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For June 2009

June 29 - Metz writes op-ed for Kansas City star about quarantine

Jonathan Metzl, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and women's studies at the U-M Medical School, was released from quarantine Monday night after a perplexing attempt by Chinese officials to control the H1N1 virus. None of the American passengers were sick, he writes in the Kansas City Star, but "shrink-wrapped observers" monitored the 50 or so travelers for any signs of the pandemic flu. Other methods for controlling the flu: higher hotel rates for foreign travelers. While America has its own troubled past with quarantine, "in the bigger picture, whatever public health benefits China might gain from its H1N1 policy risks being offset by the negative feelings and publicity it engenders," Metzl writes. He is a Kansas City native and was in Shanghai to lecture at a medical school.

June 22- Dr. Green featured in ABC News article

Lee Green, M.D., was quoted in an ABC News article about what patients do that frustrates their doctors. Green, professor of family medicine at the U-M Medical School, said, “The most frustrating thing for me is patients whose lifestyle is making them miserable but they won’t change it… they’re dead set on the idea that the fix is a drug, or an injection, or surgery.”

June 18-19 — UMHS makes news with 2009 finances

The Ann Arbor News and the Detroit Free Press both wrote articles about the University of Michigan Health System’s 2009 fiscal year, as it was able to earn a projected $14 million. UMHS was one of few health systems to stay in the black.

June 18 - C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Detroit Free Press, more

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, part of the University of Michigan Health System, made news when it was named one of the top pediatric hospitals in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report. The Detroit Free Press and the Ann Arbor News wrote about the accomplishment, while TV station WXYZ mentioned it in a broadcast.

June 17- U-M poll makes national news

A recent University of Michigan poll that measured consumer confidence in the health care system made national headlines after its June 17 release. It was featured in articles in ABC News, the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, MyFox Detroit, CNBC, and in broadcasts for CNN, WJBK and WDIV.The poll found that nearly half of all Americans are worried about paying for future care.

June 15-22 — Dr. Sachs in Seattle Times, and more

Dr. Dana Sachs, associate professor in the Department of Dermatology, and colleagues had their research displayed in the Seattle Times,, Science Daily, and in a WJBK broadcast. The group found that topical application of fluorouracil, a chemotherapy medication, can rejuvenate the skin’s look and reduce potentially precancerous skin patches.

June 16-18 — Pfizer purchase makes the news

Late on Tuesday afternoon, the University completed its purchase of the former Pfizer, Inc. pharmaceutical research facility in northeast Ann Arbor, adjacent to the current North Campus. The 174-acre property, which contains 30 buildings encompassing 2 million gross square feet of laboratory and office space, has now become part of North Campus, and the buildings will collectively be known as the North Campus Research Complex. The new facility will greatly expand U-M research space and allow for new innovative collaborations within U-M and with the private sector.

Read more in these stories in the Ann Arbor News, the Ann Arbor Business Review and the Ann Arbor Chronicle, an online-only publication that sent a reporter to witness the transfer of the property deeds. Crain's Detroit Business ( ) also recently carried an article about the potential for the new complex to become the new home of some of the UMHS operations that currently occupy leased space in the community, although specific plans for any such moves are still to come. To learn more about the new campus, and the process for planning for its use, visit the North Campus Research Complex Web site (

June 18 - Dr. Pescovitz profiled in Ann Arbor News

Today's Ann Arbor News has a major profile of Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., who became the CEO of the U-M Health System in mid-May. It focuses on the reasons she decided to come to Michigan from Indiana, and the opportunities and economic challenges she and all of UMHS face during the current economic times. Read the profile here and learn more about Dr. Pescovitz on her official UMHS web site here.

June 12 - Quality collaborations in the media spotlight

For several years, U-M has helped lead statewide collaborative efforts to help Michigan hospitals share data and "best practices" in different areas of care, such as angioplasty and general surgery. Recently, those quality collaboratives were featured at an event hosted by the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, the joint venture of U-M and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that is headed by Marianne Udow. CHRT's symposium was summarized in this story in the Ann Arbor Business Review. The entire event can be viewed online in streaming video format here; the speakers' slides are also available.

One of the quality collaboratives, which focuses on improving cardiovascular imaging, published results of its efforts in the June 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, showing how radiation doses to patients during cardiac CT imaging could be reduced. A Crain's Detroit Business article about that study is here. That collaborative is headed by Beaumont Hospital, but most of the others are led by U-M. All are funded by BCBSM as part of its "Value Partnerships" initiative.

June 12 - Incorrect budget number in Detroit Free Press today

The Detroit Free Press today ran a story about the financial health of hospitals in southeast Michigan. In the last paragraph, it originally contained an incorrect figure for the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers' projected operating budget margin for fiscal year 2009.

The reporter included the margin total that had been originally projected last June for FY2009, and not actual year-to-date figures that were provided to her several weeks ago. UMHS Public Relations has asked the Free Press for an immediate online and print correction. The correction was made late today.

Next week, the U-M Board of Regents will receive a more final (but still preliminary) projection of the UMHHC operating margin for FY 2009, and will be asked to approve a budget for FY 2010, at its monthly meeting. More information will be shared with UMHS faculty and staff, and made available on the UMHS Newsroom, after that meeting

June 11- Dr. Monto in NPR broadcast

Arnold Monto, M.D., professor of epidemiology, spoke in an NPR broadcast about H1N1 (swine) flu. He explained his worry of a “one-two punch” in the fall and winter, of both H1N1 (swine) flu and seasonal strains of the flu. The broadcast focused on the World Health Organization’s declaration of an H1N1 (swine) flu pandemic.

June 11 - Anjel Vahratian appears in Reuters health article

Anjel Vahratian, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was quoted in a Reuters Health article regarding her study in the current issue of Diabetes Care that shows 40 percent of diabetic women and up to one third of overweight or obese women do not use contraception. Women with diabetes and those who are obese are at increased risk for pregnancy complications.

"Clinicians caring for women with diabetes and/or elevated body mass index may wish to target women who desire pregnancy or who feel ambivalent about pregnancy for more intensive preconception management, even if these women do not intend to get pregnant," Vahratian said in an interview with Reuters Health.

June 10 - Dr. Markel on ABC World News

With the World Health Organization poised to raise the A/H1N1 pandemic alert to six, its highest level, ABC World News interviewed Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for the History of Medicine, on the definition of 'Level Six,' whether people should feel alarmed, and what effect such a change might have on U.S. preparations for another bout with A/H1N1 this fall. Dr. Markel pointed out that 'Level Six' is a reaction to the number of WHO geographic regions with A/H1N1 outbreaks rather than to severity of the disease, so the Level Six designation should not be a cause for greater alarm than what already exists. He also said the U.S. has been working at its highest public health alert level for the last six weeks.

June 8- Dr. Jagsi quoted in Atlanta Journal and Constitution, ScienceDaily and more

Dr. Reshma Jagsi, assistant professor of radiation oncology, was quoted by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, ScienceDaily, Health Day, Scientific American and WWJ Newsradio, and her research was mentioned in a WDIV Detroit broadcast. Jagsi reported that there are not enough women participating in cancer trials. “We know there are biological differences between the sexes… Studies need to be able to assess whether there are differences in responses to treatment,” so more women need to be represented in clinical cancer research, she said.

June 8 - U-M cardiologists in Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Free Press covered Project My Heart-Your Heart, the collaboration between U-M cardiologists led by Kim Eagle, M.D., World Medical Relief in Detroit, willing heart patients or their families and funeral directors. Eagle was quoted in the article, speaking about the importance of donating used pacemakers to those in other countries who need them, since they cannot be reused in the United States.

June 7 - Swain quoted in the Detroit Free Press for U-M research

Jason Swain, Ph.D., was quoted in a Free Press article for his research on how to make pregnancies healthier, mostly focusing on in-vitro fertilization. "Everything we do is to maximize the quality of the embryo we put back in," he said.

June 3-5 — Dr. Brown makes news with progesterone study

Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., lead author of a recent U-M study, was featured in articles in Science Centric, Los Angeles Times, WWJ Newsradio, Chicago Sun-Times and MyFox New York. Her research group found that chatting with and feeling close to friends increases progesterone levels in the body, which reduces anxiety and stress.

June 3- Dr. Johnson quoted in Men’s Health

Timothy Johnson, M.D., professor of dermatology, was quoted in a Men’s Health article about skin health. Johnson coauthored a study that found lymph-node mapping on patients with melanoma at or above the neck is accurate and safe, contrary to some doctors’ fears. “If the doctor fails to mention it, consider seeking a second opinion from a regional melanoma center,” Johnson said.

June 2- Drs. Chinnaiyan, Wicha quoted in Detroit News

Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., and Max Wicha, M.D., were in the Detroit News for being part of a team of researchers awarded an $18 million grant to study breast cancer therapies. Chinnaiyan, the director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, and Wicha, the director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, were both quoted in the article. The group of researchers hopes to develop less toxic therapies for breast cancer. The grant was also mentioned by the Chicago Tribune, newscasts from WJBK Detroit and WXYZ Detroit, and

June 2 - Kaplow on Investigation Discovery Channel

Julie Kaplow, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in Department of Psychiatry at University of Michigan Medical School recently participated in the television show, "Escaped", which aired on the Investigation Discovery Channel (Channel 111) on May 25 at 8 PM and again at 11 PM. It also aired on Sunday, May 31 at 5 PM. The show recounts the true story of Brenda Parks and her family's escape from Jim Jones' People's Temple. Julie was asked to discuss how children cope with traumatic events, specifically how Brenda and her sister dealt with the atrocities that they witnessed.

June 1- Drs. Chinnaiyan, Rhodes make national news for breast cancer gene research

Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, was quoted by CNBC, U.S. News & World Report, MSN, Forbes and more for his work, which resulted in finding a “new crop” of breast cancer genes. Daniel Rhodes, Ph.D., a research investigator at the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, also worked on the research and was quoted by WebMD.

June 1 - UMHS researchers featured in Crain’s Detroit Business

From treatment of heart disease to cancer research, the work of University of Michigan Health System researchers was featured in this week’s Crain’s Detroit Business Health Extra Care. The U-M Cardiovascular Center’s proposed pacemaker donation program was spotlighted and Brian Ross, Ph.D., professor of radiology at the U-M Medical School, discussed a new imaging analysis method for brain tumors. The newspaper’s Research Roundup included UMHS research on the impact of lifestyle on head and neck cancer outcomes, heart healthy benefits of blueberries, treatment of autoimmune retinopathy and diagnosing whopping cough (See related news releases in the UMHS newsroom).

June 1 - Drs. Kolars and Kelch make Crain’s Detroit Business People section

The People section of Crain’s Detroit Business Health Care Extra included Joseph Kolars, M.D., the U-M Medical School’s first senior associate dean for education and global initiatives (see news release), and Robert Kelch, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs, emeritus. Kelch served on an IOM committee to review conflict of interest issues.

June 1- Dr. La Marca featured in Los Angeles Times

Frank La Marca, M.D., a U-M neurosurgeon, was featured in a Los Angeles Times article after performing a successful and minimally invasive surgery to correct a Midland, Mich., woman’s scoliosis. The article gave both points of view on whether the minimally invasive surgery is a good idea. Both La Marca and his patient were quoted in favor of the surgery in extreme cases.

June 1- Drs. Korkaya, Wicha in Science Daily

Hasan Korkaya, D.V.M, Ph.D., research investigator in internal medicine, and Max Wicha, M.D., director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, had their research displayed in an article in Science Daily. They were part of a group of mostly U-M doctors who found pathways linked to a gene known to suppress cancer, and both Korkaya and Wicha were quoted in the article.

June 1-2: Dr. Orringer makes news with use of innovative new laser

Jeffrey Orringer, M.D., director of the U-M Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center, was featured in a Science Daily article, a article, and a newscast on WJBK Detroit when the center began giving non-surgical skin resurfacing treatments with a fractionated carbon dioxide laser. The treatment causes the skin to produce collagen, and Orringer said it “offers both improved results with much fewer side effects.”

For more information:

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