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August 2006

Aug. 31 - Drs. Vijan, Rosen in Washington Post, Wall Street Journal

A new paper in the New England Journal of Medicine that examines the value of health care spending in the U.S. from 1960 to 2000 is getting widespread coverage today. Allison Rosen, M.D., MPH, Sc.D., and Sandeep Vijan, M.D., General Medicine/VA, co-wrote the paper with their collaborator from Harvard University. They are quoted in several stories; follow these links to read stories in the Washington Post, Detroit News HealthDay newswire and Scientific American online. They are also featured in a Wall Street Journal article; it is only available online to subscribers but can be obtained by calling Public Relations, 764-2220. Read the Harvard University press release here.

Aug. 29/30 - Dr. Waljee in NY Times, CNN, Reuters

Does a surgeon's age predict a patient's outcome? That's the question a newly published study - led by Jennifer Waljee in the Department of Surgery - explores. The study's results, along with interviews with Dr. Waljee, appear this week in the New York Times, Reuters and on CNN. To learn more about the study, read the UMHS press release.

Aug. 27 and 29 - Dr. Kees in NY Times, Observer-Eccentric

Earlier this month, UMHS psychologist Michelle Kees, Ph.D., Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, was featured in a UMHS Health Minute video and press release on back-to-school anxiety. Today, she is quoted on that subject in a health column in the New York Times by Jane Brody (available online with free subscription here ). And on Sunday, the family of Observer and Eccentric newspapers that reaches tens of thousands of readers in Oakland and Wayne counties featured her in their lead health story. TV stations around the state have also used video soundbites taken from the Health Minute package; you can see one of them online with the press release here.

Aug. 28 - Dr. Zubieta in Crain's Detroit Business

Monday's issue of Crain's Detroit Business contained a story on a $2 million gift to the Depression Center that is funding a named professorship and a research fund for Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D., Psychiatry/Radiology/MBNI. The gift, from Ann Arbor businessman Phil Jenkins, has created the new Phil F. Jenkins Research Professorship of Depression in the Department of Psychiatry. Mr. Jenkins, who built a family business into a leading manufacturer of industrial sweeping equipment, watched his wife Lyn struggle with depression before her death in 1999. He has also given $2 million to support the construction of the Rachel Upjohn Building, which will open this October on the east medical campus and will house the Depression Center as well as outpatient psychiatry and substance abuse clinics, and Psychiatry research offices. The Crain's article is available online to subscribers here; call Public Relations at 764-2220 for a copy of the article. The story was also covered Aug. 31 in the Ann Arbor News and Ann Arbor Business Review; read the UMHS press release here.

Aug. 24 - Stroke studies continue to receive coverage

A new study on the risks of a second stroke, especially among Mexican-Americans, is receiving news coverage, and a recent study on the total cost of stroke is still making the news. Both studies are from the U-M Stroke Program. The first, led by Lynda Lisabeth, Ph.D., School of Public Health/Neurology, was featured in stories on the UPI , Ivanhoe, WebMD and HealthDay newswires, among others. The second, led by Devin Brown, M.D., Neurology, was recently covered by the Copley News Service and was featured in a major story in the Aug. 30 issue of the Ann Arbor News. Read the press release on the second-stroke study here and on the cost-of-stroke study here.

Aug. 22 - Dr. Richardson in Detroit News

Walking, which can improve cardiovascular function, reduce blood pressure, help prevent or treat depression and help maintain muscles and bones, is a popular exercise that is better than some more intense exercises in terms of adherence, says a story in the Detroit News. The story lists several recommendations from Caroline R. Richardson, M.D. - assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine - for starting a walking program. She suggests new walkers find an exercising buddy, get a pedometer to count steps and stay motivated, schedule regular walks in a PDA or on a calendar and start slowly.

Aug. 21 - Dr. Feldman in Crain's Detroit

A major story in this week's Crain's Detroit Business focuses on the research of Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., and the financial support she has received from major donors. The story especially looks at support for her research on ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). It also promotes a fundraising event that will be held Sept.16 to raise money for her team's work. The event is being hosted by U-M donor Alfred Taubman. The story is available online to subscribers only, or you can request the story from public relations at 734.764.2220.

Aug. 17 - Dr. Brown's stroke study gets wide press coverage

A new study led by Devin Brown, M.D., M.S., Neurology/Stroke Program, is getting widespread press coverage today after its publication in the journal Neurology. The study, which calculates a projected societal cost of stroke of $2.2 trillion for the next 45 years, was published online early because of its importance. Follow these links to read stories on the HealthDay, UPI, Reuters, and WebMD newswires, which are all used by many news outlets. Dr. Brown also gave interviews on WWJ-AM Detroit and Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor/Grand Rapids/Flint). Read the UMHS press release about her study here. The American Academy of Neurology, which publishes the journal, has issued a call for more federal stroke-research funding based on the findings of the new study -- read their statement here.

August - Ann Arbor editorial gives School A-plus

Earlier this month, the Ann Arbor Business Review published an article describing the Medical School's proprietary business applications that allow for real-time financial data. This week's editorial in the Review gives the Medical School an A-plus for developing one of the most advanced financial reporting systems of its type. The editorial applauded William Elger and his staff, noting the product was developed locally and has promise commercially because of the strong interest other medical schools have in the system. The editorial is not available on-line.

August 15 - Tonight: Dr. Wei on ABC World News

At 6:30 p.m., John Wei, M.D., M.S., associate professor of urology, will appear on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson to discuss the findings of a new U-M study on prostate cancer.

The study, published in the Aug. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, reveals that more than half of men with a lower-risk prostate cancer who could potentially benefit from a wait-and-see approach were potentially overtreated, receiving immediate surgery or radiation therapy instead. A UMHS press release with more details about the study is available here.

World News with Charles Gibson can be seen locally on WXYZ-Ch. 7. An estimated 8 million people nationwide tune in to the show weekdays.

Aug. 14 - Dr. Flynn on Michigan Radio, WDET, more

A new study led by Heather Flynn, Ph.D., Psychiatry, finds that many pregnant women who are experiencing major depression aren't getting proper care for that condition. Within hours of the release of a UMHS press release on the paper, Dr. Flynn gave interviews to Michigan Radio (heard locally on 91.7 FM), WDET FM Detroit (101.9 FM) and Ann Arbor Radio, which broadcasts news on four stations including WQKL-FM (107.1 FM). More news coverage is expected in coming days.

Aug. 13 - Dr. Fendrick on national AP wire

A major story by the Associated Press on the costs, benefits and tricky decisions surrounding modern medical treatments quotes many experts from around the nation, including Mark Fendrick, M.D., General Medicine/Public Health. Read the story, which has been picked up by numerous newspapers and web news outlets, here.

Aug. 11 - Dr. Markel on NPR's All Things Considered

Thursday's All Things Considered, which airs on most National Public Radio affiliates nation-wide, included an interview with Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for the History of Medicine. He talked of the fascination Americans have with the human cadavers featured in exhibits being hosted at several science museums around the country. Dr. Markel also called for a 'pristine and transparent' consent process and paper trail for any human cadavers used in exhibits.

Aug. 11 - Dr. Feldman on Channel 4 Monday

The noon newscast on WDIV-TV Channel 4 Detroit will feature a report on an upcoming charity event that will help support research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, by Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., Neurology and her team. Reporter Dell Warner interviewed Dr. Feldman recently at her lab, and also visited Florine Mark, the founder of Weight Watchers, who lost her husband to ALS. Ms. Mark's daughter is helping organize the Sept. 16 charity event, which will be hosted by developer and U-M donor A. Alfred Taubman. For more on the event, click here.

Aug. Issue - Dr Pribble in Self magazine

The new issue of Self magazine, which is aimed at health-conscious women, features a story about a recent study led by Jim Pribble, M.D., Emergency Medicine. The study examined the quality of health news on local television stations, and found much room for improvement -- both by reporters and by the medical experts they turn to for news. Look for the August issue on newsstands now, and read the UMHS press release about the study here.

