employees who are on campus at least two times per week.
  • All students are required to be tested weekly if they come onto the medical school or UMMHC clinical campuses in Worcester (University, Memorial, Hahnemann) at least one time per week.

COVID-19 vaccine status does not exempt anyone from these testing requirements. However, employees and students who have had COVID-19 in the past are exempt from the testing requirement for up to 90 days.
To ensure that employees are testing at the appropriate frequency, we will start to send out compliance reports to managers weekly on Tuesdays. The ‘manager’ is defined as the person who is identified in PeopleSoft. If that is not the correct person, then recipients should forward it to the correct person in their department. Department-wide compliance reports are not yet available for Department Heads but we hope to add this feature in the near future.
Managers are notified of non-compliance when 10 or more days have elapsed since the last COVID-19 test has been submitted in those employees who have badge swiped into the building at least two times over the prior week. For students, a single badge swipe in the preceding 7 days will be utilized to assess for compliance.
It is expected that managers/supervisors will address non-compliance in a positive fashion to ensure that their staff and students remain compliant with testing for everyone’s continued safety. If there are employees on your list who you do not supervise, please contact [email protected] so that we may determine the appropriate individual to be notified.

Travel Recommendations Update: To keep our caregivers safe and in alignment with the state’s current guidelines, we have extended travel restrictions to April 1, 2021. This includes:
  • No business travel out of state or internationally prior to April 1 (exceptions for compelling reasons will be considered)
  • Employees traveling out of state or internationally for personal reasons prior to April 1 will need to inform their manager and Employee Health, and complete an Employee Travel Form in advance of their plans. Visit our COVID-19 Employee FAQs to learn more about what you need to do when returning from travel. 
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, 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. Join Zoom meeting: