Mar 12 2012

A healing touch

U-M’s Massage Therapy Program aims to treat the whole person

When Angela Walker was diagnosed with leukemia last year, she braced herself for four weeks of inpatient chemotherapy as questions swirled in her mind about the new treatment and diagnosis.

Like many cancer patients at the Health System, the U-M Health System’s Massage Therapy Program gave Walker a much-needed respite from procedures, tests and waiting. Therapists visited her room for scheduled appointments and worked around IV poles and medical equipment to help her relieve stress. Walker credits the program as a major factor in helping her get through those difficult first weeks.

“During my treatment, it was nice to have massages on my schedule to look forward to. It was also helpful to have therapists trained in oncology massage who could coordinate directly with my medical staff about any safety concerns,” Walker says. Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 16 2011

Keeping your senses

Tips for taking care of your ears this holiday season

We take care of our eyes with an annual visit to the eye doctor, where the optometrist takes note of any changes to our vision. We take care of our mouths with an annual visit to the dentist, who repairs old fillings and checks for oral cancers. So what do we do to protect our ears, or, more specifically, our sense of hearing?

The holidays are upon us and many – adults and children alike – give and receive portable music players, such as iPods, that can potentially cause hearing loss. Before you load your new music player with your favorite songs and turn the volume to high, check out this Health System press release on the subject.

In a nutshell, a C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health shows teens are at risk for hearing loss and two-thirds of parents haven’t broached the topic with their children.

“Teenagers are unaware of noise-induced hearing damage until it progresses to the point where it affects speech and communication,” says Sarah Clark, M.P.H., associate director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at the University of Michigan and associate director of the National Poll on Children’s Health. “At this point, they may have difficulties and frustration at school and in social situations.” Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 29 2011

Good in a Crisis

Why to take your kids to the new Children’s Emergency Services

When it comes to taking your child for urgent medical treatment, many parents don’t realize that urgent-care facilities can’t meet their needs. Often, they’ll be transferred to a place like Children’s Emergency Services at UMHS, one of the few hospitals in the state that never needs to send patients elsewhere. Transferring locations not only wastes potentially critical time in treating your little one, but may also cost families twice as much in copays.

A private treatment room in the new all-pediatric children's emergency department at Mott Children's Hospital.

With the opening of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, parents have even more reason to bring their kids to Children’s Emergency Services. The new space will have more beds, a dedicated observation area, updated resuscitation equipment and a dedicated CT scanner just for the children in that area. And, it will have a higher concentration of dedicated pediatric nursing staff to meet patient’s needs. For many families, one of the most attractive features is the continuation of free valet parking available for visitors. Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 1 2010

Preventing workplace violence

How to spot and respond to disruptive, aggressive individuals

Workplace violence seldom “just happens.” The typical review of such incidents show several points during the preceding days and hours when the perpetrator’s behavior caused concern and when intervention would have been appropriate and effective.

Early intervention is the key to preventing workplace violence. Here at the U-M Health System, early intervention can start with a phone call to:

  • Hospital Security (911 or 936-7890)
  • Health System Risk Management (763-5456)
  • Office of Clinical Affairs (936-5814)
  • Department directors and administrators
  • Health System Human Resources, in the case of employees showing aggression (647-2385)

A team approach is used, with the makeup of the team depending on who is involved (i.e. patient, staff, visitor, etc.) and the severity of the situation. This approach allows for a comprehensive and timely response that works to remove the immediate threat of violence and to reach a permanent resolution. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 1 2010

Drinking Less Leads to a Healthier and Happier Life: An MHealthy Alcohol Management Program Participant’s Story

By Julie Nelson, Manager, Marketing and Promotions, MHealthy

The majority of alcohol programs available today are for people who are severely dependent or alcoholic. These programs require lifelong abstinence. While these programs are extremely helpful for those who need this level of support, they may not be right for everyone.

To Dave*, other programs seemed to offer more help than he needed. Instead, Dave sought help from the MHealthy Alcohol Management Program (AMP), a brief, confidential health education program for people with mild to moderate alcohol problems.

Dave could always tell the next morning that he had been drinking the night before. He described how he felt as, “Not necessarily hung over, but not normal.” In addition, he says, “I had various medical conditions that I was sure were a result of my sedentary lifestyle — which in turn was rooted in my alcohol consumption. I was depressed, had insomnia, gastric reflux, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was obese.”

The AMP helps people eliminate alcohol-related problems by reducing or stopping drinking. It is free for U-M employees and counts as one MHealthy Rewards activity. The program is also open to UMHS patients and the public. Read the rest of this entry »