Being without health insurance is like walking a tightrope without a safety net below you. All it takes is one tiny slip to send you into a health crisis.
But for uninsured people in Washtenaw and western Wayne counties, a charity called the Hope Clinic helps keep uninsured patients from falling too far.
For decades, U-M doctors, nurses, staff, medical students and residents have volunteered at Hope’s location in Ypsilanti, helping weave a safety net that has served thousands of people.
Accepting the Program of the Year award for clinical services on behalf of the dozens of UMHS faculty, staff and trainees who have volunteered for the Hope@UMHS program are, from left, Perry Schechtman, Ophthalmology, Heather Pontasch, Dermatology, Julie Brown, Hope Clinic, Trisha Goodridge, Plastic Surgery, Robbi Kupfer, Otolaryngology, Katherine Simpson, Hope Clinic, Seyi Aliu, Plastic Surgery, and Paul Salow, Otolaryngology/Anesthesiology.
Now, Hope has come to UMHS in the form of a specialty clinics held at the Taubman Center and Kellogg Eye Center – a major step made possible through the tireless efforts of faculty, staff and trainees in several specialty departments.
This effort, called Hope@UMHS, has earned the UMHS 2012 Program of the Year recognition – as well as the gratitude of the hundreds of patients who have already been seen there.
The Saturday-morning specialty clinics – - staffed by an all-volunteer team – - help uninsured patients get free access to advanced care that can’t be offered at Hope’s own locations. Read the rest of this entry »
Their parents earn as little as $2 a day selling tacos or doing manual labor. They live in one-room homes made of sheet metal, adobe and cardboard. But for seven days in October, these 12 children received the world-class cardiac care they needed—courtesy of a team headed by the University of Michigan Health System. And a cardiac team in El Salvador can now give similar care to the children in their country.
Gabe Owens, M.D., Ph.D., clinical assistant professor, U-M Congenital Heart Center.
This is the second time the UMHS team has traveled to El Salvador as part of an international collaborative sponsored by Gift of Life International (GOLI). After the team’s visit last year, GOLI and Hospital Bloom asked that they return.
This time, the team trained the Salvadoran surgeons to perform more advanced cardiac surgeries on lesions such as tetralogy of Fallot and atrioventricular septal defects (AVSD). They also continued training on the new echocardiogram machine concentrating on transesophageal echocardiography, trained a newly hired perfusionist, enhanced the skills of the ICU nurses and respiratory therapists as they began taking care of more complex patients, and helped improve communication among the entire pediatric cardiac team.
In addition, they provided training in diagnosis, medical management, cardiac anesthesiology, post-operative cardiac care, intensive care nursing, and discharge planning.
“The goal for the entire international collaborative has been to help El Salvador develop its own sustainable pediatric cardiac surgery program,” says team leader Lisa Beckman, BSN, MSMI, Pediatric Cardio-Thoracic ICU (PCTU). Read the rest of this entry »
Imagine you’re a patient just returning from the hospital. The nurse’s instructions say one thing. The brochure from the doctor’s office says another. Which one do you listen to? And how does it make you feel about the care you just received?
Several clinical areas across the Health System are addressing inconsistencies just like these.
“A lot goes into the cleaning, care and replacement of respiratory equipment for cystic fibrosis patients, and a lot of it is different for these patients than asthma and COPD patients, such as the need to rinse nebulizers in sterile water,” says Paulette Ratkiewicz, respiratory therapy supervisor, whose area takes care of more than 300 pediatric CF patients on a regular basis.
Two years ago, patients were getting individual sheets of paper from various parts of the Health System with conflicting information. Today, thanks to a Patient Education Advisory Committee grant, The Cystic Fibrosis Guidebook is given to every CF patient at Mott.
“Everything in it is in line with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Guidelines. Patients and families can look at this and be confident they’re doing the right thing,” she says.
Throughout Mott Children’s Hospital, a team of advanced practice nurses and respiratory therapists came together to create the Trach Teaching Team. They teach families the ins and outs of taking care of the trachea and equipment, and use a 60-page book created by the Peds Otolaryngology staff which helps parents continue that intricate care when they leave the hospital.
“The book translates our care into the home setting and into the community by helping home care staff and the patients’ schools as well,” says Cathy Lewis, MSN, RN, clinical nurse specialist. Read the rest of this entry »
Two new offerings from Gifts of Art are a feast for the eyes—and ears.
GOA recently released a new coloring book and a lullaby CD called Sweet Dreams.
The Kaleidoscope Coloring Book features art by renowned kaleidoscope maker Charles Karadimos, cover art by internationally recognized kaleidoscopic quilt maker Paula Nadelstern, and designs by several U-M School of Art & Design students.
The word “kaleidoscope” literally means “beautiful form watcher.” Children and adults alike have loved to see what images emerge as they color in the designs.
Doug Strong, CEO of University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, tries his hand at the Gifts of Art coloring book at the UMHS Ice Cream Social and Researchpalooza event in August.
And, this coloring book is more than just “busy work.” Since 2010 when GOA created its first coloring book, more than 30,000 books—each with a box of 24 crayons—have been given out to patients and families, providing an aesthetic diversion and helping combat the stress often associated with healthcare settings. The Kaleidoscope Coloring Book was made possible through a UMHS Fostering Innovation Grant (FIGs).
The Sweet Dreams CD features 15 lullabies from around the world sung and played by Gifts of Art bedside musicians, Mott music therapists, doctors and friends. It was funded by a gift from Concerts for a Cure, an international musical charity organization founded by acclaimed violin virtuoso Jourdan Urbach, who recently won the Jefferson Award for Public Service—considered the “Nobel Prize for Public Service”—at the age of 20.
Gifts of Art Director Elaine Sims says, “Sweet Dreams came about because GOA’s Bedside Music program is so successful—and the need is so great. Only about 38% of the patients referred by clinicians can be reached in any given day. Read the rest of this entry »
Early Mobility Program takes hold across Health System
It’s a Catch-22 situation. A critically ill patient must rest. But resting can mean new complications such as pressure ulcers, pneumonia, weakness or malnutrition. Now the Early Mobility Program at the University of Michigan Health System has critically ill patients out of bed early—and hospitals across the country are taking notice.
“Even though patients are on a ventilator, we can still get them up and walking. It may look awkward, but it works. Many patients actually prefer it. They don’t want to be tied down. New medical literature supports that this is a safe and feasible thing to do,” says Don Packard, MSPT, adjunct lecturer and a member of the lean team who developed the program.
The nursing teams on the Critical Care Medical Unit (CCMU) on 6D and the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) on 5D worked with Physical Therapy and physicians to develop new care plans that move patients earlier and more often. Read the rest of this entry »