Top Stories

Throwback Thursday: Mark UH & Taubman Center 30th anniversary by sharing your story

The upcoming Valentine's Day has a special place in our hearts and in the health of our communities and state. That's because it was 30 years ago this weekend – on Feb. 14, 1986 – that the last 400 patients in “Old Main” hospital moved to the new University Hospital, and UH opened to new inpatients.  The adjacent A. Alfred Taubman Center, which houses dozens of ambulatory clinics and other services, also opened that day. More than 5,000 people worked in our patient care environment at that time.

If you remember that big transition three decades ago, we'd love to hear from you! Maybe you worked here – or were training for the career you now have. Maybe you or a loved one received care in the early days of the brand-new hospital and clinics. Whatever your story, click here to share your memories and/or photos from that time and you could be featured in Headlines. 

We will select the five top entries to win cool UMHS logo items including umbrellas, totes, coffee mugs, and more! The deadline to enter for a chance to win is Sunday, Feb. 14. But we welcome memories and photos anytime, in preparation for the U-M Bicentennial and beyond.

Throwback Thursday: Mark UH & Taubman Center 30th anniversary by sharing your story

The upcoming Valentine's Day has a special place in our hearts and in the health of our communities and state. That's because it was 30 years ago this weekend – on Feb. 14, 1986 – that the last 400 patients in “Old Main” hospital moved to the new University Hospital, and UH opened to new inpatients.  The adjacent A. Alfred Taubman Center, which houses dozens of ambulatory clinics and other services, also opened that day. More than 5,000 people worked in our patient care environment at that time.

If you remember that big transition three decades ago, we'd love to hear from you! Maybe you worked here – or were training for the career you now have. Maybe you or a loved one received care in the early days of the brand-new hospital and clinics. Whatever your story, click here to share your memories and/or photos from that time and you could be featured in Headlines. 

We will select the five top entries to win cool UMHS logo items including umbrellas, totes, coffee mugs, and more! The deadline to enter for a chance to win is Sunday, Feb. 14. But we welcome memories and photos anytime, in preparation for the U-M Bicentennial and beyond.

Throwback Thursday: Mark UH & Taubman Center 30th anniversary by sharing your story

The upcoming Valentine's Day has a special place in our hearts and in the health of our communities and state. That's because it was 30 years ago this weekend – on Feb. 14, 1986 – that the last 400 patients in “Old Main” hospital moved to the new University Hospital, and UH opened to new inpatients.  The adjacent A. Alfred Taubman Center, which houses dozens of ambulatory clinics and other services, also opened that day. More than 5,000 people worked in our patient care environment at that time.

If you remember that big transition three decades ago, we'd love to hear from you! Maybe you worked here – or were training for the career you now have. Maybe you or a loved one received care in the early days of the brand-new hospital and clinics. Whatever your story, click here to share your memories and/or photos from that time and you could be featured in Headlines. 

We will select the five top entries to win cool UMHS logo items including umbrellas, totes, coffee mugs, and more! The deadline to enter for a chance to win is Sunday, Feb. 14. But we welcome memories and photos anytime, in preparation for the U-M Bicentennial and beyond.

ActiveU: One man’s healthy goal becomes whole team’s mission

Pictured from left to right: Casey Jentzen (Nurse Aide), Shannon Watson (Nurse Aide), Christina Phillips (RN), and Kevin Lankford (Nurse Aide).

Already down 100 pounds in the past year, Nurse's Aide Casey Jentzen is on the path to a healthier lifestyle. And with the help of U-M's ActiveU programs his mission to slim down and shape up is spreading to many of his colleagues on 5C, where coworkers share healthy recipes, offer encouragement and have started working out together and tracking their progress with ActiveU.

“We’re encouraged on our floor to work out and be healthy,” Casey said. “It’s a great program where we can earn nominal prizes for participating.  It fosters a sense of camaraderie, promotes a healthier lifestyle – it’s contagious!”

Casey has lost 100 pounds since joining UMHS in 2013, he said. “Working in the transplant unit was a bit of a wakeup call for me.  It was clear that some of our patients were not taking care of themselves and that their issues were somewhat preventable.  I was heading down the same path.  I love to cook.  My mom catered when I was growing up so I am used to cooking for 20 people when I should be cooking for two.  Old habits die hard!  I decided to take control.”

Casey started his journey by making small changes, for example cutting out soda, making a commitment to drinking several glasses of water each day, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  “As a nurse, I average about 15,000 steps a day. We’re constantly moving and that’s a great part of the job.  From the second floor where the main entrance is located to the 5th floor where I work, it’s 100 stairs each way and I do it every day.” 

It wasn't long before his efforts were noticed by coworkers and his enthusiasm spread through the unit.

“When I started eating better and working out, my colleagues noticed that I was losing weight and it made me feel good.  They provided a lot of encouragement and positive reinforcement, which motivated me to stay on this path.” 

Casey’s advice to others looking to make a change?  “Try to do at least one healthy thing each day.  UMHS offers incredible programs to help employees start and sustain healthy lifestyles. I learned that diets are designed to fail; it insinuates there is a start and end point.  Healthy living is a lifestyle,” he said, “And bonus – our healthy behavior is rewarded!  It’s nice to have support from our leadership.” 

Learn more about U-M’s ActiveU program.

ActiveU: One man’s healthy goal becomes whole team’s mission

Pictured from left to right: Casey Jentzen (Nurse Aide), Shannon Watson (Nurse Aide), Christina Phillips (RN), and Kevin Lankford (Nurse Aide).

Already down 100 pounds in the past year, Nurse's Aide Casey Jentzen is on the path to a healthier lifestyle. And with the help of U-M's ActiveU programs his mission to slim down and shape up is spreading to many of his colleagues on 5C, where coworkers share healthy recipes, offer encouragement and have started working out together and tracking their progress with ActiveU.

“We’re encouraged on our floor to work out and be healthy,” Casey said. “It’s a great program where we can earn nominal prizes for participating.  It fosters a sense of camaraderie, promotes a healthier lifestyle – it’s contagious!”

Casey has lost 100 pounds since joining UMHS in 2013, he said. “Working in the transplant unit was a bit of a wakeup call for me.  It was clear that some of our patients were not taking care of themselves and that their issues were somewhat preventable.  I was heading down the same path.  I love to cook.  My mom catered when I was growing up so I am used to cooking for 20 people when I should be cooking for two.  Old habits die hard!  I decided to take control.”

Casey started his journey by making small changes, for example cutting out soda, making a commitment to drinking several glasses of water each day, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  “As a nurse, I average about 15,000 steps a day. We’re constantly moving and that’s a great part of the job.  From the second floor where the main entrance is located to the 5th floor where I work, it’s 100 stairs each way and I do it every day.” 

It wasn't long before his efforts were noticed by coworkers and his enthusiasm spread through the unit.

“When I started eating better and working out, my colleagues noticed that I was losing weight and it made me feel good.  They provided a lot of encouragement and positive reinforcement, which motivated me to stay on this path.” 

Casey’s advice to others looking to make a change?  “Try to do at least one healthy thing each day.  UMHS offers incredible programs to help employees start and sustain healthy lifestyles. I learned that diets are designed to fail; it insinuates there is a start and end point.  Healthy living is a lifestyle,” he said, “And bonus – our healthy behavior is rewarded!  It’s nice to have support from our leadership.” 

Learn more about U-M’s ActiveU program.

Be alert for identity theft this tax season

Hackers have recently targeted social security numbers and other personal information in order to file fraudulent tax returns. UMHS staff members have had fraudulent tax returns filed in their name in the past, and although U-M was not implicated as the source for these tax incidents, this type of fraud is increasing. See these five tips to avoid online tax fraud provided on the U-M ITS Safe Computing website.

Be on the lookout for:       

Phishing Emails

Over the past few years, several UMHS workforce members have responded to phishing messages and had their personal information compromised. Learn more about recognizing phishing attempts by watching this informative video from ITS, as well as the video of last fall’s phishing brown bag presented by Compliance, MCIT, and MSIS.

Threatening Phone Calls

A recent scam is that criminals have called victims claiming to be employees of the IRS and demanding payment. You should know that the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment or threaten to bring in law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Do you think you have been a victim? 

Click here for guidelines to assist in responding to possible tax fraud.

Be alert for identity theft this tax season

Hackers have recently targeted social security numbers and other personal information in order to file fraudulent tax returns. UMHS staff members have had fraudulent tax returns filed in their name in the past, and although U-M was not implicated as the source for these tax incidents, this type of fraud is increasing. See these five tips to avoid online tax fraud provided on the U-M ITS Safe Computing website.

