Friday is cupcake therapy day

Cupcake therapy at Mott Children's HospitalSpending time in the hospital isn’t a piece of cake, but on Fridays at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital it’s cupcake time. Every Friday afternoon, we host Cupcake Therapy in the Family Center. Cupcake Therapy is a great informal time for family members and patients to relax and enjoy decorating cupcakes.

Each week we have a theme based on the season or what’s happening at the University or in the Health System. We’ve done St. Patrick’s Day, spring flowers, March Madness, maize and blue and even made Despicable Me-themed Minion cupcakes. Chef Steve Shifano and his staff bake the cupcakes and the Family Center provides the frosting and all the decorations. Ann Hendrick, Family Center Coordinator, and I roll out the cupcake cart each Friday. We create a few sample cupcakes each week and those who come down to decorate use our theme and then express their own creativity.

We started calling it Cupcake Therapy after one of our Friday regulars came down and said he was there for Cupcake Therapy. Continue reading

Reduce stress by learning to say no

Saying “no” isn’t an easy thing for many of us. We want to help, contribute SayingNoBLOG2and be considered a valuable resource. However, saying “yes” to every request can result in an unmanageable to-do list that creates stress and anxiety and can ultimately result in letting down those you had promised to help, which of course leads to more stress and anxiety.

Whether it’s your boss asking you to take on another project, your children’s school asking you to volunteer for a committee, a favorite organization asking you to help raise money or any of the other sometimes seemingly endless requests we’re faced with…learning to say no can be hard. Try these strategies next time someone asks for your help. Continue reading

Patient & Family Advisory Board provides opportunity for input at the U-M Cancer Center

Laura Galunas and Anne Marshall meet with Karen Hammelef.

Laura Galunas and Anne Marshall meet with Karen Hammelef about the Patient & Family Advisory Board.

On the day of her first appointment at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Anne Marshall remembers pulling into the parking lot, nervous and afraid. She had been to the center many times before with her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006; but pulling into the circle drive felt different when the breast cancer diagnosis was her own.


Then she met Cleon Abrams, a longtime parking attendant at the Cancer Center.

“I was surprised he remembered me,” said Marshall, who is a social worker. “He just had this perfect smile and said, ‘Be encouraged.'”

Those two words made all the difference to Marshall. Not only did they give her the boost she needed at that moment, but it led her to become more engaged in the Cancer Center and its efforts to provide the ideal patient care experience.

Recently, Marshall was a member of a task force to establish bylaws for the Cancer Center’s new Patient & Family Advisory Board. The board is designed to offer patients and families a formal role in providing input into the institution’s initiatives and operations. Continue reading

Make your voice heard by joining Cancer Center’s Patient & Family Advisory Board

The University of Michigan ComprehensiveCancer Center is seeking people to serve on its new Cancer Patient & FamilyAdvisory Board and related committees. Leaders from the Cancer Center and the cancer inpatient units of University Hospital have joined with several U-M patients and family members to develop this new exciting initiative.

The board will be designed to give patients, families and other members of the community a stronger voice in programming and planning throughout the Cancer Centerand University Hospital. To learn more about the board and how to apply, visit