UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - April 25, 2023/RESEARCH

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 Research



Department Member Recognition

Frankly Speaking Podcast

Clinical Services Spotlight

Message From the Chair

The Department’s Annual Retreat will be Thursday, May 11th at UMass Chan South Street Campus in Shrewsbury. More detail is below. Lunch and registration will open at 12:00 noon with the formal program commencing at 1:00pm. The retreat will conclude with a networking reception with hors d'oeuvres, cash bar and musical entertainment from 5:00 – 6:30pm. Please Register Here. I hope to see you there!


UMass Chan Remillard Family Community Service Fund Opportunity

The UMass Chan Office of the Provost is pleased to solicit proposals for projects intended to amplify the impact of our institution on the community.  The evaluation criteria include:

1. The potential to improve the lives and/or health of residents of Worcester or Central Massachusetts.

2. The potential impact of the program or project on individuals, groups and communities that are economically or educationally disadvantaged or underrepresented.

3. A specific connection to the missions of UMass Chan in the fields of education, patient care or research.

Proposals are due May 29, 2023 to [email protected] with an award date of August 1st

PROPOSAL OUTLINE: 1 to 2 pages TOTAL in length (no letters of support, please); describe the (a) project goals, (b) potential impact, (c) outline of work and (d) proposed budget; only UMass Chan full-time faculty, staff, residents and students are eligible to apply. Student applications must have an identified faculty sponsor. The budget should not to exceed $20,000, one- year duration. For more information and assistance, contact [email protected]. For a proposal guide and information sheet please email [email protected]

Many of you are aware that Dr. Warren Ferguson, our former Senior Vice Chair of Community Health, is officially retiring. We are hosting a reception in his honor on June 20th at 5:30pm at the Ecotarium in Worcester. You can RSVP to [email protected].  We are also collecting tributes – please add yours hereWe are looking to track down names of students and residents who were mentored by Dr. Ferguson. If you are aware of their email address, please share with [email protected].

Upcoming Events

FMCH Grand Rounds

Tuesday, April 25th, 12:00 - 1:00pm"Working Exactly the Way It Was Designed: Why the U.S. Healthcare "System" Works the Way It Does:", presented by Robert Zavoski, MD, MPH, FAAFP.

Meeting ID: 191 986 273 Passcode: FMCH

From Stuck to Submitted: Actionable Tips for Writing Success

Tuesday, April 25th, 12:00 - 1:00pm

This virtual session will address scientific writing. Writing is critical for academic career advancement, yet our manuscripts, grants, and reviews often sink to the bottom of our to do lists. Sr. Scientific Writer, Justine Pinskey, PhD, will share actionable strategies and techniques you can implement today to make your academic writing planning, process, and progress more effective. REGISTER

Focus of the Week - Research

Monthly Departmental Research Forums

We’re looking for some presentations! We have had some great presentations at our monthly research forum this year, and we’re hoping to fill the May and June slots soon. If you would like to showcase some of the work you’re doing, we would love to have you join us on the 3rd Friday of the month, from noon-1pm. The offerings, via Zoom, have really increased the attendance at these forums and provided the presenter(s) with quite a variety of feedback and suggestions for next steps!

Department Infrastructure Support for Grant Development

Within the research infrastructure group, we are putting together a ‘one-stop shopping’ matrix of grant opportunities to highlight: 1) different types of grants and what components are needed for specific funding sources; 2) local, statewide, and national funding opportunities; 3) various components of grants that have been successfully funded so that you get a chance to view the language needed in some sections (e.g., Human Subjects, Biosketches, UMass and FMCH descriptions, and the like); and more. We will distribute this when complete and welcome comments about what you’d like to see included. We will also welcome sections of prior grants which might be good resources that others could use to secure funding!

