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Close call in the OR: Speaking up prevents patient harm

May 22nd, 2019

Lily Maguire, M.D., and Joseph Brooks

Caring, teamwork and integrity. These three Michigan Medicine values were exemplified during an incident in the operating room late last year that could have resulted in severe patient harm but, thanks to a team member’s sharp eye and courage to speak up, didn’t.

It was a cold day in December and research clinical subjects coordinator Joseph Brooks remembers it was dark in the OR. The type of surgery being performed, a laparoscopic total colectomy, typically occurs in a darkened room to enable the surgeon and other team members to better view the monitors they rely on during the procedure.

Brooks was in the room that day as part of an anesthesia research project headed by Phillip Vlisides, M.D., to study the effects of caffeine on pain, brain function and mood following surgery. Brooks had placed an EEG cap on the patient, who was participating in the study, and was periodically checking the cap when he noticed something was wrong.

“It happened in a split second,” said Brooks. “I turned to check on the patient and noticed something didn’t look right. He was literally slipping, head first, off the table.”

Sounding the alarm

During the procedure being performed, the patient is moved into many different positions by the operating table.

“My resident and I have our eyes focused on the TV screens that are allowing us to see the laparoscopic view of the operation in progress,” said Lily Maguire, M.D., the colorectal surgeon performing the procedure that day. “While our eyes were fixed on the screen and our patient was positioned in a steep head-down position, we were not noticing that he was gradually slipping off the table.”

Other members of the OR team that day were focused on the tasks they were there to perform and had not noticed the patient slipping either.

“I immediately shoved my arm in to get beside the patient and prevent him from falling,” Brooks said. “I told the team what was happening. Everyone responded very quickly to get the table flat again and keep the patient safe. It took the whole team working together to move him.”

The patient and the team were fortunate that the patient was participating in the study and that an extra set of eyes were in the room that day. They were also fortunate Brooks had the courage to say something.

Everyone has a voice

Maguire and Brooks both acknowledge that the traditional hierarchy in an operating room can sometimes make it scary to speak up. In fact, Maguire remembers a few situations where people were afraid to voice concerns in the OR during her years in training at another institution.

“The OR is a really complicated place,” she said. “It’s incumbent upon all of us, especially surgeons and anesthesiologists, to be open and approachable so we’re not making people scared to voice their concerns. When people are fearful or upset about the way they’re being treated, it’s hard for them to perform at their best.”

Maguire’s sentiments are directly in line with one of the key characteristics of a highly reliable organization (HRO): encouraging employees to work as a team and support one another, creating a culture of respect and accountability.

Maguire learned years ago to put her own fears aside and speak up, recognizing that you can’t let anyone else’s words or actions keep you from taking good care of a patient.

“If you are afraid to speak up,” she said, “that can lead to serious mistakes.”

Part of the new safety statement created through Michigan Medicine’s work to become an HRO is as follows: “We are open and transparent about errors, and will stand up for those who speak up.”

Maguire’s understanding of the importance of every voice, and her desire to empower her team, have guided her in creating a safe setting in the OR where people feel comfortable providing input and sharing concerns.

“It’s so important, in my mind, that the operating room feel like a team environment and that everyone is empowered and confident to speak up for patient safety,” said Maguire.

Brooks has strong feelings on the subject of speaking up, as well, and has even led workshops on the topic.

“If there’s ever any risk of danger to a patient, you have to respond,” said Brooks. “One way to look at it is this: If it were your mother, child, family member or close friend, would you say something or would you let something happen because you’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings or getting in trouble?”

Preventing future incidents

After completing the patient’s procedure, Maguire shared the incident with the patient’s family and immediately filed a safety report detailing what had happened.

“The incident of the patient slipping was due to a malfunction in the operating table itself,” said Maguire. “I wanted to be sure this would not happen again.”

