Leading women sparking advancements across organization

March 27, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Across the organization, women are taking on leadership roles when it comes to carrying out Michigan Medicine’s mission of advancing health to serve Michigan and the world.

From clinics to labs to classrooms, these powerful colleagues are impacting the future of the organization — and the health care industry as a whole.

In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a closer look at just a few of these dedicated community members:

Susan Shore, Ph.D.

Susan Shore, Ph.D.

Shore is leading groundbreaking research into tinnitus, which is the perception of sound without external stimuli. Tinnitus is often experienced as hissing, ringing or buzzing in the ear.

“Building from our years of research … we’ve been able to reduce the spontaneous firing of neurons, which has resulted in a reduction of tinnitus,” Shore said.

Click here to read a wide-ranging Q&A with Shore, whose team is currently carrying out a clinical trial with the hopes of having even more results — and eventually treatment options — by the end of 2019.

Karen Uzark, P.N.P., Ph.D.

Karen Uzark, P.N.P., Ph.D., nurse practitioner

An outcomes researcher and nurse practitioner at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Uzark has studied risk factors that affect the development of babies who have undergone heart surgery.

“We know how well babies can do [after heart surgery],” Uzark said. “So we want to make sure they have every opportunity to reach the same milestones as other babies.”

To reach that goal, Mott has created a multidisciplinary team that starts visiting any baby who has been in the cardiovascular ICU for more than five days. The five-day threshold was one of the risk factors identified by Uzark.

But that was just one of many important findings that Uzark pointed to — findings that are helping babies thrive at Michigan Medicine.

Amy Huang, M.D., MHSA

Amy Huang, M.D., MHSA

Huang’s impact is being felt thousands of miles away from Michigan Medicine. The director of the Global REACH Asia Program is spearheading an initiative that will bring hospital administrators from across the globe to Ann Arbor for a three-week course designed to provide leadership training.

The program ran a pilot in 2017 and will welcome its first official cohort later this year — a group of as many as 15 administrators from the Peking University Third Hospital in China.

“As institutions grow, there is a need not just for providers and care capacity, but for skilled executives, too,” Huang said.

Learn more about the innovative program by clicking here.

Meredith Schlabig with a patient.

Meredith Schlabig, music therapist

Schlabig’s story will be music to anyone’s ears. The music therapist at Mott helps create unique songs that utilize the recorded heartbeats of a patient’s first and second hearts following a transplant.

The songs are personal gifts designed to “elevate hope, provide comfort and give patients a positive and creative outlet to express themselves,” said Schlabig.

Check out a video demonstrating one of these so-called “heartbeat songs” and learn more about the important program.

Erika Sears, M.D., M.S.

Erika Sears, M.D., M.S.

Every year, thousands of younger women with no known risk of breast cancer get mammograms before having breast reduction surgery. According to Sears, it’s a practice that is unnecessary and could even prove costly.

“Altering screening mammography for patients younger than 40 years old in the setting of evaluation for breast surgery has a risk for subsequent tests and invasive procedures,” said Sears, an assistant professor of surgery.

So Sears has embarked on a quest to tweak guidelines and help improve awareness among patients and caregivers, who can then make a more appropriate decision.

Click through to learn more about Sears’ efforts.

Jessa Miller

Jessa Miller, medical student

Last month, Miller teamed up with fellow U-M medical students to host the first-ever Diversity in Medicine Conference in Ann Arbor.

The three-day event drew nearly 100 attendees from across the continent, and included keynote speakers — who touched on topics such as race, gender and disability — along with a poster session and networking opportunities.

“We wanted to provide a space to talk about important issues and find out what other schools were doing to improve diversity in medicine,” Miller said. “In the end, we hope the conversations propel Michigan Medicine forward in its efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.”

More information about the conference can be found here, or click here for a photo gallery of the event.