UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - July 27, 2021/RESEARCH
Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk. Please continue to send us your announcements, celebrations, and accomplishments to [email protected].
Table of Contents
Focus of the Week - Research
Frankly Speaking Podcast
Faculty Presentations/Publications
Department Member Recognition
Clinical Services Spotlight
Wellness Resources
Working on Wellness
Message from the Chair

As I shared at the last Town Hall, we are embarking on strategic planning for the department. We will provide a variety of forums, both in-person at our practice sites and remote, to obtain your input on what our areas of service, clinical, research, education and community health should look like in 2030. Please look to Tuesday Talk to stay updated on our plans.  
On the COVID front, as you will see below, there is a real uptick in breakthrough infections among vaccinated individuals as well as an increase in the COVID-19 census at UMass Memorial. Please remain vigilant and observe all appropriate distancing and masking guidelines.
Annual Required Education Deadline Approaching!
Focus of the Week - Research
From the Research Director
Greetings friends and colleagues of UMass Family Medicine. My name is Suzanne Mitchell. I am an MD, health services researcher and innovator in health tech. For over a decade, I have designed and researched the use of immersive telehealth to increase patient engagement in chronic disease management. I completed my research fellowship and most of my NIH funded research at Boston University, funded by more than $5M of NIH awards.
My vision is to restore good health and hope for people struggling with chronic and serious illness by helping them become high performing drivers of care. I have expertise in the field of patient engagement and I'm an award-winning innovator in this space. In addition to health tech innovation, I have experience and expertise in research on health disparities and care transitions and social determinants of shared decision making. I am excited to join the FMCH team and to support you in your endeavors to examine questions that matter to our work and our patients. Looking forward to getting to know all of you in coming months. Warm regards, Suzanne
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Hopkinton State Park
Saturday – September 25th 
11:00 – 3:00pm
Canoe, Sailboat, Kayak Rentals
Activities for kids
Please RSVP to Jennifer Masoud. 
Include the number and names of everyone
in your party
Carpooling is recommended as the parking lot fills up fast on weekends.
Affinity Groups Starting Next Week!
The WFMR Structural Oppression and Anti-Racism Committee is pleased to announce the creation of two affinity groups for those who identify as people of color and LGBTQ+. These meetings are intended to create a safe space where those who have experienced structural oppression, marginalization, and micro-aggressions can share their experiences with others with a shared sense of identity and support one another's growth and fulfillment. We envision these groups as a place for connection, mentorship, and support, creating belongingness and healing, and developing collective power. It is open to anyone in the family medicine department, including staff, residents, and faculty, as well as students.

  • LGBTQ+ Affinity Group
When: Thursday, July 29th, 7pm
Where: O’Connor’s Restaurant

  • POC Affinity Group
When: Tuesday, July 27th, 6pm
Where: Greenhill Park
Contact with Questions: [email protected]

Fake BORIM Investigation/Extortion Scam
It was brought to the Massachusetts Board of Medicine’s attention that Massachusetts licensees have been receiving scam calls from individuals posing as investigators of the Massachusetts Board of Medicine or the DEA. The caller will falsely state that the licensee is under investigation and that their medical license is in jeopardy or has been suspended. The caller might ask for additional information including NPI, DEA registration number, financial information and may state that the call was being recorded on a secure line. Please note that the scam calls may show up as the Board of Medicine’s main number. Please note, no employee of the Board of Medicine will ever contact a physician to demand money or request confidential personal information.
On-Line tool to support Integrative Medicine Group Visits for Chronic Pain
Dr. Paula Gardiner, CIPC faculty member who leads our efforts in Group Medical visits. In 2019 Dr. Gardiner published the results of a randomized controlled trial in PLOS ONE (read it). MassMedNow featured a story about this research (read it) showing that reduction in pain medication is possible for patients with chronic pain and depression participating in integrative medicine group visits. Now Dr. Gardiner is continuing this study and currently recruiting participants to evaluate GEMINI, a new online tool to support medicine group visits for patients with chronic pain.
Call for Participation in Research Study
Greetings from the Family Medicine & Community Health Department!
We are searching for Healthcare Providers (e.g., nurses, doctors, clerkship or resident students, behavioral health providers, etc.) who have experience working with chronic pain patients to take part in a 90-minute Teleconference Interview/Focus Group. It will help us evaluate GEMINI (H00017069), an online tool that’s goal is to provide patients with integrative medicine tools that can be used in their daily lives, and to host online telemedicine groups made up of patients and providers. 

