Monday, September 16, 2013

Hahnemann Family Health Center: An Ethnically and Socioeconomically Diverse Urban Population

"Hahnemann: The Essentials" Hahnemann is an academic urban residency site that functions like a large group practice. Residents work side by side with faculty role models in a state-of-the-art facility. Daily chart rounds, regularly scheduled conferences and informal curb-side consults add to the collegial learning environment.

Our Hahnemann faculty are regularly recognized for their excellence in teaching and are highly regarded in the local community and beyond. Hahnemann provides full service reproductive options and family centered maternity care, and care for infants, children, adults, and elders in the hospital, community, in nursing homes and at home.


"A Diver
se Community"  H
ahnemann serves an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse urban population. The majority of the patients cared for at the health center reside in Worcester and the surrounding towns. About half of our patients participate in the state Medicaid program or are covered under expanded state mandated coverage. Patients represent a large diversity of ethnicities and come from all walks of life. All patients also have access to a very reliable and proficient Translation Service as needed. 

"Academic Mentoring"  Each resident is assigned an academic coach from among our talented faculty. Coaches help each resident set and meet individual goals through a process of mentoring throughout residency. Residents have the opportunity to choose such areas of concentration as women's health, underserved care, geriatrics, college health, faculty development or an individualized program developed with their coach.


"Procedure Training" 
Our motto at Hahnemann is that "no procedure should ever go
 You'll learn outpatient procedures including colposcopy, IUD insertion, Implanon insertion, endometrial biopsy, skin excision, punch biopsy, joint injection and cryosurgery. Women's health, including comprehensive reproductive health care, is a primary focus. Residents care for a wide variety of patients with a good mixture of adults and children in the practice.  

"Writing Opportunities" One of our faculty members, Jeremy Golding, MD, serves as associate editor of "The Five Minute Clinical Consult," the internationally known textbook that is translated into several languages. Residents can author chapters and write on a wide variety of topics as first author with a faculty member as senior author. Hahnemann faculty have especially strong representation in chapters pertaining to women's health and reproductive medicine, oral health and cardiovascular disease.
"A True Patient Centered Medical Home" We are in the process of transforming our practice into a Patient Centered Medical Home. The process involves re-organizing our entire staff to efficiently work as a team to meet our goals. Learn more about our Hahnemann PCMH work!
"Plumley Village" Plumley Village Health Services is a unique clinic offering continuity training experience in community health for Hahnemann residents. This small clinic was founded in 1992 to integrate public health and primary care medical services into low-income housing in downtown Worcester.

The clinic serves as a primary care site for close to 2000 patients who primarily live in Plumley Village housing and the surrounding neighborhood. Residents value this experience for the volume of pediatric and OB-gyn care and procedures, exposure to a vulnerable patient population, and the chance to improve medical Spanish.


"Opportunities and Innovations"
 You'll collaborate with behavioral health providers and develop your skills as a teacher of medical students and junior residents. We value community service, too, and residents find ample opportunities for community outreach.

Hahnemann serves more than 15,000 local college students (including students at WPI, Clark and the College of the Holy Cross) and residents can do longitudinal electives at local high school clinics or at Plumley. Just some of our recent innovations include a transition to Open Access scheduling, group visits for diabetes, a chronic pain protocol, new initiatives on the care of hypertension and cardiovascular disease and an oral health curriculum.


Meet our Hahnemann faculty and residents and check our our Hahnemann blog. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Focus On UMass Fitchburg: A Dually-Accredited Community-Based Residency

This month, I am heading up Route 495 to talk a bit about our community-based residency in Fitchburg, a UMass residency that is entirely separate from our Worcester program.

The Basics:  UMass Fitchburg is a community-based residency in North Central MA and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012!  It provides care at one for one of America's first teaching community health centers. The faculty aim to prepare you to practice in any community with special emphasis on caring for those in greatest need. Each year we welcome six new interns to train in Fitchburg. Our Fitchburg residency is able to take advantage of all the resources of a major medical center and we offer an academically stimulating program.

A Brand New Health Center:
  Our brand-new health center building, to open in the coming months,   will offer a state-of-the-art design for team-based care and resident instruction. In addition to our comprehensive primary care services, patients have access to on-site behavioral health and dental and lab services. Patients can also access urgent care services across the street, along with ambulatory physical therapy and radiology.

Our Community Hospital:
HealthAlliance Hospital is a medium-sized community hospital that hosts our family medicine residency as its only teaching service. Residents and students enjoy a dynamic team approach to care with coverage of patients within the full scope of family medicine inpatient practice. HealthAlliance has repeatedly been voted one of America's "Most Wired" hospitals due to its investment in information technology, easing care and improving patient safety.

