UMass FMCH Tuesday Talk - March 28, 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



Frankly Speaking Podcast

Clinical Services Spotlight

Message from the Chair

2023 Worcester Foundation Grants – Request for Proposals

We encourage you to review the notice attached and consider applying for the 2023 Worcester Foundation Grants, due on Friday, April 14th, 2023. Funds have been earmarked for start-up or seed grants, termed “Worcester Foundation Grants”, to be awarded to UMass Chan Medical School faculty in support of promising and innovative research projects. These projects may be basic, translational, clinical research, education research, or population health research. The ideal applications are for support of projects without current major funding that initial or additional data would likely advance the project’s merit for federal or other external funding.

Upcoming Events

Psychiatry Grand Rounds-Visiting Professor Series

Thursday, March 30th, 12:00 - 1:00pm"Deprescribing in Primary Care", presented by Liam Burke, MD.

Meeting ID: 818 349 233 Passcode: PsychGR1

Black Maternal Health 6th Annual Conference (BMHC)

Friday, April 7th; "Centering the Role of Nurses and Midwives in Addressing the Black Maternal Health Crisis", this conference is hybrid, with virtual spots remaining, and is free.

You can register here:

Focus of the Week - Research

If you have an idea for an informal presentation or you’d like to learn more about a particular method, just let us know! We have openings for May, and June and would love to fill those spots soon!

Senior Scholars Day is Wednesday, April 26th

Twenty-five of our 4th year medical students participated in this year’s Senior Scholars Program – some of whom worked with faculty in our department. Senior Scholars Day is Wednesday, April 26th from 2:00-6:00pm in the medical school lobby (where students will formally present their work) and the faculty conference room (guest speaker this year: David Ayers, MD / Department of Orthopedics and Physical Medicine). Additional faculty are needed to help judge the student projects between 3 and 4 pm. If you’d be willing to have a student present their work to you and provide feedback/evaluation, we’re still looking for an additional 2-3 faculty (as well as Chief Residents) to help with judging the student’s work. If you’re interested in working with a Senior Scholars student for AY24, please let Judy Savageau know ([email protected]).

Capstone Projects: Class of 2023 – Mentored by FMCH Faculty

Capstone Project Presentation Day, Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

The following 18 students with 17 projects were mentored by 14 of our faculty on a variety of topics for their Capstone Discovery and Scholarship graduation requirement. Many of these projects are being further carried into dissemination outputs under the guidance and leadership of their FMCH mentors.

  • Nicholas Bergeron (Faculty Mentor: Dan Mullin, PsyD, MPH)

Development of an In-Class Companion Course for a Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Curriculum for Medical Students

  • Haley Clark (Faculty Mentor: Linda Cragin, MS)

Developing & Evaluating a UMass Bacc-MD Medical Scribe Fellowship Training Curriculum

  • Zaineb Dar (Faculty Mentor: Kristina Gracey, MD, MPH)

Women-centered Care: Developing A Framework for Addressing Requests for Female-only Care on Labor and Delivery

  • Mitali Doshi (Faculty Mentor: Michele Pugnaire, MD)

A pilot test for implementing a Train-the-Trainers Model for Community Health Workers of the bateyes of the Dominican Republic

  • Kevin Enabulele & Brian Osorio (Faculty Mentor: Warren Ferguson, MD)

Screening for Criminal-Legal History in Healthcare

  • Sam Fox (Faculty Mentor: Susan Hogan, MD, MPH)

The Determinants of Health Course Redesign: A Qualitative Review Following New Curriculum Implementation

  • Eleni Kovatsis (Faculty Mentor: Lisa Morris, MS)

Beyond the Standardized Patient: A Medical Education Capstone Project

  • Katrina (Gerhard) Lambeth (Faculty Mentor: Linda Long-Bellil, JD, PhD)

Approaches to Leading a Successful Career in Medicine from Physicians Who Use a Wheelchair

  • Ryan Lindsay (Faculty Mentor: Lee Mancini, MD)

Concussion Knowledge and Intention to Report Analysis of High-School Football Players

  • Rachael Lyons (Faculty Mentor: Heather Alker, MD, MPH)

Planetary Health and the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School Core Curriculum

  • Elizabeth Makris (Faculty Mentor: Sara Shields, MD, MS)

Documentation of Prenatal Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding Education in the Outpatient Setting at a Federally Qualified Health Center

  • Julia MacDougall (Faculty Mentor: Sara Shields, MD, MS)

Designing a Parental-Child Health Elective in Family Medicine

  • Ashwin Panda (Faculty Mentor: Judy Savageau, MPH)

The Current Climate of Oral Health Training in Obstetrical Care in Massachusetts

  • Annie Thornton (Faculty Mentor: Linda Cragin, MS)

Operation Conversation: Bridging the Gap between the Veteran Community and Future Health Care Providers

  • Michael Urbanowski (Faculty Mentor: Daria Szkwarko, DO, MPH)

Continuing Medical Education Based on an ECHO Curriculum Increases Primary Care Provider Confidence for Delivering Latent Tuberculosis Infection Care 

  • Aditya Vangala (Faculty Mentor: Hugh Silk, MD, MPH)

Evaluating Barriers in Oral Health Care among Medical Students at UMass Chan Medical School

  • Shannon West (Faculty Mentor: Hugh Silk, MD, MPH)

A Curriculum Development Initiative: Integrating Medical Humanities into Family Medicine Residency Training

Monthly Departmental Research Forums 

We’re looking for presentations from those who do interesting work! On the third Friday of each month (September through June; noon – 1pm), we offer a research forum where you may present some work in progress or are a ‘member of the audience’ offering feedback on work to get it to the next level. These meetings are via Zoom which has increased the number of attendees. Works in progress as well as presentations on methodologies are offered.

Meeting ID: 974 6993 6669 Passcode: FMCHForum


Past editions of the Tuesday Talk Newsletter are available

at under Resources.

Please consider asking your legislator(s) to sponsor this breastfeeding bill. This bill not only covers pumps but also lactation support. Bills H 967 and S 600, An Act Improving Access to Breast Pumps, were recently introduced into the MA House and Senate. This bill mandates insurance coverage for multi-user double breast pumps for NICU and other fragile babies. Mass Breastfeeding Coalition has just posted an Action Alert that includes everything you need: link to find your legislators; sample letter; a one page info sheet to attach to the letter; an email to cc on the letter so we can track who has been contacted; and very clear instruction. The whole thing takes about 10 -15 minutes. Your voice matters.

Domestic Violence, Medical Advocacy & Patient Centered Responses

Thursday, March 30th at 11:45am online panel. (RSVP

For some Black women and women of color, visits to the emergency room for injuries related to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) are a safer option than reporting to police or utilizing the legal system. Research shows that when treatment in the ER is paired with a direct referral to a victim advocacy agency, victims are more likely to use and follow-up with interventions. Two survivors will share their experiences with providers in the emergency room setting. Attendees will hear from representatives of medical providers about their in-house response and discuss the successes and challenges faced with this model of service, how provider responses impact survivors’ willingness to continue to seek medical attention, best practices and benefits, trauma-informed responses to survivors and more. Moderated by Marienelly Vazquez, MSW, LCSW, Director of Clinical Services and Community Outreach, YWCA Central Massachusetts.  

The 21st Annual Primary Care Day will be held Wednesday, April 12th, 2023 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 5400 Computer Drive, Westborough, MA 01581, 8:00am-3:00pm. 

You can Register now . This program will provide updates on a wide range of rapidly changing primary care topics and will feature concurrent presentations from which attendees can select their own learning track and is sponsored by the UMass Chan Office of Continuing Medical Education. See flyer for additional information.


The UMass Chan Interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS) is pleased to announce the 1st Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Basics for Primary Care Hands-on Skills Session, Thursday, April 13th, 2022, 8:00am-12:00pm. The session will cover basic ultrasound skills and several applications geared towards primary care providers.

You can Register now. See flyer for additional information.

Commission on the Health of the Public and Science (CHPS) - please provide your post-Dobbs (and soon to be post-Alliance for Hippcratic Medicine) stories (see link below)!

Background: last week, AAFP President Tochi Iroku-Malize, participated in an event hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris, on the topic of reproductive health. The Vice President's team was interested in learning more about how groups are preparing for a potential decision in the case Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA – which seeks to overturn the 2000 approve of Mifepristone. Dr. Iroku-Malize was joined by the President of ACOG and several other reproductive and legal organizations. The administration is preparing for a decision that could come as soon as today. In a discussion about realities Post-Dobbs – the Vice President was interested in learning more from clinicians about any impact stories we have received from our members. Last year, a link was created where members could offer stories. AAFP is not looking for names or locations beyond the state to protect confidentiality. If you have a story to share, we encourage you to submit it through this survey: Action Center (

MassAFP 2023 Annual Meeting & Spring Refresher

Manju Mahajan is co-chair of the MassAFP Education Committee. 

Click here for the full conference schedule.

For more details go to: 

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, April 12th, 12:00-1:00pm (online, physical location TBD)
  • Wednesday, May 10th, 12:00-1:00pm (hybrid), Amp 3

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

Call for Nominations: Standing Committees

It is time for us to initiate the process of determining membership for the Standing Committees for the upcoming Academic Year. If you are interested in self-nominating for any of the committees described below, please submit your name, the committee of interest and the responses to the questions below to [email protected] The deadline for self-nomination is April 14th, 2023.

  • Committee on Equal Opportunity & Diversity
  • Faculty Grievance Committee (elected by faculty-at-large)
  • Information Technology Committee
  • Intellectual Property Committee 
  • Library and Learning Resources Committee
  • Personnel Action Committee (elected by faculty-at-large)
  • Women’s Faculty Committee

With your self-nomination, please include your responses to the questions below.

  1. Briefly describe your position & role at UMass Chan
  2. Why are you interested in serving this committee?
  3. What specific skills or strengths can you bring to this committee?

If you are interested in serving on a departmentally elected committee, as listed below, please contact your department chair:

  • Faculty Council
  • Committee on Scientific and Research Affairs
  • Tenure Committee (if applicable to your department)

School committees are a great opportunity for career development and networking. More information on each of the committees and nomination process can be found here ( access required). Please consider sharing your passion and expertise with the institution.

Announcing the 19th Annual Gerald F. Berlin Prize for Creating Writing

Be sure to tell students and residents you know who like to write about the 19th Annual Gerald F. Berlin Prize for Creative writing. The Gerald F. Berlin Prize is awarded for creative writing, prose or poetry, authored by medical students, nursing students, graduate students, residents, and fellows based at UMass Chan Medical school, Berkshire Medical center, Worcester Medical Center/St. Vincent's or Baystate Medical Center. Submission deadline: April 15th, 2023. Click flyer for details. For guidelines visit Library's website at

MCSTAP Guideline Update: A Series on Applying the 2022 CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain. The latest CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Pain include very important information for prescribers. To support you, MCSTAP is offering a three-part series on applying the Guidelines to managing care for patients with chronic pain. Register for all dates now!  MCSTAP


  • Wednesday, April 19th, 12:00 - 1:00pm, " Assessing Risk of Opioid Therapy: Applying the 2022 DCD Guidelines

Save the date: Huppert award winning students are preparing presentations for the April 21st Research in Progress noon seminar. Presenters include: 

  • Michael Urbanowski, PhD (SOM), working with mentor Daria L. Szkwarko, DO, MPH on a retrospective program evaluation of latent tuberculosis infection screening and treatment in an urban FQHC and 
  • Samantha Creamer (GSN) and Annie Thornton (SOM), with mentors Linda Cragin, MS, and Janet Hale, RN, PhD, on Operation Conversation: Bridging the Gap between the Veteran Community and Future Health Care Providers. 

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 (

Annual Department Retreat

Thursday, May 11th, 12:00-5:00pm, with reception to follow. Please save the date. Registration materials and agenda will be sent by email in the coming week.

Primary Care Bootcamp for NPs and PAs

Jillian Joseph, MPAS, PA-C, Kristin Wickstrom, PA-C, Megan Brochu, PA-C, and former Barre APPs Mariyan Montaque, NP, Andrea Julian, NP, and several other APPs from UMass and GSN collaborated with Pri-Med to create Primary Care Bootcamp for NPs and PAs. The Bootcamp is a digital, on-demand curriculum designed to help early career APPs build confidence and hone skills in primary care. The platform is now live at and open for registration! There are over 20 hours of CME available through the Bootcamp and the courses are organized into two distinct tracks that cover a range of topics, including chronic disease and concern-based sessions, professional development topics, as well as practice management concepts. Any questions can be sent to [email protected].

Click flyer for additional information.

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.


Faculty article in New Book: Teaching Writing in the Health Professions: Perspectives, Problems, and Practices.

There was a recent publication of the book above with the article by members of the department’s Teacherless Writing Group titled "Promoting Writing through Teacherless Writing Group”, Lucy M. Candib, Stacy Potts, Katharine Barnard, Jill Tirabassi, Lisa S. Gussak, Henry DelRosario, and Daniel Lasser. Ed Michael Madson, in Teaching Writing in the Health Professions: Perspectives, Problems, and Practices. New York: Routledge, 2022. 

MassAFP’s spring refresher was this weekend. It was attended by many people from our department. 

  • Dr. Kathleen Barry presented a talk on Evidence based medicine.
  • Dr. Kristina Gracey talked about Management of early pregnancy loss.
  • Dr. Frank Domino presented on 10 things I learned in practice last year
  • Dr. Ron Adler gave a talk on cancer screening  

Frankly Speaking Podcast

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

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Please join us for an overview: Most perimenopausal and menopausal individuals will experience some symptoms. Up to 80% of women report some symptoms, with vasomotor symptoms being the most commonly reported; however, other symptoms such as sleep disturbance, sexual dysfunction, and mood can be present. These symptoms can have a tremendous negative impact on quality of life and well-being, yet many women remain untreated for their symptoms even though evidence-based treatments exist. Join us to discuss effective treatment and ways you can overcome barriers to providing evidence-based menopausal therapy. Guest: Susan Feeney, DNP, FNP-BC, NP-C, presents: "Menopausal Symptoms-Are You Providing the Best Care to Improve Function and Quality of Life?". - Frankly Speaking Ep 321.

Clinical Services Spotlight:



  • The prior 7-day average has decreased, 3.6%.
  • Number of in-house patients decreased to 13 (36% decrease).
  • Of the 13 in-house patients, 38% are fully vaccinated.



  • There were 2,076 new cases in the last 7 days. 
  • The 7-day average percent positivity is 4.07%.
  • On March 21, there were 123 patents primarily hospitalized with COVID.
  • There were 38 confirmed deaths in the last 7 days. 

Public Health Emergency will end May 11, 2023 for MA, in alignment with the Federal Emergency end date.

  • Mandatory coverage for OTC COVID PCR and Antigen testing will end.
  • Changes in Medicaid mandatory enrollment have begun in many states.
  • Federal vaccine purchase and disability will continue.
  • Medicaid beneficiaries will be assessed for eligibility. 
  • Medicaid enrollees who no longer meet eligibility will be disenrolled on April 1. 
  • Telehealth for Medicare will remain in place, including phone visits, at least through 2024.  

Medicaid ACO- Tufts Health Together with UMass Memorial Health

  • Helpful information is found at the link below for patients and providers.

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