Research Study Expectations
  • Answer a brief (15 minute) survey about your professional background and experience with medical group visits and telemedicine programs.
  • Participate in a 90-minute (at most) structured interview/focus group during which you will be introduced to GEMINI and asked for feedback.
  • You can earn $50 for your time and participation.
We need your help to understand 1) the features that you expect to see in GEMINI; 2) the benefits that you expect from GEMINI for your work specifically and for other professionals with similar roles in general; and 3) the barriers to adoption of GEMINI that you foresee in your practice and in other similar organizations.
If you are interested in participating in our research study or would like to learn more, contact Diana Rinker (Research Coordinator) by phone at 774-314-9509 or email at [email protected].

This year's Family Medicine Discovers Rapid Cycle Scientific Innovation Program (RapSDI) application cycle is open! 
Please encourage any family physicians you know who might be interested, to apply. We've designed this application to be relatively quick and easy to complete in order to reach busy family physicians with great ideas for research projects. Selected scholars receive up to $40,000 for a year for their projects.
The application due date is August 23 (five weeks from today).
Worcester Public Schools provide meals Monday through Friday through the summer. Not practicing in Worcester? Take a minute to check with the school system in towns you serve to see how food access for kids is structured in your area. 

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 new ACP guidelines on antibiotic use in the outpatient setting and the pediatric treatment recommendations. Walk away with a clear understanding of the guidelines for optimal duration of antibiotic treatment for individuals with an outpatient infection. Guest: Robert A. Baldor, MD, FAAFP presents: Shorter Antibiotic Duration for Outpatient Infections - Frankly Speaking Ep 234.
Faculty Presentations/Publications

Lisa Gussak, MD’s photo, When the Prognosis Changes, was recently shared in Pulse, voices from the heart of medicine.
Department Member Recognition

Congratulations to Dr. Trish Seymour for her new role as Course Director of the Morbidity and Mortality Conference for Family Medicine as of July 1, 2021. As the Quality Director for the Department of Family Medicine, Trish is well poised for this role. We appreciate all the work she does for the Department and her dedication to quality and patient safety. We look forward to her leadership in this role.

We would like to thank Dr. Jeremy Golding for the role of Course Coordinator of Morbidity and Mortality and Grand Rounds over the years in his role as Quality Officer. 

Jennifer Reidy, MD, has shared that Elizabeth Manzo, MD, is the new palliative care fellow as of July 1. Dr. Manzo is a critical care physician who has worked in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts hospitals for 11 years. She is a former computer scientist who transitioned to a medical career and graduated from the UMass Internal Medicine Residency in 2008. She then completed her critical care fellowship at Brown University in 2010. She will complete her one-year, ACGME-accredited fellowship in palliative medicine with us this year.
Clinical Services Spotlight:

  • Confirmed cases 668,404; Confirmed deaths 17,678.
  • State positivity now up to 1.53%; Hospitalization 114; ICU 29 with 12 intubated. 
  • Worcester Stop-The-Spread positivity now 4.7% (Marlborough 2%).
  • Massachusetts has had more than 5,100 breakthrough cases. Of these, 272 were hospitalized and survived; 80 people died, largely among those with underlying health conditions.
  • Masks are required when using all public and private transportationin healthcare facilities, and in settings hosting vulnerable populations. 

UMass Memorial
  • The COVID census is now up to 28 (4 in ICU).
  • In-house lab positivity rate is up at 3.7% for symptomatic patients and 0.8% for asymptomatic patients.
  • West 1 at Memorial has now resumed its status as a COVID floor.
  • A dedicated unit will re-open at University campus soon.
  • Employees out due to COVID have increased recently (9 in past 7 days; 2 unvaccinated).
  • Please continue to use the self-reporting app.

COVID-19 Facts
  • COVID-19 is increasing in all 50 states. This is largely driven by the Delta variant.
  • Projected daily infections for Massachusetts through November 2021 expected to rise.
Source: IHME Covid-19 projections, forecast of infections. Last update July 22,2021.
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

May 2021 & summer months (until Sep 2021):
Please join department members Monday mornings at 6:00am, Thursday evenings at 6:15pm, 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: