UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - July 11, 2023/EDUCATION

Welcome to the FMCH Tuesday Talk. Please continue to send us your announcements, celebrations, and accomplishments to

Table of Contents

Message From the Chair

Focus of the Week – Education


Department Member Recognition

Frankly Speaking Podcast

Clinical Services Spotlight

Message From the Chair

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on two cases that sought to limit considering an applicant’s racial or ethnic background during the admissions process, effectively ending affirmative action that considers race in admissions as we have known it. There is work to be done, in consultation with UMass Chan leaders, to understand how this change will impact our admissions processes. In the meantime, we remain committed to increasing diversity and belonging among our students, trainees, staff and faculty. More diverse teams enrich our community and improve the care we provide and our scholarship.

I am pleased to share the position posting for the Vice Chair for Education here. 

Dr. Frank Domino ( and Linda Cragin ( have agreed to be co-chairs of the search committee and can also be contacted. Carolyn Jacobs and Riley Poppel are assisting with the national search.

Focus of the Week - Education

Congratulations to Jess Salerni who has been selected as the block leader for the Skin and Musculoskeletal Block for the Pre-clinical (Discovery phase) curriculum in Vista. It is great to have family medicine representation in the preclinical years!


The first Vista students will enter their family medicine clerkship next week! They are part of the accelerated med school program. These 2 students applied and were accepted into a UMass primary care residency- IM in this case. They will complete their family medicine clerkship as new 2nd year students. A core group of our faculty helped prepare them over the last 2 weeks in a boot camp.  A big thank you to: Katie Barry, Corey Costanzo, Kristina Gracey, Jim Ledwith, Mary Lindholm and Steve Martin. An additional shout out to Fred Baker and Ben Lawrence who will be supervising the students during their clerkships!


Congratulations to our graduating residents from Worcester and Fitchburg!! You’re trained and ready to change peoples’ lives! This community is always here if you need us.

Good luck to our 2nd and 3rd year residents as they assume new responsibilities and roles!!

And a warm welcome to our first year residents! Here is a link to the WFMR bios: interns, Fitchburg bios: interns and to the FFP Residents: UMass Chan Medical School - Worcester (

Given the upcoming closure of the Health Alliance – Clinton @ Leominster Campus’ Birthing Center (i.e. ‘Leominster Hospital’s labor and delivery service), UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMMC) is welcoming the UMass Memorial Health Alliance Fitchburg Family Medicine residents to do their obstetrical training at the UMMMC Memorial Campus Maternity Center. We are also pleased to announce that additional faculty and private Family Medicine attendings who currently provide obstetric care in Leominster are expected to participate in a new, larger FM-OB.


Medical humanities have the ability to deepen the learning for students and residents. They can be used to improve teamwork, help with deeper noticing, and improve wellness. The recent addition of Worcester Medicine, the Journal of the Worcester District Medical Society, was devoted to the topic of medical humanities. Please have a look to see many perspectives on how art, poetry, writing, and more can be used to teach and enjoy medicine at:


Past editions of the Tuesday Talk Newsletter are available

at under Resources.

Security and Badging/ Maintaining Safety

In order to keep our Medical Center community safe, please review the below safety measures all caregivers should take:

  • Do not hold doors or let unauthorized individuals past locked doors, even if they are wearing medical attire.
  • Ensure your badge is visible at all times.
  • If you see anything or anyone you feel is suspicious, notify UMass police at the corresponding numbers below or dial 911.
  • UMass Memorial Police (Memorial and Hahnemann campuses): 508-334-8568
  • UMass Chan Medical School Police (University campus): 508-856-3296

Treatment Resistant Depression study participants needed

The Department of Psychiatry is currently enrolling participants with Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD) in a clinical research study to look at the effectiveness, safety, and usefulness of an investigational nasal spray medication when it is used alone to improve depressive symptoms. (see attached) Subjects will be randomly assigned to receive study drug or placebo, and receive some study related care at no cost. Study participation will last up to 24 weeks. Compensation for expenses and travel will be provided for qualified participants. Contact Chelsea Kosma at 508-856-5312.

Congratulations to our graduates of our Fitchburg residency and the awardees announced during graduation: 

  • Martha Shammas-Health Alliance Fitchburg Family Practice Staff of the Year
  • Dr. Binu Pathrose-Health Alliance Hospital Teacher of the Year
  • Dr. James Ledwith-In recognition for passion, unconditional commitment, and enduring dedicated service.

