Top Stories

New annual mandatory on Magnetic Resonance Imaging Safety

A new annual institutional mandatory for selected faculty and staff will open next month.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Safety training is required of all UMHHC faculty and staff who may enter University of Michigan Health System MRI facilities. The MRI Safety training is required to meet The Joint Commission new Imaging Standards effective July 1, 2015.

Everyone who enters the MRI area must understand the potential risks and harms of entering the MRI environment, and how to mitigate them. The Joint Commission requirement restricts access from the MRI scanner room and the area that immediately precedes the entrance to the MRI scanner room of anyone who has not been trained in MRI safety or screened by staff trained in MRI safety.

The mandatory will begin July 6, 2015.

What does this mean for you?

1. On July 6, 2015 UMHHC selected faculty and staff will be assigned the mandatory, MRI Safety module, on their MLearning learning plan. Many faculty and staff across all disciplines may need to enter the MRI area including faculty, house officers, nurses, housekeepers, transporters, contractors and ER personnel. It is not possible to know every individual in the UMHHC who may or may not need to enter the MRI area. Therefore, MLearning and Radiology have developed an “Opt Out” process.  Any UMHHC faculty or staff person who is assigned the MRI Safety mandatory can choose to “Opt Out” by launching the module and choosing the appropriate option for his/her role

2. The module will also screen for staff who need access to the MRI area, but who have a medical contraindication to entering the area.

3. Employees will complete the assigned MRI Safety education activity by opting out, documenting a medical contraindication or completing the module and quiz for access to the MRI area.

For questions, please contact Deb Burch at regarding the requirement or content of the information. Contact MLearning at or 734-615-5146 for any technology issues.

Thank you for your support and compliance with this educational requirement.

Maria A. Ceo, Chief Department Administrator, Radiology and Interim Associate Hospital Director

Ella Kazerooni, M.D., Associate Chair for Clinical Services, Radiology

Students combine research, photography to learn about health equity across Michigan

A group of undergraduate students from around the country came to Michigan to research health equity and document their findings through photography, under the direction of New York Times renowned photographer James Estrin.

For the Michigan Health Sciences Summer Institute’s Photo Voice project, 38 students blended their research skills with their artistic abilities to depict health standards usually shown through raw data and statistics. The students heighted their awareness of how social factors such as wealth, community and education impact the health of local residents by exploring health disparities in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint, Fenton, Farmington Hills, Pontiac, Dearborn and Ypsilanti.

Student photos are featured below from the project, partly sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Office for Health Equity and Inclusion.

Torrean Johnson, a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, said the project restored his “passion to become that scientific problem solver.” Several local students also participated, including from Wayne State and Oakland universities.

About the Michigan Health Sciences Summer Institute at the University of Michigan Health System
The aim of the summer institute is to prepare high school, undergraduate students and recent college graduates to become leaders in the health sciences field. The Photo Voice project’s aim was to stimulate an interest and commitment to combating health disparities while promoting medical research.


U-M Medical School’s Student-Run Free Clinic helps students via new technology

A student shows Dean Woolliscroft one of the iPads that will be used for patient education at the Student-Run Free Clinic

A student shows Dean Woolliscroft one of the iPads that will be used for patient education at the Student-Run Free Clinic

The Medical School’s Student-Run Free Clinic has received a $30,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, to bring technology-based patient education to the clinic.

Representatives from Verizon and the Medical School leadership visited the clinic on June 24 to see the new technology in action, and learn how it’s being used to enable hands-on learning for the students who run the clinic and educate the uninsured patients who come to the Pinckney, Mich. facility.

The grant grew out of the clinic team’s desire to offer patient education materials tailored specifically to the needs of the patients who visit the clinic. After exploring a number of online health education applications and websites, and consulting with faculty and a student from the U-M School of Public Health, the students decided to create a website. They surveyed the clinic’s patients to determine which health education topics and primary health issues they most wanted to learn about.

Based on this information, they created a website that brings together local resources for the area surrounding the clinic, online resources, and health education videos directly from the U-M faculty physicians who volunteer at the clinic and supervise the students. The students have also incorporated health insurance education into the site, and into the clinic visit itself, in an effort to aid patients in finding good, affordable insurance options.

The Verizon funding helped to purchase iPads for patient education, and laptop computers for use by the physicians in the clinic. Patients are encouraged to use the iPads while they are waiting to be seen, as well as during down-time throughout their visit.  Over the next several months, the students will be tracking how this affects patient’s experiences in the clinic, especially their access to health insurance.

For more about the U-M Student-Run Free Clinic, and how you can help it achieve its goals of serving patients and enhancing the educational experience of U-M medical students, visit and


U-M doctor practices teamwork in the operating room and on the field

There’s a World Cup for soccer-playing physicians, and University of Michigan surgeon Dr. David Machado-Aranda will play defense for the U.S. as 18 countries including Germany, Brazil, Great Britain and Austria compete in the 2015 World Medical Football Championships. Before play begins June 28 in Long Beach, Calif., the Venezuelan-born physician shares what soccer has taught him about the importance of team work – on the pitch and in the operating room.

Name    David Machado-Aranda, M.D., age 42

Job         Acute care surgeon (trauma, emergency, general surgery and surgical critical care) at the University of Michigan Health System

Research  Developing non-viral lung gene therapy for treatment of acute lung injury and adult respiratory distress syndrome

Field Position   Defensive line, mostly an outer back

What has soccer meant to you during your life?

My love for the sport runs deep, not only in keeping me healthy, but it helps make me a better person and a better doctor. When you are on the soccer field, you score a goal through movement and cohesion with other players. This is very similar to medicine, where it is not the doctors’ individual talent and knowledge, but the orchestration of the team of nurses, therapists, technicians and others that’s required to reach the goal of helping patients get better.

Any differences in play in the U.S. and your native Venezuela?

The play in the U.S. is much more physical and athletic and the tempo of the game is much faster. Most of the teams are well-matched and score lines are very close. Venezuela is different from other South American countries in that baseball is the national pastime and most resources are devoted to that sport. That is why so many Venezuelan players are in major league baseball like Miguel Cabrera, Anibal Sanchez and Victor Martinez who play for the Detroit Tigers, just to name a few. Venezuela has always been considered the soccer minnows in South America, but grass roots pride is growing especially after Venezuela has won against Colombia and Argentina.

You’re a busy physician, how do you make time for soccer?

With trauma and emergency surgery you learn to adapt and make sacrifices, so it is not unusual to play from 11 p.m. to 1-2 a.m. (my favorite times for emergency surgeries as well). It requires a lot of coordination of schedules and sometimes understanding from my teammates when I can’t play. Fortunately my son who is a high school varsity captain is my personal trainer, coach and toughest competition. My family has been very understanding for allowing me time to practice.

So when do you train with the U.S. Medical Soccer team?

Training occurs four to five weekends a year. Every three months or so, I will arrange my clinical duties to allow me to travel to these training sessions which this year they have been in Long Beach, Calif.; Atlanta and Seattle.

What sort of values do you think you learn from soccer?

From playing with passion, to becoming a leader on and off the pitch, to believing in yourself and how hard work pays off, followed by cherishing friendships and respecting a rivalry. Some of the values like understanding team play and knowing when to be creative and go off-script vs. when to follow a tactical system and protocol translate to my medical career. Because it’s an international sport, soccer has allowed me to connect with people from other generations, cultures and backgrounds that I otherwise might not have anything in common.

Have you ever been to a World Cup (the one for non-medical professionals)?

I have never been to a FIFA World Cup, but there’s an interesting phenomena that happens during the games: the whole country stops for a couple of hours to follow the matches.

Will FIFA’s troubles have an impact on interest in soccer?

The scandal pertains to a small group of individuals and businessmen who have nothing to do with the core values of how and why the game is loved and played by so many. Ask any young kid who is playing in the street or empty field… she or he doesn’t care who Sepp Blatter or Jack Warner is. They are dreaming of being the next Messi, Neymar, Cristiano, Marta or Amy Wambach.

About the U.S. Medical Soccer Team

The U.S. Medical Soccer Team is composed of physicians from across the country, united by their profession and a love for the game of soccer. Team members engage youth in soccer during events at Boys and Girls Clubs of America and promote physical activity for chronic disease prevention. Learn more at


Procedure helps U-M surgical nurse lose nearly 160 pounds

Mandy Pate, R.N., with Oliver Varban, M.D., has a lot in common with those seeking weight loss surgery.

Mandy Pate, R.N., is an operating room nurse whose patients are obese. They come to UMHS for either a gastric bypass or a sleeve gastrectomy. Mandy, age 34, has more in common with her patients than you might suspect, seeing her trim size-12 figure. A year ago, she was a patient herself and had a sleeve gastrectomy performed by members of her own surgical team, including Oliver Varban, M.D.

“It’s been a battle with my weight since I was three or four years old,” she says. “I’ve spent my life constantly dieting and I’ve probably taken every weight-loss medication there is, but in the last few years, I couldn’t even bend over to tie my shoes!”

Since her surgery on April 4, 2014, Mandy has lost 157 pounds, down from a pre-surgery weight of 333 pounds. Before surgery, she wore size 5XL scrubs and size 30 street clothes. Today she wears medium scrubs and size 12 clothing, and says she has much more energy.

“The doctors and staff are wonderful, and these are very safe procedures,” she says.

Mandy’s procedure, the sleeve gastrectomy, involved removing about 80 percent of the stomach. A typical stomach can hold 32 ounces of food and liquid comfortably – after surgery, it can hold 4 ounces of food and is about the size of a banana. She said an unanticipated benefit was that the section taken out produces a hormone to stimulate the appetite. With that section of the stomach gone, she finds she doesn’t feel hungry very often.

Mandy says she used to be afraid of going out, of dealing with tight quarters in unaccustomed places. The surgery made her successful and has given her hope. Her aches and pains are gone, she sleeps better and she knows she’ll live a longer life.