Our Academics: Didactics cover a wide array of medical, community health, and behavioral medicine topics as well as procedural skills and topics in practice management. We are constantly revising the curriculum as needs and opportunities change. Special training is available in osteopathic therapy (we are a dually accredited residency), geriatrics, addiction and sports medicine. All residents participate in one of several annual QA projects. Interns have one dedicated Tuesday afternoon each month for workshops.

Our Osteopathic Curriculum:  As the only dually accredited (DO and MD) residency in Massachusetts, we offer monthly lectures and regular OMT sessions with DO preceptors to hone our skills and learn new techniques. Residents are encouraged to use OMT skills in patient care in the office and hospital. There are many occasions to attend osteopathic courses for further learning. In our program, we have a wonderful collaboration between our allopathic and osteopathic physicians.

Global Health:
The UMass Family Medicine Global Health Track is designed for residents at both the UMass Fitchburg and UMass Worcester residencies. Interns who apply and are selected for the program will travel to Nicaragua and/or the Dominican Republic to study community health-based systems. They will be introduced to epidemiologic research there as well as clinical or research-based projects and monthly seminars.

Our Underserved Community: ACTION (Accessible Comprehensive Treatment in our Neighborhoods) is our land-based and mobile clinic that provides primary care services to the homeless in North Central MA. We've partnered with a host of organizations in the community to help our most vulnerable citizens, including such agencies as Our Father's House (a local shelter), and the Montachusett Opportunity Council.

We're Right Up Route 495:  Fitchburg and Leominster are easily accessible to Boston and Worcester and Providence, but without traffic congestion or the high cost of living. Mountains, beaches and lots of open space are close by. Our residents might take a break from their clinical duties by night skiing at Wachusett Mountain, hiking at Mount Wachusett State Park and Leominster State Forest, or joining in  a variety of local sports leagues. Numerous high school and college sports and the Boston Marathon provide opportunities for medical coverage training.

Want to know more? Meet the Fitchburg residents and faculty and read our blog post by 2013 graduate Amanda Iantosca, DO, titled "Transitioning...A Fitchburg Day in the Life." 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

"Our Rural Health Center": Providing Care in "Small Town" Barre, MA

It is early July and our brand-new interns are experiencing their first days as residents at UMass!  And this month, I am shining a spotlight upon the Barre Family Health Center, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary in June!

"Barre: The Essentials": For over 35 years, the Barre Family Health Center has been the sole provider of health care for the people of Barre and its 10 surrounding communities. The closest ED is over 16 miles away and there are no other physicians in the area. This unique locale provides an ideal environment for practicing the entire spectrum of family medicine. Barre was also recently recognized as a level 3 (the highest possible) Patient Centered Medical Home by NCQA - read more here!

Our State-of-the-Art Health Center:
We are proud of our health center building, completed in 2007 and still quite new. In addition to the basics, it is enhanced with on-site stress testing, a fully equipped treatment area for assessment and stabilization, a CLIA-certified laboratory, digital radiography featuring real-time access to a radiologist, bedside ultrasound, bone densitometry and digital mammography. The facility is equipped with wireless technology, Allscripts, electronic medical records, and offers electronic prescribing, among other features.  

Faculty Mentors and Consultants: As a resident in Barre you will have the opportunity to work closely with a faculty of 11 family physicians, including two osteopathic physicians with OMT practices, and a PA. Also on staff are two psychologists, a Behavioral Science fellow, a PharmD, a podiatrist, and community family physicians all dedicated to teaching our residents. Consultants include a cardiologist and adult and child psychiatrists offering specialty care to patients and teaching to residents.

Procedure Training: Barre residents are trained in joint injections and women's health procedures such as colposcopy, endometrial biopsies, and IUD insertions. Residents become adept at more urgent and emergent procedures as well. All Barre residents gain experience with casting and management of fractures and sprains, suturing complex lacerations, removing foreign bodies, starting IVs and administering medications.

Special Populations Barre Serves: Providers care for patients from all walks of life who call the Barre vicinity home. Students from the Quabbin Regional school district, trainees from the MA State Police Academy, and members of the Insight Meditation Society (a retreat center) come to Barre for their care, as do students from both the Devereaux School and the Stetson School.

Town Life:  Barre is the very picture of classic "small town America." The local town pharmacist knows his patients personally and will stay open after hours to make sure residents have their prescriptions!  Boston is only 60 miles away and you can get to Barre via any of the major local highways. When our providers are not at work, they might dine at Picasso's Restaurant, ski at Mount Wachusett, hike at Rutland State Park or catch a performance at the Barre Players Theater.               
Barre's Wellness Garden: One of the most unique attributes of the heath center is the organic Wellness Garden that residents and faculty planted in 2011 to educate patients about healthy eating habits. Fresh vegetables (tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, spinach and much more) are now available daily for patients and providers and are offered to all patients, even during group visits. Providers have planned workshops for the community on canning and preserving and planting...a true 'taste" of Barre's small town life! 

Click here to read our Barre blog and to meet our Barre residents and faculty.   

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Health Center Spotlight: The Family Health Center of Worcester (Queen Street)

"Three Residencies in One":  We actually like to say that our Worcester residency is like "three residencies in one" due to our innovative structure: three separate and unique health centers that each offer their own clinical learning opportunities and have separate match numbers.

Two of our health centers are in Worcester (Family Health Center and Hahnemann) and the Barre Health Center is in the small town of Barre, MA, about 20 minutes from Worcester. As a residency applicant, you would choose which of our centers best fits your goals. Each year, four new interns match at each of our three centers.

This month, let's review some essential facts about Family Health Center of Worcester (FHCW), also known as "Queen Street", due to its location:

The Basics:  FHCW is a federally-qualified health center located in downtown Worcester that cares for a diverse, urban-underserved population. The homeless, immigrants and refugees who would otherwise be unable to access medical, dental, social and ancillary services are all welcome at Family Health. FHCW also meets all of the criteria for a Patient-Centered Medical Home.

Our FHCW faculty members have broad and diverse experience, including fellowship training in Maternal-Child Health and Obstetrics, Sports Medicine, Addiction Medicine and Geriatrics. FHCW also offers its own ADHD clinic, on-site Department of Social Services, a WIC program, dental, psychiatric counseling, addiction medicine, pharmacy, laboratory and radiology services.

Patient Population:  Close to 50% of FHCW patients speak Spanish. FHCW also serves Vietnamese, Albanian, Portuguese, Russian, Burmese, Arabic, and Cambodian speaking patients. They employ full-time Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Albanian interpreters and almost all support staff are bilingual.

Integrative Medicine:  FHCW has providers who are trained in several forms of complementary and non-allopathic medicine. These include (but are not limited to) acupuncture, cupping, gua-sha, hypnosis, osteopathic manipulation, and functional medicine. Learn more about integrative medicine at UMass.

MentoringDaily chart rounds are facilitated by family medicine faculty committed to teaching evidence-based medicine. Their library computers are connected to the UMass library and the web with access to numerous EBM resources, UpToDate and a wide array of online full text journals.

Procedure training:
  Residents are trained to do colposcopy, joint injections and all types of skin procedures in weekly clinics. They will learn IUD insertion and endometrial sampling by providing this service to their own patients under the supervision of a preceptor. As a resident, you may work in our on-site Walk-in Center periodically and have the opportunity to care for many acutely ill and injured patients who may require suturing of lacerations, casting of fractures and management of active medical problems.

A Word About Worcester:  Worcester is the second largest city in New England and is home to ten colleges and universities and all walks of life. Worcester has several free meal programs and over 25 food pantries. FHCW has a co-operation with seven Worcester schools to provide services as school-based health centers. Over half of the housing in Worcester is renter occupied and FHCW also has a nationally recognized program of services for homeless families.  

So, if your interests should include global health, addiction medicine, HIV care, women's health and perinatal care, complementary and integrated medicine, you may want to learn more about FHCW! You can also meet our FHCW residents and faculty and check out the FHCW blog "A Day in the Life of a Family Health Resident."

Friday, May 17, 2013

Greetings from UMass Family Medicine!

Now that the 2013 Match has passed, we are very excited about the new interns who will be training with our respective programs! And speaking of the Match, we know that the months ahead are full of promise and excitement for you as you prepare to apply to residencies this fall. Therefore, we thought it might be helpful for you to send you a terrific brochure called Strolling Through the Match, a great introduction to the 2014 Match from A to Z!

Our interns at their annual retreat last fall

Some other info I'd like to pass on: once again this year, UMass Medical School was ranked within the Top 10 medical schools for Primary Care in U.S. News and World Report's annual issue, "America's Best Graduate Schools" - check it out here.

Each of our programs is devoted to mentoring and teaching. UMass Family Medicine is also committed to global health and we have integrated a Global Health Track into our curriculum.  In fact, three of our UMass residents have just finished blogging about their experiences in Nicaragua as part of the Track and I invite you to check them out on the front page of our Global Health Track website.

Interested in completing a Family Medicine Inpatient or Outpatient visiting elective at UMass? Our application process for visiting medical student electives is now open! Click to find info about applying for an elective in Fitchburg and/or Worcester. Visiting electives will be offered on a space-available basis beginning after May 1.  A UMass Family Medicine elective rotation is a great way to get to know our programs!