UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - August 17, 2021/COMMUNITY
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 - Education
Frankly Speaking Podcast
Faculty Presentations/Publications
Department Member Recognition
Clinical Services Spotlight
I am pleased to share the recognition of Jennifer Bradford, MD and HeatherLyn Haley, PhD as 2021 Katharine F. Erskine Award Recipients by the YWCA of Central MA. The Erskine Award recognizes women who have demonstrated leadership and reached exemplary levels of achievement in their professions and communities. Recipients show a commitment to the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Dr. Bradford received the Health, Science & Technology Award and Dr. Haley the Education Award. Please join me in congratulating them for this honor! The award ceremony will be September 14th.  

Please take note of the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate information at the bottom of this issue. The requirements may change and we will update you as we become aware.

Reminder: Please complete Annual Required Education by August 31, 2021.
Upcoming Events

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Septemberfest!
Hopkinton State Park, Saturday, September 25th,11:00 – 3:00pm.
Barbecue, activities for the kids, canoe, sailboat and kayak rentals
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.

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.

American Board of Family Medicine Maintenance of Certification
KSA (SAM) Workshop: “Care of Children”
Thursday, November 18, 2021, 8:00 – 10:00 AM
WEBINAR (no need to leave your desk) Link will be sent prior to 11/18/2021
We will complete the latest (just released) 60 question Care of Children KSA via a virtual CME event. You will record your answers while we work through the KSA, then after completion, log into your ABFM account and enter the results and claim your CME credits through the ABFM. Successful Completion of the Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) Module is eligible for up to 10 ABFM Credit Hours.
See the attached invitation for a WEBINAR to complete the ABFM KSA: Caring for Children. To register, please complete and follow the directions on the attached registration form.
Focus of the Week - Community

Second year medical students in the MassAHEC Rural and Urban Health Scholars Pathways spent the summer working on community health projects. Here is a sampling: 

Rural Health Scholars:
  • Tommy Drews worked with Melanie Gnazzo, MD on designing a survey to assess the impact of the Farm to Health Center Initiative which was started in 2013.
  • Cara Mitrano) looked at the implications of the Mountain Valley Pipeline on the physical and psychological health of rural populations in Appalachia.
  • Jesse Sardell worked with Heywood Healthcare on a project to implement telemedicine in rural school-based health centers.
  • Zach Strecker worked with Andy Lowe/Cape & Islands AHEC Center Director and Matthew Libby, Outer Cape Health Services and in New Hampshire with Melissa Buddensee, MD (UMMS ‘09) and assessed equity issues related to telehealth.
  • Sarah Uhranowsky explored Critical Access Hospitals and patient care and satisfaction in Hamilton, Montana.

Urban Health Scholars:
  • Emma Dudley worked with Ekaterina Pivovarova, PhD and Alexandra Boland on Kate’s Recovery Courts project, looking at the barrier of transportation to successful completion.
  • Marie McGourty worked on a study to assess the current exercise habits of past participants in the Livestrong Cancer Survivors Program at the YMCA of Central MA. 
  • Ivy Mwangi and Sarah Hanson worked with Kristina Gracey, MD, MPH on the June 15th Summit on Racial Equity in Maternal Care and integrating doulas in peri-natal care to increase racial equity (supported by an IPEG grant).
  • Christian Pineda examined treatment options for veterans with neurological issues at Clear Path for Veterans, New England.
  • Jennifer Sohn pursued research to understand the implementation of MCPAP for Moms and other perinatal psychiatry access/innovative obstetric care programs around the country.
  • Alexis Watson promoted harm reduction services and worked to raise the awareness of AIDS Project Worcester’s relocation following the development of Polar Park. 

Annual Compliance Training, 14 days and counting!
The Annual Required Education completion for UMass Memorial Health System has been extended until August 31, 2021.

Please consider becoming a LPP (longitudinal preceptors program) for the incoming class of medical students. PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents are welcome to serve as a LPP. There are 11 sessions during the first year and 6 in the second year. The Urban and Rural Health Scholars Pathways supported by MassAHEC/FMCH works with LPPs in these specific settings. For more information about LPPs you can ask Mike Ennis or go to: On the left column click on “Current preceptors” then at the bottom there are links to objectives and preceptor packets. To apply go to: 
If you want to specifically work with Urban or Rural Health Scholars, email [email protected].  Thanks in advance!

Acting Patients Applicants Needed
Acting Patients will work independently to accurately portray specific emotions, behaviors and symptoms while interacting with participants of our Motivational Interviewing Program.
The actor may serve as a standardized patient with various health issues including smoking, anxiety, hypertension, and prescription opioid use. If interested, or know someone, please see attached Acting Patients Job Description for more details and contact [email protected].

