UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - March 2, 2021/CLINICAL
Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk.

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

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
March 2nd, Tuesday - 12 -1pm: "Basics of Special Education" presented by Jeanna Lee, PhD, and Jenna Mullarkey, PsyD

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

Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds
March 4th, Thursday - 12 - 1pm: "ADHD and Substance Use Disorders" presented by Vishal Biala, MD

Faculty Promotion Workshop -
Associate Professor to Professor
March 10th, Wednesday 7:30 - 9am: Presented by Warren Ferguson, MD
RSVP to [email protected] for zoom information
Focus of the week - Research

Upcoming Workshops
Judy Savageau, MPH will lead two upcoming FMCH Faculty Development workshops this spring. Workshops will focus on getting started with dissemination, covering topics such as picking the right journal, guidelines for authorship, responding to reviewers and how to write for the peer-reviewed literature, covering the nuts and bolts of writing for academic journals. Dates and times TBA.
Upcoming Conferences and Calls for Abstracts
The research staff maintains a list of upcoming meetings and conferences that FMCH faculty members often attend. The list has information on deadlines for abstract submissions and links to conference websites. The list can be downloaded from the Department website:
Contact Kate Sullivan if you would like to add a conference to the list: [email protected] .

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
Department Member Recognition

Charles Lehnardt, DO gave a virtual presentation at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physician’s Program director workshop February 5, 2021 titled "Integrating an Osteopathic Curriculum in Family Medicine Residency”.

At the ACGME Annual Educational Conference held virtually February 24-26, Stacy Potts, MD, MeD was recognized for her leadership role as Chair of the ACGME Review Committee for Family Medicine from 2016-2020. She was thanked by the whole ACGME family with an award of stone, for upholding the “Big Rocks” of Family Medicine. 

Daria Szkwarko, DO, MPH is co-author on a recent publication in BMJ: Closing the loop in child TB contact management. The reference is: Amisi JA, et al. BMJ Open 2021;11:e040993. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040993

A soon-to-be graduate of the Preventive Medicine Fellowship, Lauren Jansen MD, has been accepted to the highly competitive CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer Training Program.
  • Don’t Get Locked Out - Deadline Extended, Action Required: Multifactor Authentication for Remote FMD Users:
  1. If you access Follow Me Desktop remotely, you must install the “RSA SecurID Authenticate” application and enroll your UMass Memorial account by Tuesday, March 9, or you will not be able to access FMD from non-UMass Memorial networks (i.e., your home network).
  2. Additional information can be found on the Hub or contact the IS Support Center at 508-334-8800 for assistance.
  3. Steve Anderson will be contacting those who have not yet downloaded the app.

  • Interpreter Services: Please use the standardized documentation in EPIC to record use of interpreters during care. 

  1. The following is a link to the child care page on the Hub:
  2. The following is a link to the child care page on Optum EAP’s Live and Work Well site (they can provide some support for finding childcare options:
  3. Optum’s Eldercare page:
  4. Optum has a variety of self-help information/resources on the Live and Work Well site related to parenting, schooling, caregiving for family, etc. as well.

  • MassHealth is providing free transportation to vaccine appointments to any individual that has any type of MassHealth coverage or the Health Safety Net. This includes people with MassHealth Limited, Children's Medical Security Program (CMSP) and MassHealth Family Assistance (FA). In addition, members can request transportation services directly through MassHealth's Customer Service, rather than needing to request services through a health care provider. If an individual has MassHealth or the Health Safety Net, they (or a caregiver) can be encouraged to call their health plan or MassHealth directly to schedule free transportation at 800-841-2900 (TTY: 800-497-4648). However, MassHealth members who are enrolled in a Senior Care Options or One Care plan or in a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) should continue to contact their health plan or PACE provider to request help with transportation. MassHealth All Provider Bulletin 310 and this FAQ contain additional details on this policy, and members can visit the MassHealth webpage for more information on COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Worcester’s 2021 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) will be featured at the Coalition for Healthy Greater Worcester’s annual meeting on March 24th, 4:00-6:00 p.m.  See attached announcement for registration and zoom information.

  • 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.

  • Reminder About Parking Changes Several hundred parking spaces were eliminated in the First Road Garage due to construction; parking reassignments became effective February 8.
Research Publications

Kate Pivovarova. PhD and Warren Ferguson, MD are co-authors of “Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network, in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. The article details the research protocols for an effectiveness-implementation study of the seven Massachusetts jails providing all medications for opioid use disorder during incarceration and post-release.
Department News Spotlight

Full Dental Coverage for your Adult Patients is Here!
The MassHealth Dental Program restored adult dental benefits effective January 1, 2021 through the hard work of advocates and the legislature in Massachusetts. Patients over the age of 21 who have MassHealth coverage are now able to access a greater number of dental services. Previously adults could get restorations (fillings) and extractions. Now they are also entitled to root canals and crowns which will save more teeth! In addition, patients still have access to preventive visits including cleanings and x-rays, periodontal services for periodontitis, and partial/complete dentures. What this means for your MassHealth patients is, they now have full preventive and restorative care. This is an important change to adult benefits as it expands the member’s access to care. Please be sure to educate your patients about these new benefits and refer them to a participating MassHealth dentist for comprehensive care. We recommend asking every patient at their annual exam about the care of their teeth, doing a quick oral exam, and making a referral to the dentist. You can access a list of dentists through the easy-to-use Find a Provider Tool at www. or call 1-800-207-5019

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
Clinical Services Spotlight: COVID 19 Updates
  • Massachusetts active cases 30,062. Total confirmed cases 550,302.
  • 7-day average positivity 1.73%
  • Hospitalizations 760, 173 in ICU and 124 are intubated.
  • Over the last two weeks, individuals 0-19 had the highest number (although those 80+ years old were more likely to be hospitalized).

Race / Ethnicity
Preop COVID testing for pre-procedural patients:
  • UMMC will continue to use the drive through services. It is more efficient and limits waiting time.
  • You can give the kit to patients before they go to testing site allowing them to do drop off service.
  • Alternate site for drop off if patient has completed collection prior to arrival
  • 367 Plantation Street

Vaccine Rollout
  • Vaccine information is constantly updated on the Hub @
  • Mobile vaccination event began on February 5 at a WHA Senior housing. 61 residents age 75+ years old were vaccinated.
  • Effective February 18, the persons eligible for vaccination increased to include those persons who are 65 years old or older and those with two or more health conditions as listed by the CDC and State of Massachusetts.
  • The governor has shifted vaccine distribution to vaccination sites. Decisions are being made based on current supply and demand.
  • As of February 22, more than 34,000 doses of vaccine have been administered system-wide.
  • State has limited vaccines for all hospitals, thus the system is not offering new appointments to patients and caregivers. The governor has shifted vaccine distribution to mass vaccination sites. Decisions are being made based on current supply and demand.
  • Most second vaccines for employees will be complete by mid-February.
  • The medical school does not have vaccine; vaccination is entirely through the clinical system.
  • Students with patient exposure will be vaccinated through the clinical system.
  • For vaccination appointments, please go to the Massachusetts State website to book an appointment during the interim.
  • Updates on FAQs regarding the COVID vaccine can be found on the Hub. 

Vaccination of patients
  • UMass patients age 75 or older began February 8th at the Merc Center on Front St. Because the state has limited vaccine supply and is focusing much of that to the mass vaccination sites, new patient appointments are on hold.
  • Individuals 65 and older, or with 2 comorbidities, can schedule at sites across the state.
  • The Worcester State vaccination site is now open.

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: