UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - April 5, 2022/CLINICAL
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 - Clinical
Faculty Presentations/Publications
Department Member Recognition
Frankly Speaking Podcast
Clinical Services Spotlight

Thank you for attending last week’s Town Hall. If you missed it, the recording is posted: The chat discussion was robust and a number of themes emerged related to our financial models and productivity, provider and staff retention, and burnout. Along with leaders in other departments, we are strategizing to address unsustainable working conditions. Your ideas are welcome- please share ideas with [email protected], or during upcoming faculty meetings which Steve and I will attend. Over the next few weeks and at the retreat, I will provide updates on our progress. I hope you know I respect how challenging it is and am thankful for your commitment to each other and our patients.   
And let us celebrate some good news. Mass General Brigham withdrew its ambulatory expansion application for clinics in Westborough, Woburn and Westwood after the MA Dept. of Public Health declined to support the expansions. We are obviously very pleased with this result, and believe it is the right outcome to protect safety net health services for the most vulnerable patients and restrain cost growth in healthcare.
Upcoming Events

FMCH Grand Rounds
Tuesday, April 5th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm. Henry Del Rosario, MD, Veronica Farrell, NP, Jeannette Ryan-Alkasab,MD, Megan Brochu, PA-C and Nicholas Hajj, MD, present: "Epic Best Practices for In Basket and Interprofessional Communication".
Meeting ID: 191 986 273 Passcode: FMCH

Howe Lecture Grand Rounds
Thursday, April 7th, 12:00 - 1:00 pm. Constantinos Michaelidis, MD, MBA, MS, David Clive, MD, Jessica Boatman, MD, and Eric Thibodeau, BSN, RN, present: "Hospital at Home: Considering the New Interface of Medicine, Technology, Humanity and Ethics in the Hospital at Home Care Model". Register in advance for this webinar:

Spring Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Retreat:  
Vision 2030 - The Next Chapter for FMCH
Save the Date: Friday - May 20, 2022 
Plan for in-person retreat at South Street Campus, Shrewsbury
Focus of the Week - Clinical

Medicare Telehealth Extension

  • In March, Congress approved Medicare telehealth for 5 additional months – until August 2022.
  • Medicare telehealth coverage is not limited by geographic area, regardless of the physical locations of the patient and practice. It also applies to some audio-only appointments.
  • It is not known yet if this coverage will be extended through December 2022.
  • Also in March, Congress passed a $1.5 trillion package to support telehealth for Medicare patients.

Process for Travel Reimbursement for FHCW Faculty who are presenting at the STFM Conference:
Please send the Pre-Travel Authorization Form (attached) to [email protected] and [email protected] for approval. The cost center is: 340.0.00.3100.8439.00. After the conference, please send the Travel Reimbursement Form (attached) with the faculty’s signature along with the agenda and all receipts to [email protected]. You can also use a meals per diem, $25.00 the first and last day, and $46.00 for the days in between. If you have any questions, please contact Cheryl.

Jim Ledwith serves on the medical school’s Library and Learning Resources Committee and the team is eager to get feedback on how students and faculty wish to use the library. Renovations are anticipated over the next 3 years. This may be particularly important as we adopt the new VISTA curriculum. Please also think about any new needs that you might foresee in regard to clinical practice, research, education and community engagement. Please contact Jim Ledwith with suggestions, or to be included in a survey that will be distributed soon – [email protected].

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is providing a loan repayment program (MLRP-2022) managed by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Inc. for health care professionals who commit to working full time or part time for two years in an eligible health care organization (up to $25,000 per year for two years). Applications are due April 26th. Loan repayment funds are available for a range of health professionals providing primary health care services, please see the Program Guide on the website for a complete list of professions. The work location must be in a Health Professions Shortage Area (HPSA). Hahnemann and Benedict Family Medicine, Family Health Center, EMKennedy Health Center qualify, Fitchburg and Barre do not. You can easily check if your work location qualifies here: Contact [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Med Moth at University of Massachusetts Medical School Albert Sherman Center Multi-Purpose Room (Cafeteria)
Wednesday April 27, 2022, 5:30pm
Come share and reflect with us. Adapted from the Moth Storytelling radio show and podcast, Med Moth is a place for anyone in the UMass Medical community to come and share in the practice of reflection. Come listen or share prose or poetry that reflects on a moment that impacted your life and your work. Past talks have been about the speaker's journey into medicine, meaningful patient encounters, or other experiences that have shaped their personal or professional identify in health care, but the topic is up to you. If interested in sharing, please contact us at the emails below. Contact: [email protected][email protected][email protected] or [email protected]
Faculty Presentations/Publications

Carolyn Langer, MD, JD, MPH presented on "Innovative Care Delivery Models and Technology Solutions for the Management of Back Pain" at the 2022 Work-Related Injuries Conference held at the Massachusetts Medical Society in Waltham on Monday, March 28th.

