UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - June 29, 2021/DIVERSITY
Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk. Please continue to send us your announcements, celebrations, and accomplishments to [email protected].
Table of Contents
Upcoming Events
Focus of the Week - Diversity
Frankly Speaking Podcast
Faculty Presentations/Publications
Department Member Recognition
Clinical Services Spotlight
Wellness Resources
Working on Wellness
Message from the Chair

I am pleased to announce that Suzanne Mitchell, MD, MS will assume the position of Director of Research effective June 30th. Dr. Robin Clark will step down as Director of Research, though he will continue as a member of the research faculty.

A graduate of Bentley College and Wake Forest School of Medicine, Dr. Mitchell then completed her Family Medicine residency at Adventist Health System, White Memorial Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. She has additional training in palliative care and currently provides hospice care at Care Dimensions.

Dr. Mitchell is currently an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, where she directed Ambulatory Palliative Care from 2017-2019. Additionally, she has been active in medical education, including her roles as course director at Tufts for the Healer’s Art course and co-leading the Medical Interviewing Course at BU.

Dr. Mitchell is a clinician investigator with training in Dissemination and Implementation Science and broad interests in primary and palliative care, including reducing health disparities, screening for social needs, relationship centered care, and improving care transitions. She has had funding from NIH, AHRQ, PCORI and numerous foundations. She is just completing an NIDDK funded project called “Women in Control: A Virtual World Medical Group Visit for Minority Women with Diabetes”.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Mitchell to the department.
Upcoming Events

FMCH Town Hall
June 29th, Tuesday, 12 - 1pm
Meeting ID: 915 8133 4605
Password: 334605
Focus of the Week - Diversity

We begin by celebrating the recognition of a new Juneteenth holiday – now at the federal and state level - and encourage folks to learn about the history behind the date if you haven’t: . We also want to recognize the moral distress many are feeling related to recent events in Palestine and around the residential schools for native children, which is on the hearts and minds of our colleagues and friends who we hope to offer support as best we can.
We were excited to welcome Dorothy Roberts, distinguished lecturer, social advocate, and award-winning author, who delivered a Grand Rounds entitled “The Problem with Race-based Medicine” and spent over an hour in discussion with us afterwards on June 22. Her talk echoed the themes of her book “Fatal Intervention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century” providing detailed explanation regarding not using race as a biological factor. Thanks again to our event co-sponsors: the Worcester Family Med Residency SOAR Committee, the Office for Health Equity and the MassAHEC Network

We were glad to continue the discussion around mandated reporting at the June 23rd faculty development session on standing up to racism. There is potential for us to improve our systems of care and teaching around this life-altering practice. This is an opportunity for us to be intentional in setting best practices that correct for the bias built into the system, to rethink the simplicity on the surface of our decisions about reporting, and to reduce disparity by adding stop points for reflection and consultation with others before reports are made. 
In the upcoming months, we will coordinate our efforts against institutional racism at the departmental level through development of a diversity action plan Please email Heather-Lyn Haley if youre interested in being part of this action planning group as we organize our work around the core goals set by the UMMS Diversity and Inclusion Office:

  • Access
  • Education and enrichment 
  • Climate and belonging
  • Accountability

Finally, we want to strengthen the ability of learners and faculty in FMCH to report instances in which educational content demonstrates bias/racism or could be strengthened in terms of representation The DRIVE disclosure slide now features a QR code that links directly to an anonymous form for recommending improvements to the content being taught across all three schools, CME and GME. You can download as a PowerPoint or keynote slide from . 
Remember – if every single person does every single thing they can think of against racism every single day, we might start to get somewhere. There is a place for all of us in this work.

Sister residency in Liberia graduates four more Family Medicine physicians!
On June 16-18, Liberia held graduation exams for its second class of Family Medicine physicians. All four passed, bringing the total to seven FM specialists now trained and providing care. Thirteen faculty participated as examiners in person and on Zoom. Olga Valdman, Liz Dykhouse and Duy Nguyen, Global Health Fellow (currently deployed in Liberia) were part of this group. Gurutze Barluenga helped coordinate all exam materials and provided administrative support remotely. This work is supported by USAID PEER Liberia grant, with Dr. Patricia McQuilkin (Peds) as the PI.

Charles Yi, a 4th year medical student (and hopefully future family physician) needs your help with his Capstone. His project is a quality improvement project about working with medical interpreters during the pandemic when many (if not all) healthcare practices have limited access to in-person interpreters and providers have been forced to rely on video and phone interpreters. He would like to evaluate how this has affected the working relationship and interactions with medical interpreters. This 10-minute survey is confidential and will help him learn more about the possible ways to improve provider-interpreter interactions in the future and enhance the quality of patient care.

The WFMR is happy to announce a Fall Resident Retreat date: 
10/5/21 8am to 5pm at Camp Selah, Orange, MA. We appreciate faculty who will be doing additional service to allow the residents this important wellness and team building time. Also, residency faculty who are interested and able to be free are invited to join. Please mark your calendars and contact Hilda Alers for further details.

FHCW Wednesday Cultural Rounds
The residents at FHCW host the event each Wednesday from 5 – 5:30pm. We welcome a member of the community to talk about their culture and the ways it can impact their health and the care they receive. The sessions are informal and involve a robust Q&A. Through these weekly discussions, we hope to promote cultural humility and the continuous process of learning about perspectives outside of our own in order to improve the care we provide. We welcome anyone interested in joining us each week at the link below:

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.

