Steven Donn, M.D., director, neonatal-perinatal medicine at the U-M Holden Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, recently visited the neonatal intensive care unit at Safarik University-Louis Pasteur Hospital in Kosice, Slovakia. Donn conducted a two-day symposium for Slovakian neonatalogists and spent an additional 10 days as a visiting professor, making the first steps toward establishing an exchange program between U-M and Safarik University.
This collaborative link was made possible through the Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professional Development Award. Mr. Weiser, former U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia, and his wife endowed an award in the hopes of improving educational and scientific exchange between the United States and the Slovak Republic.
Through the Weiser grant, Dr. Donn and his Kosice colleagues developed an Internet connection to facilitate real-time communication between U-M physicians and Slovakian physicians. They were also able to bring international vendors to Kosice in the hopes of outfitting the NICU with better technology and equipment.
Dr. Donn says that while the U-M can lend its expertise, technology, drugs and equipment, U-M physicians can also learn from the Slovakian physicians about being good clinicians.
"We are almost too technological in this country," says Donn. "In Slovakia they have good clinical training in going to the bedside and being more hands-on."
Donn would like to expand the program to include an exchange between U-M fellows and Slovakian physicians.
Child Gives Michigan Top Ranking
The results of a highly competitive eight-month survey by Child magazine show that the University of Michigans C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital has two of the top specialty medical programs in the country. Mott orthopaedics ranks fifth in the nation, and cardiac care ranks seventh.
"Child magazine’s evaluators recognize that we’re providing outstanding patient care, that we’re one of the largest clinical centers in the country, that our patient outcomes are excellent, and that we have an outstanding future in cardiac care research," says Albert P. Rocchini, M.D., director, division of pediatric cardiology. "Such rankings let others, especially people in our geographic area, know that there is a tremendous resource available to them."
Save A Heart
Helping Families with Basic Needs
When Save A Heart raises money for congenital heart patients, it has a major impact on the role of the University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center social workers who work so closely with the families. The annual wine and food tasting (for event details see calendar on back cover) helps social workers assist families with practical concerns such as lodging expenses, gas money, other travel expenses and other emergencies that families face when traveling to the hospital or during their children’s hospitalization. Social workers also assess the issues, based upon set guidelines and limits, to make sure the money is used responsibly. Social Worker Barb Shaltis says, "Save A Heart has been a huge help to hundreds of families in need, and we social workers are grateful for the generosity of those donating the funds."
Make the Difference Make plans to attend Save A Heart, visit www.umsaveaheart.org.
Contribute to the fund for a new childrens and womens hospital; visit www.med.umich.edu/mott/help/gift.html.