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 »

Oct 20 2011

One Stop Shopping for Patient Education

Online clearinghouse gives easy access to patients and caregivers

How Do I Submit Materials to the Clearinghouse?

  • Submit your patient education materials.
  • Contact Ruti Volk for more information.

Patient education is an important part of the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of an illness. At our Health System, patient education was decentralized; different departments, units and areas ran separate programs and clinicians were often unaware of materials created in other areas. The lack of coordination caused duplication of effort as multiple documents were created on the same topic. Materials were frequently formatted differently, lacked the correct Health System logos and did not follow the national guidelines for effective patient education materials. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 13 2011

One Ceiling Tile at a Time

Helping the environment at UMHS

Speaking of looking up, did you know the new C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital was designed with a green roof to reduce heating and cooling costs as well as water runoff?

Here are some other environmental highlights of the new hospital:

  • 93% of the materials harvested from the hospital site were recycled for use in the new building
  • 95% of wood materials are certified in accordance with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) principles
  • Interior materials such as carpet, paint, adhesives and composite woods were chosen for low-emittance characteristics that ensure indoor air quality
  • HEPA filters will enhance air quality for immuno-compromised and other high-risk patients

Read more here.

To catch a glimpse of the latest efforts to create a more environmentally-friendly Health System, all you have to do is look up.

Ceiling tiles from areas throughout the University Hospital and Alfred A. Taubman Health Care Center have been replaced and recycled during various Construction Services renovation projects.

“We find ourselves looking closely at waste created during renovations,” says Donald Wesley, senior architect, Facilities Planning and Development, UMHHC.  “One of the big items that frequently end up in landfills is ceiling tiles.”

This trend began to change when Wesley and his team partnered with Armstrong Industries to implement a pilot ceiling tile recycling program. Armstrong retrieves and recycles ceiling tile waste from UMHHC, regardless of whether it is produced by their company or another vendor.

After picking up pallets of tiles from the Waste Management building on Dean Road, Armstrong ships them back to their world headquarters in Lancaster, Pa.  There, the tiles are ground up and reused to make new ones.

“This provides an opportunity for us to minimize materials going to the landfill, reduce the use of raw virgin materials, reduce the energy used to make ceiling tiles, and reduce the fees for landfill dumping,” says Wesley, who oversees design renovation projects that include everything from moving departments into different buildings to converting office spaces to exam rooms.

These recycling efforts are part of a new initiative coordinated by Wesley along with Paul Guttman, Construction Services director, U-M; Tracy Artley, sustainability programs coordinator, U-M; and Sam Moran, U-M Waste Management Operations.

Read the rest of this entry »