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For January, 2011

Jan. 31 - Dr. Kim talks to the New York Times about electroshock treatment

Scott Y. H. Kim, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School and member of the U-M Bioethics Program, tells the New York Times that psychiatrists refer patients to the controversial electroshock treatment to change the trajectory of their disease -- not for long-term benefit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration could take more than a year to decide whether it should recommend designating electroshock devices as high risk after studies showed short-term benefits for severely depressed patients, but no evidence of any benefit after 30 days.


Jan. 26 - Dr. Helvie: Current breast screening guidelines are flawed

Annual mammograms starting at age 40 save more women from breast cancer than mammograms done every other year in women 50 and older, says Mark A. Helvie, M.D., professor of radiology and director of breast imaging at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. Helvie is part of a team that analyzed the same evidence a U.S. advisory panel used to recommend women in their 40s to skip routine mammograms. Helvie tells MSNBC, CNBC and Reuters that the panel seemingly ignored evidence showing more frequent mammograms save more lives.


Jan. 26 - Listen to Dr. Markel on NPR's Science Friday

"Physician" is the medical term that Dr. Howard Markel will discuss at 2:50 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, Jan. 28, on National Public Radio's Science Friday. Dr. Markel, who is director of the Center for the History of Medicine, is the featured expert for "Science Diction," the program's monthly segment examining scientific and medical words. Listen to all of Dr. Markel's Science Diction segments, or read more on the Science Friday blog here.


Jan. 25 - Dr. McInnis discusses seasonal bipolar disorder with Everyday Health

Melvin McInnis, M.D., Thomas B. and Nancy Upjohn Woodworth Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression in Psychiatry and director of the U-M Depression Center, explains how seasonal sunlight leads to a mood shift in as many as 20 percent of bipolar disorder patients. "In the wintertime, people are more depressed. The patient says, 'Every January, I start to go down.' Then in the spring, the amount of sunlight destabilizes their mood to the point of them becoming manic and hypomanic," he says to Everyday Health, a provider of online health information.


Jan. 24 - Stop smoking for healthy skin, Dr. Helfrich tells MSN

Kicking your smoking habit is one way to keep your skin healthier longer, says Yolanda R. Helfrich, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology. Helfrich's tip for healthy skin is one of 17 compiled by MSN based on the latest research and experts. Helfrich led a study in 2007 that shows smoking ages skin on your body that the sun doesn't see.


Jan. 24 - Providing parents with all accurate information may ease fears of vaccinating children, says Dr. Freed

Gary L. Freed, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of U-M's Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit, tells American Medical News that physicians should provide all accurate available information to parents concerned about vaccinating their children. Physicians continue facing questions on vaccine safety despite a study purporting the measles, mumps and rubella vaccines led to autism was found to be a fraud.


Jan. 21 - Mott Hospital's Patient and Family-Centered Care Program manager weighs in on new federal rules

New federal regulations that prevent hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments from placing visitation restrictions based on sexual orientation is a step in the right direction, says Kelly Parent, who manages the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital's Patient and Family-Centered Care Program. But she says it's not enough. "I'd love to see for it be taken to the next step and say this is the family of this patient and their access should be 24/7," she says. U-M Health System officials say staff has never denied visitors based on sexual orientation, reports AnnArbor.com.


Jan. 20 - Dr. Green discusses cancer pain study with national media

A cancer pain study led by Carmen R. Green, M.D., professor of anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology and health management and policy, is making national headlines as she discusses what the findings mean for physicians treating cancer survivors. More than 40 percent of these patients experience pain, and the risk is highest among black and female patients. These results show a need for improving the quality of care and research, Green tells Yahoo News, HealthDay and MSN. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 20 - Microbe destruction worries Dr. Imperiale, reports NPR's Morning Edition

The World Health Organization is considering destroying the last known microbial strain samples of smallpox, and that worries Michael J. Imperiale, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. Scientists have historically collected various strains of viruses and bacteria for research, but the Sept. 11, 2001, and anthrax attacks spurred many to destroy microbes that could potentially be used by terrorists. "Some of these microbes might be valuable down the line," he tells NPR's Morning Edition.


Jan. 20 - Dr. Heisler talks with The Huffington Post as part of its series on diabetes change leaders

Michele Heisler, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School and research scientist for the Center for Clinical Management Research at the VA Ann Arbor's Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence, is the fifth "diabetes change leader" profiled by The Huffington Post. Heisler discusses her diabetes research, including a recent study showing peer mentoring improves diabetic adults' conditions, in this question-and-answer session. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 20 - Pearl Axelrod, co-founder of the Housing Bureau for Seniors, dies at 97

Pearl Axelrod, co-founder of the Housing Bureau for Seniors, which is part of the U-M Health System's Turner Senior Resource Clinic, died of natural causes on Sunday, Jan. 16. She was 97. Her tireless efforts to help seniors resolve housing issues earned her respect within the community, reports AnnArbor.com.


Jan. 19: Dr. Markel on Cole Porter's 27 years of pain

In his 'Literatim' column in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Howard Markel discussed composer and lyricist Cole Porter, whose charmed life was shattered by an equestrian accident. At the time of his death, only Porter's closest friend knew the extent of his many years of pain, depression and substance abuse. Dr. Markel, MD, PhD, is director of the Center for the History of Medicine.


Jan. 19 - U-M administrators discuss business incubator with local media

U-M officially opened its "Venture Accelerator," a 16,000-square-foot business incubator at the ex-Pfizer site, on Tuesday and several U-M officials were on hand to talk about its benefits. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., the CEO of the U-M Health System and U-M's executive vice president for medical affairs, tells AnnArbor.com that she sees "infinite potential" at the site. U-M President Mary Sue Coleman tells the Detroit News how she hopes the incubator will develop projects rivaling technology created on the coasts.


Jan. 18 - Orthotic shoe inserts make patients happier, says U-M Orthotics and Prosthetics Center director

Jeffrey P. Wensman, B.S.M.E., C.P.O., director of clinical and technical services at the Orthotics and Prosthetics Center at U-M, measures the success of orthotics - the shoe inserts that many athletes use to try and prevent injuries - by patient's reactions. "The vast majority of our patients are happier having them than not," he tells the New York Times about orthotics that are inserted in shoes.


Jan. 17 - Less invasive gynecologic surgery not well known among women, Dr. As-Sane tells the Detroit Free Press

There is a new less invasive option available for women with common gynecologic problems, but many don't know about it. Sawsan As-Sane, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of the U-M Medical School's minimally invasive gynecology fellowship, tells the Detroit Free Press about medical advances allowing doctors to perform hysterectomy with less-invasive approaches and why the prodecure is slow to replace traditional surgery.


Jan. 14 - Cancer pain study shows need for quality of care improvements, Dr. Green tells Science Daily

A new U-M Health System study showing cancer survivors are likely to experience pain since their diagnosis shows there's more work to be done in improving the quality of care and research, says Carmen R. Green, M.D., professor of anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology and health management and policy. Researchers found the pain experience to be worse for blacks and women, and patient and physician knowledge and attitudes may lead to poor pain management, Green tells Science Daily. UMHS Press Release


Jan. 14 - More Michigan employers, insurers using U-M's concept of value-based insurance design, says Dr. Fendrick

Value-based insurance design is expanding in Michigan, says A. Mark Fendrick, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School, professor of health management and policy at the U-M School of Public Health and co-director of the U-M's Center for Value-Based Insurance Design. Fendrick, who is a co-creator of value-based insurance design, tells Crain's Detroit Business how the concept is progressing as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services develops implementation regulations for value-based insurance design.


Jan. 13 - Dr. Simeone talks about pancreatic cancer on Dr. Oz Show

Diane Simeone, M.D., director of the Cancer Center's gastrointestinal oncology program, sat down with cardiovascular surgeon Mehmet Oz on Wednesday to discuss pancreatic cancer on his nationally syndicated Dr. Oz Show. Simeone also details her pancreatic cancer research to date and future work in an article featured on the show's website.


Jan. 11 - Michael Douglas is tumor-free, but Dr. Wolf tells ABC News the actor is at risk for recurrence

Actor Michael Douglas is tumor-free after months of treatment for late-stage throat cancer and Gregory T. Wolf, M.D., professor and chair emeritus of otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School, says it's not uncommon for this type of cancer to be in complete remission at this point. Wolf tells ABC News that tongue-based cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection "have excellent 'cure' rates," but those survival rates are lower for patients who smoke and drink, such as Douglas. The actor's tumor was at the base of his tongue, but it is unknown if the cancer was positive for HPV.


Jan. 11 - Dr. Simeone to appear Wednesday on Dr. Oz Show

Diane Simeone, M.D., director of the Cancer Center's gastrointestinal oncology program, will discuss pancreatic cancer on the nationally syndicated Dr. Oz Show on Wednesday, Jan. 12. The program airs locally at 3 p.m. on Channel 4. The show will focus on pancreatic cancer, including the latest research. The Dr. Oz Show is hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiovascular surgeon who was previously a frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. View a promotional clip of the show.


Jan. 11 - "Depression gene" research continues to make national headlines as Dr. Sen talks with Time

U-M Health System research confirming the existence of a "depression gene" continues to garner national attention as Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry who led the study, discusses its implications with Time. Sen stresses that although he and his colleagues show the gene seems to play a role in triggering depression in some people, it is only one of many factors contributing to the development of the mental disorder. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 10 - Dr. Kao discusses stomach bacteria, inflammatory bowel disease research on The Health Show

John Y. Kao, M.D., assistant professor of Gastroenterology, talks with The Health Show about his research showing a common stomach bacterium, known as Helicobacter pylori, may fight inflammatory bowel disease caused by Salmonella. Kao's study suggests that H-pylori could have an anti-inflammatory effect on the system and may explain why people in Asia and Africa get fewer inflammatory bowel diseases, like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 10 - U-M physical activity coordinator gives Detroit Free Press advice on finding ideal gym

For those looking to purchase a gym or fitness center membership at the right price, it's worth shopping around and visiting some of your top choices, says Jess Sobolewski, a physical activity coordinator for the U-M employee wellness program MHealthy. Many places won't put prices online, so your best bet is to visit or call, Sobolewski says to the Detroit Free Press.


