The Residency Update

E-Newsletter of  the 
UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency

November/December  2010

Inside This Edition
News Around the Residency
Clinical Reminders
Resident E-Journal by Awais Siddiki, PGY-3
A Conversation With...Peter McConarty, MD
Celebrations and Congratulations!
    News Around The Residency  
Sponsored by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Felix Chang, MD completed the workshop "Health Care in the New Millenium: Cultural Competency in Medicine."


Silvia Los, MD, a graduate of the UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency, has returned to our community after serving a rural health clinic in North Carolina for four years. She is now living in Fitchburg and working at the Gardner Community Health Center, one of the four centers within Community Health Connections. Welcome back, Silvia!

Residency Retreat Bus Tour
This year's fall retreat gave our residents a look at their community that they had not previously seen. With an agenda assembled by CHC's Public Health Fellow Alexandra Luck, the residents (joined by CHC President Mick Huppert, Residency Administrator Elaine Desjardins and Associate Director of Admissions Mike Smith) toured some of the neighborhoods and community resources of Fitchburg and Leominster.
At the Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster
A stop at the Cleghorn Neighborhood Center and the Doyle Center was followed by a luncheon back at HealthAlliance. During lunch, HealthAlliance and Heywood Hospitals spoke about the community practice networks that those facilities are building to meet care needs across the region. The day wrapped up with an afternoon of indoor rock climbing.  

Behavioral Health Update

Behavioral Health is expanding patient access to clinical services by adding a second Open Clinic on Friday afternoons. During Open Clinics, Behavioral Health providers do assessments and begin treatment for a wide variety of patient concerns including depression, anxiety, ADHD, substance abuse, and trauma-related problems. CHC Behavioral Health now has several providers with experience working with children in the context of their families.   


CHC Medical Department patients can attend Open Clinic on Tuesday mornings from 8:30 am to 10:30 am or on Friday afternoons from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. Medical providers will continue to have immediate access to Behavioral Health consultations either by accessing the on-site Behavioral Health provider or by paging the provider at 978-205-0658.


Fitchburg CHC Behavioral Health is excited to welcome Maria Majchrowski, PsyD, to our team!  Maria will be working closely with the medical staff as the UMass Primary Care Psychology Fellow. She will begin in December and spend most of her week working in the Fitchburg CHC Medical Department.

Recruitment Update!

Our residency is pleased to announce that we have received a total of 1272 applications, almost 100 over last year's total of 1177 as our record-setting application year continues. Here is a more complete breakdown of application numbers:  




NRMP Match



AOA Match



US graduates



Int'l graduates



The Fitchburg residency team headed out to the annual FMEC Conference and Residency Fair in Hershey, PA. (The Halloween theme of the second evening is displayed below!)



Residency Award
The residency practice at Community Health Connections in Fitchburg is the recipient of a Patient Centered Medical Home Initiative Award which will provide funding and technical assistance to aid development of systems in the practice. This will mean great things for development of services leading to the highest certification level of the Patient Centered Medical Home.

The project will help our patients and enhance the residency experience. This award is the result of competitive bidding for grants in this initiative sponsored by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS).
                                          Clinical Reminders                                          

Unsure if a particular medication is available at the hospital? The HealthAlliance medication formulary is accessible for review on the HealthAlliance intranet in two ways: 

Under the e-facts tab
In the blue navigation field (Medication Formulary)

Of course, if you can't find a medication in CPOE, it may not be on the formulary....

Core Measures
Please review the Core Measures for management of cases of acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure. These checklist items have demonstrated impact on mortality and re-admission rates. If data is not available, the record should document that the measure was at least addressed. 


For CHF, please document the most recent LVEF or a narrative description (i.e. EF= 35% or pt has "mild left ventricular systolic dysfunction"). This is required for every CHF admission. If necessary, the Core Measure requirement regarding LVSF assessment is met when a physician documents that he/she is unable to access the test report for any reason given (i.e. you cannot access the report, the prelim report is illegible, the report is pending, or the test couldn't be performed because the patient became more ill.)  

The Core Measures Reminder Flyer can be found on our Intranet site.

                                        December E-Journal
                                   Submitted by Awais Siddiki, PGY-3 
                         "A Day with ACTION Health Services"

Awais Siddiki with Pam and Marcy

The day in the ACTION van:  "I accompanied Pam (our NP) and Marcy as we spent a day reaching out to underserved neighborhoods and communities with the goal of providing primary care services to all ages. The van was equipped with EMR, a fax machine and a fully functional examination room. The least I was able to do was to make sure people saw their PCP for follow-up and we made appointments for them at our health center."



Marcy in the van checking clinic schedules
and  faxing progress notes to PCPs.

A day at the GVNA (an HIV education, testing and counseling center in Fitchburg where I was accompanied by Frank McCarter.)
"At this center, we help a vulnerable, homeless population with general health questions, problems regarding daily routine paperwork for services, important phone calls and HIV testing and counseling. Above all, it was a great experience providing behavioral health counseling to this population." 

"The staff were very welcoming to me. I would recommend that medical students and residents spend a day at different ACTION health services. It was very gratifying to come out of the health center and go directly to the community."

Our NP Pam ready to examine the next patient on the van. 

ACTION Health Services (Accessible, Comprehensive, Treatment In Our Neighborhoods) is one of four health centers operated by Community Health Connections, Inc. Using a combination of mobile health units and a more traditional Healthcare for the Homeless clinic, ACTION provides medical, behavioral health, and dental services in Fitchburg and at sites throughout the region.
 Learn more about ACTION here.
A December Conversation with...
Peter McConarty, MD, Former Residency Director
     UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency 

Dr. Peter McConarty smiles when asked when he first realized medicine was his calling. "In the eighth grade, they asked me what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to be a must have been in the water in Framingham!" The Massachusetts native spent his formative years in Whitman, Easton and Framingham, graduating from Framingham South High School before majoring in Biology at Harvard College, Class of 1969. 

Upon graduation, Dr. McConarty attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. In 1973, he began his residency with the first residency class admitted to the Family Practice Residency of University of California at San Francisco General Hospital.

"At the time I had decided I was interested in public health and primary care and San Francisco was one of the innovative primary care settings dedicated to serving those  people who needed access to care," he explains.

Completing his training in 1976, Dr. McConarty precepted students at his old program for six months before accepting a full-time position as a Staff Physician at Potrero Hill Health Center in San Francisco, where he would remain for the next seven years. After an additional year practicing in San Diego, Dr. McConarty re-located back to Massachusetts in 1985 where he served as Medical Director of the Family Health and Social Service Center (now the Family Health Center of Worcester.)

It was in 1987 that he arrived at the UMass Fitchburg Family Medicine Residency.

"There were only three faculty here at the time...I was the fourth," he recalls. "We had six residents." Dr. McConarty was promoted to serve as both Medical Director and Residency Program Director in 1991, a post he would hold for a full decade before  turning the reins over to Dr. Beth Mazyck in 2001.

Asked what he values about being a physician, Dr. McConarty pauses for a moment.    "I value collaborative care in the service of underserved populations. I value relationship and continuity."  He also expresses surprise that the pace of health care reform efforts has not progressed as fast as he once assumed but notes, "I think  working in a community health center all this time is hopefully being part of the solution." 
Dr. McConarty is the father of two sons and a daughter who just completed her residency training in Primary Care Internal Medicine in Providence. He doesn't hesitate when asked how he enjoys his spare time. "Spending my time with Annie," he says of his wife of six months. 

Living in Fitchburg, close
enough to CHC that he could walk to work, he closes with a final thought about a career spent mentoring, precepting and above all, teaching tomorrow's family medicine physicians. "This process of working with patients and working with residents is really all about education. And so, in the isn't like two different jobs at all."

Michael Smith, Associate Director of Admissions, would like to thank Dr. McConarty for generously sharing his time in speaking with him for this profile.   
                        Celebrations and Congratulations!

Welcome, Alexander Briones!
Congratulations to third-year resident Ivan Briones and his wife Katia Klein on the birth of their first son. Alexander Briones was born November 3 at 8.6 lbs and Dad reports that he and the entire family are doing great!    
The Briones family: Alexander, Katia, Ivan and big sister Amanda  

Congratulations to the Desjardins Family!
We are delighted to congratulate Elaine Desjardins and her family on the official adoption of her granddaughter Grace. Elaine tells us that her son Jason and his wife Tori had Grace since she was 2 days old and adopted her on November 19. The photo is from her baptism on November 27. Grandfather Richard is a Deacon in the Catholic Church and actually baptized her! 

Grace joins her two cousins, Liam and Cian, sons of Elaine's daughter Laura and her son-in-law Jared. 

From left, Elaine's son Jason, his wife Tori, and the proud grandparents Elaine and Richard with Grace

Residency Graduate Speaks Through the Canvas
Congratulations to North Falmouth, MA artist and residency graduate Robert Moore, MD. Dr. Moore has created a moving tribute to Vietman veterans that also serves as a fundraiser for the Nam Vets Association of the Cape and Islands Food Pantry.

Dr. Moore's acrylic on canvas features one of the first footprints on the moon, from July 20, 1969. In the dark shadow of the footprint are the names of the 16 U.S. service men who died in Vietnam on that same day. The picture provides a reminder of the events of that day and invites discussion of the meaning of service and glory for one's country.

Poster copies of his painting "Moon Over Saigon" will be on sale through the website, with all proceeds to benefit the food pantry. A copy of the poster (below) is currently on display in the CHC lobby.


Other Fun Facts.....
Michael Smith, Associate Director of Admissions and his team of two other Westborough dads defeated 36 trivia teams to win the annual citywide Westborough Trivia Bee, sponsored by the Westborough Education Foundation. Mike and his team won the trophy representing the Mill Pond School Parent Group, where Mike's daughter Shayna is a fourth-grader.

Happy Birthday to these lucky Fitchburg residents (who receive presents TWICE during this holiday season!)

11/29 Katie Fitzgerald (PGY-2)
11/30 Mouhanad Ayach (PGY-3 )    
12/11 Elliot Schaeffer (PGY-1)
12/26 Amanda Iantosca (PGY-1)

Got news for our next newsletter?

Contact Dr. Ledwith at 
or Michael Smith, Associate Director of Admissions, at