Maguire said the rapid and robust safety response system already in place at Michigan Medicine was extremely helpful. She remembers an entire team of people coming in over the holiday weekend to inspect every OR bed. As a result, problems with other beds were identified and corrected.

Also a result of Brooks’ intervention that day, Maguire is now much more vigilant when repositioning patients.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the technology we have,” said Maguire, “but, at the same time, we need to make sure we are keeping our eyes on the patient and not getting distracted by that technology.”

Working together to keep patients safe

Brooks encourages everyone to speak up for patient safety.

“If something doesn’t look right, say something,” he said. “In chaos, or even a calm surgical setting, not everyone sees everything. Everybody has their own job to do.”

Maguire couldn’t agree more.

“Lots of things were going on in the OR that day,” she said. “We were very fortunate Joe was paying attention to the case and that he spoke up when he noticed something was wrong.

“There is nothing about me that caused this to be a near miss or great save,” she continued, wanting to be sure credit is given where it is due. “Major kudos to Joe, and to the rest of the team, for their quick response to a situation that could have had a poor outcome.”

Kudos to Brooks, for sure, and to Maguire for creating an environment in which every team member has a voice and is comfortable using it.

Set up for success: Mentorship program helps area youth pursue careers in health care

May 21st, 2019

As Benjamin Case was finishing up his freshman year at Ann Arbor Huron High School, he had no idea that he was about to embark on a journey that would change his life.

“It was 2007 and my teacher slipped me a note and asked me to stay after class,” Case said. “When I did, I was given information about a mentoring program at U-M. I can honestly say the program led me down an incredible path to where I know I’m making a difference in the world.”

Benjamin Case

Soon, Case would become one of hundreds of Ann Arbor students who have participated in the Michigan Medicine Youth Mentoring Program. Others, such as Aleigthea Telfair and Tiere Emerson, joined the program in the years after Case.

All were chosen by their high school counselors for demonstrating good attendance, academic excellence and an interest in post-secondary education. And all have used the program as a springboard to successful careers both at Michigan Medicine and across the globe.

Learning valuable skills

The program, which is administered by Human Resources, began in 1993 and provides mentorships, internships and professional development opportunities to select Ann Arbor high school students, most of whom come from at-risk economic backgrounds.

Students commit to three consecutive summers on campus. The first summer involves a month-long session known as the Student Enrichment Program.

“As a high school kid, you don’t know much about anything outside your school,” Case said. “But this program let us participate in workshops and seminars that taught us about professionalism, leadership and how to act in a work setting.”

The next two summers are known as the Summer Internship Program, and involve students working directly within clinics or offices.

Telfair, for instance, was assigned to a clinic at Domino’s Farms and then as an office assistant in the Frankel Cardiovascular Center.

Aleigthea Telfair

“It was such a hands-on experience, I couldn’t help but soak up information,” Telfair said. “For instance, in the CVC, I learned data entry and other important skills.”

Emerson, meanwhile, worked in the CVC for both summers, while Case spent time in various clinics within Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“I felt so fortunate to be exposed to health care at such a young age,” Emerson said. “It showed me what individuals in a diverse environment filled with incredible resources can achieve.”

‘A foot in the door’

Outside of work skills, students in the program earned a few other perks, as well.

“This program really helps you get a foot in the door,” said Telfair, who ended up landing a job at Michigan Medicine right after high school. “I don’t think I would have been hired had this program not been on my resume.”

Eventually, Telfair went back to college and now works as a medical assistant in radiation oncology.

Emerson, too, is fairly certain that she would not be here had it not been for the program. She is currently a nurse on 6C at University Hospital.

Tiere Emerson

“During my time in the program, I shadowed a doctor who works with sickle-cell patients,” Emerson said. “It inspired me to go after a nursing career, and I’m currently pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. The mentoring program led me down that path.”

A research angle

Case’s experience also steered him toward a career in health care — but not in a clinical setting. He ended up enrolling at U-M as an undergraduate and his previous ties to the organization spurred him to work in a research lab and then as a research assistant in family medicine.

“I’m fully deaf in my left ear and have severe hearing loss in my right ear,” Case said. “I was introduced to [Chair of Family Medicine] Dr. Philip Zazove, who also happens to be Deaf.”

Ever since, Case has helped carry out groundbreaking research into hearing science and admission policies at U.S. medical schools.

“We are trying to see if admissions can be better tailored to students with disabilities,” Case said. While the research work is part-time, he is employed full-time as a research grants coordinator at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Case also previously served for a nonprofit that provided health care services in Honduras and other nations.

How you can host

As the next wave of students prepares to enter the Youth Mentoring Program, Human Resources is seeking departments who are interested in hosting a mentee.

“This is a great chance to invest in the community and give opportunities to kids who need it,” said Hinke Jansen, human resource director at Michigan Medicine. “As Ben, Aleigthea and Tiere have shown, large number of mentees come back to work for the organization, so you may very well be training the next generation of leaders. It’s incredibly rewarding for everyone involved.”

If you are interested in hosting a student, contact HR’s JoAnn Grantham at or by calling 734-936-8710.

Pediatric leukemia patient returns to cancer unit as nurse tech

May 20th, 2019

During a recent hospital shift, Shannon Spicer played peekaboo with a giggly toddler, held and rocked a crying baby and checked in on a teen who wasn’t feeling well.

The nurse technician spends her days in the pediatric cancer unit at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, where she assists nurses and cares for families while also taking classes to help her pursue a nursing degree.

Working on the Mott 7 East unit has brought Spicer full circle, she said — 19 years ago, she was on the other side of care in the same place, battling leukemia.

‘They were the rocks’

Spicer, who had been healthy all through childhood, was just 9 years old when aggressive flu-like symptoms sent her to the emergency room and led to a devastating cancer diagnosis.

The then-fourth grader spent two years in and out of Mott for treatment.

“As hard as it was, child life, nurses and doctors made every single stay feel like home. They were the rocks for me and my mom, and it was clear how much they cared,” said Spicer, 27.

“I remember watching everything the nurses did and thinking I should take notes because I knew I wanted to do that someday.”

Nearly two decades later, she’s back in the same unit at the same hospital following that exact dream.

And even after all of this time, there are familiar faces.

Just a couple of weeks into the job in August 2018, Spicer bumped into pediatric oncologist Rajen Mody — the doctor who treated her so many years ago.

“I was rounding on the floor when she introduced herself, and it took me a few seconds to realize who she was,” Mody recalled. “And then I was like, ‘wait, what are you doing here?’ I was just thrilled to see how well she was doing and that she was working here.

“It’s an oncologist’s dream to see former patients thriving years later and chasing their dreams. To see Shannon pursuing a career helping other patients with cancer, it’s just incredible.”

During interactions with families of newly diagnosed leukemia patients, Mody has even asked Spicer to share her story with them.

“As doctors, we can tell families that leukemia is a curable disease and that we expect to be able to help their child go on to live a normal life,” Mody said. “But I’ve had families tell me that talking to Shannon was the best thing to happen to them because instead of some abstract idea of success, they had a shining example standing right in front of them. Seeing is believing.

“She is such a tremendous success story that gives people hope and comfort.”

And there’s another influential role model from Spicer’s childhood who she now gets to work with: her onetime primary nurse, Jamie Fernley, R.N.

Fernley had just graduated nursing school herself when Spicer was admitted to the hospital in 2000, and Spicer was one of her first patients. The Mott nurse still has Christmas ornaments Spicer made her and cards from the family.

“Jamie was not only able to give me care but my mother care,” Spicer said. “No matter how sick I was or how upset my mom was when we came here, Jamie helped us feel better. That was a really important relationship to have here for mental and emotional support. It’s what I hope to give patients.

“Dr. Mody and Jamie were like celebrities to me when I was little,” Spicer added. “To now get to work with them and learn from them, I can’t even describe how meaningful that is.”

‘I’ve been there’

Spicer is currently working on prerequisites to get into a nursing program while working full time at Mott.

“One of the hardest parts of this job was realizing that not everyone has the same story as me and we don’t know how everything is going to turn out,” Spicer said. “It’s also the most rewarding job. I put myself back to where they are now and hope I can be a light for them.

“From the day I started working on this floor, I immediately felt like I had found my purpose again,” she added. “I remember how much I needed the doctors and nurses. I come to work every day thinking how I can give back. How can I make a family feel the way I felt when I was here?”

As a nurse tech, Spicer helps with any daily tasks nurses need assistance with, including taking vitals, answering call lights, making beds and making sure patients get fed and take baths. She also goes on walks with patients in the hallways or just sits and plays with them when they need a distraction or parents need a break.

And her personal experience brings a valuable perspective to her work.

“I remember at times feeling like I was the only one. I hope it brings comfort to have someone be able to say to them, ‘I’ve been there too, I’ve done that too, so let’s take this road together,’” Spicer said.

“Every day I get to take care of some of the greatest kids I will ever come across. They make me grateful for my story. As much as they need me, I feel like I need them, too. They welcome you into their lives and you welcome them into yours. I can’t even explain how much I truly love my job and am thankful to be a part of their journey.”

For more stories like this one, check out the Michigan Health Blog.

Week in Review: Week of May 13, 2019

May 17th, 2019

This week, Headlines focused on all three aspects of the Michigan Medicine mission: education, research and patient care.

For instance, readers took a closer look at the U-M Medical School commencement, which celebrated 164 new physicians. There was also a feature on cancer researchers who are helping the American Cancer Society kick-off a campaign designed to help uplift women in the field. Finally, clinicians — and other staff members — learned tips on how to keep themselves and their patients safe in case of an emergency; while others were lauded for making a difference last month.

In case you missed anything, here’s the latest:

The future of health care: 164 students graduate from U-M Medical School

Last Thursday, the 169th class of the U-M Medical School officially earned their diplomas and became physicians. Take a look back at the commencement ceremony — which was highlighted by an address from Abdul El-Sayed, M.D., M.P.H. — and learn about the new doctors, 97 percent of whom matched with one of their chosen residency programs.

ResearcHERS campaign aims to uplift women in cancer research

The American Cancer Society is launching a campaign to help fund women in cancer research. The effort, called “ResearcHERS™: Women Fighting Cancer,” will be used to offer grants, create protected time programs and launch new careers for women. The Michigan chapter kicked off the campaign with an event that included four Michigan Medicine experts. Click through to learn more!

New security trainings designed to save lives

Last week, the nurses on 7C and 7D participated in an essential program — a security training session that taught them what to do should an active attacker enter the workplace. The session is part of a number of new offerings being rolled out by Michigan Medicine Security to keep employees safe both at work and in their daily lives. Find out more about these vital programs and check out The Wrap above to hear the security team discuss the trainings.

Making a Difference: April 2019 highlights

Employees across the organization work hard to inspire their colleagues and make a difference in the lives of those they serve. Read about some of the remarkable faculty and staff members who were recognized by a patient, family member or coworker for their work in April.

Miss this week’s episode of The Wrap, which highlighted new security training sessions? Check it out at the top of the page!

New security trainings designed to save lives

May 16th, 2019

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For more than 30 minutes last Tuesday, nurses from 7C and 7D sat through an important security training session in a classroom within the Clinical Simulation Center in Med Sci II. Quickly, however, the training became a lot more practical — and realistic.

That’s because officers from Michigan Medicine Security carried out a mock active attacker scenario, during which the nurses learned how to react should a real-life situation occur at Michigan Medicine.