Patient and Provider Health Education Materials

In a past edition of Tuesday Talk, we featured a number of patient/provider health education materials that have been developed by 4th year medical students as part of a month-long 4th year elective in Preventive Medicine and Public Health. The list below was shared with you as Tuesday Talk readers and many of you requested copies of these. We are more than happy to share them with you! This month’s student is working on providing information on ‘what makes for a healthy diet’ when you consider populations of persons whose food choices are often guided by their religion, culture, ethnicity, etc. It’s a very interesting topic! We have several students lined up to take this elective beginning with the new academic year. Sometimes, ideas we propose to them are welcomed – so if you have a topic that you’d like to see some patient/provider materials developed for, please let us know and we’ll work with a future student on these requests. Please let Judy Savageau ([email protected]) know if you’d like copies of any of the materials highlighted below as well as any ideas you have for new topics! Current Infographics include:

  • Education needs for children in foster care
  • Lipids and statins / Lipid management
  • Circumcision guide for patients and providers
  • Tips to help people living with mental health conditions to stop using tobacco products
  • Information for family members and care givers of persons living with Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Information about facilities for caregivers of persons living with Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Worcester County resources for food insecurity
  • Mindfulness: Evidence-based tools for coping with everyday stress

Senior Scholars Day: Wednesday, April 26th

Many of you have seen this notice about Senior Scholars Day in recent editions of the Tuesday Talk. Of the 25 students who completed projects this year, (Saba Rahman and Sara Holmes) are heading to Family Medicine residencies. Sara worked with Hugh Silk. Philip Day, Jack Gettens, Kate Pivovarova, and Trish Seymour are serving as 'judges' for the poster presentations. We expect a great turnout! If your schedule permits, please join us in the medical school lobby (starting at 3pm) and the Faculty Conference Room (4pm). Keep in mind…. If you have a project idea and would love to work with a 4th year student on a longitudinal project, there are often students who want to do some research but haven’t yet identified a mentor to work with. Please let Judy Savageau know ([email protected]) and we can partner together to find a student who has a mutual interest.

Don’t Forget: Request for Publications & Presentations for our FMCH Research Web Pages

Several times a year, we update our department’s research web pages ( with grants, publications, presentations, student/faculty projects, and other research-related activities. If you have published something that hasn’t gotten to the Tuesday Talk, or you’ve given a research presentation, please send those updates to Judy Savageau to highlight your great work on our website! A special thanks to Mike Smith for the web updates he’s been doing over the past year (and beyond!). 


Past editions of the Tuesday Talk Newsletter are available

at under Resources.

We need your help. UMass FMCH Department's Epic Mastery Task Force wants to improve how providers use Epic and reduce EHR burnout. Please fill out this 5-10 minute survey!

Survey link:

From your Epic Mastery Task Force (Henry Del Rosario, MD, Megan Brochu, PA-C, Veronica Farrell, NP, Nicholas Hajj, MD, and Jeannette Ryan-Alkasab, MD)

The Massachusetts Psychiatric Society is offering Psychiatry for the Primary Care Physician, a virtual program, on Saturday, April 29th from 8:15am-3:45pm. Massachusetts Primary Care Physicians are often the de facto providers of psychiatric care. Compared to the past, PCPs today are often responsible for diagnosing and treating patients with more serious, complicated, and chronic psychiatric disorders. This course was designed to provide PCPs and other clinicians with lectures on salient topics of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment in Primary Care. The course provides 6.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits; 1 credit meets MA BORM for Risk Management and 1 credit for Risk Management/Opioid Education and Pain Management. The course is $150 for MMS members, $15 for fellows and free for students. Register here:

Click flyer for additional information.

Mindfulness and Compassion During Tumultuous Times - Essential Tools to Remain Steady and Whole, presented by Paula Gardiner, MD, MPH, CMMT and Gail Gazelle, MD, MCC, CMMT.

Friday, May 5th, 2023, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm (ET)

At this in-person program, you will acquire practical strategies to quiet your mind and gain mastery over worries and self-doubt. You’ll learn about the neuroscience behind mindfulness and meditation, and practice with a variety of readily accessible tools that will help you attain calm, clarity, and the balance you need to build resilience and avoid physician burnout. Event Info (

Undergraduate Medical Education

Vista Town Hall: Please join us in person or online at the Vista Town Hall. The purpose of our time together is to share new information and collaborate with our community on topics related to Exploration and Horizons planning and development. From time to time, we will share Discovery phase milestones. 

  • Wednesday, May 10th, 12:00-1:00pm (hybrid), Amp 3

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: Password: 890756

FMCH Vision 2030 – Next Steps: Belonging and Engagement

Dear Faculty, Residents/Fellows, and Staff, please join us for the FMCH Annual Retreat on Thursday, May 11th at UMass Chan South Street Campus, 333 South Street, Shrewsbury.

