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February 2008

Feb. 26 - Dr. Tait on Reuters news wire

Obese children who undergo elective surgery typically have more additional medical conditions than their normal-weight peers do and are also at greater risk of developing adverse respiratory events after the procedure, says a story on the Reuters news wire. The study was conducted by a U-M team, led by Alan R. Tait, Ph.D., professor of anesthesiology.

Feb. 25 - MFit's Fitzgerald in HealthDay,

"Reading the labels is a great way to be guided toward healthier choices for your heart, and for general reduction of all chronic diseases today," Cathy Fitzgerald, registered dietitian with MFit, says in an article that ran in HealthDay and on One claim to look for on food labels: "May reduce the risk of heart disease." A company can only put this statement on a food if scientific evidence exists that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided is strong enough to support it, Fitzgerald notes.

Feb. 24&17 - Two U-M stories in Detroit Free Press Twist! magazine

Every Sunday, the Detroit Free Press publishes a special women's supplement called Twist that focuses on women in a broad variety of careers, and gives useful information on health and nutrition. In each of the last two issues of this Sunday supplement, stories have featured UMHS medical professionals. The Feb. 24 issue featured Shelley Hershner, M.D., and physician assistant Lizabeth Binns, P.A. of Neurology and the Sleep Disorders Center in a story about sleep apnea. On Feb. 17, the magazine featured Karen Vikstrom, Ph.D., a new member of the Cardiovascular Medicine faculty who was recruited to U-M as part of a large team from a medical school in Syracuse. That story, about the team's research on heart rhythm disorders, is available here.

Feb 21 - Dr. Langa in USA Today, Boston Globe, more
A new study led by Ken Langa, M.D., Ph.D., General Medicine/VA, is making major headlines today, following publication in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia. The study finds that memory loss and other forms of cognitive impairment are becoming less common among Americans over the age of 70 -- and the results suggest that this effect may be due in part to factors such as education, wealth and preventive health care for cardiovascular risk factors. The study is based on data from the national Health and Retirement Study, based at U-M's Institute for Social Research. Follow these links to read stories about the study in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, Reuters newswire, HealthDay newswire, CBS Radio network and the Spanish-language EFE newswire. Read the UMHS press that led to this coverage in English here and in Spanish here. Note: The story incorrectly states that Physician Assistants at UMHS have a certain role in ensuring that clinicians wash their hands. In fact, ALL faculty, staff, students and volunteers at UMHS have this responsibility!

Feb. 19 -Dr. Campbell in national Associated Press story

Today, news outlets around the country are carrying a major Associated Press story about patient safety and the Medicare agency's decision not to reimburse hospitals for treatment of certain preventable, hospital-acquired infections and injuries. The article notes U-M's leadership on many efforts to improve patient safety, and quotes Darrell Campbell, M.D., Chief of Clinical Affairs. The story also references a recent national study led by Sanjay Saint, M.D., and Sarah Krein, Ph.D., of General Medicine, on hospitals' efforts to prevent infections from urinary catheters. Read the press release about the U-M catheter study here. For more information on patient safety and quality improvement efforts at UMHS, visit either the public Quality and Safety Every Day Web site or the staff-only Quality Improvement and Safety Central sites.

Feb. 17 - Gifts of Art, Elaine Sims in front-page Free Press story

The front page of Sunday's Detroit Free Press featured a story about the increasing use of art in health care environments, and UMHS was featured prominently. The story, which you can read online here, quotes Elaine Sims, the director of the UMHS Gifts of Art Program, and a patient who comments on the importance of art to a healing environment. The printed story featured two U-M photos: one of the sculpture at the entrance to the Cardiovascular Center, and one of a folk-art bird that is displayed near the University Hospital cafeteria. For more on Gifts of Art, visit their Web site.

Feb. 13 - Dr. Dempsey in Ann Arbor News, WebMD

Amanda F. Dempsey, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, a member of the CHEAR Unit team in the Division of General Pediatrics, is quoted in the Ann Arbor News and WebMD about her new study on targeting the HPV vaccine to young adult women. The study, now online in the journal Vaccine, found that using certain risk factors, including sexual history, to determine if a woman should received the HPV vaccine could deprive more than 80 percent of eligible women from getting the vaccinated. To learn more about this study, read the online press release, listen to the podcast or watch the vodcast.

Feb. 10 - Howard Markel in United Kingdom's Observer

In an article appearing in the Focus section of The Observer and reproduced on-line, Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., Center for the History of Medicine, comments on Americans' abuse of prescription drugs, often taken with an alcohol chaser. The article uses the death of Heath Ledger to discuss this growing U.S. health problem.

Feb. 7 - "Big Blue" part 2: TLC tonight

Tonight at 9, TLC will air part two of the construction of the “Big Blue” bike on its show "American Chopper." This custom Orange County Chopper motorcycle was built to benefit the new University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Women’s Hospital. Following tonight's show, viewers and fans alike will have the unique opportunity to make this special U-M-inspired chopper their own by being the highest bidder when “Big Blue” goes up for auction online. The online auction will be held through Feb. 21.

To learn more about "Big Blue," read the online 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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