“While it’s highly unlikely that an event like this happens here, we want all of our faculty and staff to know the best ways to keep themselves safe — and keep those around them safe,” said Lynetta Smith, associate director of security, who helped lead the training.

While the program is currently in its pilot phase, the security team is planning to bring it to more and more employees in the months and years ahead.

Teaching the basics

To start the training session, a security officer discussed the three basics of what to do should an active attacker enter the workplace.

“You have three options — run, hide or fight,” said community engagement officer Billy Burton. “Remembering those three simple rules will give you a better chance of making it out safely.”

So what do those options actually entail? Here’s the breakdown:

  • Run: If you can get out safely, do so. Find the nearest exit and get as far away from the attacker as possible. Do not call for help until you are a safe distance away, with multiple obstacles between you and the attacker.
  • Hide: If you can’t exit safely, find a hiding spot. The best place is a room with a door that opens inward and can lock. Once in a room, turn out the lights and barricade the door with as many objects as possible. “The key here is creating layers — put as many things between you and the culprit as you can,” Burton said.
  • Fight: If you have no other choice, fight back against the attacker. “Find anything in the room you are in that can serve as a weapon — a mop, a water bottle, a chair, anything that can distract the attacker and give yourself a chance to get out,” Burton said.

To better learn these options, the nurses from 7C and 7D were dispatched into the Clinical Simulation Center, where they were asked to act as though they were going through a typical work shift.

A mock “attacker” then entered the hallway, and the clinicians had to carry out the run-hide-fight scenarios.

“We went through the scenario three times, debriefing after each one,” Smith said. “That allowed everyone to learn as much as possible and it will help them stay calm should a real situation play out in the future.”

More trainings on the way

The active attacker training is just one of several programs that Michigan Medicine Security is set to unveil.

Earlier in the week, the team carried out the first session of its Situational Awareness and Violence Prevention Training. The program helped attendees observe and identify suspicious behavior or activities.

“This training focuses on how to teach staff tactics to stay safe before work, during work or after work at the grocery store,” said Brian Uridge, director of Michigan Medicine Security. “This program will help them be mindful of behavior that may be considered pre-incident indicators and find out how they can alert law enforcement officials before a crime or dangerous situation takes place. We’re unaware of any other health system carrying out this type of training.”

Finally, Uridge and his staff are in the process of creating a more clinically-based training program. Last Thursday, he worked alongside the nurses in the Adult Emergency Services Department to see what their typical day is like.

“I was honored to spend a few hours with the nurses in AES and have a whole new level of respect and appreciation for their amazing dedication and compassion in such a dynamic environment,” Uridge said.

In the end, the purpose was to get a better understanding of the dangers clinicians face every day.

“That way, we’ll be able to better develop scenario-based trainings that fit their needs,” Uridge said. The new programming will be developed soon.

In the end, all the trainings are designed to prevent dangers before they happen or to limit their magnitude — and in the end, save lives.

“We all have a role to play in keeping Michigan Medicine safe,” Uridge said, “and the security team takes its job very seriously to best equip our employees to do just that. That’s what these trainings are all about.”

Check out The Wrap below for a closer look at the recent training sessions!

Making a Difference: April 2019 highlights

May 15th, 2019

Employees across Michigan Medicine continue to make a difference and inspire colleagues through their hard work and dedication. Recognizing the contributions employees make to the organization helps the team to become more motivated, drives better teamwork and gives each individual a sense that they are an integral part of achieving organizational goals.

Here are just a few examples of how faculty and staff helped Michigan Medicine provide exceptional care and service last month:

Peer recognition

Shaun Holder, Patient Food & Nutrition Services

Shaun, you provide exceptional customer service to every single patient you encounter. From the moment you walk in a patient’s room to when you leave, you exemplify professionalism, patience and kindness. I saw you go above and beyond with each patient you encountered, providing assistance and taking the extra time to really make sure that each patient had everything they needed. Thank you!

