2021: Headlines Year in Review

December 23, 2021  //  FOUND IN: News,

2021 has been another challenging year at Michigan Medicine. But those challenges have been met head on by faculty, staff and learners, all of whom have stepped up in remarkable ways to help patients, families and colleagues navigate the pandemic.

Aside from COVID-19, 2021 has been a year of progress (with the unveiling of the organization’s strategic priorities and the name for the new hospital on campus), hope (highlighted by the brand-new “Michigan Answers” campaign), and determination (as employees found new and creative ways to thrive amid a hybrid work environment).

As we look back at the past 12 months, the Headlines team wants to thank you for all you have done — and will continue to do — at Michigan Medicine. You inspire us all to be better colleagues, friends and community members.

Without further ado, here’s a closer look at the top stories of 2021:

COVID-19 coverage

Of course, any Year in Review has to begin with COVID-19, with the pandemic dominating headlines for the last 20 months or so. The year kicked off with faculty and staff getting some of the first COVID-19 vaccinations, though it came to a close in a much more somber way, with leaders discussing the ongoing surge in cases. Through it all, team members have found unique ways to maintain a sense of normalcy, positivity and patient-centered care. Thank you for your incredible efforts!

Building our BASE

In September, U-M Health President David Miller, M.D., introduced a framework for a set of strategic priorities called Build our BASE. The four key pillars of BASE — Belonging, Access, Safety and quality, and Experience — serve as guideposts for strategic decision making and day-to-day operations within the organization. Learn more about the new priorities — then click here to see how they are being implemented by colleagues across Michigan Medicine.

U-M Health and Michigan Answers

In addition to new strategic priorities, the organization also launched a new branding campaign and a new name for its clinical enterprise. The branding campaign is called “Michigan Answers,” as the search for answers and the ability to give them to patients is what motivates our scientists, empowers our nurses and doctors and inspires our learners.

As for the clinical enterprise, the name University of Michigan Health — or U-M Health — was introduced in June. This change is designed to help patients and employees better understand how they fit within the organization as a whole.

Patients get the care they need

2021 was chock full of stories proving that faculty and staff take the idea of patient-centered care to heart. First, readers were told of a patient’s final wish — playing the grand piano in the University Hospital lobby — and how team members worked tirelessly to make it happen. Then, Headlines shared the journey of patient Kiara Williamson and her mother, Anitra, who have been coming to Michigan Medicine for treatment for the past 27 years.

Furry friends join the team

Now here’s a paw-sitive story! This summer, the organization welcomed two new facility dogs, Bugle and McCoy. The two golden retrievers are brothers and join four-legged colleagues Anna, Bindi and Fawn on the main medical campus.

Care at Home

Ideal care is not only suited for inpatients, as oftentimes it’s better for a patient to receive hospital-level care from the comfort of their own home. That’s why the organization announced that Care at Home is its Initiative of the Year. Care at Home uses programs and pathways to offer early discharge of eligible patients, allowing them to finish their care at home with appropriate monitoring, equipment and house visits. Find out more about this innovative program.

Med school stays busy

There was plenty of news to come out of the U-M Medical School, as team members successfully completed the reaccreditation of its M.D. degree from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. On the research side, the small phenotyping lab led by Nathan Qi, M.D., Ph.D., rose to national prominence through a combination of skill, integrity and — of course — breakthrough findings. And the Biotech Career Development Program celebrated more than 100 future scientists matriculating through the program since its inception four years ago.

Finally, first year med student Sam Grewe became a Paralympic champion — capturing a gold medal in the high jump in Tokyo.

New hospital gets its name

While construction of the new hospital on campus took a brief hiatus at the height of COVID-19, construction is back on track. As, too, are the plans for the new hospital, which now has a name. In June, the organization unveiled “The Pavilion at University of Michigan Health,” as the moniker for the state-of-the-art building, which will house 264 patient rooms, 20 operating rooms and advanced imaging.

Employees take center stage

Your colleagues stole the show a number of times over the past 12 months, as Headlines turned it over to them to help create content. From a list of favorite books and movies to the second-annual Headlines Virtual Art Fair and even a set of music playlists curated by faculty and staff, Headlines readers have stayed engaged and enthusiastic throughout the year!

A place to recharge

Finally, with the stress of COVID-19 continuing into the near-future, the addition of Recharge Rooms on campus is more important than ever. The spaces, which have been provided by donors, debuted in April to serve as a “place of calm in the middle of it all.” Check out this story featuring the new rooms and be sure to take advantage of them whenever you need.

Thank you again for your efforts during the past year. All of us at Headlines and the Department of Communication wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

See you in 2022 and, as always, Go Blue!

The Wrap employee podcast also got in the spirit of looking back at 2021. Check out the best interviews of the past 12 months in the 2021 Year in Review episode via YouTube below or click here for an audio-only version.