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July 2006

July 30 - Dr Omenn's evolution op-ed in Kansas paper

Gil Omenn, M.D., Ph.D., co-authored an opinion column that appeared in the largest newspaper in Kansas on Sunday, arguing that there need not be a divide between science and religion, whether in the Kansas educational system's debate over teaching evolution or in other matters. His co-author is Alan Leshner, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the journal Science. Dr. Omenn is immediate past president and chairman of the board of AAAS. Read the op-ed column online here. Drs. Omenn and Leshner also recently wrote to members of the U.S. Senate about stem cells; read more about that effort here.

July 28 - UMHS vendor policy mentioned in NY Times

A front-page story in today's New York Times examines the issue of pharmaceutical and medical device companies buying lunches for physicians' offices, as a way of getting access to clinicians to talk about their products. The article, available online here (free registration required) mentions the U-M Health System's policy of banning such industry-supplied lunches, a decision that more and more medical centers and practices are adopting. The ban was implemented as part of the Vendor Visitation and Interaction Policy, available here to users of UMHS computers only.

July 24 - ABC interviews Raymond De Vries

A Virginia teenager is the center of a legal battle with his doctors because the teen wants to refuse conventional cancer treatment. In an interview with ABC News published on its Health Web site, Raymond De Vries, Ph.D., of the U-M Bioethics Program, says that some young people do have the ability to make responsible decisions about their bodies. According to Dr. De Vries, authorities in this particular case should assess how well the teen understands his decision and whether he understands the consequences, in addition to considering his age.

July 24 - Drs Flanders, Pituch, Silveira in Modern Healthcare

The new issue of Modern Healthcare magazine, a national publication aimed at health care administrators and executives, features quotes from three U-M Medical School faculty. Two are quoted in a major article about the benefits of hospitalists - - doctors who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients. The article, available online here quotes Scott Flanders, M.D., General Medicine, who directs the adult hospitalist program at University Hospital, and Ken Pituch, M.D., Pediatrics, who directs the pediatric hospitalist program at Mott Children's Hospital. In another article in the same issue, Maria Silveira, M.D., MPH, General Medicine, is quoted talking about the end-of-life care issues that might have confronted the doctor and nurses who were arrested last week in connection with the deaths of several patients during the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina. Read that article here.

July 23 - Front-page Free Press story on Dr. Eagle's research

The lead story in Sunday's Detroit Free Press focused on women and heart disease, and specifically the findings of a recent research paper from a statewide team led by Kim Eagle, M.D., Cardiovascular Center (CVC)/Cardiovascular Medicine Division. The article also featured two U-M CVC patients. The study was done as part of a major hospital quality-improvement project for heart attack care funded by the American College of Cardiology, called the GAP project, which grew out of a project started at UMHS in the 1990s. Read the Free Press story here and a sidebar article about women and heart disease here. Read the UMHS press release about the study here.

July 21 - Dr. King in many MI newspapers

Yesterday, Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed into law a measure that encourages schools to teach students and teachers about the warning signs of depression and suicide risk. Called the Chase Edwards Law, it is named after a Brighton teenager who took his life in 2003 and whose parents have channeled their grief into efforts to raise suicide-prevention awareness statewide. They worked with Cheryl King, Ph.D., Psychiatry/Depression Center during the legislative process, and she provided expert testimony and attended the signing with the parents in the governor's office yesterday. Several media outlets have reported on the signing, including the Booth Newspapers syndicate that supplies stories to the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle and Saginaw News. Read the Booth story, which quotes Dr. King, here.

July 19 - Sean Morrison featured on NPR and WJR

President Bush's veto of legislation allowing federal funding to create more lines of human embryonic stem cells for scientific research is in the news today. U-M scientist and stem cell expert Sean Morrison, Ph.D., was interviewed about the controversy this morning on National Public Radio and on WJR-AM radio's Frank Beckmann Show. You can hear the NPR story here and the WJR interview at here.

July 7/17 -18 ECMO picnic makes the news

This past Sunday, more than 400 ECMO patients and team members gathered at a park in Brighton to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first patients to be treated with the life-support system at U-M. The Livingston County Daily Press-Argus newspaper carried a news article and photos on the picnic in Monday's edition, as well as a column written by their news editor on Tuesday. Read the news article and see the photos here and read the column here. To learn more about ECMO, visit the team's web page and check out the essay on the history of the technology.

July 16 - Dr. Walton in New York Times

The front page of the Sunday New York Times contained an article about children's health issues being dealt with right now by summer camps. Edward "Skip" Walton, M.D., FAAP, FACEP, Emergency Medicine/Pediatrics, is quoted prominently, and his role in writing recent camp-health guidelines for the American Academy of Pediatrics is noted. Walton is also a member of the board of directors of the American Camp Association ( ). Read the Times article online here (free login required) and the UMHS press release on the AAP guidelines here.

July 13 - Dr. Urquhart quoted in AP story

Today, Andrew Urquhart, M.D., chief, Joint Reconstruction Service in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, is quoted in a national story about cyclist and Tour de France favorite Floyd Landis. Landis plans to undergo hip replacement surgery following the race, but in the meantime continues to amaze fans and medical experts alike as he pedals through the pain of a degenerative right hip. In the Associated Press story - which has appeared in the New York Times, Forbes and CBS News - Urquhart discuss the common causes for hip replacement, and the pain and discomfort that often result from a degenerative hip.

July 11 - UMHS malpractice/safety strategy featured in the Slate

The popular online magazine The Slate has a new article on proposed solutions to the nation's malpractice crisis, contrasting proposals from the two major parties and giving examples of innovative approaches to reduce the number of lawsuits and increase patient safety. The approach taken by the U-M Health System, under the leadership of Chief Risk Officer Rick Boothman and Chief of Clinical Affairs Darrell (Skip) Campbell, M.D., is one of the approaches featured in the article, which is available online here. To learn more about the UMHS approach, which was also recently featured in a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine by two U.S. senators, visit this site.

July 11 - Latreece Taylor in the Detroit Free Press

Today, Latreece Taylor, security investigator with Security Services, was featured in the TRIUMPHS section of the Detroit Free Press. Taylor won the University of Michigan 2006 Distinguished Service Award during a June 9 ceremony. She's known for the way she interacts with patients and even the staffers she investigates, says her supervisor, Corbie Wells, who nominated her. "Simply great," as he puts it. Read the full story here.

July 11 - Dr. Saint in NY Times, more

Urinary catheters aren't glamorous, but they are the source of many hospital-acquired infections - - making them a priority for patient-safety research. Sanjay Saint, M.D., MPH, General Medicine/VA/Patient Safety Enhancement Program, has become one of the nation's leading researchers on this issue, and a new paper that he has published with his former colleagues in Seattle is making the news this week. The study finds that hospitalized men who were randomized to receive an external, or "condom-style" catheter were far less likely to suffer a urinary tract infection than those who received an indwelling catheter. The New York Times has an article on the research today and the Seattle newspaper also has an article and a columnist for the Harrisburg, PA Patriot-News wrote about Saint's research on Sunday. He was also heard recently on Michigan Radio. Read the UMHS press release about the study here.

July 7 - Hospital rankings in the news

U-M again ranked among the top tier of hospitals nationally in the latest edition of the U.S. News & World Report best hospitals listings. In addition to the publication of the rankings in the new issue of the magazine, several other media outlets also picked up the story. The Ann Arbor News and Crain's Detroit Business published stories about the Hospitals and Health Centers' overall ranking and the fact that we ranked in each of the specialty categories listed by U.S. News. In addition, Chief Operating Officer Tony Denton was interviewed by local radio personality Lucy Ann Lance about the rankings on WAAM 1600 AM this morning.

July 6 - Doug Strong's CEO appointment in the news

The announcement that Doug Strong has been named director and CEO of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers has led to news coverage in the Detroit Free Press, Ann Arbor News, Crain's Detroit Business (the link is password-protected; the story is available from Public Relations) and Ann Arbor Business Review. Strong has been interim CEO since October, and his new appointment will become official Aug. 1, pending approval by the U-M Board of Regents. He previously was chief financial officer of the UMHHC. His goal is to achieve two goals simultaneously - improving the quality of health care while also improving cost and efficiency.

July 3 - Dr. Pinsky in Detroit Free Press

The front-page story of today's Detroit Free Press focuses on Pfizer's Kalamazoo facility, where nearly all pre-clinical testing of new products is carried out. The Free Press turned to UMHS for a perspective on why this kind of research, which involves cell cultures and animals, is so important to the development of new medical treatments and technologies. David Pinsky, M.D., Ph.D., chief of cardiovascular Medicine and scientific director of the Cardiovascular Center, is quoted prominently in the article, which is available online 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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