Women at Michigan Medicine making history at home, across globe

March 28, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

It’s Women’s History Month, a chance to honor and celebrate just a few of the many hard-working women across the organization who play a vital role in patient care, education and research.

Their influence goes far beyond the walls of the academic medical center, however — it stretches across borders and oceans, affecting thousands of patient and families worldwide.

Here’s a closer look at some of the women who make huge impacts in the organization:

Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil.

Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil.                        

Jagsi is the director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine and deputy chair of radiation oncology at Michigan Medicine. She recently sought to tackle the issue of sexual harassment and gender inequality in academic medicine.

Jagsi’s findings, which were published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that nearly one-third of female physician-scientists reported experiencing sexual harassment while at work.

Learn more about Jagsi’s findings, why they are so important, and why she is committed to solving a problem that “serves as a sobering reminder that our society has a long way to go before we achieve gender equity.”

Maggie Mieras, LMSW

Maggie Mieras, LMSW, clinical social worker

Mieras works at the Briarwood Center for Women, Children and Young Adults and has devoted her career to helping women and partners deal with devastating losses.

“Sometimes loved ones don’t know what to do or say to give people comfort following a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss,” Mieras said. That’s why she encourages those who have dealt with such situations to meet with professionals and get the help they need.

Click here for more about Mieras’ work and why she and her fellow social workers are so important to patients and families at Michigan Medicine.

Jennifer Waljee, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Jennifer Waljee, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.

Waljee partnered with two other U-M faculty members — Michael Englesbe, M.D., and Chad Brummett, M.D. — to found the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network (Michigan OPEN) in October 2016. The three now serve as co-directors of the program.

Michigan OPEN’s main goal is to develop a preventive approach to the opioid epidemic in the state of Michigan by tailoring postoperative and acute care opioid prescribing. The network includes doctors, researchers and community partners to transform surgical pain management and curb opioid misuse.

Find out more about group’s work — and the impact it is already making — by visiting the Michigan OPEN website.

Francene Lundy, R.N.

Francene Lundy, R.N.

Lundy is associate hospital director for UH/CVC surgical services. But her efforts extend around the world.

Lundy has been part of a 30-person delegation volunteering with Kenya Relief, a nonprofit organization that organizes about 20 short-term mission trips a year to the impoverished East African nation. Medicine, education, construction and evangelical outreach are all part of the group’s work.

Click through to learn Lundy’s full story.

Erika Newman, M.D.

Erika Newman, M.D.

Newman, a pediatric surgeon, serves as the director of the Solid Tumor Oncology Program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Every week, Newman holds a meeting with more than 40 Michigan Medicine experts to discuss each pediatric patient who has a possible or confirmed diagnosis of a solid tumor.

“When our meetings began four years ago, we had between eight and 12 people attend,” Newman said. “Now it’s standing room only. The more minds you can get working on a child’s diagnosis and treatment plan, the better.”

The results of the meetings have been striking: 64 percent of patients had changes to their initial clinical recommendation following a multidisciplinary discussion. And Newman’s team doesn’t just impact lives at Mott; they often serve as second opinions for patients at outside institutions.

“Every patient deserves that level of attention,” Newman said. Learn more about her work by clicking here.

Rev. Christina Wright, Ph.D., spiritual care

Rev. Christina Wright, Ph.D.

Chaplains like Rev. Wright carry out a number of roles at Michigan Medicine.

From counseling to working in interdisciplinary teams, carrying out rituals and even performing baptisms and weddings, every day is unique for members of Spiritual Care.

“We listen to a patient very carefully to identify his or her spiritual needs,” Wright said. “There’s an art to hearing what they’re saying and providing the ideal care that they need at any given moment to lessen their spiritual distress.”

Read a full Q&A with Wright and see how her team helps enhance patient care.