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For October, 2010

Oct. 28- U-M Health System forms new partnership with Physicians’ Organization of Western Michigan

On Wednesday, U-M Health System officials announced the formation of the of the Physician Organization of Michigan, a new partnership with the Grand Rapids-based Physicians’ Organization of Western Michigan. Ora Pescovitz, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of the UMHS, and David A. Spahlinger, M.D., clinical associate professor of internal medicine, executive director of the U-M faculty group practice and senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the U-M Medical School, discuss how the new network will help independent doctors and small group practices, reports AnnArbor.com, Crain's Detroit Business and the Michigan Business Review.


Oct. 27- Dr. Iwashyna discusses significance of post-sepsis problems in elderly

A team of U-M Health System researchers found older adults who survived severe sepsis were more likely to develop long-term physical or cognitive problems, reports multiple media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC and the Los Angeles Times. Theodore J. Iwashyna, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and the study's lead author, tells media that preventing sepsis could reduce health care costs and the burden on patients' families.


Oct. 27- Dr. Jentzen weighs in on X-ray equipment discussion after death of Michigan banker

The Detroit News asks Jeffrey M. Jentzen, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology, director of U-M's autopsy and forensic services and chairman of the National Association of Medical Examiners' Inspection and Accreditation Committee, about differences in X-ray equipment in medical examiners' offices. The discussion occurs after a second autopsy on banker David Widlak revealed a gunshot wound previously missed by Macomb County's medical examiner.


Oct. 27- Dr. Silver: New guidelines address almost all aspects of use of anemia drugs

Samuel M. Silver, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine and assistant dean for research at the U-M Medical School, discusses new guidelines on the use of a specific class of drugs in cancer patients who have anemia, reports US News and World Report. Silver says the joint guidelines, issued by the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, address nearly all aspects on the use of the drugs.


Oct. 26- Dr. Halter highlights how the U-M Health System caters to needs of the elderly

Sharing electronic medical records and expanding faculty trained in geriatrics are among the U-M Health System's efforts to cater to a growing elderly population, says Jeffrey B. Halter, M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the U-M Geriatrics Center and Institute of Gerontology. "We really feel we need to work on the whole health system and improve the integration and the transitions of care to minimize the risks, problems, and miscommunications and so forth," Halter says to the Detroit News.


Oct. 25- Dr. Katz explains importance of talking about breast reconstructive surgery earlier with patients

Steven J. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., professor of internal medicine and director of health services research at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, says informing breast cancer patients earlier about breast reconstruction surgery could influence their primary treatment decision. Katz tells ABC 12 that some women become overwhelmed by the number of decisions related to their care and overlook the surgery.


Oct. 25- U-M employees shave heads, add pink highlights to raise money for breast cancer patients and families

U-M pathologists, colleagues and staff went bald Sunday, Oct. 24 during a breast cancer fund-raiser. AnnArbor.com captured photographs of the volunteers having their heads shaved or receiving pink highlights. Jeffrey L. Myers, M.D., professor of pathology and founder of Bold for the Cure, the newly organizing nonprofit behind the event, organized the event.


Oct. 22- Drs. Hayes and Pierce named to Susan G. Komen for the Cure's new advisory council

Two U-M breast cancer specialists joined a "brain trust" of more than 60 top-ranking scientists, clinicians and advocates to guide the extensive research program of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization. Daniel F. Hayes, M.D., professor of internal medicine and co-director of the U-M Breast Care Center, and Lori J. Pierce, M.D., professor of radiation oncology, were named inaugural members of Komen for the Cure's new Scientific Advisory Council, reports the Ann Arbor Journal.


Oct. 22- U-M patient, survivor of US-23 crash that killed 5 recounts final memories

Humphrey Petersen-Jones, a Michigan State University freshman and a patient at the U-M Hospital who survived an Oct. 10 crash on US-23 that killed his three friends, recalls the final hours he spent with them to the Lansing State Journal. The State Journal, Livingston Daily and Detroit Free Press report Melissa E. Brunsvold, M.D., clinical assistant professor of general surgery at the U-M Medical School, expected Petersen-Jones to be transferred to the rehabilitation hospital Thursday, Oct. 21.


Oct. 21- Tune in to Dr. Markel on NPR's Science Friday

"Cancer" is the scientific term that Dr. Howard Markel will discuss at 3:50 p.m. Eastern Time this Friday, Oct. 22 on National Public Radio's Science Friday. Markel is director of the Center for the History of Medicine, and is the featured expert for "Science Diction," a monthly Science Friday segment examining scientific and medical words. Listen live or download the podcast here, or tune in to Michigan Radio WUOM at 91.7 FM.


Oct. 20- U-M researchers find peer support benefits diabetes patients

Michele Heisler, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of internal medicine at the U-M’s Medical School and a research scientist for the Center for Clinical Management Research at the VA Ann Arbor’s Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, talks with CNN and MSN about a new approach to help diabetes patients manage their disease. Heisler, the study's lead author, says weekly support sessions with their peers improved the patients' blood sugar levels better than those only using traditional nurse care.


Oct. 20- Dr. Kutcher talks with ABC News about the care of paralysis patients

Jeffrey S. Kutcher, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, director of the Michigan NeuroSport Concussion Program and chairman of the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Neurology Section, gives ABC News a glimpse into what Eric LeGrand, a Rutgers University football player who recently suffered a spinal cord injury, could face in his future. "In rehab, doctors will start with the smallest movements, and try and support those movements with exercises that will improve the strength for bigger movements," he says. Kutcher appeared live on the Grand Rapids NBC affiliate WOOD-TV on Tuesday evening and live on Wednesday's Frank Beckmann show on WJR.


Oct. 19- Dr. Nicholas explains why Medicare's current hospital reporting process is ineffective

A study released by Lauren H. Nicholas, Ph.D., a research fellow at the U-M Institute for Social Research, and colleagues is casting doubt on Medicare's methods for reducing surgical deaths and complications, reports the Wall Street Journal. Currently, the Hospital Compare Web site offers patients information on hospitals' medical processes, but Nicholas, the paper's lead author, says Medicare should focus on measuring medical outcomes.


Oct. 19- U-M Health System-led study shows almost 10 percent reduction in surgical complications at 16 Michigan hospitals

Darrell A. Campbell Jr., M.D., professor of surgery, chief medical officer at the U-M Health System and the study's lead author, talks with Bloomberg about a new U-M Health System-led study showing 16 hospitals statewide cut surgical complications by almost 10 percent. David A. Share, M.D., M.P.H., U-M adjunct clinical assistant professor of family medicine and executive medical director for health-care quality at Detroit-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, says the system encourages competing institutions to work together to prevent complications.


Oct. 18- Dr. Newman answers five questions about breast cancer in the Detroit Free Press

Lisa A. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Breast Care Center at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, answers questions from the Detroit Free Press about black women and breast cancer, including why this cancer should be of particular concern to black women.


Oct. 18- Study led by Dr. McCauley suggests osteoporosis drug can regrow bone in jaw

Laurie K. McCauley, D.D.S., Ph.D., chair of the U-M department of periodontic and oral medicine, says an osteoporosis drug could help rebuild bone in patients with severe periodontal disease, reports Fox News, MSN and Reuters. McCauley led a study of 40 patients who underwent surgery on their jaws and received the drug or a placebo.


Oct. 15- Dr. Greenhawt recommends those with egg allergies receive influenza vaccine

Matthew J. Greenhawt, M.D., M.B.A., clinical lecturer in the U-M Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and a member of the U-M Food Allergy Program, tells MSNBC that he and a colleague from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., recommend administering the influenza vaccine to individuals with egg allergies under the supervision of an allergist or immunologist. Flu vaccines are produced inside chicken eggs and previously has raised concerns whether those with egg allergies would have a reaction to a protein in the vaccine.


Oct. 14- Dr. Helvie offers explanation for how a mammogram can miss tumors

Mark A. Helvie, M.D., professor of radiology and director of breast imaging at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, explains to CNN how a dense breast can make it difficult to spot cancers on a mammogram and increase a patient's chances of developing breast cancer.


Oct. 14- U-M, biotech firm to develop new nanotechnology to prevent battlefield infections

U-M's Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a new way to treat soldiers' infections in conjunction with the Ann Arbor-based biotech firm NanoBio Corp. James R. Baker Jr., M.D., CEO of NanoBio and director of the U-M institute, tells multiple media outlets, including the Ann Arbor Business Review and Crain's Detroit Business, about the importance of developing this technology.


Oct. 13 - U-M, Peking University executives gather in Ann Arbor to launch new joint institute

U-M and Peking University officials gathered Tuesday in Ann Arbor to sign an agreement officially establishing a joint institute to pursue medical technologies, reports AnnArbor.com, Crain's Detroit Business and the Michigan Daily. Ora Pescovitz, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of the U-M Health System, stressed the importance of the U-M Medical School continuing to seek global partnerships, such as the one with Peking University, if it is to become a global leader in medicine.


Oct. 12 - Dr. Morgenstern's research educates underserved populations on stroke care, reverses trend

The Associated Press reports research conducted by Lewis B. Morgenstern, M.D., professor of neurology and neurosurgery and director of the U-M Stroke Program, is helping to reverse a trend seen among many stroke sufferers, especially black and Hispanic patients. Those suffering a stroke from underserved populations often hesitate to seek fast care, he says. Morgenstern leads a major study in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Mexican-Americans were 40 percent less likely than whites to call 911 for a stroke.


Oct. 11 - Dr. Green offers insight into New York mayor's attempt to bar use of food stamps for sweetened drinks

In MedPage Today, Lee A. Green, M.D., M.P.H., professor of family medicine and director of the Great Lakes Research in Practice Network, weighs in on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to institute a ban on the use of food stamps to buy soda and other sweetened drinks. Green tells MedPage Today that medical literature shows that sugary drinks contribute to obesity, but says some could argue that the poor should have the same right to make unhealthy food choices.


Oct. 8 - NY Times highlights Dr. Schwenk's study on depression, medical students

The New York Times speaks with Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., professor and chair of family medicine and associate director of the U-M Depression Center, about his study on medical students and depression. In the study, Schwenk and a team of researchers found medical students who are depressed or prone to depression often believe they are viewed as inadequate and incompetent by those around them. "If this is the way that students view each other,” Schwenk says, “how do they view their patients who are depressed or struggling with mental illness?”


Oct. 8 - Dr. Hammer responds to cancer patient's letter to doctors

Gary D. Hammer, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine and director of the U-M Endocrine Oncology Program, writes a moving letter in response to AnnArbor.com contributor and Ann Arbor resident Betsy de Parry, who was diagnosed with follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in January 2002. Last week, AnnArbor.com published a letter de Parry wrote to cancer doctorsoutlining questions and concerns regarding her treatment.


Oct. 7 - Dr. Wicha reveals key to cancer patient survival at World Stem Cell Summit presentation

On the third and final day of the sixth annual World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit, Max S. Wicha, M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of U-M's Comprehensive Cancer Center, told an audience that the key to cancer patient survival is targeting cancer stem cells. Crain's Detroit Business reports that during his presentation, Dr. Wicha explained that current cancer therapies generally target all cells in a tumor.


Oct. 6 - Dr. Kutcher explains difficulties of gathering consistent concussion data to Philadelphia Inquirer

Jeffrey S. Kutcher, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, director of the Michigan NeuroSport Concussion Program and chairman of the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Neurology Section, tells the Philadelphia Inquirer that obtaining consistent data on the unseen impacts of a concussion is difficult. "Concussion is not like an ACL injury. Everybody's knee is essentially the same. We know what it does, we know what it should do," allowing for a standard treatment protocol, says Kutcher. "Brains are way too diverse for that."


Oct. 6 - Dr. Dengiz speaks about geriatrics with the Detroit Free Press

Alan N. Dengiz, M.D., assistant professor of geriatric medicine, tells the Detroit Free Press that he finds fulfillment by helping his elderly patients deal with the often complex and bitter aging process. The Free Press reports that the demand for specialists in geriatrics, such as Dengiz, will continue to increase as the U.S. population ages. "The way I teach it to the medical students and the residents (is, especially for the extremely old), 'You focus on keeping the older individual as independent as possible and making them comfortable and functional. But you're not focusing on curing, because you're not going to cure a whole heck of lot at that point,' " says Dengiz.


Oct. 5 - U-M scientists shine at World Stem Cell Summit, discuss political threats to research

U-M scientists are under the spotlight this week as multiple groundbreaking U-M-led stem cell clinical trials are among the highlights of a global gathering at the World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit. But Sean Morrison, Ph.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology at the U-M Life Sciences Institute, tells the Detroit News federal courts could do "serious damage" to future stem cell research.


Oct. 5 - U-M Medical School's creation of joint institute with Peking University reported in local media

Joseph C. Kolars, M.D., professor of internal medicine and U-M's senior associate dean for education and global initiatives, tells the Ann Arbor Business Review what sets the joint institution between the U-M Medical School and the Peking University Health Science Center apart from other investigator-to-investigator partnerships. "What's different here is that we're really setting up a structure and a platform for new collaborative work, and Peking University is making a major financial investment, as are we," says Kolars.


Oct. 4 - Multiple media outlets report on U-M researchers' creation of new stem cell line

Multiple media outlets, including the Detroit Free Press, AnnArbor.com and the Detroit News, report on U-M researchers successfully creating their first human embryonic stem cell line. The new stem cell line, called UM4-6, is one of about 76 known to have been created nationwide and the first in Michigan, says Gary Smith, Ph.D., leader of the derivation project at the U-M Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies. The announcement came on the eve of the World Stem Cell Summit, which runs today through Wednesday in Detroit.


Oct. 4 - North Campus Research Complex executive director announces major investment to renovate ex-Pfizer complex

David Canter, executive director of the U-M's North Campus Research Complex, tells AnnArbor.com that U-M expects a "major" investment in upgrades to the 174-acre ex-Pfizer complex and anticipates about 1,000 employees working at the site within two years. Canter says U-M plans to create "the largest university-based health systems research group anywhere in the world" at the site.


Oct. 1 - Dr. Wicha's stem cell clinical trials reported in UPI

UPI reports on the groundbreaking stem cell clinical trials launched by Max S. Wicha, M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of U-M's Comprehensive Cancer Center. Wicha and researchers hope the trials, which are being conducted on women with advanced-stage breast cancer, will lead to treatments.


Oct 1 - Dr. Howell, his artwork featured in the Morning Sun

The Morning Sun profiles David D. Howell, M.D., assistant professor of radiation oncology and medical director of radiation oncology at the Norval K. Morey Cancer Center in Mt. Pleasant, part of the U-M Radiation Oncology Network, and his artwork in a recent article. Howell's U-M-inspired artwork, called "Michigan Triptych," is on display at ArtPrize, a Grand Rapids-based international art competition.


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