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Celebrate National Nurses Week 2015

A heartfelt “thank you” to those who touch patient lives in so many ways

As we celebrate National Nurses Week from May 6-12, I’d like to share a quote from a recent patient letter that I believe sums up the way many of us — staff and patients alike — feel about Nurses at Michigan and the important contributions they’ve made to patients, their families and our profession.

The patient wrote:

“I just wanted to write and thank you for hiring great nurses … I have never seen the dedication, the expertise and compassion that we all found at UMHS. The nurses here are absolutely exceptional.”

Over the years, I’ve read countless letters that express a similar message. This is the kind of feedback we love to hear as it makes our dedicated work as nurses all the more meaningful. Our long-standing tradition of contributing to the profession of nursing continues as we come together to fulfill our promise to “transform patient care.”

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U-M Frankel CVC teams recruiting for Heart Walk 2015

Sign up for a good cause

This Saturday, May 9th, is the date for the American Heart Association’s 2015 Washtenaw County Heart Walk/5K Run, and two U-M Frankel CVC teams are working hard to recruit more participants. Their common goal for Heart Walk 2015 is to help fight heart disease by raising money for cardiovascular education and research.

Why they walk

Joe Bryant and his daughter

Joe Bryant with his daughter and dog in last year’s Heart Walk.

U-M Frankel CVC exercise physiologist Joe Bryant is walking this year as team captain of Cardiovascular Medicine at Domino’s Farms. This marks his third year leading the team.

“We’re walking to recognize our cardiac patients who have made lifestyle changes in an effort to reduce their risk of future cardiac events,” says Bryant. “We encourage patients to attend the Heart Walk so they can see that there are many heart patients who are not just surviving, but thriving following a heart event or procedure.”

The team’s goal, Bryant says, is to recruit 20 walkers and to raise $2,000.

Another dedicated team captain is Jim Bloom, technical supervisor in the Frankel CVC Cardiac Procedures Unit (CPU). Bloom has been participating in the Heart Walk for the past 18 years, and this year is no exception as he leads his team, the CVC CPU Cardiocrew. Continue reading

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Essential tremor and how deep brain stimulation restores quality of life

A retired teacher's personal story

I had been dealing with some form of essential tremor (ET) for 10 to 15 years. It had become increasingly worse, to the extent that I had very little, if any, fine motor control and progressively compromised gross motor skills.

Elizabeth Scheffler's

Elizabeth Scheffler’s essential tremor has been treated successfully with deep brain stimulation surgery.

The tremor was bilateral (in both hands). I also had a head and voice tremor. It was most embarrassing because I couldn’t control it. Strangers remarked on it frequently and TSA at the airport was quite insistent that I needed a wheelchair. This led me to withdraw and limit social contacts.

It was not possible to carry a cup of coffee without spilling, eat a sandwich without shaking it apart or feed my then-infant grandson. Eventually, it became very difficult to cope with any daily tasks such as cooking (try flipping a pancake), buttoning clothes or putting on earrings or make-up. It was especially frustrating in this age of high-tech electronics with computers and cell phones. I had to give up most of the things I enjoyed like pottery, calligraphy and photography.

Medications (I tried three or four) made little or no impact on the tremors. One neurologist in Colorado was even treating me for Parkinson’s (which it turns out I do not have).  Continue reading

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Showing support to a friend with a new cancer diagnosis

cancer diagnosisMost of us have heard the Beatles lyric, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” When you have a friend diagnosed with cancer, it is often hard to know how to help. Should you talk about the cancer? Should you avoid talking about the cancer diagnosis? What is the best way to help your friend?

It is helpful for good friends to know there are different ways that people cope with cancer. A range of feelings may occur: anger, fear, anxiety, or blaming themselves (because of something they did or did not do). These initial reactions will likely only last a short time. You may need to be patient and understanding and overlook some behaviors. Continue reading

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What’s Cinco de Mayo without Cilantro?

Add this distinct herb for extra flavor and health benefits

cinco de may blog

Pico de Gallo is a traditional Mexican dish featuring fresh cilantro.

We’re taking a look at herbs and their ability to add great flavor to your recipes, often eliminating the need for salt. We started with basil in March and this month we’re featuring cilantro.

Be sure to check back often to learn more about herbs and how to incorporate them into a delicious, healthy eating plan.

Celebrate with cilantro

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, it’s time to celebrate Mexican food and culture. Pico de Gallo, with its fresh tomato, onion, chile, lime juice and cilantro, is a classic component of Mexican festivities.  It’s also popular in Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisines.

Of cilantro’s two components used in cooking (seeds and leaves), our focus is on the leaves. The seeds are known as coriander and the leaves are known as cilantro (or coriander leaves). Look for bright green leaves without yellow spots if you purchase cut cilantro. If you’re harvesting from your own garden, cut up to 1/3 of the plant at a time, leaving enough leaves for continued growth. To clean cilantro leaves, move them gently around a bowl of cold water until all dirt/sand is removed. When chopping the cilantro, include some of the tender stems for additional flavor. Continue reading

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Meet Dr. Ted Lawrence, M.D., the new Cancer Center director

Dr. Ted Lawrence

Theodore Lawrence, M.D.

Ted Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of radiation oncology who was recently named director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses his vision and priorities as the center’s new leader, as well as his personal philosophies on patient care and research.

You began your career at Michigan 28 years ago. What are Michigan’s greatest strengths when it comes to cancer care?

The University of Michigan has created an unprecedented environment of Continue reading