Medical School Applicant Interviews
The School of Medicine is seeking raters for the Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) to choose the next class of medical students. It is a great opportunity to meet enthusiastic MD applicants. Please forward any questions to Stacy Potts at [email protected] or Brenda Fusaro at [email protected]. Here is the doodle link for the training sessions:

Trying to Keep Up with the Literature?
The department pulls together the tables of contents (TOCs) for about 15 medical journals and distributes this bundle monthly to a select listserve that people can easily sign up for. The TOCs include 4-5 FM journals, JAMA, NEJM, AJPH, Health Affairs, Medical Care, JGIM, Am J Prev Med; etc. – lots of great articles that can easily be accessed through links within the bundle. We are also open to adding more journals if there’s an interest expressed! Take a look at what's been posted in the past several months by going to the department's web pages under the section on Research. You will see a tab in the left-hand margin for these TOC bundles that we post monthly (
If you’d like to be on the distribution list, please send an email to Judy Savageau ([email protected]). 

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
  1. Answer a brief (15 minute) survey about your professional background and experience with medical group visits and telemedicine programs.
  2. Participate in a 90-minute (at most) structured interview/focus group during which you will be introduced to GEMINI and asked for feedback.
  3. 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 (one week from today).

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:

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 to discuss the recent American Heart Association (AHA) guideline update regarding the association of increased risk of CVD and metabolic disease with APOs and what can be done to reduce these risks. Guest: Susan Feeney, DNP, FNP,-BC,, NP-C presents: Identifying Risk in Women to Prevent CVD - Frankly Speaking Ep 237.
Faculty Presentations/Publications

Susan Hogan, MD is first author on a brief article entitled, Understanding medical student perceived priorities in addressing the social determinants of health. It was published in Academic Letters. Suzanne Cashman and German Chiriboga are co-authors.
Department Member Recognition

The UMass Memorial Maternity Center Summit on Racial Equity in Maternity Care was held on June 15th. Faculty involvement included Josephine Fowler, MD, Kristina Gracey, MD, MPH, Mariyan Montaque, DNP, Claudia Pierre, MD, Stacy Potts, MD, and Sara Shields, MD. Resident Jordan Howard-Young, MD was involved as well as MassAHEC Urban Health Scholar Ivy Mwangi. 
Clinical Services Spotlight:
Recurrence of a Pandemic
The Delta Variant
  • The Delta Virus is more potent and virulent.
  • The Delta Variant is 40-60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant and twice as transmissible as the original COVID virus.
  • Although the COVID-19 test detects whether you have the COVID infection, it does not tell you the specific variant.
  • A specific test is needed to detect the Delta Variant, a genomic sequence test.
  • Fever, sore throat, and runny nose are common; loss of smell and cough are not. 
  • Hospitalization is twice as likely to occur in the unvaccinated in those with Delta compared to Alpha.
Source: American Society of Microbiology, How Dangerous is the Delta Variant? 
  • Massachusetts has 9,969 breakthrough cases as of 8/10. Of those with the breakthrough cases, 442 were hospitalized and 106 have died.
  • This is 2,232 more cases than the prior week. 
  • As of 8/13/21, 686,018 total confirmed cases.
  • 7-day average percent positivity 2.89%.
  • Hospitalizations 375 and ICU 85 with 32 intubated.
  • Confirmed deaths 17,772.

COVID and Staffing
  • UMass Memorial has more than 400 vacant positions and more than 600 on paid leave.  
  • Please see the  Caregiver Referral Program Hub page
  • You’re eligible for a generous referral bonus ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
  • And that’s not all – for every hired referral, referring caregivers will automatically be entered into a prize drawing for a chance to win $10,000!

COVID Vaccine Booster
  • The FDA authorized amendments of Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations to allow for the use of a third, additional dose for certain immunocompromised individuals. Please note this is still under the emergency use authorization. 
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicare services will offer the booster at no cost to immunocompromised individuals. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
As a reminder, both the school and clinical system have announced that vaccination is now mandatory. The dates for compliance are slightly different, but otherwise they are working together to have consistency. This applies if you are working remotely, hybrid, or on campus.

  • School- all students, staff and faculty must have first dose or exemption by Sept. 7 and second dose (if indicated) by Oct. 8; if the first dose is not documented by Sept. 7, badge access to school facilities will be denied.
  • Clinical- all executive leaders must have first dose completed by Oct. 1 and all others by Nov. 1.
  • Failure to comply with either vaccination, or obtaining an exemption, will result in managers initiating the process for termination of employment. We are told that exemptions will be rare.
  • Anyone coming onto the school campus once or more weekly also needs to start or continue to be tested.

What you need to do
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, initiate or complete the series right away. Clinical employees can do this through Employee Health. For school employees, there are multiple community locations including CVS, Walgreens, etc., where you can get the vaccine at no charge.
  • To maintain access to school facilities, a photo of your vaccine card must be uploaded to the school’s ServiceNow using the mobile app or web browser and follow the steps to upload images of the front and back of your vaccination record.
  • For those who are using the clinical system’s ServiceNow, it can be difficult to get the school’s to work. Don’t try. You can either email a photo of both sides of your card to [email protected], or stop by the Faculty Conference Room with your card and they will take care of it for you. It only takes a couple of minutes.
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: