UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - March 9, 2021/EDUCATION
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 Feel free to title according to the focus area. We look forward to hearing your news!
Message from the Chair

We continue to make progress on clarifying what Linda Cragin ( and Steve Anderson ( will address in our interim administration plan. If you are unclear, email both and they will sort out who will respond. Meanwhile we have engaged a search firm to find a permanent Senior Administrator. 

We are also recruiting for an additional administrative role, focused on pre and post grants management, to complete our administrative team. This Academic Administrator II position has been posted and I encourage you to share the attached flyer with your networks. 
Upcoming Events

Faculty Promotion Workshop -
Associate Professor to Professor
March 10th, Wednesday 7:30 - 9am: Presented by Warren Ferguson, MD
RSVP to for zoom information

MedHub: Tricks and Tips to Efficiency in Evaluaton
March 24th, Wednesday - 8 - 9am: Presented by Cassie Tortorici
(see attached flier for additional Faculty Development Workshops

MedHub: Tricks and Tips to Efficiency in Evaluation
April 1st, Thursday, 12:15 - 1:15pm: Presented by Cassie Tortorici
Focus of the week - Education

Graduate Medical Education
  • Congratulations to the FFMR, WFMR and Sports Medicine Fellowship who all achieved continued accreditation status with the recent FM-Review Committee annual review. 
  • Congratulations to the Sports Medicine Fellowship on a fantastic match. We look forward to welcoming Jessica “Jess” Andrade, DO and John “Jake” Ponti, MD. Jess is a current Pediatric resident at the UMass Medical Center. She attended medical school at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. She majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UMass Amherst. Jake is a current Family Medicine resident at Brown. He attended medical school at UMass. He majored in English and Biology at UMass Amherst. Both fellows had experience with our UMass Sports Medicine Program - with each having rotated through as residents. We are excited to welcome them!
  • Congratulations to the Integrated Primary Care Fellowship. The new fellow will start this summer. 
  • Ashley Mitton earned her BA in Psychology from George Fox University outside of Portland, OR. She completed her MA and PsyD at Biola University in La Mirada, CA, culminating with her pre-doctoral internship at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa, CA. During this internship, she worked with patients across the lifespan and received specialized training in addiction medicine. Her clinical interests include incorporating humanistic interventions into evidenced-based primary care treatment, women’s health, and supervision and training. In her free time, Ashley enjoys hiking with her dog and skiing, as well as exploring local restaurants. 

Undergraduate Medical Education
Match Day - Virtual!
  •  Congratulations to all our students as they embark on the next chapter of their careers. 
  •  All members of the UMMS community are invited to share in the excitement of this year’s match on March 19th beginning at 11:30 a.m. by tuning in to a live stream of the celebration on the UMMS Facebook page at and YouTube page at
  •  All are encouraged to follow UMMS on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for Match Day coverage and to share your congratulations and well wishes.

Faculty Development
Thank you to those faculty who have been able to attend our recent faculty development activities. Please see the attached schedule with upcoming events for the remainder of the Spring. Please contact Stacy Potts if you have suggestions or interests to include in our faculty development series for the Fall.

Annual Faculty Reviews – Due May 15, 2021
Department faculty will participate in the Annual review process with their supervisors this Spring. If you are thinking – wait didn’t we just do that? Yes, last year was delayed and truncated secondary to the pandemic and the reviews occurred in the Fall.   We are back on schedule with the academic year and meetings with supervisors should occur in late April or early May with completed forms to the department by May 15th. Please keep an eye out to your email for your annual review form that should be coming in the next few weeks.  
Department Member Recognition

Hugh Silk, MD, MPH, FAAFP was part of an interprofessional virtual presentation for the American Dental Association on March 3rd on the topic of Let’s Talk Shots! Effective Patient Conversations & the COVID-19 Vaccine.

  • Secure app for Follow Me Desktop. If you are using Follow Me Desktop (FMD) remotely, you must download the “RSA SecurID Authenticate” application and enroll your UMass Memorial account by Tuesday, March 9th, or you will not be able to access FMD from non-UMass Memorial networks (i.e. your home network). The enrollment date has been extended to Tuesday, March 9th.

  • University Campus Pedestrian Bridges to Close March 12: As part of the ongoing construction, the pedestrian bridges connecting the First Road garage to the Lazare Research Building and the Albert Sherman Center will close permanently on March 12th. Two covered ground-level walkways will be built to provide safe pedestrian to the garage.

  • 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.
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 cases (as of March 8th, 2021) - 559,083; Active cases 27,320.
  • Statewide test positivity 1.66%.
  • The positivity rate for UMass internal lab testing of symptomatic patients is now 8.9% (asymptomatic is down to 0.7%).
  • Worcester’s positivity rate is 5.2% (plateaued)
  • Statewide hospitalizations are 665; 174 in ICU and 116 intubated.
  • Inpatient census at UMass Memorial of COVID-19 patients is 45 (15 in ICU).
  • The DCU field hospital remains open and currently has a census of 4. The DCU will pause operations later this week, and if statewide numbers remain low, it will be closed about April 15th.
  • The governor has ended restrictions on elective surgeries.
  • The number of individuals unable to work due to COVID is now 19 (6 in past 7 days). The majority of new infections are among unvaccinated workers, however some are among those who have had both doses of vaccine.
  • Both the UK and South African variants have been detected in Mass. COVID-19 precautions are still critically important, even after vaccination.

  • Vaccine information is constantly updated on the Hub @
  • Johnson and Johnson's vaccine is approved for emergency use; UMass will give this vaccine when available.
  • Starting March 11th, kindergarten to grade 12 educators, other school staff and child care workers will become eligible to receive the vaccine at all state vaccine sites.
  • UMass has delivered more than 40,000 vaccines since the beginning of distribution. About 3800 additional doses are expected this week.
  • Because the state has limited vaccines for all hospitals, the system is not offering new appointments to patients and caregivers. The governor has shifted vaccine distribution to mass vaccination sites. Additional appointments will be made available as supply allows.
  • Caregivers should visit the state vaccination website to book an appointment or call the state’s hotline at 211 for additional assistance. If you receive your COVID-19 vaccine elsewhere, please contact Employee Health Services to inform them that you have been vaccinated. Please take a photo of your vaccination card and email Employee Health Services or fax it to EHS at 508-793-6410.
COVID Testing with EHS or Physician order
  • Drive through COVID testing is located at 350 Plantation Street (near 306 Belmont Street) Worcester, MA.
  • Hours of Operation:  Mon- Fri 8:30-4:00; Saturday 8am- noon

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: