Skip to content UMHS Home | About UMHS | Health Topics A-Z | For Patients & Families | For Health Providers  
University of Michigan Health System Logo University of Michigan Health System Strategic Direction 2005-2010


September 2007

Sept. 26-27 — $22M Taubman gift makes news

Wednesday's announcement that retail pioneer Alfred Taubman has given $22 million to endow a new research institute in the Medical School, and to support the work of U-M biomedical scientists, has made the news across the state and beyond. Follow these links to read stories in USA Today, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, Crain's Detroit Business, the Ann Arbor News, the Associated Press Michigan wire, the Lansing State Journal and the Michigan Daily. Numerous TV and radio stations also carried the news. Read the UMHS press release about the gift here and listen to an audio "podcast" here of Mr. Taubman and the first five Taubman Scholars who will receive grants from the new institute. You can read more about the five Scholars' work on the web site of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute.

Sept. 26 - Dr. Lebovic on and Health magazine

An article from Health magazine, also featured on, quotes Dan I. Lebovic, M.D., M.A., about options for women who want to reduce the regularity of their menstrual cycle. Lebovic, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, discusses an intrauterine device called Mirena. "One-third of women get no period, one-third get a much lighter period, and the other third have only irregular spotting," he notes in the article.

Sept. 26 - Stewart Wang's study gets coast-to-coast attention

The U-M, General Motors and OnStar have just announced a joint study to collect crash and injury data. The information could guide emergency responders and doctors who treat auto crash victims, and help to engineer safer cars and trucks. Stewart Wang, M.D., Ph.D., director of the U-M Program for Injury Research and Education, is leading the study. His Associated Press interview on the study and its goals has already appeared in media around the country, including the Detroit Free Press. His Associated Press interview on the study and its goals has already appeared in media around the country, including the Detroit Free Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and online, the Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney and the Boston Globe.

Sept. 25 - Dr. Heisler's diabetes study on Reuters, WebMD

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine led by Michele Heisler, M.D., MPA, General Medicine/VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, is starting to make the headlines for its interesting findings on racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes. Using data from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study conducted by U-M's Institute for Social Research, Dr. Heisler and her colleagues found that older African Americans and Latinos are still less likely than whites to have their blood sugar under control - - and that factors such as medication adherence and emotional distress may factor strongly into this disparity even when other factors are taken into account. So far, stories about the study have appeared on the WebMD and Reuters Health national newswires; additional coverage is expected in coming days. Read the UMHS press release on this study, and see a video clip of Dr. Heisler, here; the press release is also available in Spanish here. You can also listen to podcasts of Dr. Heisler discussing the study in English here, and in Spanish here.

Sept. 19 - Dr. Clauw featured in Detroit News, Free Press and more

Tuesday's announcement at the National Institutes of Health that U-M is the recipient of a $55 million Clinical and Translational Science Award generated immediate regional coverage. Dan Clauw, M.D., the grant's principal investigator, was interviewed by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and the Ann Arbor News on what this grant means for collaborative research that speeds discoveries to the patient's bedside.

Sept. 16 - David Stern in Ann Arbor News

In an opinion piece in Sunday's Ann Arbor News, David Stern, M.D., Ph.D., discusses the reasons behind a growing trend for medical students to go overseas for clinical electives. Last year at the U-M, he says, nearly 40 percent of our medical students participated in international experiences that included research, humanitarian relief, mission trips and clinical rotations. Dr. Stern is director of the Medical School's Global Reach program.

Sept. 16 - Artificial heart patient on front page of Ann Arbor News

The front page of Sunday's Ann Arbor News features Phil Hall, the first modern-day total artificial heart patient in Michigan and a U-M Cardiovascular Center patient. The timing of the story is especially fitting: Last week marked the first anniversary of the day when a team led by Dr. Francis Pagani, Cardiac Surgery, removed the lower half of Mr. Hall's heart and replaced it with a mechanical device that only U-M and eight other hospitals in the U.S. can offer. After three weeks of having his blood pumped entirely by the artificial heart, Mr. Hall received a heart transplant. Read the Ann Arbor News story here, and read a sidebar article on the device here. A chronology of Mr. Hall's heart treatment is here.

Sept. 15 - Drs. Barkan and Chandler on PBS

Acromegaly is a disease in which tumors on the pituitary gland cause the production of too much growth hormone, which leads to abnormal growth of the head, face, hands, or feet. UMHS is a leading center for treating this disease, through the Pituitary and Neuroendocinology program led by William Chandler, M.D., of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Ariel Barkan, M.D., of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, and Neurosurgery. So, when the PBS television show Healthy Body, Healthy Mind wanted to do an entire episode on acromegaly, their producers naturally turned to Drs. Barkan and Chandler. One of their patients also agreed to be interviewed. The show is now available online; watch it here. Although none of the PBS stations in Detroit/Ann Arbor are currently scheduled to air this show, it will be seen on a Chicago station, and the San Francisco PBS station, this Saturday, as well as many other stations around the country. See the full schedule here.

Sept. 12 - Dr. Birla on TV and at NextFest

At the Artificial Heart Laboratory in Cardiac Surgery, Ravi Birla, Ph.D. and his team are working to grow patches of heart muscle, and even entire heart valves and ventricles, in the laboratory -- and to develop techniques that could one day be used to treat patients. This research has garnered a lot of attention, most recently from the Ivanhoe News service which syndicates health and science stories to dozens of television stations around the country (see the list here). A text version of Ivanhoe's story is available here and you can watch a video of it on the web site of WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C., one of the stations that has already carried the story, here. Dr. Birla's work is also being featured at the Wired NextFest, a four-day festival of innovative technologies in a wide range of fields that is being held this week in Los Angeles. He will be meeting with reporters, members of the public and others at a booth in the "Future of Health" pavilion.

Sept. 10 - Michigan Difference heart transplant patient on the cover of new magazine

The cover of the American Heart Association's new magazine for patients, Heart Insight, features a face familiar to anyone who has seen the Health System's Michigan Difference television and newspaper ads. It's Ralph Davis, the heart transplant recipient who has returned to competitive master's-level swimming thanks to the care he received at U-M. Ralph and his wife are featured in an article about his successful recovery, and several photographs, inside the magazine. Read the article online and see the cover photo here. Note: The photos and a PDF file of the article as it appears in the magazine will be available soon. The magazine was launched earlier this year by the AHA, and heart patients may receive a free subscription to the magazine, while cardiologists may request up to 50 free copies for their office waiting rooms. Also, all members of the UMHS community are invited to celebrate Ralph and the other stars of the Michigan Difference campaign at a special event in the University Hospital Cafeteria, from noon - 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, and from 5 a.m. - 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19. Watch your mailbox for more information!

Sept. 10 - Dr. John Fink on Discovery Health channel

As director of the Neurogenetic Disorders Clinic, John Fink, M.D., Neurology, evaluates and treats adults and children who have inherited genes that cause complex brain and nerve conditions. Often, these diseases are rare and tricky to diagnose, and patients come to U-M searching for answers. Now, two of these patients, and Dr. Fink, are being featured in the television show "Mystery Diagnosis" which airs on the Discovery Health Channel. The episode premiered on Labor Day but is being re-run throughout the month; it will next be seen Sunday evening Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. and again on Saturday Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. The channel number for Discovery Health varies among cable systems; check listings for your cable provider.

Sept. 5 - Dr. Hammer in Detroit News

A feature story in today's Detroit News showcases a fund-raising event for the Cancer Center's Multidisciplinary Adrenal Cancer Clinic. The event is in honor of a young man who died suddenly of this rare cancer. Gary Hammer, M.D., Ph.D., who is the director of the adrenal cancer program, is quoted in an accompanying story  describing research efforts. The Spencer Bell Memorial Concert will be held Friday, Sept. 7, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. For information, go to

Sept. 3 - Dr. Wang interviewed on dwindling hospital burn units

Stewart Wang, M.D., Ph.D., director of Burn Surgery, was interviewed for an Ann Arbor News story on the national trend for hospitals to reduce the number of burn beds. Dr. Wang discussed our own burn unit, the number of beds state-wide, and the preparedness planning taking place in Michigan in the event a fiery catastrophe should happen.

Sept. 1 - Young Berlin Heart patient in Ann Arbor News

The front page of Saturday's Ann Arbor News featured a story about 3-year-old Maddie Shaw, who is the first patient at U-M to be treated for severe heart failure using the experimental Berlin Heart device. Read it online here. John Charpie, M.D., Pediatric Cardiology, was quoted in the story, and the front-page photo of Maddie walking through the Pediatric Cardiothoracic Unit showed her with physical therapist Chris Tapley and nurse Kelli vanValkenburg. Maddie has been kept alive by the Berlin Heart device, and the faculty and staff of the PCTU, for the past six months while she waits for a heart transplant.


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


Medical School | Hospitals and Health Centers | School of Nursing | U-M

University of Michigan Health System
1500 E. Medical Center Drive  Ann Arbor, MI 48109  734-936-4000
(c) copyright Regents of the University of Michigan
Developed & maintained by: Public Relations & Marketing Communications
Contact UMHS


The University of Michigan Health System web site does not provide specific medical advice and does not endorse any medical or professional service obtained through information provided on this site or any links to this site.
Complete Disclaimer and Privacy Statement


Health Topics A-Z

For Patients & Families

For Health Professionals

Search Tools & Index