Violins in the O.R.? French horns in the lab? U-M Life Sciences Orchestra blends music & medicine

Free concert April 27 features U-M doctors, scientists, dentists and others

Dr. Ellen Janke, LSO

Dr. Ellen Janke checks her violin’s “vital signs”

When patients and visitors come to U-M’s medical campus, they often hear the sound of music provided by the Gifts of Art program – whether it’s a harp playing in the waiting area near the operating rooms, a guitarist visiting the room of a hospitalized child, or a jazz band playing a free lunchtime concert on a Thursday in the main lobby of University Hospital.

But on Sunday nights, some of U-M’s doctors, nurses, scientists, dentists and  students gather to make music of their own — in the Life Sciences Orchestra. For the last 14 years, the LSO has given these health and science professionals an outlet for their own musical talents — and let them meet people from across the vast U-M life science community.

This Sunday, April 27, the LSO will play a free concert for the community at U-M’s famed Hill Auditorium. Continue reading

The Positive Feedback Loop

Medical mission work and a return to U of M

Dr. Gilman and a patient in Cartagena, Colombia.

Dr. Gilman and a patient in Cartagena, Colombia.

My first medical mission trip in 1998 was one of those absolutely life altering experiences.

I had been interested in this work for some time and was approached by a friend who needed an additional surgeon for a trip to Cartagena, Colombia. Working during that first trip, I really felt as if it gave me the opportunity to practice what we do as surgeons and physicians in the purest possible way. There are no other considerations but to offer our expertise to the people we see.

I’ve continued to visit this same hospital each year for 15 years, now leading an annual mission for pediatric reconstructive plastic surgery.  I am convinced that any volunteer participating in a medical mission would describe themselves asgetting more out of the experience than they Continue reading

U-M nurse anesthetist leads medical relief trip in Kenya with U-M and Henry Ford health systems

As a nurse anesthetist at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, as well as Henry Ford Health System, Elizabeth Studley closely monitors patients each day to make sure they are safe, comfortable and relaxed. But Studley’s commitment to helping others extends beyond hospital walls.

Kenya Relief medical team from U-M Health System Henry Ford Health System

The U-M Health System and Henry Ford Health System will send a total of 23 medical staff to Kenya this week to offer much-needed medical relief to local residents.

For the last five years, she has led a team of surgeons and other health care providers from both HFHS and the UMHS to provide care to people in Kenya.

This week, she will again travel to the East African country with 23 surgeons, anesthesia providers, nurses, surgical technicians and pharmacists who will offer lifesaving medical relief in a region with scarce access to health care. The volunteers will provide care to people in local communities, many who travel for miles to see a physician for the first time in their lives. The team expects to see 450-600 patients and perform 50-80 surgeries—ranging from general surgery and dentistry to pediatrics and ear, nose and throat procedures—in just three days. Studley’s team is the largest of 21 groups who volunteer with KenyaRelief.Org.

As she prepares for the trip on Thursday, Studley answered some questions about why she’s so dedicated to this work. Continue reading

Breastfeeding multiples — Yes, it can be done!

wh blog - breastfeeding multiplesWe all know that breast milk is best for babies, but when you have two, three, four or more babies, is breastfeeding possible? Yes, it is. It requires focus, dedication, planning and help.

Start right. Bring your babies to your breasts as soon as possible after they are born. If the babies are in the NICU or for some other reason unable to nurse immediately, start pumping and saving your breast milk. If your babies are born at under 34 weeks, they will need fortified milk. A mineral-rich supplement can be mixed with your breast milk and given with a bottle for two or three feedings each day, depending on what your doctor recommends.

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Campfire Treats

Healthy camping treats, and some new spins on old campfire classics

Photo courtesy KidzWorld Kitchen

 

Camping has been a longstanding summer tradition throughout my childhood and adult life. My favorite vacations have always been our trips to the northwestern coast of Michigan with friends and family, spending our days on the pristine beaches of Lake Michigan, followed by evenings of unwinding by the campfire.

And if a camping trip isn’t in the cards, maybe you can pop the tent in the backyard and make some of these treats over a backyard campfire, or on the grill!

It is so easy to pack the car full of processed convenience foods for quick and easy traditional camping treats. Your family will feel better, though, if you plan some healthy treats into your camping adventure. And the good news is, there are plenty of ways to have all the nostalgia of the classic campfire treats and still feed your family the good stuff their bodies need. Here are some ideas:

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Activities that help develop motor skills

Play-based exercises you can do at home!

mott blog - motor skill development activitiesSometimes what looks like “play” can be really important ways to exercise your child’s fine motor skills and gross motor skills.

Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body that enable such functions as writing, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing. They involve strength, fine motor control, and dexterity.  These skills are important foundations for school activities as well as in life in general. Weaknesses in fine motor skills can affect a child’s ability to eat, write legibly, use a computer, turn pages in a book, and perform personal care tasks such as dressing and grooming.