Aug. 8 Dr Hanna in Ann Arbor News, HealthDay, Psych News

A recent paper by a team led by Gregory Hanna, M.D., Psychiatry, and his colleagues at U-M, Chicago and Toronto, has been making news lately. The study finds a strong link between variations in a gene for a glutamate transporter in the brain, and risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Today's Ann Arbor News has a brief article on the study, and it was featured on the HealthDay newswire last week; read that article here. The Psychiatric News, published by the American Psychiatric Association, has done an in-depth look at the research; read that article here. Dr Hanna also gave radio interviews to WWJ-AM and WQKL-FM about the finding. The UMHS press release on the research is here.

Aug. 7 - Drs Greden, McInniss in front-page article in Crain's

The front page of this week's issue of Crain's Detroit Business contains a story on U-M Depression Center research on the genetics of bipolar disorder, also sometimes called manic depression. John Greden, M.D., and Melvin McInnis, M.D., Psychiatry/ Depression Center, are both quoted, and a new venture between U-M and Johns Hopkins University to accelerate the search for genes involved in bipolar disorder is mentioned. The story also addresses the issue of how genetic discoveries such as those made at U-M can be translated into commercial products such as diagnostic tests and innovative treatments. And, it describes how the gift of Mrs. Waltraud Prechter, who lost her husband to suicide after a long struggle with bipolar disorder, is aiding the research. A sidebar article describes an upcoming fundraising event to support U-M bipolar research. Read the story online here and the sidebar here. (Call Public Relations at 764-2220 if you have difficulty accessing them.) Read the UMHS press release on the U-M/Hopkins venture here.

Aug 7 - Drs. Chervin and Arnedt in Physician's Weekly

Each week, a giant poster-sized newspaper called Physician's Weekly is posted in hospitals and private-practice physician offices nationwide, aimed at informing clinicians about the latest in diagnosis and treatment. An online version reaches clinicians electronically. This week, the publication features a major article on insomnia contributed by Ronald Chervin, M.D., M.S., Neurology, and J. Todd Arnedt, Ph.D., Psychiatry/Neurology. Both are sleep clinicians and researchers at UMHS; Chervin directs the Sleep Disorders Center and the Michael S. Aldrich Sleep Disorders Laboratory in Neurology, and Arnedt is the director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program and a member of the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory of the U-M Depression Center. Read their article here.

Aug. 3 - William Elger describes business software plans

In an article appearing in the current edition of the Ann Arbor Business Review, William Elger, Medical School CFO, describes the trio of software applications the School has developed to provide real-time strategic financial reporting. Karen Dannemiller, Medical School Information Services, was also quoted. Mr. Elger says the U-M now has the most advanced financial reporting system of any medical school in the country. Other medical schools have expressed interest in the Web-based proprietary system.

Aug. 2 - Tune in to see Dr. Freed on ABC World News

At 6:30 p.m., Gary L. Freed, M.D., The Percy and Mary Murphy Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of General Pediatrics, will appear on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson to discuss childhood vaccinations.

Tonight's show will focus on a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found the measles cases in the 2005 outbreak in Indiana were confined to children whose parents had refused to have them vaccinated out of concern for their safety.

Having cared for children dying from measles during the epidemics of the late 1980s, Dr. Freed's interview will offer insight into the physical and emotional
devastation caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as provide information about perceived and actual risks associated with vaccines.

The show can be seen locally on WXYZ-Ch. 7. An estimated 8 million people nationwide tune in to World News weekdays.

Aug. 2 - Howard Markel in AP story: historic lab tests

Laboratory testing on preserved body parts are helping to solve some of history's medical mysteries. Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., of the Center for the History of Medicine, was interviewed for an Associated Press article on the recent announcement that laboratory tests indicate Spain's Charles V had gout. Dr. Markel notes that lab tests have become a unique tool in the exploration of the history of medicine and disease. Read the article, available online here (free registration required).


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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