“We have a wonderful support group that includes nutritionists, endocrinologist, psychosocial support and exercise physiologists. It’s a nice support community so the patient is not alone,” she says.

For more information on bariatric surgery as well as post-surgery tips from Mandy, read this blog post.

Wicha appointed to National Cancer Advisory Board

President Barack Obama announced his selection of Max S. Wicha, M.D., as one of five new appointees to the National Cancer Advisory Board.wicha

Wicha, the Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, will serve on the 18-member board for six years.

“I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to serve our country. They bring their years of experience and expertise to this Administration, and I look forward to working with them,” Obama said in a statement.

The NCAB and the President’s Cancer Panel are the only advisory bodies at either the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Health and Human Services whose members are appointed by the president. The primary task of the NCAB is to advise the secretary of Health and Human Services, the director of the National Cancer Institute, and ultimately the president of the United States on a range of issues affecting the nation’s cancer program and, specifically, NCI operations. The NCAB reviews and recommends grants and cooperative agreements following technical and scientific peer review.

Wicha founded the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center and served as director for 27 years. He is a renowned cancer researcher who was part of the team that first identified cancer stem cells in a solid tumor, finding them in breast cancer. His lab continues to look at cancer stem cells to help improve treatments for metastatic breast cancer.


UMHS launches website to educate physicians on new breast density law

On June 1, the Michigan Breast Density Notification Law went into effect, which requires radiologists to notify a woman and her primary care physician should dense breast tissue be identified on her mammogram.

In addition to raising a woman’s awareness, the law suggests that the information be discussed with their health care provider to decide if supplemental imaging, in addition to their mammogram, should be considered based on their individual risk.

The U-M Medical School Office of Continuous Professional Development and the Department of Learning Health Sciences received a grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to create an educational program for primary care providers throughout the state.

The comprehensive online program is available at

The project was led by Cheryl Lee, M.D., professor, Department of Urology and director of the Office of Continuous Professional Development; Renee Pinsky, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Radiology; and Caren M. Stalburg, M.D., M.A., chief of the Division of Professional Education in the Department of Learning Health Sciences and clinical assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The goal of the site is to familiarize PCP’s around the state regarding the new law as well as the updated screening guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer created by the Michigan Cancer Consortium. As part of the educational materials on the site, there are six modules for which physicians have the opportunity to receive CME credit. This gives providers the ability to better counsel and educate their patients about what breast density means for them.

The modules will cover:

  • Additional information on breast density
  • Breast cancer screening guidelines
  • Risk assessment and patient counseling
  • Supplemental screening
  • Educational materials
  • Online resources for providers

For more information on this educational effort, please visit

Clinical site managers: Take a short survey on disinfection, sterilization processes

Managers of all clinical sites are asked to take a brief, one-minute survey on High Level Disinfection and Sterilization processes at UMHS. Please visit the link below or assign a delegate to submit information for your area by July 2, 2015.

In the survey, you will be asked to provide contact information for a front-line staff member who is involved with and best knows the processes performed in your area. This person will receive a secondary, more detailed survey on your area’s HLD processes.

This data will help UMHS validate and update the list of areas performing reprocessing of clinical devices.

Julia Jackson is the system manager for Sterile Processing and John Whelan is the system project manager for High Level Disinfection.  Working together with Infection Prevention, an institutional certification program is being developed for all sites involved in sterilization and/or HLD processes. This endeavor will serve as initial and ongoing quality control for these critical processes.

For more information, contact John Whelan, BSN, RN, at

New Medical Short Stay Unit set to open next month

MSSU Blue in UH South

Last June, the U-M Board of Regents approved a $9 million project to increase the availability of U-M’s advanced patient care by renovating 17,900 square feet on the fourth floor of University Hospital South to create a 22-bed short-stay unit. The Medical Short Stay Unit (MSSU) Blue: UH South will open its doors July 13 and begin caring for patients who are anticipated to need a day or two in the hospital before going home or to another care setting.

These additional 22 beds will provide some flexible capacity for our institution. The MSSU Blue: UH South will have 20 single rooms, one double room, three bariatric lifts and one negative pressure room. Each room will have telemetry capabilities and thirteen beds are licensed for inpatients. This will allow patients with a short length of stay to remain in the same room with minimal or no disruption in care, even if they were first classified as observation status.

This addition will increase our medical observation and short-stay capacity to a total of 40 beds from the current 18 located on B1 in the Taubman Center. The current Adult Medical Observation beds in Taubman will transition from the Emergency Department to Internal Medicine, with the new name MSSU Maize: Taubman. 

Both MSSU Blue and Maize units will fall under a unified Medical Short Stay model with staff working in both locations. Physicians and midlevel providers will also be in the Emergency Department to expedite admission to the Medical Short Stay Unit.

The Medical Short Stay Unit is hosting an open house reception on Friday, July 10 from 1-5 p.m. in the new MSSU Blue unit in UH South. We invite you to come see the newly renovated space and learn more about the services provided.

U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center marks 500th TAVR

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.