U-M faculty, staff offered opportunities for prayer breaks, worship during Ramadan

Posted on June 16, 2015

Ramadan is a special month of the year for more than one billion Muslims throughout the world. This year, Ramadan is from Wednesday, June 17 – Friday, July 17.

As with all religious observances, U-M employees are encouraged to practice according to their particular beliefs. The UMHS interfaith chapel will, as usual, be available for prayers. Prayer rugs and Qurans are available at the chapel as well.

For more information about Ramadan, visit

For information about other faith holidays, visit

Spiritual Care resources for all UMHS employees are available at

Some of the services provided to faculty and staff by the department include:

• Spiritual counseling
• Requested ritual support: prayers, communion, anointing, baptism, blessing, reconciliation
• Spiritual assessment
• Scheduled worship services
• Regular spiritual care contacts and consultations
• Patient, family and staff care and support
• Educational in-services on spiritual and religious issues
• Participation in ethics consults, family conferences and interdisciplinary rounds
• Liaison with community clergy and faith communities
• Crisis intervention consultation and support
• Bereavement consultations

Chaplains represent a variety of religions and faith traditions. They have a list of local congregations and can arrange a visit from a religious leader of your choosing. Chaplains are available in the University Hospital Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact:

Spiritual Care Department
University Hospital, Level 2, Room 2A220

U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center marks 500th TAVR

Posted on June 16, 2015

The University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center has performed its 500th transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a minimally invasive procedure that’s transforming aortic care for elderly adults.

The U-M participated in the early stages of studying the survival benefit of TAVR and is testing the next generation of heart devices designed to allow doctors to replace an aortic valve without opening a patient’s chest.

As one of the highest volume TAVR programs in the country, the University of Michigan is changing the health outlook of patients such as Lois Metzger, 81, who benefited from TAVR performed four years ago.

“I was at a crossroads,” says Metzger, who had the procedure in April 2011 after managing symptoms from fatigue to poor circulation. “Although I remember feeling scared, the procedure was a turning point to living a life I enjoy.”

She regularly travels between Naples, Fla., and Michigan where she was honored at a big family gathering in Frankenmuth, Mich., for her 80th birthday.

As many as 300,000 people in the United States are diagnosed each year with narrowed, failing heart valves, called aortic stenosis.

Without aortic valve replacement, 50 percent of patients will not survive more than an average of two years after symptoms begin.

The emergence of TAVR procedures is providing new hope for patients who — because of age or other health conditions — cannot undergo surgery. For the procedure, doctors rely on hollow tubes called catheters to gain access to the chambers of the heart rather than heart surgery.

Cardiovascular specialists Stanley J. Chetcuti, M.D., G. Michael Deeb, M.D., P. Michael Grossman, M.D., Daniel Menees, M.D., Himanshu Patel, M.D., and Matthew Romano, M.D., are leading the treatment transformation, performing more TAVR procedures than any other heart team in Michigan.

The U-M’s Deeb and Chetcuti were among the authors of a New England Journal of Medicine study that revealed the effectiveness of TAVR as an alternative to open heart surgery, and through additional study, U-M physicians aim to improve outcomes for those with severe aortic stenosis.

Clinical trials underway at the U-M are examining investigational devices with safety features that reduce valve leakage and are designed to allow doctors to reposition the artificial valve if needed.


Buy fresh produce through a CSA: Pre-pay by July 1

Posted on June 16, 2015

The university has partnered with Prochaska Farms in Tecumseh, Mich. and Tantré Farms in Chelsea, Mich, to give faculty and staff an opportunity to get fresh, straight-from-the-farm produce. Purchase a 12-week “share” in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program by July 1, then pick up your fresh produce each week at locations near campus.

A “share” typically consists of a box or basket of farm fresh seasonal vegetables, with other farm products possibly included. Weekly pick-up sites near campus include:

  • Washtenaw Food Hub (4175 Whitmore Lake Road) – Every Wednesday, July 8 – September 23, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Organic produce provided by Tantré Farms.
  • Green Road Parking Lot (1919 Green Road) – Every Thursday, July 9 – September 24, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Produce provided by Prochaska Farms.

The CSA program is a partnership between MHealthy, UMHS and Planet Blue. Along with encouraging healthier food choices, the CSA program supports the university’s commitment to offering sustainable, locally sourced foods.

Learn more about the CSA program or purchase a share.


Friends Gift Shops 30% off sale (June 17)

Posted on June 16, 2015

The Friends Gift Shops will be having another 30% off Customer Appreciation Sale on Wednesday, June 17.

The main shop will be open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., the Mott Carousel shop will be open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., and the CVC Shop will be open 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

All items, with the exception of candy, flowers, books, magazines, stamps and balloons will be discounted. Proceeds from the sales of merchandise in the gift shops go back to the hospitals and heath centers.

Thank you for your continued support in helping to make the Michigan Difference.

Ghana library named after U-M Obgyn chair for devotion to curbing global maternal deaths

Posted on June 15, 2015

“People enter our lives and leave without making any impression, but Tim has made such an impeccable impression on the hearts and souls of every one he met in Ghana and West Africa” – Yao Kwawukume

It was a basic human need that compelled University of Michigan Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology Dr. Timothy R.B. Johnson to devote his life to global maternal health: Far too many women around the world were dying of preventable deaths.

The maternal mortality ratio in Ghana was dismal, the country steadily losing women in their communities to complications during pregnancy, childbirth and other health issues that could have been avoided simply by the right medical training and care. It’s what led Johnson down a path that has become his legacy: A 25-year collaboration between U-M and Ghana resulting in the training of more than 140 obstetricians in the country today.

The library at the Family Health Medical School, the first private medical school in the sub-region, is now called the Tim Johnson Library Complex to honor Johnson’s contributions to the region.

The library at the Family Health Medical School, the first private medical school in the sub-region, is now called the Tim Johnson Library Complex to honor Johnson’s contributions to the region.

Now, to honor Johnson for the difference he’s made in the region, a family health hospital established due to Johnson’s mentorship has named its library after him. The library at the Family Health Medical School, the first private medical school in the sub-region, is now called the Tim Johnson Library Complex.

“Tim is a man of many parts, an astute academician, a great teacher, a good listener and a mentor to all. Success and greatness to Tim means that even one single life matters and therefore Tim is compassionate with the total elimination of maternal death,” Ghanian representatives said in a letter about the naming.

Dr. Timothy R.B. Johnson receives an honorary fellowship in 2007 from the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons from then Ghanaian President John Kufuor.

Dr. Timothy R.B. Johnson receives an honorary fellowship in 2007 from the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons from then Ghanaian President John Kufuor.

“People enter our lives and leave without making any impression but Tim has made such an impeccable impression on the hearts and souls of every one he met in Ghana and West Africa.”

See the full letter from Ghana here.

For Johnson, it all started as a chance trip to Africa in place of a colleague unable to attend a Continuing Medical Education session in 1986. It was that visit that sparked more than two decades of partnerships between Ghana and the University of Michigan, starting with a residency program in Ob/Gyn funded by the Carnegie Corporation that continues with Ghanaian government support today.

“Dr. Johnson has been a longtime leader of our outreach efforts in Ghana. This honor is a fitting tribute to his commitment to teaching and training physicians who are improving health care in West Africa,” says James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean, Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine.

Since his first trip, Johnson has visited Ghana more than 30 times, spearheading a physician education effort that now includes specialty training at the University of Ghana Medical School and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. More than 200 Ghanaian students have been trained in Ghana, with nearly all of them opting to remain in the country after completing their residencies.

“I am stunned and honored to learn that the library complex at the Family Health Medical School has been named after me,” says Johnson, who is also the Bates Professor of the Diseases of Women and Children at the U-M Health System.

“Ghana has left such a deep mark on me, and it’s touching to see that there are people in Africa who feel similarly about the role our institution has had on their lives.”

“Maternal health is a human rights issue, and we have seen how critical academic partnerships can be in transforming medical care around the world,” Johnson adds. “We remain committed to our mission to strengthen and expand these partnerships to improve women’s health in West Africa and beyond.”

Learn more about global U-M work led by Johnson:

U-M delegation travels to Ghana to witness impact of health mission

Medicine at Michigan: Curbing Maternal Mortality

Scientista: Maternal and Childhood Mortality

U-M President Mark Schlissel discusses university’s collaborative approach to global engagement

Saving lives after work: U-M nurse helps fellow traveler during miscarriage on plane

Posted on June 11, 2015

U-M Health System employees make a positive impact on the lives of our patients and families every day. Whether it’s through literally saving a life, providing clean and quiet accommodations, or offering a kind word of support, the Michigan Difference can be seen in each of our team members, sometimes even after their shift has ended.

Earlier this year, Rosemarie McDonald, Vascular Access Team registered nurse at U-M, boarded a flight with her husband to San Diego. She planned to visit their son, followed by a short vacation. Little did she know she would be putting her 35 years of nursing practice into action just minutes after leaving the ground.