Melanie Gnazzo, MD and Mary Lindholm, MD presented the following with two MS3's: “Teaching Medical Students to Assess and Address Food Insecurity: Creating an Interactive, Online, Case-Based Learning Module” Lecture, Teaching Prevention (Association for Prevention Teaching and Research's Annual national meeting), virtual. March 28, 2022   Melanie Gnazzo, MD, Mary Lindholm, MD, Gabriella Pacquette, MS3, Jaclyn Wong, MS3.

Kate Pivovarova, PhD and Warren Ferguson, MD, had two papers published in Science Direct, "Legislatively mandated implementation of medications for opioid use disorders in jails: A qualitative study of clinical, correctional and jail administrator perspectives" and "Uncommon and preventable: Perceptions of diversion of medication for opioid use disorder in jail". See links below.
Department Member Recognition

Hugh Silk, MD, MPH, FAAFP, has been elected to be the Associate Member Liaison for the Board of Directors for the American Association of Public Health Dentistry.

Congratulations to Ron Adler who was elected as Vice President for the MA Academy of Family Practice last week; Manju Mahajan and Ginny Van Duyne continue their terms on the board. Congratulations to Collin Leibold who rotated off the board following his successful match to University of Virginia.  

Carole Upshur, Professor Emeritus DFMCH, served on a National Institutes of Health -Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities review panel on March 23, 2022 for R25 grant proposals for Clinical Research and Career Development Training. 
Frankly Speaking Podcast

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

Please join us for an overview: You know GLP-1 RAs are an important class of agents for weight loss, but do you know which drug within this class is right for your patient? This brief podcast walks you through the recent evidence from the STEP 8 randomized clinical trial, comparing the efficacy and adverse reaction profiles for 2 GLP-1 RAs: semaglutide (Wegovy) and liraglutide (Saxenda). This is a must-listen for anyone looking to optimally individualize care for patients with obesity . Guest: Jillian Joseph, MSPAS, PA-C, presents: "Boosting Weight Loss with Medications: New support for GLP-1 RAs". - Frankly Speaking Ep 270.
Clinical Services Spotlight:

COVID-19 and US
  • The US is approaching 1 million deaths from the pandemic. 
  • A 2nd booster vaccine has been authorized for people over 50 and those who are immunocompromised. 

COVID-19 and MA
  • There were 1,472 new cases and 7 deaths in the last 7 days. 
  • The 7-day average of percent positivity is 2.36%.
  • There are 221 patients currently hospitalized and 32 in the ICU with 11 intubated.
  • COVID -19 treatment is available for all residents. Information about where to find resource can be located @ 

  • The 7-day average percent positivity is 7.9%.
  • Current in-house cases = 16. 
  • Of the 16, 44% are fully vaccinated. Of the 2 patients in the ICU, both are fully vaccinated. 

Depression Screening
The pandemic and work responsibilities have impacted our patients and health care workers. The department has chosen depression screening as one of our annual performance improvement goals. 
  • Complete depression screen for each patient at least annually. 
  • According to the USPTF, screening for depression in the general adult population, should include pregnant and postpartum women. Screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.
  • The PHQ-2 screening tool and PHQ-9 are validated tools. The PHQ-2 has a 97 percent sensitivity. 
  • Document intervention in the medical record. 
  • Individual clinical interviews are viewed as the gold standard when diagnosing a major depressive disorder (MDD).
  • Monitor for key elements including screening for suicidal ideation.
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.

You are invited to become a member of the Department Wellness Committee. Key goals for this year include improving the efficiency of use with the Electronic Health Record. Watch your email for future training sessions.
Working on Wellness
Yoga Classes with Dr. Liz Erban

Last class will be March 2nd, and then a brief hiatus/pause, with classes resuming on May 4th, 2022.

Great time to join!
This is a great time to join, new members always welcome. Start your mid week with some relaxing yoga! 

Please join department members for early morning gentle yoga, Wednesday mornings 6:30am via Zoom.
Join Zoom Meeting ID: 923 9393 3653 Passcode: 764113
Zumba with Dr. Anna Zheng

Thursdays 5:45pm: In-person or ZOOM
Please join department members Thursday evenings at 5:45pm**(30 Anna Street: tall & spacious indoor location) and get moving with Zumba. Please note details and any changes via webpage: ZOOM still an option for all classes.
Much appreciation to Dr. Anna Zheng for hosting these outstanding classes. New to the class? Please email Dr. Zheng at [email protected] to register, complete brief health screen if it's your first class and the ZOOM link.