Be on the lookout for:       

Phishing Emails

Over the past few years, several UMHS workforce members have responded to phishing messages and had their personal information compromised. Learn more about recognizing phishing attempts by watching this informative video from ITS, as well as the video of last fall’s phishing brown bag presented by Compliance, MCIT, and MSIS.

Threatening Phone Calls

A recent scam is that criminals have called victims claiming to be employees of the IRS and demanding payment. You should know that the IRS will never call to demand immediate payment or threaten to bring in law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Do you think you have been a victim? 

Click here for guidelines to assist in responding to possible tax fraud.

U-M researcher receives $6.5M grant to target cancer stem cells

What would you do if you had the money? For Max S. Wicha, M.D., the answer was clear. And now the National Cancer Institute has given him the money.

Wicha has received a $6.5 millionOutstanding Investigator Award to study cancer stem cells, the small number of cells within a tumor that fuel its growth and spread.

“With this kind of research, you don’t always know where it’s going next,” says Wicha, the Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology and founding director emeritus of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, says. “This new grant gives us the freedom to pursue new directions in cancer stem cell research.”

The award – roughly three times a traditional individual investigator award – is part of a new grant program called R-35 developed by the National Cancer Institute. The program will fund projects of unusual potential in cancer research over an extended period of seven years. The goal is to provide investigators with substantial time to break new ground or extend previous discoveries to advance biomedical, behavioral or clinical cancer research.

“The NCI Outstanding Investigator Award addresses a problem that many cancer researchers experience: finding a balance between focusing on their science while ensuring that they will have funds to continue their research in the future,” says Dinah Singer, Ph.D., director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Biology. 

“With seven years of uninterrupted funding, NCI is providing investigators the opportunity to fully develop exceptional and ambitious cancer research programs.”

Wicha is one of the world’s foremost cancer stem cell researchers. He was part of the team that initially identified stem cells in breast cancer, the first time they had been described in a solid tumor.

Since then, Wicha’s lab has advanced the understanding of the role cancer stem cells play in the development of cancer and in treatment resistance. This has led to multiple clinical trials testing potential therapies aimed at attacking cancer stem cells.

“One of the challenges in the cancer stem cell field is that because they are a small percentage of the overall cells in a tumor, how do you know if you have killed them?” Wicha says.

His grant proposal involves isolating circulating tumor cells, cancer cells that break off from the primary tumor and circulate throughout a patient’s bloodstream. Using devices developed by engineering colleagues, the team will isolate and analyze the genome of individual cancer cells. Based on the markers expressed, the researchers can identify the portion of cells that are cancer stem cells to understand whether treatment is attacking the stem cells.

In addition, Wicha’s lab will work in coordination with other investigators to understand the role the immune system plays in cancer stem cells.

The single-cell assessment will be used to help determine which combination of stem cell-directed therapies and immunotherapies have the greatest potential for each patient. And if patients begin to relapse, could a blood test help identify that early on so that the patient can switch to a new treatment?

The project will focus on translating findings from the lab to the clinic, including developing clinical trials.

“This is an ideal time to take this work to the next level. We hope that the new Outstanding Investigator grant will help us make significant gains in understanding cancer stem cells to improve cancer treatment,” Wicha says.

U-M researcher receives $6.5M grant to target cancer stem cells

What would you do if you had the money? For Max S. Wicha, M.D., the answer was clear. And now the National Cancer Institute has given him the money.

Wicha has received a $6.5 millionOutstanding Investigator Award to study cancer stem cells, the small number of cells within a tumor that fuel its growth and spread.

“With this kind of research, you don’t always know where it’s going next,” says Wicha, the Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology and founding director emeritus of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, says. “This new grant gives us the freedom to pursue new directions in cancer stem cell research.”

The award – roughly three times a traditional individual investigator award – is part of a new grant program called R-35 developed by the National Cancer Institute. The program will fund projects of unusual potential in cancer research over an extended period of seven years. The goal is to provide investigators with substantial time to break new ground or extend previous discoveries to advance biomedical, behavioral or clinical cancer research.

“The NCI Outstanding Investigator Award addresses a problem that many cancer researchers experience: finding a balance between focusing on their science while ensuring that they will have funds to continue their research in the future,” says Dinah Singer, Ph.D., director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Biology. 