A passenger carrying twins as a surrogate mother began experiencing a miscarriage just 45 minutes after takeoff. When inflight staff asked if any medical professionals were on the plane, Rosemarie sprang into action, selflessly displaying her willingness to help others at all times.

“I never had a second thought that I needed to assist this woman,” she remembers. “As soon as they made the announcement I went to the back of the plane and saw her near the bathroom, obviously in distress and white as a ghost.”

Rosemarie put her nursing skills to work, starting a saline IV for the woman while another nurse aboard the plane watched over vital signs. The two nurses took turns holding the woman’s hand while the other monitored her vitals.

“Once we were able to get her to lie down and be comfortable, her color totally changed and she began looking better,” says Rosemarie. The whole time, Rosemarie explained everything she and the other nurse were doing to help. Her goal was to make sure the woman was as comfortable and safe as possible.

“I continued to offer reassuring and comforting words as we watched over her,” Rosemarie says. “I tried putting myself in her position. She had to be so frightened for herself and her two small children who were also on the plane. This is the same kind of thing we practice every day at UMHS, always making sure our patients are comfortable and relaxed while receiving the care they need.”

The pilot landed the flight in Phoenix where paramedics were standing by, ready to take the passenger to the hospital. Rosemarie said her goodbyes, just happy she could help.

Weeks later, the woman who miscarried on the plane, Rebecca Sutcliffe, was interviewed by a San Diego news station. She expressed how grateful she was to have assistance from Rosemarie and the other nurse on the plane. She wished she could meet the heroes who helped save her life that day.

Watch the clip here.

Rosemarie heard about the news clip and contacted Sutcliffe through social media. The two connected and spoke for nearly two hours over the phone.

“It was like we had always known each other,” Rosemarie says. “It’s hard when you are a nurse because you often take care of people and don’t always know what happens to them when they leave the hospital. This has been a great outcome to something that was so terrible. I’m so grateful that everything turned out OK for my new found friend. We plan on meeting up in December when she’s back in town.”

Rosemarie has gone above and beyond her work duties by exercising clinical skills and a caring attitude outside of UMHS. Still she remains humble and doesn’t want to take all the credit. She’s searching for the other nurse on the flight so she can thank her for helping to save a life.

The future of medicine is now: Faculty can vote on new curriculum through June 24

Posted on June 10, 2015

Today, the Medical School’s executive faculty begins voting on proposed changes to the medical student curriculum. Eligible members will receive an email with instructions to cast their vote on the overall direction of the curricular transformation.

The voting period runs through June 24.

On June 3, the Medical School hosted a town hall for faculty to learn more about the changes. Video from the meeting is posted here.

More information on the proposed new curriculum — called “Michigan Medicine: Transforming. Creating. Leading.” — can be found on the Curriculum Strategic Planning website.

Michigan & deadly summer weather: It happened once, it can happen again

Posted on June 10, 2015

On anniversary of Flint tornado, key tips from a U-M emergency doctor to staying safe in tornado, flood & heat wave season

Deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma. Dangerous flooding in Texas. Could Michigan be next for the freakish weather patterns of 2015?

After all, severe weather can happen here too. In fact, this week is the anniversary of the 1953 tornado that struck Beecher, a small town just north of Flint, and killed 116 people and destroyed nearly 350 houses. Even 62 years later, it remains one of the nation’s most deadly twisters.

So this is a great time to take stock of what every Michigan family can do to be ready in case a major weather event strikes the Mitten State. With a few simple actions, you can keep yourself and your loved ones and pets safe and healthy during a tornado, flood or more routine summer thunderstorms.

We turned to a U-M doctor who thinks about emergency planning a lot – because he treats a lot of people who didn’t plan or think ahead and paid the price with an injury or illness. He’s Brad Uren, M.D., a U-M emergency physician and past president of the Michigan College of Emergency Physicians.

Read more>>

Crucial Conversations (June 24-25)

Posted on June 10, 2015

Does your team suffer from taboo topics, deference, disagreement, analysis paralysis, information hoarding, office politics or alienation?

Crucial Conversations is a two-day course that teaches skills for creating open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional or risky topics. By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you’ll surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to describe the elements of a crucial conversation, identify their own style under stress, develop a plan to share meaning, identify the warning signs that prevent others from sharing their meaning, and build acceptance.

The program takes place Wednesday, June 24 and Thursday, June 25 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the North Campus Administrative Complex, Conference Room A/B, 2901 Hubbard.

Instructors: Laura Denton and Whitney Williams

Register through MLearning HUMA-20064-1001