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August 2007

Aug. 30 - Look for dozens of UMHS people in today's M Edition of the Ann Arbor News!

Today's issue of the Ann Arbor News contains a three-part special section: the annual M Edition, which welcomes the start of another academic year at U-M. This year, the paper's editors decided to create a "Portrait of the University", with photos of dozens of faculty, staff and students from all around campus.

The News held three impromptu photo shoots on campus, including one in the hospital courtyard in June. Hundreds of people turned out to have their photos taken by star photographer Leisa Thompson, and many of those photos are featured in today's paper. Dozens of them show people from all around the Health System. The rest of the photos, plus the ones from the printed paper, are available on the newspaper's Web site in five "online galleries".

Some of the people who came to get their picture taken were chosen by the newspaper to be featured in short news articles because of their interesting jobs or backgrounds. Here are links to the stories about Health System people that are appearing in the M Edition:

Did you get your photo taken but you don't see it in the paper? Check out the online photo galleries. Anyone can order copies of any photo that was taken as part of this project, for personal use only. Fill out the web form or call 1-800-390-7269.

Aug. 30 - Dr. Pagani in Houston Chronicle

In today's New England Journal of Medicine, Francis Pagani, M.D., Ph.D., Cardiac Surgery, and his colleagues report the results of a large multicenter trial of the HeartMate II device, which is implanted in the chests of heart failure patients to help pump their blood until a heart transplant becomes available, or when a transplant is not possible. The paper finds that the experimental device performed well, and that 75 percent of 133 severely ill patients lived for at least six months on the device, or until they received a transplant, whichever came first. The first news stories about this paper are beginning to appear, including one in the Houston Chronicle that quotes Dr. Pagani; read it here. Read the UMHS press release on the study here.

Aug. 24 - Dr. Kutcher on Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio, the public radio network that has stations in Ann Arbor (91.7 FM), Grand Rapids and Flint, recently focused a story on the important issue of concussions among high school athletes -- and the possible long-term health effects that may result from repeated concussions. Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., Neurology, was interviewed for the story, which can be read and heard online here(To listen to the audio version of the story, click the yellow MP3 icon at the top of the page). Dr. Kutcher heads the Health System's Neurosport program, which helps elite athletes with a wide range of neurological issues.

Aug. 23 - Dr. Timothy R.B. Johnson on

The U.S. government and many obstetrical experts are working hard to reduce the number of women having C-sections, says a story on Indeed, many experts think as many as half of all C-sections are unnecessary. The article offers five ways to prevent having a C-section, including some suggestions from Timothy R.B. Johnson, M.D., chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at U-M. Some situations are true emergencies, and a C-section is necessary within minutes to save the baby's life. "That's not a time to negotiate," Johnson says. At other times, however, parents should ask questions about whether a C-section is absolutely necessary, he says. For example, if a doctor says the baby is too big to deliver vaginally, "There's a conversation to be had. You can ask, 'Doctor, are you sure the baby's too big? How big?'" Johnson said. "Our ability to guess size is not absolute. I've had babies I thought were 11 pounds that turned out to be 7 pounds. Doctors get humbled on a regular basis."

Aug. - Dr. Lash's columns on Discover Magazine site, more

This summer, Robert Lash, M.D., Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, has been writing a regular "Health Trends" column for the Web site of Discover Magazine, and answering reader questions. See his articles here. He provides two articles a month, three comments or blog entries, and answers two readers' questions -- all focusing on giving the public some perspective on a broad range of health issues and research studies that are in the news. He was chosen for this by Lluminari, Inc., a health-information company that chooses medical experts to provide trustworthy medical information on the Web and other venues.

July/Aug. — U-M Medical Student Tanyaporn Wansom in Global Health Matters for her work in Thailand

Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar Tanyaporn Wansom says she learned how to be flexible and adaptable during her stint in Thailand. A fourth-year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School, she spent a year in Chiang Mai through the Fogarty training program. In all, she spent two years in Thailand and says she served in many different roles, including health educator, English teacher, HIV testing counselor, medical interpreter, clinical researcher, advocate, activist, and most importantly, friend.To read more visit the July/August issue of Global Health Matters here (pdf).

Aug. 20 - Drs. Baker & Bielinska in the news for anthrax vaccine work

The laboratory team headed by James R. Baker, Jr. at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences has just published impressive results from its attempts to vaccinate animals against anthrax using a nanoemulsion cream that is spread inside the nose instead of injected. The paper, whose first author is Anna Bielinska, Ph.D., has captured the attention of reporters, and articles have already appeared on the Reuters newswire and on the web sites of Scientific American and New Scientist magazines. Read the UMHS press release here.

Aug. 17 - Artificial heart patient in Detroit News

Today's Detroit News has a major article, with photos, on U-M's first modern-day artificial heart patient, Phillip Hall. Read it online, and see photos, here. Mr. Hall and his wife were also heard on WJR-AM's Paul W. Smith Show on Thursday morning; you can hear the interview here. They also gave an interview to WAAM-AM's Lucy Ann Lance on Wednesday morning, and are featured in the new issue of their hometown paper the Belleville View. Read the UMHS press release about this patient, and the U-M Cardiovascular Center team that saved his life, here.

Aug. 16 - Dr. Davis live on XM radio Thursday morning

At 9 a.m. on Thursday, Matthew M. Davis, M.D., MAPP, associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine in the CHEAR Unit in the Division of General Pediatrics, will be live on "The Power" with host Joe Madison, also known as “The Black Eagle" by his listeners. On the show, Davis will discuss his recent editorial in JAMA, which highlights the reasons and remedies for underinsurance for childhood vaccines. Davis' interview will air on Radio-One WOL-AM in Washington D.C., and nationally on XM Satellite Radio channel 169. More details about the editorial can be found in the UMHS press release. Visit "The Power" online to learn more about the XM radio show.

Aug. 14 - Dr. Swindell on WWJ this afternoon

At 1:30 p.m. today, Sharon Swindell, M.D., MPH, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases will be live on WWJ-950 AM to discuss lead poisoning and children. In light of more toy recalls, Swindell will work to inform parents about lead poisoning, and risks associated with lead in toys. To listen live, go to WWJ's live stream.

Aug. 10 - Artificial heart patient and Dr. Haft on Ch 4

Nearly one year ago, Belleville resident Phillip Hall became the first Michigander to receive the modern version of the total artificial heart, which kept him alive for three weeks until he could receive a heart transplant. On Aug. 10, he and one of the surgeons who helped save his life, Jonathan Haft, M.D., Cardiac Surgery, were featured in a story on Channel 4, WDIV-TV. Read the text version of that story here. A press release on Mr. Hall's story, and on the many heart-assisting devices offered by U-M's Center for Circulatory Support (which is headed by Francis Pagani, M.D., Ph.D., Cardiac Surgery), is available here.

Aug. 8 - Dr. Davis on NPR, AP, WJR, more

In an editorial in this week's issue of JAMA, U-M pediatrician Matthew Davis, M.D., explains the reasons why many privately insured children are not covered for recommended vaccines - and offers remedies to increase child and adolescent vaccinations by making national vaccine priorities explicit and consistent across the country. News about the editorial has been featured on NPR's "All Things Considered", ABC News, WJR-AM, USA Today, Boston Globe, WebMD, Associated Press, and U.S. News & World Report. Read the press release here

Aug. 8 - Dr. Markel's pandemic study in Time, Voice of America, HealthDay

In a study published in the Aug. 8 JAMA, Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the Center for the History of Medicine and the CDC found a strong link between social restrictions and lower death rates in the U.S. during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19. He was interviewed for articles covering this study in Time Magazine, Voice of America, and HealthDay. In February, the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services incorporated the study's data into the Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation, a collection of guidelines for use by individuals and communities.

Aug. 7 - Marge Calarco, Danielle Wilson in Ann Arbor News

An Ann Arbor News article highlights the current need for nurses, as well as the future shortages that are expected. The article quotes Marge Calarco, senior associate director and chief of nursing services, about the ways U-M is working to recruit and retain nurses. One approach is the Center for Professional Development and Mentoring for nurses, which provides career coaching and other services. The article also quotes Danielle Wilson, R.N., from 7B/C, about her experience as a nurse and her thoughts on the nursing shortage.

Aug. 7 - Dr. Donn featured on ABC News online

Steven Donn, M.D., M.D., director of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at UMHS and professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, is quoted extensively today in an online ABC News story about a Florida supermarket chain's plans to provide free antibiotics. In the article, Donn outlines many of the complications and concerns surrounding over-prescribed antibiotics. The full story is available online.

Aug. 7 - Dr. Simeone in New York Times

Diane Simeone, M.D., Cancer Center/Surgery, is quoted in a story in today's New York Times about pancreatic cancer. The story describes the difficulty in treating and diagnosing pancreatic cancer and highlights research into the disease, including Dr. Simeone's recent finding of pancreatic cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are the small number of cells responsible for fueling a tumor's growth. This is a major area of research at the Cancer Center, and Dr. Simeone and her colleagues were the first to find stem cells in pancreatic tumors. Read more about the research from the UMHS press release.

Aug. 3 - Dr. Nallamothu on Michigan Radio, HealthDay newswire

One in ten heart attack patients still aren't receiving emergency angioplasty or other clot-busting treatment, despite overwhelming evidence that such care can save their lives and spare them from lasting heart-muscle damage. That's the conclusion of a major study led by Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., MPH, Cardiovascular Medicine, and his colleagues, published in the new issue of the American Journal of Medicine. News of the study's findings, and its implications for how hospitals are judged on the quality of their care, is already spreading. The HealthDay newswire, which feeds stories to numerous web sites and newspapers, has a story online here. Dr. Nallamothu has also been heard on Michigan Radio, the public radio network for southern Michigan. Read the UMHS press release on 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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