4B nursing team

The nurses on 4B always keep a positive and helpful attitude while working with nursing students! Every Tuesday and Thursday during the school year, they work as mentors. They are dedicated to high quality patient care, but are also willing to share their knowledge and expertise with students every minute of their shift. It is a pleasure to see the pairings of students and nurses working and learning together for the benefit of patients and families. They give us their all — thank you, 4B!

Jan Gamboa, B.S.W., Department of Social Work

Jan, thanks for assisting me with the niece of a patient who was anxious about her aunt’s surgery and additional home care services. I appreciate you calling the niece and answering her questions. When I followed up with her, she felt you were going above and beyond to take care of her loved one. Having a positive resolution to this case would not have been possible without your help. Thank you!

Phoebe Danziger, M.D., house officer, pediatrics-neonatal

Phoebe is a wonderful physician who communicates with her team respectfully and openly, actively listening to the thoughts/suggestions of staff and patients’ families. Working with her is a pleasure because of her compassionate nature, highly-effective communication skills and thoughtful decision-making. She is humble, yet clearly very talented and intelligent. She inspires others around her to intentionally treat our colleagues and patients with respect, and approach our work with curiosity and humility. We all love working with her!

Katie Pouget, patient services associate, Northville Health Center

Katie always goes the extra mile when a patient checks out. Recently, a little girl wanted a sticker and none could be found. So Katie drew a picture on a sticky note and gave it to her so that she would not go home empty-handed. It was a wonderful act that did not go unnoticed.

Huang Liao, Interpreter Services

Huang is one of the best interpreters I have worked with at Michigan Medicine! Recently, she assisted a patient in completing the medication reconciliation form in the lobby. Then she was kind and compassionate, putting a very anxious patient at ease. It was clear that Huang was interpreting my questions and directions as well as the patient’s responses precisely. Thank you, Huang!

Raghu Tadi, app programmer/analyst senior, HITS

The Learning Management team is so appreciative of all of the support Raghu has provided us. He is always willing to lend a hand and share his past knowledge and expertise when issues arise with MLearning, including providing well-documented processes and troubleshooting tips. Thank you for all of your support, Raghu!

Patient to staff

Lauren Beason, R.N., 9E/W, Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital

Lauren made having my first baby a better experience by providing excellent care over a three-day span. As a new mom-to-be, the birthing experience can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. Lauren took the time to explain what was happening and reassured me throughout the process. Her calm and friendly demeanor were very much welcomed. Thank you for everything you do each day, and know that what you do — and how you do it — truly makes for a better patient experience.

Mathew Baltz, physical therapist, PM&R

Mat is very knowledgeable in his profession. He inspired me to work hard through the challenges of my health situation. He balanced the cardiac rehab and neuro rehab that I needed with expertise and gave me confidence in the program he set up. I really enjoyed his company throughout the process and appreciate everything he did for me. Thank you, Mat!

Diane Nassar, patient services associate, Briarwood Center for Women, Children, Young Adults #2

I always look forward to checking out with Diane as she exemplifies the Michigan Difference. She carries out extraordinary customer service and creates an easy and efficient checkout process. During my recent visit, I had 12 upcoming appointments to schedule. Diane shared a contagious joy and excitement toward my pregnancy, which left me leaving the clinic even more joyful. I wanted to recognize Diane for always being a pleasure to check out with and, more importantly, for being a consistently reliable staple in what makes the BW2 clinic function like a well-oiled machine!

Click here to nominate a colleague or team who makes a difference at Michigan Medicine!

ResearcHERS campaign aims to uplift women in cancer research

May 14th, 2019

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While identifying barriers that prevent women from continuously advancing in their careers has been widely studied, efforts to eliminate those barriers have not been as readily identified.

The American Cancer Society is looking to change that by launching a campaign that will specifically fund the work of women in cancer research — an effort named the “ResearcHERS™: Women Fighting Cancer” campaign.