As a participant you will have the opportunity to:

  • Revisit FMCH Vision 2030
  • Promote Advocacy Efforts for Primary Care
  • Provide Faculty Development
  • Build a Culture of Mentorship

In follow up of our strategic planning last year, we have identified two areas to expand upon this year.  As we develop our role as leaders in Family Medicine across the state, we will explore legislative advocacy activities. Additionally, we will launch our new department mentorship program. Breakout sessions in the afternoon will include areas of continuing medical education as listed below:

  • Belonging –Restorative Justice
  • MCH – Shoulder Dystocia
  • Epic Mastery Workshop (Laptops required)
  • Educational Scholarship
  • Medical Humanities
  • Advocacy, Legislative Action

Lunch and Registration will open at 12:00 noon with the formal program commencing at 1:00pm. Lunch topics will be available to gather to discuss areas of interest. The retreat will conclude with an hors d'oeuvre, networking reception and cash bar with musical entertainment from 5:00 – 6:30pm.Here is the agenda. Please Register Here. We hope to see you there!

Photo Sessions (FREE headshots!)

Date: Every other Wednesday

Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm

Locations: Sherman Center - 5th floor (near staircase) 

If you are in the need of a faculty headshot or need to update your current one, please sign up via the link below.

Sign Up Link here.


The annual Academic Consortium for Criminal Justice Health (ACCJH) conference was held on April 13th and 14th in Raleigh, North Carolina. ACCJH was started by Warren Ferguson, MD, in 2007 and has since grown to include members and conference attendees from across the United States and several other countries. The most recent conference was attended by over 380 individuals from a multitude of research institutions, healthcare agencies, correctional and criminal legal settings, and by those with lived experience. Dr. Ferguson’s enormous contributions to the field, the ACCJH organization, and to improving the lives of those involved with the criminal legal setting were celebrated throughout the conference. As he retires, ACCJH will continue to advance his mission and vision for this organization. Dr. Ekaterina Pivovarova will succeed him as the academic lead and ForHealth Consulting of UMass Chan Medical School will continue to sponsor ACCJH. The 2024 conference will be held in Phoenix, Arizona. To learn more, visit us at


During the conference:

  • Dr. Ferguson presented a talk titled Educating Early Career Faculty and Practitioners to Engage in Criminal-Legal Research: Lessons Learned with LEAP
  • Dr. Pivovarova, presented a talk titled Impact of Drug Court on Long-Term Psychosocial Outcomes that was co-authored with Dara Drawbridge, Ph.D., Alexandra Boland, B.A., and Emily Zitek, M.S. 
  • Brian Osoria (4th year medical student) was a scholarship recipient to the conference.

Department Member Recognition

Frank Domino, MD, has been invited to present at the Update in Internal Medicine live streamed course sponsored by Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in December 2023. He will be participating in the live Q&A and a pre-recorded session on Complementary and Alternative Medicines for Weight Loss.

Frankly Speaking Podcast

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

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Please join us for an overview: Obesity in children and adolescents is a complex and very often chronic condition. Besides encouraging healthy eating and increasing activity-both excellent behavioral measures-healthcare providers did not have a clear, evidence-based plan for managing this chronic condition until recently. In January, the AAP published its long-awaited new, evidence-based guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with obesity. Greatly anticipated, it did, however, create some controversy. Please join us as we discuss the new guidelines, the evidence that it is based on, and how it may change practice. Guest: Susan Feeney, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, presents: "Treating Children and Adolescents with Obesity-Understanding the New AAP Clinical Practice Guidelines". - Frankly Speaking Ep 325.

Clinical Services Spotlight:



  • 6.5% current 7-day positivity rate, up from 3.1% last week.
  • The 7-day average of in-house cases is 9, down from 12 the prior week (8 of the 9 are fully vaccinated.)

COVID Vaccines no longer available

  • The monovalent Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines are no longer available.
  • Patients may be offered the Bivalent vaccine even if they have not completed the monovalent series.
  • Tinnitus has been named a side effect of COVID vaccine. Tinnitus may be linked to inflammation.

Retreat Session on Shoulder Dystocia for OB Providers

A refresher on Shoulder Dystocia will be offered at the retreat, including information about newborn care after shoulder dystocia. If you plan on attending, please contact Sara Shields at [email protected].

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.

Yoga Classes with Dr. Liz Erban

New members always welcome. 

Please join for early morning gentle yoga, Wednesday mornings 6:30am via Zoom.

Much appreciation to Dr. Liz Erban for hosting these outstanding classes. 

Join Zoom Meeting ID: 923 9393 3653 Passcode: 764113