UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - July 18, 2023/COMMUNITY

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 – Community


Department Member Recognition

Frankly Speaking Podcast

Clinical Services Spotlight

Message From the Chair

M. Diane McKee, MD, MS

Welcome New Interns and Fellows

Now that our new interns and fellows have been added to this listserv, I want to officially welcome you all to the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. We look forward to advancing the skills and knowledge of our interns in full spectrum family medicine. Welcome also to our new fellows in preventive medicine, sports medicine, hospice and palliative care, geriatrics, and primary care psychology and medical education, as well as our Family Health Center of Worcester-based fellows in global health, community-based HIV and viral hepatitis, and primary care psychiatry. Our superb faculty and staff are committed to your success. I look forward to meeting you.


Annual Required Education Deadline Approaching

Please be reminded that ARE is due by July 31, 2023. With 2 weeks remaining, the department is at about 40% completion. 

Focus of the Week - Community

Hugh Silk, MD, MPH, Vice Chair of Community Health

Heather-Lyn Haley, PhD, Program Director

The list of Worcester Summer Eats food distribution sites

and programs is up thanks to the Food Help Worcester website, and it's downloadable, so you can print out your own copy for reference. If you’re looking for sites outside the City of Worcester, visit the Project Bread Summer Eats page. 

Katie Stickney in the Office of Community and Government Relations is organizing volunteers to join our UMass Chan Cares team at the EcoTarium on Monday, July 31st from 10am-1pm. Tasks include re-painting the sundial in front of the main building, and outdoor yard work along the perimeter fence (mulching, raking, etc.). Register here. Volunteer PTO is available for school employees with prior supervisor approval. You can find the applicable form here. Looking forward to serving our community together!  


Engagement opportunities

Community partners have invited us to table and share information at a variety of events. Let Heather-Lyn Haley know if you’re interested in participating at the August 5th, Green Hill Neighborhood Association Community Picnic in Grant Square Park (near Hahnemann).   


Past editions of the Tuesday Talk Newsletter are available

at under Resources.

Social Determinants of Health Poster Session

Wednesday, August 23rd, 3:15-5:30pm, Faculty Conference Room,

UMass Chan Medical School. (see attached flyer for additional information)


  • 3:15-3:45: Poster Session and Judging 
  • 3:45-3:50: Welcome by Dr. Patricia Seymour, Associate Professor, Family Medicine and Community Health, Assistant Dean of Clinical Curriculum 
  • 3:50-4:20: Keynote Address by Dr. Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor, Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Executive Director, Collaborative in Health Equity 
  • 4:20-4:30: Closing Remarks and Presentation of Awards by Dr. Susan Hogan, Assistant Professor Family Medicine and Community Health and Longitudinal Leader of Societal Forces of Health and Disease 
  • 4:30-5:30: Reception 

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.

Hepatitis C and General Hepatology Project ECHO

(Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes)

You are invited to join an exciting virtual collaborative learning opportunity which will allow you to build expertise in the evaluation and management of patients living with chronic

Hepatitis C. (see attached brochure and curriculum schedule)

What? Hepatitis C ECHO, a virtual case-based tele-mentoring educational model

Who? Primary care interdisciplinary team members (providers, nurses, social workers, community health workers, patient navigators, etc.)

Why? Tele-mentoring model that links specialists to primary care providers (PCPs) via video conferencing from any computer; Case based, iterative learning facilitated by specialists and related experts; through guided practice, PCPs become proficient in specialty care

When? A new cohort begins Friday, September 8th, 2023, 12:30 - 1:30pm ~ with 10 sessions held bi-monthly.

Register Today!

Center for Integrated Primary Care and the Center for Integrated Medical Group Visits, will hold their 3rd annual one-day, virtual event on Friday, September 8th. “Growing Group Visits” will center around all aspects of group 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, Larner College of Medicine at UVM, 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

Scholarships provided as all are welcome.

1st Year Longitudinal Preceptors needed:

The MassAHEC Urban and Rural Health Scholars(U/RHS) program is recruiting longitudinal preceptors for incoming students. The Longitudinal Preceptor Program (LPP) goals are here. There are 7 sessions during year 1 and 6 sessions in year 2. Students apply to MassAHEC expressing their interest in primary care of underserved populations and are matched with a family medicine preceptor only (other students are matched to primary care/specialist duo). Second year residents and fellows can participate. 


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

Welcome to the incoming Preventive Medicine fellows, Zulfau Agwedicham, MS/MD, who joins us from Saba University School of Medicine, and Zoe Warczak, MD, from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.  

The student and faculty recipients of this year’s Huppert Awards were highlighted in the July 13th UMass Chan News: Huppert Awards.

Congratulations to Jennifer Reidy who will be the new director of the intensive, year-long Junior Faculty Development Program with Pranoti Mandrakar, PhD. 

Frankly Speaking Podcast

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

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Please join us for an overview: There has been uncertainty as to the best time for patients to take blood pressure medications. Tune in as we review the Treatment in Morning versus Evening (TIME) study, which assessed whether morning or evening dosing improves cardiovascular outcomes. Guest: Alan M. Ehrlich, MD, FAAFP, presents: "When Is the Best Time to Take Blood Pressure Medications?" - Frankly Speaking Ep 337.

Clinical Services Spotlight:

Josephine Fowler, MD, MBA, Vice Chair of Clinical Services

Permanent Telehealth Changes for Medicare Post-COVID

  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) can serve as distant site providers for behavioral/mental telehealth services.
  • Medicare patients can receive telehealth services for behavioral/mental health care in their home.
  • There are no geographic restrictions for originating site for behavioral/mental telehealth services.
  • Behavioral/mental telehealth services can be delivered using audio-only communication platforms.
  • Rural Emergency Hospitals (REHs) are eligible originating sites for telehealth.


Temporary Changes through December 2024

  • FQHCs and RHCs can serve as distant site providers for non-behavioral/mental telehealth services.
  • Medicare patients can receive telehealth services in their home.
  • There are no geographic restrictions for originating site for non-behavioral/mental telehealth services.
  • Some non-behavioral/mental telehealth services can be delivered using audio-only communication platforms.
  • An in-person visit within six months of an initial behavioral/mental telehealth service, and annually thereafter, is not required.
  • Telehealth services can be provided by all eligible Medicare providers.


Telehealth for MassHealth

How long is telehealth approved for Massachusetts?

  • Pursuant to the policy, MassHealth will continue to allow MassHealth-enrolled providers to deliver a broad range of MassHealth-covered services via telehealth through September 30, 2023, and will reimburse for such services at parity with their in-person counterparts.
  • All services that can be appropriately delivered via telehealth will continue to be covered permanently. Requirements for parity in reimbursement are scheduled to sunset at various times, depending on the type of care.


  • COVID-19 cases continue to be low in MA.
  • During the week of 7/13, there were 684 new deaths reported.
  • Hospitalization rates are low with a total of 108 patients hospitalized with COVID. Only 6 were in the ICU and 5 were intubated.



  • As of 7/17/23, the 7-day average percent positivity is 8.7%.
  • The prior number of cases over the last 7- days has been low, 3. 


USPSTF Updates on Screening for Anxiety Disorders in Adults as of June 20, 2023

Recommendation Summary - Population Recommendation Grade

  • Adults 64 years or younger, including pregnant and postpartum persons.
  • The USPSTF recommends screening for anxiety disorders in adults, including pregnant and postpartum persons.
  • Older adults 65 years or older.
  • The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for anxiety disorders in older adults.


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 19th. Classes will resume on July 26th.

All are welcome.