“With seven years of uninterrupted funding, NCI is providing investigators the opportunity to fully develop exceptional and ambitious cancer research programs.”

Wicha is one of the world’s foremost cancer stem cell researchers. He was part of the team that initially identified stem cells in breast cancer, the first time they had been described in a solid tumor.

Since then, Wicha’s lab has advanced the understanding of the role cancer stem cells play in the development of cancer and in treatment resistance. This has led to multiple clinical trials testing potential therapies aimed at attacking cancer stem cells.

“One of the challenges in the cancer stem cell field is that because they are a small percentage of the overall cells in a tumor, how do you know if you have killed them?” Wicha says.

His grant proposal involves isolating circulating tumor cells, cancer cells that break off from the primary tumor and circulate throughout a patient’s bloodstream. Using devices developed by engineering colleagues, the team will isolate and analyze the genome of individual cancer cells. Based on the markers expressed, the researchers can identify the portion of cells that are cancer stem cells to understand whether treatment is attacking the stem cells.

In addition, Wicha’s lab will work in coordination with other investigators to understand the role the immune system plays in cancer stem cells.

The single-cell assessment will be used to help determine which combination of stem cell-directed therapies and immunotherapies have the greatest potential for each patient. And if patients begin to relapse, could a blood test help identify that early on so that the patient can switch to a new treatment?

The project will focus on translating findings from the lab to the clinic, including developing clinical trials.

“This is an ideal time to take this work to the next level. We hope that the new Outstanding Investigator grant will help us make significant gains in understanding cancer stem cells to improve cancer treatment,” Wicha says.

U-M researcher receives $6.5M grant to target cancer stem cells

What would you do if you had the money? For Max S. Wicha, M.D., the answer was clear. And now the National Cancer Institute has given him the money.

Wicha has received a $6.5 millionOutstanding Investigator Award to study cancer stem cells, the small number of cells within a tumor that fuel its growth and spread.

“With this kind of research, you don’t always know where it’s going next,” says Wicha, the Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professor of Oncology and founding director emeritus of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, says. “This new grant gives us the freedom to pursue new directions in cancer stem cell research.”

The award – roughly three times a traditional individual investigator award – is part of a new grant program called R-35 developed by the National Cancer Institute. The program will fund projects of unusual potential in cancer research over an extended period of seven years. The goal is to provide investigators with substantial time to break new ground or extend previous discoveries to advance biomedical, behavioral or clinical cancer research.

“The NCI Outstanding Investigator Award addresses a problem that many cancer researchers experience: finding a balance between focusing on their science while ensuring that they will have funds to continue their research in the future,” says Dinah Singer, Ph.D., director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Biology. 

“With seven years of uninterrupted funding, NCI is providing investigators the opportunity to fully develop exceptional and ambitious cancer research programs.”

Wicha is one of the world’s foremost cancer stem cell researchers. He was part of the team that initially identified stem cells in breast cancer, the first time they had been described in a solid tumor.

Since then, Wicha’s lab has advanced the understanding of the role cancer stem cells play in the development of cancer and in treatment resistance. This has led to multiple clinical trials testing potential therapies aimed at attacking cancer stem cells.

“One of the challenges in the cancer stem cell field is that because they are a small percentage of the overall cells in a tumor, how do you know if you have killed them?” Wicha says.

His grant proposal involves isolating circulating tumor cells, cancer cells that break off from the primary tumor and circulate throughout a patient’s bloodstream. Using devices developed by engineering colleagues, the team will isolate and analyze the genome of individual cancer cells. Based on the markers expressed, the researchers can identify the portion of cells that are cancer stem cells to understand whether treatment is attacking the stem cells.

In addition, Wicha’s lab will work in coordination with other investigators to understand the role the immune system plays in cancer stem cells.

The single-cell assessment will be used to help determine which combination of stem cell-directed therapies and immunotherapies have the greatest potential for each patient. And if patients begin to relapse, could a blood test help identify that early on so that the patient can switch to a new treatment?

The project will focus on translating findings from the lab to the clinic, including developing clinical trials.

“This is an ideal time to take this work to the next level. We hope that the new Outstanding Investigator grant will help us make significant gains in understanding cancer stem cells to improve cancer treatment,” Wicha says.

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