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December 2006

Dec. 23-30 - M-CARE sale news

The final steps in the sale of M-CARE to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and its subsidiary Blue Care Network were completed during the holiday period, as two state regulatory agencies issued their approvals for the sale to proceed. Each approval resulted in news coverage, including an Ann Arbor News story on Dec. 30 that summarized the sale. As of Dec. 31, M-CARE is no longer a part of the U-M Health System. For more information on the M-CARE sale, visit the M-CARE Update page.

Dec. 23 - Heartwarming story in Ann Arbor News

The amazing story of a U-M employee who survived cardiac arrest because of quick-thinking co-workers, University police and advanced emergency care in the U-M Emergency Department appeared in the Ann Arbor News on the Saturday before Christmas - read it online here. The patient was one of the first to be treated with a new hypothermia technique that aims to preserve brain function in cardiac arrest patients; Robert Silbergleit, M.D., Emergency Medicine spoke about the technology with the News reporter and is quoted in the arcticle.

Dec. 13 - Dr. Markel's pandemic study in the news

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., Center for the History of Medicine, presented preliminary findings Monday to the Centers for Disease Control on what mechanisms reduced mortality and morbidity in the U.S. during the 1918 flu pandemic. Dr. Markel's historical research points to 'social distancing,' such as school and church closings and quarantines, as effective measures that modern public health preparedness planners should consider adopting. The Washington Post and Ann Arbor's WUOM interviewed Dr. Markel, as did writers from the Reuters and Associated Press news services. The news service stories have been published by the Detroit Free Press, ABC News, International Herald Tribune and hundreds of other newspaper, television, radio and Web-based news outlets world-wide.

Dec. 12 - Dr. Birla's heart muscle research gets attention

A new paper by a team led by Ravi Birla, Ph.D., Cardiac Surgery/Artificial Heart Lab, is getting noticed by the media and bloggers this week. The team reports its success in growing heart muscle in the laboratory using a fibrin gel as a base -- allowing them to produce "bioengineered heart muscle" patches that could eventually be used to treat heart failure patients. So far, Dr. Birla has been interviewed on WWJ-AM Detroit, and stories have appeared on the UPI newswire and the Spanish-language EFE newswire. Other stories in biotechnology and cardiovascular newsletters are expected to appear soon, and many blogs and science-news web sites have picked up on the news release issued by UMHS Public Relations.

Dec. 12 - Drs. Kales & Riba spread the word about depression

Several articles in recent days have featured U-M psychiatrists discussing depression, including the special risks that the holiday season poses to those who are prone to depression. Helen Kales, M.D., Geriatric Psychiatry/Depression Center, is featured in a story today in the Battle Creek Enquirer and was also featured in Sunday's editions of the Observer and Eccentric newspapers that serve Wayne and Oakland counties. She was interviewed for the Metro Networks radio service that feeds news to many local stations, and TV stations around the area are airing or preparing to air stories featuring her. All of this attention stemmed from a UMHS Health Minute story. Meanwhile, Michelle Riba, M.D., Psychiatry/Depression Center, was featured in an article in Twist, the women's magazine that comes with every Sunday copy of the Detroit Free Press. If you're concerned that you or someone you know might be experiencing depression, the Depression Center offers a free, anonymous online screening tool and educational information.

Dec. 8 - Ann Arbor News, Fox 2 feature Children's, Women's Hospitals

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital & Women's Hospital have been making big news this week.

Today's issue of the Ann Arbor News has not one, but two front-page stories about the new Children's & Women's Building Project. The first story, which quotes C&W Operational Planning Lead Loree Collett, RN, is an update on the status of the building project. The story also includes details about the parking/entrance changes set to occur this month at MCHC. The second, is a great story that features several Mott patients who participated Wednesday in the Pewabic Pottery Tile decorating event. This story quotes Pat Warner, and also includes information about how people can help support this fundraising project.

Earlier this week, WJBK Fox 2 Detroit ran two stories about Mott: One featuring the new Mott OR/PACU patient-sized HUMMERS, and the other highlighting the Mott Holiday Wish List.

To learn more about the Pewabic Pottery Tile fundraising project, and the Mott Holiday Wish List, visit their Web site here.

Dec. 5 - Dr. Sabel in New York Times

A study led by Michael Sabel, M.D., Cancer Center/Surgery, is featured in the New York Times. Dr. Sabel and his colleagues at the Breast Care Center found that more than half of breast cancer patients who came to a multidisciplinary center for a second opinion received a change in their recommendation for surgery. Stories also appeared on the Detroit Free Press Web site, Reuters news service and Scientific American, as well as Michigan Radio and local TV stations in New York, Boston and Chicago. Read more about the study in the UMHS press release.

Dec. 5 - Drs. Goold, Rabbani in The New Physician
November issue

The New Physician, the magazine of the American Medical Students Association, has a major article on teaching medical ethics to students and residents in its November issue, and two from U-M are quoted. Susan Goold, M.D., MHSA, M.A., the director of the U-M Medical School Bioethics Program and a member of the General Medicine faculty, and third-year Internal Medicine resident Behi Rabbani, M.D., are both featured in the story, titled "ETHICS AT THE EDGE OF LIFE: Meeting the needs and wishes of dying patients challenges students who are unprepared." The magazine's article is available online only to subscribers, by clicking here - the Taubman Medical Library also has a copy of the issue available.

Dec. 2 and 3: Dr. Richardson on CNN

It's easy to get stuck in the pattern of giving cookies, fudge and chocolates as gifts during the holiday season. But it's just as easy to give healthy gifts to your friends and family, says Caroline Richardson, M.D., of the Department of Family Medicine. Richardson discusses healthy gift ideas on CNN's "House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta," airing from 8:30-9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and 3. Richardson recommends a wide variety of gifts that can help the recipient get in shape or eat healthier; for a list of 12 ideas, read this press release.


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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