Center for Integrated Primary Care and the Center for Integrated Medical Group Visits, will hold their 3rd annual one-day, virtual event with presentations, experiential workshops, and spaces for mentorship on Friday, September 8th. “Growing Group Visits” will center around all aspects of group medical visits, from patients to policy, to delivering whole person care with a focus on financial and community health implications. Jon Porter, MD, and Joshua Plavin, MD, MPH, MBA, from the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, will provide a keynote, “Creating an integrative, effective, and financially sustainable program”. Another keynote “The Power of Group Visits” will be led by Beth Frates, MD, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. For registration go to

As always scholarships provided as all are welcome.

Funding Opportunity: The Blue Cross Shields of MA Foundation Special Initiatives grant program provides organizations with a one-time grant of up to $50,000 to pilot or launch a new project over a one-year period which empowers communities to advance health equity. Visit their website for more details:

Applications are due September 11th, 2023.

Teaching of Tomorrow (TOT) is a nationally recognized and highly acclaimed faculty development program that focuses on building and refining foundational skills for effective clinical teaching in inpatient and ambulatory settings. Preceptors from any specialty and discipline will enhance their clinical teaching skills through discourse and practice. Workshop dates are November 17-18, 2023, and March 8-9, 2024, and will be held at the Hotel Northampton. Participants must attend all four days. See the brochure for details and register at

Department Member Recognition

Congratulations to the following Remillard Family Funds recipients!! 

Susan Hogan and Patricia Seymour (Strengthening Relationships and Skills to Address the Social Determinants of Health), Elena Tang, Akanksha Nagarkar, Nefeli Neamonitaki, & Jennifer Marino/Melanie Gnazzo (Increasing Physical Activity in High School Students at Holyoke High School-North Campus), Erik Bratland & William Lemnios/Olga Valdman (Expanding Community Health Worker workforce development within the African Community of Worcester), Pratiksha Yalakkishettar (Improving Postpartum and Breastfeeding Education Among Medical Trainees for Provision of High-Quality Breastfeeding Medical Care to the Worcester Population) and Stevie Yang & Evelyn Semenov/Jennifer Bradford (Breaking Barriers Through Advocacy for Worcester Survivors (AWS) of Commercial Sexual Exploitation).  

Frankly Speaking Podcast

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

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Please join us for an overview: In 2020, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) updated its guidelines for asthma management, incorporating significant changes. This marked the first update since 2007. A recent study revealed that >280 providers of the asthma guidelines had an average knowledge score of 45% indicating that these guidelines have likely not been fully incorporated into their practice. We invite you to join us as we discuss the new guidelines and explore strategies for integrating them into your practice. Guest: Susan Feeney, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, presents: "Breathe Easy-Updated Recommendations for Asthma Management" - Frankly Speaking Ep 336.

Clinical Services Spotlight:

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 enacted a new one-time, eight-hour training requirement for all DEA-registered practitioners on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders. Please see the options for this training below. 

  • AFP is working to ensure members are in compliance with the new training requirements passed in the recent Consolidated Appropriations Act (often referred to as the MATE Act).
  • AFP is offering substance use disorder on-demand CME free of charge for members for a limited time. AFP members who need the training for their license renewal can access the training for no charge if they are logged in to the AAFP website.
  • Additionally, they have updated the resource page with information about the training requirements, updated news about resident training requirements, and other details. 
  • Please reach out for more information on this CME offering or on any upcoming Mass AFP events by contacting or
  • Are you a member of the AMA? Get more than 58 hours of Substance Use Disorder free. Please use this link to review.
  • Massachusetts Medical Society Education to meet the Requirement Are you a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society? Please follow this link to get the required training and more related to the management of patients with substance use disorder through the NEJM.
  • Department of Family Medicine and Community Health The Department has offered several topics on substance Use Disorder and will be developing a list of the topics over the last 5 years. If you are regularly in attendance, you may have already met this requirement. 



The data is up to date as of 7/11/23.

  • The 7-day current positivity rate is 6.3%.
  • The 7-day average of In-patient cases of positive COVID patients was 3 with 33% due to primary COVID. 
  • Of those in-house 67% were fully vaccinated. 



Information for the State of MA was last updated on 7/6/23. No new data is available.

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

There will be no yoga class on July 12th and 19th. Classes will resume on July 26th.

All are welcome.