ResearcHERS seeks contributions from donors that will exclusively support women’s cancer research — ensuring women will continue to make significant scientific contributions to help save lives from all types of cancer.

The ACS launched the Michigan portion of its campaign with a kick-off event at the Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor earlier this month.

The event featured three Michigan Medicine experts who have received funding from the ACS that they say helped them advance in their careers.

First, remarks were delivered by Beth Lawlor, M.D., Ph.D., who specializes in pediatric cancer and is the Russell G. Adderley Professor of Pediatric Oncology. Lawlor is serving as co-chair of the campaign in the State of Michigan.

There was also a panel discussion featuring Lawlor, Grace Chen, M.D., Ph.D., and Sarah Hawley, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Chen has been with Michigan Medicine since her residency in 2003 and specializes in colorectal and gastrointestinal cancer, while Hawley is the founder of CanSORT, the Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team. She is specifically interested in evaluating the role of patients’ preferences in cancer-related decision making.

Minorities in medical research

According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics data, less than 30 percent of the world’s researchers are women. While men are typically able to pursue new opportunities early in their careers, women often have to decline those same opportunities or leave their work completely to have and raise children or support other family members.

“Women often can’t catch up to male colleagues after taking time to have children,” said Lawlor during the panel discussion.

Even when returning to the workforce, women face a steep climb to reach their male peers.

“My time is split three ways: I take the kids to school, manage patients and run the lab, then chauffeur kids to activities after school,” said Chen during the discussion.

Indeed, it is such time constraints that often keep women from having the chance to apply for research grants or find other funding options.

“In addition, women lack representation at senior levels, which leads to diminished opportunities for sponsorship and mentorship throughout their careers,” Lawlor said. “Even women who do not take time away still face barriers due to lack of recognition. It is critical that women and all minority groups be represented at all career stages and across all cancer research disciplines.”

That’s where ResearcHERS will step in. The campaign will be used to fund grants, create protected time programs and launch new careers for women pursuing cancer research.

“Cancer is a complex problem. The only way we’re going to solve it is with diverse perspectives. Women have different ways of approaching problems and asking questions. Anything that expands the diversity perspective benefits research,” said Lawlor.

Jagsi also honored by ACS

In addition to the fundraising campaign, the ACS put the spotlight on Michigan Medicine’s Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., and her patient, Tess Downie, at the Kensington event. The two helped to highlight the importance of cancer research funding and how those funds specifically aid women during their careers.

Downie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and enrolled in a clinical trial administered by Jagsi — who had been awarded a mentored research scholar grant from the ACS early on in her career. She attributes funding from the ACS to her overall success in cancer research.

Check out a video telling the story of Downie and Jagsi below:


To learn more about ResearcHERS — and how you can support the endeavor — click here.

The future of health care: 164 students graduate from U-M Medical School

May 13th, 2019

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The excitement was palpable in historic Hill Auditorium last Thursday, as 164 beaming medical students walked across stage and into their futures, as both health care leaders and physicians.

The 169th graduating class of the U-M Medical School received their diplomas in a commencement ceremony highlighted by an address from Abdul El-Sayed, M.D, M.P.H., former leader of the City of Detroit’s health department and 2018 gubernatorial primary candidate in Michigan.

El-Sayed was selected by the students as their commencement speaker because of his unique approach to policy and medical initiatives designed to benefit the greater good. Both were emphasized by this graduating class throughout their time on campus, as they demonstrated their leadership skills and yearned to make a difference in health and health care over the last several years.

Overall, 66 percent of the graduating class completed a Path of Excellence to gain specialized experience and training in subject areas like medical humanities, health policy, scientific discovery and patient safety. These paths were created by medical school leadership to prepare students to become agents of change throughout their health care careers.

