Top Stories

Labor Day swimmers: Remember to jump in feet first

More than a million Michiganders will head out to a pool or Great Lake this long Labor Day weekend, soaking up the 80-degree temperatures for perhaps the last time before the pool toys get packed away in favor of packing up the backpacks.

Whether it’s a body of water your family swims in every summer, or you’re trying out a new Mitten State destination, it’s important to keep your safety vigilance in and around the water.

Dr. Shawn Hervey-Jumper, a neurosurgeon at the University of Michigan Health System, focuses on just two words to convey the most important water safety tip: feet first. It’s not worth the risk to dive in if you have any doubts.

“Every year, we’ll get a few patients who come in who have thought they were in deeper water than they were, and hit the bottom,” Hervey-Jumper said.

Bones can be fixed, but a damaged spinal cord from a shallow dive is a permanent injury.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are about 12,500 new cases of spinal cord injuries each year.

“Michigan is particularly prone to these sorts of issues because we have so many wonderful lakes for recreation,” Hervey-Jumper said.

Read the blog here:


Fuller Road construction continues, alternate routes available for employees

After a temporary stop in work, the city of Ann Arbor has resumed bridge maintenance on Fuller Road. Construction is expected to last until mid-October.

Please allow extra time when traveling to and from the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers and share this information with patients and visitors.roadconstruction

UMHS employees are encouraged to seek alternate routes to the hospitals and health centers that avoid areas of Fuller Road under construction. This will help to shorten your commute time as well as the commute of patients and visitors. See this map for route suggestions using Plymouth Road, Huron Street and Main Street to get to UMHHC.

Related newsStudent Move-In brings traffic, parking changes Sept. 3-5

Work will take place on the Fuller Road Bridge over the railroad on the west side of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers. One lane of traffic on Fuller Road will be maintained in each direction at all times. Maiden Lane and E. Medical Center Drive bridges will remain fully open to traffic. See the area map for construction details.

Pedestrian traffic will be maintained at all times during construction. Delays are possible on all routes that travel through the vicinity, but no detours are planned at this time.


Saving lives at 2,000 feet: Meet a U-M Survival Flight Nurse

Elaine Philipson was afraid of heights before she became a Survival Flight Nurse at the U-M Health System. Now she works in jets and helicopters daily, helping patients while flying through the air at 160 miles per hour.

Watch this video about Elaine and her work.

Video link:

CHRT, IHPI members share Michigan’s Medicaid expansion experience

How did Michigan become one of just six states with a fully Republican-led state government to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act? Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation staff and members of U-M’s Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation explain.

How did Michigan become one of just six states with a fully Republican-led state government to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act?

It’s a timely question, because today the state government will ask the federal government for permission to continue the innovative program with Michigan-specific coverage provisions.

In a Health Affairs Blog post, staff from the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT) and members of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI) share Michigan’s path to expansion.

“The Healthy Michigan Plan (Michigan’s version of the Medicaid expansion) went into effect on April 1, 2014,” the authors write. “One year into this expansion, Michigan’s experience has confirmed some expectations but vastly exceeded others.”

Among the areas of exceeded expectations: enrollment. Healthy Michigan Plan enrollment surpassed the state’s first year projection in less than four months.

Read the blog post here.

Authors include:

  • Marianne Udow-Phillips, MHSA, CHRT director
  • Kersten Burns Lausch, MPP, formerly a CHRT health policy analyst
  • Erin Shigekawa, MPH, formerly a CHRT health policy fellow
  • Richard A. Hirth, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy at the School of Public Health and Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan
  • John Z. Ayanian, M.D., MPP, Inaugural Director of IHPI, Alice Hamilton Professor of Medicine at the Medical School, Professor of Health Management and Policy at the School of Public Health, Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Student Move-In brings traffic, parking changes Sept. 3-5

With this year’s student move-in taking place over part of the holiday weekend, community members can expect changes to the usual traffic and parking patterns. Move-In 2015 will take place Friday, Sept. 4 and Saturday, Sept. 5. The campus community should also anticipate increased traffic and rerouting on Thursday, Sept. 3, as preparations for Move-In get underway.

