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January 2008

Jan. 31 - "Big Blue" bike to benefit Mott on TLC tonight

Tonight at 9, the “Big Blue” bike, the custom Orange County Chopper motorcycle built to benefit the new University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Women’s Hospital, will make its television on The Learning Channel (TLC) show “American Chopper.” The show will also air on Feb. 7. 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 at The online auction will be held from Feb. 7 - Feb. 21.

News of "Big Blue" has made the front page of the Ann Arbor News, and appeared in the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. In addition, this morning Dave Brandon, co-chair for the children's and women's fund-raising campaign and CEO of Dominos Pizza was on WJR-AM.

To learn more about "Big Blue," read the online press release.

Jan 23 - Hear Dr Eitzman on WWJ

New research on the link between belly fat, inflammation and atherosclerosis is starting to make news, following publication online in the journal Circulation. Daniel Eitzman, M.D., Cardiovascular Medicine, led the research team, which made the findings in mice. He was interviewed by WWJ-AM in Detroit, which has posted both a text version of their story and an audio "podcast" of the full interview. Read and hear the story here. The UMHS press release on this research is also available in Spanish. More news coverage of this study, including on the Reuters newswire, is expected in coming days.

Jan. 17 - Dr. Sandler in AP, NY Times
Howard Sandler, M.D., Radiation Oncology/Cancer Center, is quoted in the New York Times and the Associated Press today regarding a new study on prostate cancer. Dr. Sandler comments on research from Wake Forest that found a panel of genes predicts prostate cancer risk. Stories also appeared on NPR and in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and other major newspapers.

Jan. 14 - Dr. Wessells in Ann Arbor News

"The tiny fruit flies taking their tiny steps up the side of the glass vial in Robert Wessells' hand would seem an unlikely source of any knowledge about the aging of the human heart," begins a story in the Ann Arbor News. The article explores the work that Wessells, a researcher in Geriatrics, explains in the article that there are many similarities between a fruit fly heart and a human heart. "Our goal is not to make people live forever, but rather to try to allow the elderly to live the final years of their lives in better health and comfort," he says.

Jan. 14 - Dr. Clauw quoted in New York Times

For patient advocacy groups and doctors who specialize in fibromyalgia, the approval of Lyrica to treat the chronic pain condition is a milestone, says a story in today's New York Times. The new drugs will encourage doctors to treat fibromyalgia patients, Dan Clauw, M.D., says in the article. “What’s going to happen with fibromyalgia is going to be the exact thing that happened to depression with Prozac. These are legitimate problems that need treatments,” says Clauw, director of the U-M Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.

Jan. 14 - Howard Markel quoted in USA Today flu story

An article in USA Today talks about the tendency in cold weather for people to crowd together, and how this contributes to the spread of the flu. Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., Center for the History of Medicine, says that even before people knew about viruses and bacteria, they understood that certain illnesses — from colds and flus to TB and smallpox — spread from person to person, and called them "crowding diseases."

Jan. 14 - Dr. Tarini on XM radio

Beginning this week, ReachMD, an XM radio program produced by and for physicians, will air an interview with Beth A. Tarini, M.D., clinical lecturer and member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit. As part of ReachMD's series on the future of medicine, Dr. Tarini's interview will highlight the past, present and future of newborn screening. For station information about Reach MD (XM 157), visit their Web site.

Jan. 11 - Life Sciences Orchestra profiled in Michigan Daily

Today's issue of the Michigan Daily has a profile of the U-M Life Sciences Orchestra, which will play a free concert Saturday evening at Hill Auditorium. The article focuses on the orchestra's unique membership of physicians, scientists, students, and health-sciences professionals from around U-M, and quotes bassoonist Michael DiPietro, M.D., Radiology, among others. For more about the concert, which will be introduced by Tony Denton, see the UMHS press release here.

Jan. 8 - Dr. Fendrick on CBS Radio, Bloomberg newswire
Right now, most Americans are encountering higher co-pays for their prescriptions and doctor visits, as many companies raised their rates January 1. But should some people be paying lower co-pays, or even no co-pay, for the drugs that can help them the most? A new study from Mark Fendrick, M.D., General Medicine and his colleagues suggests so. The study looked at what happened at a company that reduced or eliminated co-pays for certain drugs, for employees taking part in disease-management programs. Dr. Fendrick was interviewed by the CBS Radio Network for a story that is being heard nationwide, and also by the Bloomberg business newswire. Other stories, including in the Detroit Free Press, are expected soon. Read the UMHS press release on the study here and watch a video of Dr. Fendrick discussing the study here.

Jan. 5 - Record-breaking fundraising results featured in Free Press

A front page story in Saturday's Detroit Free Press reported that metro Detroit hospitals are receiving more donations than ever, and listed fundraising totals for 2007 for many of the region's hospitals. By far, UMHS had the highest total, at $101 million -- representing a record year for gifts to the Medical School and hospitals. Read the story, which quotes Jim Thomas, Director of Development, here and see a chart of hospitals' donation totals here. The Michigan Associated Press picked up the story and sent it out to news outlets around the state; see it here.

Jan. 3 - Cardiac arrest study on front page of NY Times

The front page of today's New York Times features a story  on a new study that shows delays often occur in reviving hospital patients who have suffered cardiac arrests. The study, published in this week's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, was led by former U-M cardiology fellow Paul Chan, M.D., M.Sc., and Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., MPH, of Cardiovascular Medicine. The study has also been featured in stories in today's Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Detroit News and beyond. Read the press release on the study here.

Jan. 3 - Dr. Saint on CBS radio nationwide

Urinary tract infections are the most common hospital-acquired infection, and urinary catheters are to blame for most of them. But most hospitals don't use proven techniques for preventing those infections, according to a new study led by Sanjay Saint, M.D., and Sarah Krein, Ph.D., RN, of General Medicine and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Dr. Saint was interviewed about the study by CBS Radio network, and is now being heard on stations across the country, including WWJ-AM Detroit. (Read a text version of the story here)  The Detroit Free Press also has a story today, available here. Read the UMHS press release on this study, and watch a video of Dr. Saint, here.  

Jan. 1 - Howard Markel in New York Times

Today, it's the norm for parents to stay with their seriously ill children during hospitalization. In a New Year's Day article in the New York Times, Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., Center for the History of Medicine, points out that this wasn't always the case. His article examines the restrictions on parental visitation in American hospitals from the late nineteenth century through the 1950s, and subsequent changes. Afterward, consumer demand and nurse-led efforts to develop family-focused care programs resulted in changes that recognize parental comfort as an essential part of the healing process.


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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