Seventy-five students completed Capstone for IMPACT projects, designed to provide students with innovative opportunities to take on society’s biggest challenges in health, health care and health system delivery while in medical school. These important projects included health-related podcasts, student-led national conferences, new electives for future medical students, video series, and submissions for journal publications and conferences.

An impressive 97 percent of this year’s graduating class matched to one of their chosen residency programs on Match Day, with 26 students graduating with both a medical degree from U-M and an advanced degree in another field from graduate programs at U-M, Cambridge University, Harvard and elsewhere. These degrees include Ph.D.s as part of U-M’s prestigious Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), and master’s degrees in public health, clinical research or business. Five students have also completed both a medical degree and a residency program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

“Every year, I am incredibly proud of our graduating students,” said Rajesh S. Mangrulkar, M.D., Marguerite S. Roll Professor of Medical Education and associate dean for medical student education. “However, this class is truly memorable. They brought their best to the University of Michigan and really embraced the mission to try and improve the health of society in so many different ways. Undeniably, each of them made an impact while they were educated here and it is all of our honor to celebrate with them.”

Who is the Class of 2019?

The 164 graduates range in age from 25 to 40, and hail from 25 different states.

They came to U-M from 66 undergraduate schools, including 11 in Michigan. They will now spread out over the country for their residency training in 26 different states, with 28 percent staying in the state of Michigan.

45 percent of U-M’s graduates will train in a field that could lead to a primary care career as an internist, pediatrician, family practitioner, obstetrician/ gynecologist or dual specialist in internal medicine and pediatrics.

The students staying at U-M for their residency programs, or going elsewhere for the next phase of their training, were selected from among thousands of applicants nationwide.

At U-M, nearly 1,200 doctors-in-training in 106 residency and fellowship programs currently train at the Michigan Medicine hospitals and clinics. Those programs are highly regarded by doctors around the country, and by the doctors who completed them, according to results compiled by Doximity.

If you missed the ceremony, click here to watch video of the event.

Week in Review: Week of May 6, 2019

May 10th, 2019

Nurses Week is coming to a close, but Mother’s Day weekend is just getting started. That means it’s time for a festive Week in Review!

Over the past few days, the newsletter celebrated Nurses Week with a fun photo gallery, an informative Q&A with interim Chief Nurse Executive Nancy May, and a quick rundown of educational opportunities open to all members of the nursing community. Mothers were also showcased as the children of employees shared what they love most about their moms.

In case you missed those stories — and more — here’s the latest:

It’s Nurses Week! Celebrating life savers at Michigan Medicine

Whether at the bedside, in ambulatory care units or flying high aboard Survival Flight, nurses at Michigan Medicine make an impact every day. Click here to take a look at just a few of the many life-saving nurses who work across the organization and sign up for valuable educational opportunities provided by the Nurse Recruitment and Retention team.

‘Nursing is a calling’: Q&A with Nancy May, D.N.P., RN-BC, NEA-BC, interim chief nurse executive

Nancy May decided to become a nurse in high school after one of her friends was diagnosed with lymphoma. It’s a decision she has never regretted. In honor of Nurses Week, check out a Q&A with the organization’s interim chief nurse executive and find out what she has planned for the future of nursing at Michigan Medicine.

Family ties: Kids share what they love most about their moms

Headlines got the Mother’s Day celebrations started early by talking to kids across the organization and finding out what makes their mom so special. Whether it was going to the movies, sharing some cuddles or just showing how much they care, hear what the children had to say — and find a photo gallery of many of the hard-working mothers across the organization!

Don’t get ‘caught’: Simulated phishing campaign planned for Michigan Medicine

Phishing emails are designed to trick the recipient into providing data, opening file attachments or clicking links. By doing so, it makes both personal and patient information vulnerable. Click through to learn about an upcoming campaign aimed at helping employees better recognize phishing attempts and keep Michigan Medicine safe and secure.

Miss this week’s episode of The Wrap, which highlighted both Nurses Week and Mother’s Day? Check it out at the top of the page!