Some streets in the immediate vicinity of residence halls will see traffic-flow alterations, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4; and Saturday, Sept. 5 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Traffic changes near the main Medical Campus include: 

  • E. Ann: One-way traffic flow eastbound from Zina Pitcher to Observatory streets.
  • Observatory: One-way traffic flow southbound between E. Ann and Geddes streets.

Please alert patients and visitors of these changes before their appointment.

Related newsFuller Road construction continues, alternate routes available for employees

Click here for a map of traffic patterns and detour routes near University Hospital and the Cardiovascular Center. 

Additional Traffic alterations:

  • Thompson: One-way traffic flow southbound from Jefferson to Packard streets.
  • E. Madison: One-way traffic flow eastbound between Thompson and State streets.
  • E. Washington: One-way traffic flow westbound between Fletcher and State streets.

Most, if not all, parking meters in the immediate vicinity of residence halls will be bagged and reserved for students and families who display the proper Move-In unloading permit. Additional parking changes will impact University parking lots and structures that will be converted to Move-In use only for the duration of the program.

University lots and structures that will be converted to Move-In only are as follows:

  1. Lot M-28 (on Washington Heights)
  2. Lot M-95 (just east of Markley Hall – west half of lot dedicated to Move-In)
  3. Lot E-1 (on N. University Court across from Stockwell Hall)
  4. Palmer Parking Structure (N-26):  All visitor parking will be for Move-In participants

DPSS officers and staff will be on site during Move-In and will aid in maintaining efficient traffic-flow in the residence hall areas.

Both the Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority and University Parking and Transportation Services will be changing some bus routes to accommodate the changes in traffic flow.  Please visit their websites for details.

For additional information about Student Move-In 2015, please see


Mott patient worried heart surgery might make him a Michigan fan

After receiving care at Mott’s Congenital Heart Center, Buckeye fan Ivan Applin, 10, may have just a little room for Michigan in his heart

Toledo fourth grader’s story makes him a local celebrity and receives national news –from ESPN to Washington Post

What started as a UMHS blog post has turned into a national story about a little boy treated for a congenital heart defect at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

As pediatric cardiologist Dr. Ronald Grifka showed 10-year-old Ivan Applin the wire-framed device that would be used to fix the holes in his heart, the young Buckeyes fan had just one burning concern. He asked if the Michigan doctors were going to make his heart love University of Michigan instead of Ohio State.

Ivan’s story about his treatment at Mott for an atrial septal defect has warmed many hearts – among both Ohio State and U-M fans. It appeared in national news around the country from the Washington Post to ESPN’s Sports Center program. It was also covered by CBS Sports, the Big Ten Network, ESPN websiteFox Sports, Fox News, NBC Sports, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, Sports Illustrated, the Bleacher Report, the NCAA page, Sports Blog Nation,  Yahoo Sports, Ann Arbor News and MSN among others.

Dozens of local TV stations around the country also ran the story. Watch this short TV report from Toledo that tells the story of how their local boy “became famous” with a follow-up interview with Ivan’s mom.

Ivan is among the first patients in Michigan to receive the newly-FDA-approved device used to repair a heart defect known as atrial septal defect. Children born with this condition have a hole in their heart that interferes with proper blood flow to their organs. His procedure at Mott is just one more chapter of his incredible 10-year journey. Read More in our blog post>>

Be prepared for the Joint Commission survey

Sometime between now and the end of March 2016, the U-M Health System will be visited by surveyors from The Joint Commission for an assessment of our entire clinical operation. It is important for all UMHS faculty, staff and students to help our institution get ready and stay read for this unannounced survey.

The Joint Commission findings will determine if our hospitals, health centers, home care operations and other services will once again be accredited – a status that enables us to attract patients, receive payment from insurers, and maintain our medical education program.  Meeting national standards strengthens public perception and communicates confidence in our ability to provide safe, quality care.

If you have joined UMHS since March 2013, when we had our last survey, please ask your supervisor how the survey affects your area and what you can do to prepare.

No matter where you work or how long you’ve been at UMHS, please take a moment now to review:

During the survey, please pay special attention to these Priority Focus Areas:
(The Joint Commission has told us it will focus on these during the UMHS survey.)

(1) Assessment and Care/Services
(2) Information Management
(3) Equipment Use
(4) Infection Control (including observation of our hand hygiene practices)
(5) Medication Management
(6) Patient Safety

What to expect during the survey:

Unlike prior surveys, it is possible that this survey may be only four days in length. If that happens, the survey may begin on either Monday or Tuesday but we will have a larger cohort of surveyors.

A global email will be sent the morning of the surveyors’ arrival. This will occur on a Monday or Tuesday morning. Items on the internal and clinical homepages will also include important updates and information throughout the week.

To see results from our last The Joint Commission survey in March 2013, and other information about our institution on The Joint Commission’s site, visit


Top 4 changes to Medical School curriculum

The cadence of the academic year accelerates in August with the arrival of our newest medical students. The drumbeat is even faster this year, fueled by the excitement our M1s are feeling as the first class to experience elements of our new medical student curriculum.

Click on the image below to view a video highlighting the top four changes to the medical student curriculum and what students and faculty can expect during the ongoing curricular transformation.


Thank you for your ongoing input and support of the transformative changes underway.


James O. Woolliscroft, M.D.
Lyle C. Roll Professor of Medicine

Open Enrollment for 2016 benefits coming soon

Open Enrollment is October 26 – November 6, 2015. This is the time for faculty, staff and retirees to review their current benefits and make changes to their coverage for 2016.

No action is required to keep your current benefits coverage in 2016, unless you want to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Internal Revenue Service rules require annual enrollment to participate in an FSA.

Watch for future communications from the Benefits Office with Open Enrollment details. To help you plan, here is an overview of benefits changes for 2016.

Life Insurance Coverage Increases

Optional Life Insurance Plan Coverage Increases
Under the current Optional Life Insurance Plan, you can elect coverage of one to six times your annual salary. For 2016, the coverage choices will increase to eight times your salary up to the new plan maximum of $1.5 million.

Special Opportunity to Enroll in Optional Life or Increase Your Coverage
Life insurance is usually not included in Open Enrollment and eligible faculty and staff can enroll at any time with approval based on a statement of good health. Because of the coverage changes, the university is offering a special one-time opportunity. Faculty and staff who want to enroll in the university’s Optional Life Insurance Plan or increase their coverage can do so during this year’s Open Enrollment without providing a health statement for limited coverage increases. View your Optional Life Insurance Plan choices that will not require a health statement during Open Enrollment.

Added Coverage Level for Dependent Life Insurance
A new $100,000 coverage option for your spouse or other qualified adult will be added to the Dependent Life Insurance Plan.

Identity Protection Services Added to the Legal Services Plan
The university’s Legal Services Plan will add identity protection services for plan members, including identity management services, resolution services for help in recovering from identity theft, credit monitoring services, and more.

Increased Contribution Limit for Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts
The annual amount eligible faculty and staff can contribute to a Health Care Flexible Spending Account will increase to $2,550.

Learn more about Open Enrollment and the 2016 plan changes.

2016 Benefits Plan Rates Available Now
To view your rates, log in to Wolverine Access and select Display Benefits Plan Rates under Benefits on the Self Service page. Your current rates are displayed at the top; scroll down to view your 2016 rates.


  • For benefits information: University Human Resources
  • Frequently asked benefits questions: Ask HR
  • For questions about your benefits or Open Enrollment, call the Shared Services Center (SSC) HR Contact Center at 5-2000 (Ann Arbor campus), 734-615-2000 (local or off-campus), or 866-647-7657 (toll-free) Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

5 things you may not know about Community Fundraising at UMHS

Thank You

5 things you may not know about Community Fundraising at UMHS

  • A community fundraising event is an event hosted by patients & families, companies & organizations, or UMHS staff members with proceeds benefiting an area of UMHS
  • We have an entire team dedicated to supporting community fundraising events by providing UMHS-branded giveaway items for event participants, setting up online giving links for credit card donations, and sharing UMHS logos for use on promotional materials
  • There are over 100 community fundraising events hosted each year
  • Community fundraising events brought in over $1.3 million in FY15
  • 100% of donations from UMHS community fundraising events go directly to a donor designated fund

We need YOUR help to spread the word about the great resources available to those who are hosting community fundraising events, and also to share how profound of an impact these events have on creating the future of health care. Every event – no matter the size – makes a significant difference in the lives of our patients and families every day!

To learn more about our Community Fundraising program please visit, or contact us at or 734-998-6893.