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:

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.
Frankly Speaking Podcast

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

Join us for this episode to discuss the results of the Perioperative Anticoagulation Use for Surgery Evaluation (PAUSE) cohort study, aimed at understanding the safety of using a simplified perioperative management approach for patients with atrial fibrillation taking DOACs. Guest: Robert A. Baldor, MD, FAAFP presents: Perioperative Management for Patients Taking DOACs - Frankly Speaking Ep 230.
Faculty Awards/Presentations/Publications

Block 1B (June 14 – July 15, 2021) Family Medicine Clerkship Preceptors:
  • Kimberly Bombaci, MD
  • Miranda Balkin, MD
  • Mark Snowise, MD
  • Ben (John) Lawrence, MD
  • Dan Nguyen, MD
  • Kate Atkinson, MD
  • Charles Lehnardt, DO
  • Sandra Augusto, MD
  • Claudeleedy Pierre, MD
  • Kristina Gracey, MD
  • Sara Casey, DO
  • Jessica Salerni, MD
  • Rebecca Blumhofer, MD
  • Edmund Zaccaria, MD

Awards given by the Fitchburg FMR class of 2021
  • Family Medicine Teacher Award: Eric Rosenthal, DO
  • Specialty Preceptor Award: Asmaa Al-Kadhi, MD, Obstetrician
  • Office Staff Award: Kayla Gallant, LPN (chief nurse)
  • Sam Picken Award: Cynthia Jeremiah, MD, Sheila Abdallah, MD, Henry Del Rosario, MD
  • Bill Damon Award: Claudia Pierre
  • Inpatient Teacher Award: Jason Numbers
  • Outpatient Teacher Award: Sandra Augusto, MD, MPH
  • Off Service Teacher Award: Lee Mancini
  • Community Preceptor: Laura Sturgill
  • Advocate for Change: Ginny Van Duyne

Suzanne Cashman, ScD, MS, gave a talk on June 23rd entitled, Program Planning and Evaluation to this year’s APTR’s Paul Ambrose Scholars
Clinical Services Spotlight:
COVID Update
  • 59% of Massachusetts citizens are vaccinated.
  • More than 4,000 vaccinated individuals in Massachusetts have become COVID positive.
  • Total confirmed cases 663,594; estimated active cases 1,419.
  • 7-day average test positivity is at 0.29%.
  • Statewide hospitalizations 99 with 25 in the ICU and 11 intubated; confirmed deaths 17,625.

  • The Med Center had 4 days with 0 COVID positive patients this past week.
  • Both inpatient and ED vaccinations began 6/22.
  • UMass will stand down some of its external vaccination sites this week. (e.g. Mercantile Center, Marlborough, etc.)

  • According to the CDC, the fully vaccinated can return to activities done pre-COVID, except where required by federal, state, local and other laws. You can resume without mask and without social distancing. 
  • Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and all forms of public transportation.

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the MCH call room revitalization. The work is complete! The Department Working on Wellness (WOW) committee heard faculty who indicated the importance of solving the issues related to the MCH call room and included this request as one of our major goals for the year.

Thank you to the WOW committee, with support from the organization namely Michelle Streeter, Executive Vice President, Executive VP and COO, Dr. Steve Byrd, Chief Experience Officer, Thomas Ward, Wellness Program Manager, Department Leadership, WOW Co-Chairs Dr. Dan Mullin and Dr. Josephine Fowler and each member of WOW. Also vital to the completion of this work was Maryanne Adams, Trisha Cieplik, Project Manager, Information Technology, Telecommunications, and all of the staff required to complete the efforts.

Other projects of the Wellness Committee:
  • Partnering with the FMCH EPIC Task Force to Improve EPIC usage for providers in the Department.
  • Partnering with department leaders to address wellness for faculty and residents.
  • Increasing opportunity for FMCH group activities that support wellness.
  • Addressing items sent to the committee that impact physician wellness.

Thank you, Dan Mullin, PsyD, for your commitment to the Wellness Committee. Dan has transitioned his role as Co-Chair of WOW to Shahida Fareed, PsyD, to continue in his many responsibilities as a leader in Behavioral Health as Clinical Provider and Educator. Dan was instrumental in providing ongoing support to our providers and residents during the pandemic. We appreciate the dedication, the work, and commitment of Dan and his team. Dan will remain as a member of the committee, and we look forward to his continued participation. We welcome Dr. Shahida Fareed as a new Co-Chair and look forward to her leadership on the team. 
Wellness Resources

Summer Wellness Event! 
Salute to Disney at Institute Park
Sunday, July 11, 2021, 7:00pm, “Salute to Disney” concert featuring popular music of Disney and Pixar blockbusters for the enjoyment of children and their families. Jorge Soto, conductor; Taylor Lawton and Elisabeth Gondek, soloists. Bobbie Chase, announcer. Rain date: Sunday, July 18.
Stephenie Carter-Henry will be hosting this event. If you would like to gather together with coworkers, please RSVP to Jennifer Masoud. [email protected]

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

May 2021 & summer months (until Sep 2021):
Please join department members Monday mornings at 6:00am, Thursday evenings at 5:45pm**(new time; outdoor location), some Saturday mornings at 9:15am**(only 1x/month; outdoor location) and get moving with Zumba. Please note schedule changes via webpage: ZOOM still possible for all classes.

Much appreciation to Dr. Anna Zheng for hosting these outstanding classes. Join Zoom meeting: