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April 2008

April 28 - Dr. Thompson on WZZM-13

Jessica Stone is a 22-year-old who recently learned she would need brain surgery to remove a tumor. The surgery for her neurofibromatosis would save her life, but in all likelihood would cost her the ability to hear. WZZM-13 followed Jessica in the days leading up to her surgery, during the surgery and in the difficult days afterward. The story also shows Jessica's family receiving some unexpected good news from B. Gregory Thompson, M.D., of Neurosurgery. He tells them: "You know, we got to the end and she still had a hearing wave. It would be near miraculous. Our hearing people checked it over and over and I've never seen anything like it." The station will follow Jessica's story as she is tested for a cochlear implant.

April 26 - Heart devices and Dr. Pagani are in the news

The FDA's approval last week of the HeartMate II, an implantable device that helps failing hearts pump blood, and the coming trial of another heart-assist device developed by an Ann Arbor company, have made this an exciting time for such technologies.

Francis Pagani, M.D., Ph.D., Cardiac Surgery, who heads the Center for Circulatory Support at the U-M Cardiovascular Center, has been featured in at least two news articles already: one in the May 5 issue of Forbes magazine about the HeartMate II, and the other in this past Saturday's Ann Arbor News about the Terumo DuraHeart device. Dr. Pagani is co-leading the national clinical trials of both devices. Read a press release about U-M's heart-device program, and the CVC's newly received certification from the Joint Commission, here.

April 23 - Dr. Phan's anxiety research in the news

K. Luan Phan, M.D., is new to the Psychiatry Department faculty, but his research on anxiety is already making news. As a result of this UMHS press release about his recently published paper on the role of the brain's cannabinoid system in anxiety, and a new study that is exploring anxiety, medication and genetics, his work has been covered by the UPI national newswire and the blog hosted by Discover magazine, among others.

April 17 — Dr. Greden in USA Today, more

On the first anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting, USA Today ran a major story on what colleges and universities have been doing to better handle the mental health needs of students - - and the challenges that still remain. John Greden, M.D., Psychiatry, the executive director of the U-M Depression Center was quoted in the story, which is available online here. He was also featured in the media on Monday and Tuesday as the University of Colorado announced that it is opening the nation's second comprehensive Depression Center, making it the second member of the new National Network of Depression Centers. Read the Denver Post's article here. Learn more about the national network, and about the Depression on College Campuses conference that has been held at U-M for the last six years, here and here.

April 15 — National Poll on Children's Health featured in USA Today blog, more

A recent report from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health shows that 83 percent of parents believe that the last medication prescribed for their child was FDA-approved. But some parents may be surprised to learn that less than one-third of prescription medicines available for kids have formal FDA approval for use in children. These findings, as well as a podcast with Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the National Poll on Children’s Health, and Esther Yoon, M.D., clinical lecturer and member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit in the Division of General Pediatrics, are featured in USA Today's health blog. Results from the National Poll on Children's Health report can also be found in HealthDay, the Washington Post and United Press International. News about the report also aired on WDIV-Ch. 4 in Detroit and WZZM-Ch. 13 in Grand Rapids.

Go online to read the press release, watch video and listen to the podcast.

April 11-14 — Dr. Silveira's hospice study makes news

A new study that reveals disturbing gaps in the availability of hospice care across the U.S. - - both in terms of geographic distribution, and availability in less-wealthy, less-educated communities - - is making news this week. Maria Silveira, M.D., MPH, General Medicine, led the study and presented the results Friday at the Society for General Internal Medicine meeting in Pittsburgh. Already, the study has been covered by the HealthDay newswire, the Detroit News, and Michigan Radio. Read the UMHS press release here.

April 10/11 — Dr. Meddings' painkiller research in the news

On Thursday at the Society for General Internal Medicine meeting in Pittsburgh, Jennifer Meddings, M.D., General Medicine, presented data from a project she helped lead during her residency at Ohio State University, to screen for abuse of narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin and get assistance for patients who needed help. The news media have picked up on the study, and articles have already appeared on the Reuters and Healthday newswires. Dr. Meddings was also heard on WILS-AM in Lansing last evening. Read the UMHS press release on her project, which will soon be replicated in the Taubman General Medicine Clinic and other UMHS clinics, here.

April 10 — Dr. Gurm's NEJM paper in the news

In today's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, an international team of researchers reports three-year followup data from the SAPPHIRE study, which compared carotid endarterectomy with carotid stenting for patients who need a procedure to prevent a stroke but who have health problems that make open surgery risky. They found that the two procedures offer equal stroke-risk reduction, which may help guide the treatment of many patients. Dr. Hitinder Gurm, Cardiovascular Medicine, is being quoted in stories on the WebMD and HealthDay newswires, among others. Read the UMHS press release here, and click the image to watch a video of Dr. Gurm describing the findings.

April 8 — Dr. Bolling's lab team in the news

This past Sunday at the large Experimental Biology '08 conference in San Diego, Mitch Seymour from the Cardioprotection Research Laboratory (headed by Steven Bolling, M.D., Cardiac Surgery) presented new results from the team's work on tart cherries. These antioxidant-rich fruits, commonly sold dried or frozen, are being tested in rats for their potential to affect risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and a clinical trial in humans may begin later this year. News of the promising new results presented Sunday has traveled across the country, including stories on television stations from Los Angeles to Chicago, and as part of a story on the HealthDay newswire. A story will appear in the magazine Science News shortly. Read the UMHS press release here.

April 2-4 — Dr. Pearlman on CNN, Reuters and more

If pregnant women simply wore their seatbelts, about 200 fetal deaths could be prevented each year. That's the finding of a new study, which has garnered significant news coverage this week. Stories appeared on CNN, the Reuters news wire, numerous radio and television stations, health Web sites, and more. The study debunks the myth that it is dangerous for pregnant women to wear seatbelts, says senior author Mark D. Pearlman, M.D., vice chairman of obstetrics and gynecology. Read the UMHS press release about the study here.

For more information:

Recent press releases written by the U-M Health System and Medical School

To contact a Health System or Medical School media coordinator to suggest a story idea, e-mail

List of media coordinators, and more information on the Department of Public Relations and Marketing Communications


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