Making us Magnet: How nurses are shining bright across Michigan Medicine

March 21, 2023  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees, ,

Approximately a 4-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • One year ago, the organization again earned Magnet designation, which recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care and outcomes, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.
  • Team members have spent the ensuing year proving why we’re a Magnet institution, while also carrying out U-M Health’s strategic priorities.
  • Check out examples below of nursing colleagues improving Belonging and inclusion, Access, Safety and quality, and Experience.

On a Thursday morning last March, nurses, U-M Health leaders and staff joined together in Ford Auditorium to celebrate an achievement five years in the making. That day, the organization was notified that it had achieved the Magnet designation for the second time.

The prestigious distinction, awarded to less than 10% of U.S. hospitals by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care and outcomes, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.

In the year since, nurses across Michigan Medicine have proven why the distinction was given – and at the same time, they have contributed to the BASE strategic priorities laid out by U-M Health President David Miller, M.D., M.P.H.

BASE hits

The BASE strategic priorities are Belonging and inclusion, Access, Safety and quality, and Experience. Every day, nurses across U-M Health take those priorities to heart, whether at the academic medical center or out in the community.

Here’s how:

Belonging and inclusion

Many nurses at Michigan Medicine joined health care to help others. And many of them live that out both at work and in their free time.

For instance, Latoya Freeman spends much of her time outside of work making an impact in the community. She is the Inaugural and founding president of the Ann Arbor Black Nurses Association, where she supports efforts to mentor, support and encourage those in the nursing community.

“In this role, I am also able to work collaboratively with an amazing group of individuals to have an impact on shifting the need with health care disparities,” Freeman said.  

In her local church, she also serves as the president of a nurses unit that provides health education, screenings and positive promotions to assist in physical and spiritual health.

Finally, she is a member of Chi Eta Phi, a Black nursing sorority that takes pride in elevating the plane of nursing and service for humanity.

“My volunteer efforts help me live out my ‘why’ and have space to influence change for the greater good,” Freeman said.


T-VEC therapy is a treatment that uses a virus injected directly into tumors in a patient’s skin and lymph nodes to infect and kill cancer cells while avoiding normal cells. 

The therapy was initially solely administered by physicians at Michigan Medicine. But Kari Castillo, N.P., wanted to change that. Castillo, an advanced practice provider, wrote clinical guidelines and trained colleagues to allow APPs at the Rogel Cancer Center to safely carry out the procedure. Now, nurse practitioner Roxanne Cross, N.P., performs T-VEC therapy on her surgical oncology patients.

“As the program has progressed, we have become more efficient in treating patients and we are now providing this cutting-edge treatment to more melanoma patients than we ever have before at our institution,” Cross said.

Such improved access has been a boon to those who otherwise would have waited longer to receive such care.

“Watching the tumor respond to treatment and seeing it shrink away is so satisfying,” Cross said. “But more importantly, seeing the patient’s excitement and getting to know them gives me immense satisfaction in my role as their nurse practitioner.” 

Safety and quality

The Sepsis Team, L-R: Tami Garcia, M.S.N., R.N.; Carly Redstone, M.S.N., R.N.; Jessie King, M.D., Ph.D.; Sarah Poley, R.N., B.S.N., RNC-NIC; Rosalie Mulcahy, R.N., B.S.N., PCCN

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals and the leading factor when it comes to hospital readmissions. That’s why nurses and other team members have made it an institutional focus to spot sepsis in patients and stop it as soon as possible.

Sarah Poley, B.S.N., R.N., RNC-NIC, is part of the Sepsis Team at Michigan Medicine, which is using HRO principles to share best practices across pediatric and adult segments.

“We have communicated our intentions, loudly and clearly, to our colleagues that our aim is to improve the outcomes of patients who suffer from sepsis,” Poley said.

That effort has led to a redesign of tools in MiChart, renewed attention on sepsis during rounding, and presentations across the institution to new hires and unit-based committees, among other changes. It’s a process being spearheaded by Poley and the entire nursing community. For instance, approximately 80% of Mott nurses have completed Cornerstone Learning training regarding sepsis.

“Nurses across Michigan Medicine are doing an incredible job learning about sepsis,” Foley said. “It is often a nurse who identifies the subtle changes in patients that trigger the team to respond to the medical emergency that is sepsis, so these efforts will improve safety and quality outcomes for all of our patients.”  


Delivering a baby can be one of the most exhilarating experiences a mother can have. It is also an experience rife with dangers that medical professionals are trained to identify and reduce. One such danger is postpartum hemorrhaging (PPH), which can endanger the mother’s safety.

As such, Kathleen Reinhart, R.N., E.N.S., has helped to lead an effort in optimizing preparedness, recognition and management of postpartum hemorrhage.

For instance, a multidisciplinary group of bedside staff and leadership teams now have key actions to aid in a mother’s recovery. These include a lowered threshold to obtain a transfusion, additional technicians have been hired to track blood loss and a now-identified link between prolonged use of Pitocin, a labor inducer, and hemorrhage.  

Her work, and that of her teammates, is centered on reducing maternal morbidity and mortality from PPH.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to work side-by-side with providers and nurses for the common goal of improving patient outcomes and their experience,” Reinhart said. “We have worked very hard to make a difference and will continue to do so to further impact postpartum hemorrhage on our unit.”