Oct 10 2012

UMHHC Security and Entrance Services receives 2012 Evan Newport HOPE Award

They’re often the first people patients and families see and the last to say goodbye. They help patients and families through their worst moments or times of joy. Their job is one of the hardest: keeping patients, families and staff safe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Now UMHHC Security and Entrance Services is the recipient of C.S. Mott’s 2012 Evan Newport HOPE Award as the year’s outstanding program or service that best exemplifies what patient and family-centered care is all about.

“Winning this award acknowledges that Security and Entrance Services staff are successfully achieving their long-standing, ongoing mission to be irreplaceable partners in the healthcare team,” says Director, UMHHC Security and Entrance Services, Marilyn Hollier, CPP, CHPA.

Marilyn Hollier, CPP, CHPA, director, UMHHC Security and Entrance Services, and Perry Spencer, manager of Uniformed Operations, Security and Entrance Services, display the 2012 Evan Newport HOPE Team Award

Security work, because of its very nature, is full of nuance—and the need for flexibility. Particularly so for security operations that take place within a healthcare environment.

Because Security Operations, for instance, recognizes the difference between working as a security officer in an adult hospital versus one working in a children’s and women’s hospital, it has identified a core of 15 officers with a lead officer who are assigned to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.

In addition, due to the nature of their jobs, Security has representatives on the Decedent Affairs Bereavement Committees (both adult and pediatric) and the Diversity at End of Life Committee. The diversity committee was actually formed after Security noticed a difficulty on the part of clinical staff when faced with the grieving behaviors of diverse cultures. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 23 2012

U-M doctor uses band to raise money for good causes

You wouldn’t want to think your physician is a lyin’ dog, but, in the case of Kenneth Tobin, D.O., being a member of the Lyin’ Dog rock band is a way to unwind and to give back.

The Lyin’ Dog Band was originally formed in 1997 when Tobin was a cardiology fellow at Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak. Today, Tobin is assistant professor, department of internal medicine and director, Chest Pain Center at the U-M Health System.

“One of my colleagues-in-training and I teamed up with one of the general internists at Beaumont who was a drummer, and we placed an ad in a local paper to find some other fellow musicians,” Tobin says.

“For me personally, it was a journey back in time. I originally learned to play the acoustic guitar in sixth grade when I joined the music group that performed in Sundays at my local church.”

That was the last time he took formal guitar lessons. Since then he taught himself lead and rhythm guitar.

“When I was in high school in the 70s, I discovered rock and roll, bought my first electric guitar and, along with everyone else who played in local bands, had a dream of touring the country. I came to a crossroads in my early college years and decided instead to dedicate myself to academics and sold all of my guitar equipment. It wasn’t until I was finishing medical school that I decided to pick up a guitar again and began jamming with a few of my classmates.”

From left to right: Jim Paratore (bass guitar), Brian Moore (keyboards), Dave Parr (vocals), Rob Pikal (drums), Ken Tobin (lead/rhythm guitar)

And that’s when a Detroit-style classic rock band was born. Read the rest of this entry »

May 10 2012

A helping hand

Health System volunteer reaches 16,000 hours of service

For most people, 16,000 hours would signify 8 years of full-time work. To George Lowrie, they represent the time he has spent at the Health System as a volunteer, and it hasn’t been work at all.

“I have a thing for babies. I always have,” says Lowrie, who splits his time between C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital floors 11 and 12. He holds, feeds and rocks babies, giving them the tender loving attention they need, away from home in a hospital.

“Sometimes, because of work, a parent can’t be here,” Lowrie says. “Or they’re so exhausted they have to go home.”

Before retirement, Lowrie worked in the lab of Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Max Wicha, M.D., as an organic chemist and volunteered four hours every Saturday. After retirement, he began treating his volunteer assignment like a job, coming in two days a week for 8 to 10 hours each day.

“He loves what he does and it really shows,” Tammy Kutter, administrative assistant in Volunteer Services, says. “Every once in a while he will come in and tell us about a great day he had regarding a child who he had gotten to know over many months who was able to go home. We often think about all the families’ lives he touches and how blessed they, and we, are to have come in contact with George.” Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 9 2012

Pain Relief in Many Forms

U-M nurse anesthetist helps those in need at work, at home, around the globe   

It’s not unusual for Elizabeth Studley to spend the majority of her day helping others.   

As a nurse anesthetist at C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, as well as Henry Ford Hospital, Studley closely monitors multiple patients each day making sure they are safe, comfortable and relaxed.   

Working alongside an anesthesiologist, she administers pain control and relief for people of all ages.   

“I try to help patients have a great experience from the moment we meet before surgery until when they wake up in the recovery room,” she says.   

It took several moving trucks to transport boots, jeans, shirts, MP3 players and more from Studley’s Canton home to the New Directions orphanage last December. She holds similar drives before the children return to school each fall.

Studley’s determination to help others doesn’t diminish when she leaves work. Throughout the year she volunteers at New Directions, an orphanage on an 80-acre campus in Farmington, run by Lutheran Child and Family Service of Michigan. Each holiday season, she encourages co-workers, friends and family to donate to the orphanage so that each of its 200 kids has a great holiday. Since 2008, Studley has raised approximately $35,000 a year in gifts and clothing.    Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 27 2011

A Fine Line: Treating the Enemy

Thomas Fluent, M.D., provides psychiatric care to Health System patients, U.S. soldiers and enemy detainees overseas

Thomas Fluent, M.D., says a key factor in his success as a military psychiatrist was to never lose sight of the humanity of the people he treated, nor of his own humanity. This approach served him well during a recent nine-month tour in Afghanistan where he was charged with the wellbeing of more than 1,000 detainees at Bagram Airfield as well as the U.S. soldiers tasked with guarding the often violent and dangerous men. 

Thomas Fluent, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at UMMS and medical director of ambulatory psychiatric services at UMHS.

“A cynic might say, ‘who cares, they’re the enemy,’” says Fluent, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UMMS and medical director of ambulatory psychiatric services at UMHS. ”But part of the mission was also to fight the insurgency by demonstrating to these men and their communities that our way was really the better way, our values the better values.” 

Fluent, also a captain in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps with more than 20 years of active duty and reserve service, quickly realized that as a highly visible, high-ranking officer, his behavior spoke volumes to both the detainees and the guards.  Read the rest of this entry »