Jan. 10 - National Web chat with Dr. Rosen sheds light on growing problem of children with eating disorders

Highlights of the Chicago Tribune's live Web chat with Dr. David S. Rosen, M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, internal medicine and psychiatry, is featured in the Los Angeles Times. 'We should start to be concerned when children express weight concerns … or if their activity level suddenly rises outside of usual recreational or athletic activities,' Rosen told those who joined last week's discussion. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 10 - New research on male baldness is promising, but Dr. Dlugosz says no guarantee it works

New research from the University of Pennsylvania suggests male baldness may be reversible by stimulating the stem cells in hair follicles, but Andrzej A. Dlugosz, M.D., Poth Professor of Cutaneous Oncology in the Department of Dermatology at the U-M Medical School, cautions that there still is no evidence that these stem cells would respond to stimuli. Dlugosz was not involved in the study. "There is no guarantee that the stem cells in this setting would still be responsive to stimuli that effectively activate normal follicle stem cells," Dlugosz tells the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Jan. 7 - Dr. Blaum answers group practice demonstration project questions from Becker's Hospital Review

The U-M Health System saved Medicare more than $15 million over four years while participating in the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration Project. Now, Caroline Blaum, M.D., M.S., professor of internal medicine and geriatrics, associate chief of geriatric medicine and a research scientist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, shares her insight with Becker's Hospital Review into what UMHS initiatives led to these savings while simultaneously improving patient care. Blaum is the UMHS project leader in the demonstration project. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 6 - Dr. Chey discusses new antibiotic therapy for common gastrointestinal disorder with media

William D. Chey, M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Michigan Bowel Control Program, speaks with Discovery News and ScienceNews about his groundbreaking work on developing a new antibiotic therapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Rifaximin is the first potential drug treatment to provide patients with relief of their symptoms for up to 10 weeks, Chey says. UMHS Press Release


Jan. 5 - Drs. Simeone and Brenner discuss significance of U-M Cancer Center's $10.7M grant

Dr. Diane M. Simeone, professor of surgery and associate chair of surgery research at the U-M Medical School, tells the Michigan Daily that the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center's $10.7 million grant to research colorectal and pancreatic cancers enhances U-M's research program. Simeone is a principal investigator of a grant-funded project on pancreatic cancer and agreed with grant principal investigator Dr. Dean E. Brenner, professor of internal medicine and pharmacology at the U-M Medical School and the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System, that the funding is a "major effort" to apply new findings toward clinical settings. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 4 - Dr. Rosen answers questions during live chat today with the Chicago Tribune

Join Dr. David S. Rosen, M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, internal medicine and psychiatry, at 1 p.m. EST today as he chats live with the Chicago Tribune's health reporter Deborah Shelton about children's eating disorders. Rosen was the lead author of a recent American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report on youth eating disorders and will discuss the findings and answer questions. To participate in the free event, visit either the Los Angeles Times or Chicago Tribune.


Jan. 4 - New U-M Health System research reinforces idea of "depression gene," says Dr. Sen

Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, and his colleagues examined 54 studies on a gene believed to affect a person's chances of developing depression and found strong evidence supporting its existence. The new research reinforces previous studies showing that the gene, known as the "depression gene," exists after a smaller 2009 meta-analysis called the gene's predictive power into question, reports ABC News, Fox News and the Los Angeles Times. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 4 - Dr. Dorfman discusses new study on radiation exposure, children with national media

Care providers should exercise caution when using radiation technology, such as CT scans or X-rays, on children, says Dr. Adam L. Dorfman, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases and of radiology. Dorfman is the lead author of a new study concluding that the average child will have absorbed radiation from more than seven scans by age 18, potentially raising their long-term risk of cancer. Time and the New York Times reports the study urges doctors to "ensure appropriate use" of the technology. UMHS Press Release.


Jan. 3 - UMHS CEO selected as one of 10 Newsmakers of the Year by Crain's Detroit Business

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., the CEO of the U-M Health System and U-M's executive vice president for medical affairs, is one of 10 individuals recognized as 2010 Newsmakers of the Year by Crain's Detroit Business. The newspaper praises Pescovitz's efforts to increase the Health System's statewide footprint since arriving in 2009. The creation of the North Campus Research Complex at the site of the former 174-acre Pfizer Inc. campus, formation of the Physician Organization of Michigan and partnership with the Grand Rapids-based Physicians’ Organization of Western Michigan are listed as some of her major achievements.


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