Employees across Michigan Medicine continue to make a difference and inspire colleagues through their hard work and dedication. Recognizing the contributions employees make to the organization helps the team to become more motivated, drives better teamwork and gives each individual a sense that they are an integral part of achieving organizational goals.
Here are just a few examples of how faculty and staff helped Michigan Medicine provide exceptional care and service last month:
Nicole Vogel, physical therapist, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Nikki, you are consistently a bright patch in a patient’s day. Recently, you went above and beyond to help a patient and his spouse through a very difficult illness. Whether it was giving them a card to celebrate their anniversary, seeing the patient daily for comprehensive therapy sessions or simply ensuring his well-being through playfulness and laughter, you helped him succeed. You are an excellent example of what physical therapy can be and, for that, we all appreciate you.
Gray Carper, business systems analyst staff specialist, HITS
Gray, you make a difference with your professionalism, kindness, knowledge and follow-ups with customers. You make it clear that you care about those you serve and make sure they receive what they need every single time. You have helped me on so many occasions that it is only fair that I recognize all of your hard work and how much I appreciate you. Thank you!
Matthew Davenport, M.D., associate professor of radiology
Dr. Davenport, you are an ideal physician, balancing unparalleled patient care while contributing to clinical research. For the residents you work with, you set an incredible example to which I personally aspire. You build bridges between departments that benefit patients and doctors alike. Thank you for showing us how much value and expertise radiology can bring to patient care.
Steve Marshall, stock keeper, Material Services
Steve puts forth 110 percent effort every day. For instance, he is always willing to help coworkers finish on time, show them rooms they’re unfamiliar with or bounce back and forth between units if needed. Steve always has a smile on his face and genuinely cares about customer service. Thank you, Steve, for being a terrific colleague!
Patient to staff
Patricia Paulin, RN, transplant center
I have been a patient at Michigan Medicine for six years and Patti is truly one of the most dedicated, knowledgeable and efficient nurses I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. She has been my advocate and has guided and taught me along the way. She gives me the knowledge needed to be a partner in my health care and to be able to make decisions that I am comfortable with and benefit me the most. Patti has made me feel that my situations are of top priority and her compassion alleviates my anxiety, frustration and confusion. I am truly grateful for having her as a partner in my care.
Family to staff
Heather Craig, R.N., Mott 10E Pediatric ICU
Heather provided exceptional patient and family-centered care to our daughter in the PICU. She was professional, compassionate and went above and beyond to address our concerns and preferences. She is a major reason why our daughter has recovered beautifully and why we would never go anywhere else for specialized pediatric care. Thank you!
Karen Wilson, entrance attendant, Entrance Services
Karen is usually the very first person my mother sees when we arrive at the Rogel Cancer Center for her appointments. Karen goes out of her way to greet my mother and looks out for her comfort, asks how she is doing, assists her in and out of the vehicle and provides a wheelchair when necessary. My mom looks forward to her visits because she knows she will be spending at least a few minutes of her time with Karen. She is the bright spot of our trips and helps make a tense day a lot lighter and brighter.
Chris Hicks, Ruthie Gardner, Roxana Allen, Karen Surber, adult BMT
These four women are making a difference every day because of their wonderful outlook on life. Seeing my wife — as well as the other patients who are going through their treatments — smile, laugh and join in with some humor is an enjoyable sight to see and hear. It takes very special people, each with their distinct personalities, to be able to have that kind of effect on people. Michigan Medicine truly has four very special women that come to work with a smile on their faces every day, all for their patients. You should be proud. I know all of us are!
Click here to nominate a colleague or team who makes a difference at Michigan Medicine!
Do you suffer from FOMO*? That’s OK, WIR is here to help “u” stay in the know!
The week began with another installment of LOL — the Headlines Acronym of the Month. Readers also met a physician whose perspective changed following a paralyzing injury; faculty and staff learned about the Wig Bank and the important service it provides; and employees took a closer look at benefits and perks that will help them make the most of their summer.
Here’s the latest!
Learn Our Lingo (LOL): Patient care units
What type of care is provided in the PACU? And which patients are seen by experts in the PCTU? All of that information — and a whole lot more — was shared in the latest edition of Learn Our Lingo! Click here to see all of the different patient care units at Michigan Medicine and how they fit into the organization’s continuum of care.
Disabusing disability: A doctor’s paralyzing injury brings new perspective
While going through his residency training five years ago, U-M Medical School graduate Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, M.D., M.S., sustained a major spinal cord injury. And though the ordeal changed his career path in certain ways, it never derailed his dream of becoming a doctor. Learn more about Okanlami, who joined the Michigan Medicine faculty earlier this year.
Service Spotlight: Wig Bank
When patients at Michigan Medicine deal with hair loss due to treatment or the progression of an illness, it can cause added anxiety or stress. That’s why the Guest Assistance Program offers the Wig Bank — a service that offers wigs, hats and coverings to patients at no charge. Click through for more on the Wig Bank and how you can refer the service to patients and their families.
These deals are hot, hot, hot! Employees can get discounts, perks to enjoy the summer
With the Fourth of July in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to plan out the rest of your summer. Fortunately, your MCard can offer you exclusive perks and discounts at area businesses and attractions just for being an employee of Michigan Medicine! Find out the true power of your MCard by clicking here.
*— Bonus acronym! FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out
Do you know the power of your MCard? All Michigan Medicine faculty and staff can receive exclusive deals just by showing your card at businesses and attractions across the area!
That means you can get some cool discounts as you plan the rest of your summertime fun.
For example, employees can receive a lower rate for admission to Cedar Point — making it easier for you and the family to ride the rollercoasters or slip and slide in its outdoor water park in Sandusky, Ohio.
There are also discounts to the Detroit Zoo, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and — if you’re ready for an even longer adventure — Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando! Click here to check out all amusement/theme park discounts available to faculty and staff.
If you’re planning to drive to your summer destination, car rental companies, RV dealers and auto repair shops also offer exclusive deals to employees, while there are hotel and other travel discounts available once you reach your destination.
Here are all the categories in which you can receive a deal thanks to your MCard (click on each link to see a full list of available offers). A discount should not be construed as an endorsement from the university for any product, business or organization:
The MCard discount program is just one of the many ways it pays to work for Michigan Medicine! Click here for more information.
Hair is an important part of most people’s identity. When patients are faced with hair loss as part of a treatment or illness progression, it can cause significant stress in their lives.
To help alleviate some of that stress, Michigan Medicine patients have access to the Wig Bank, a free service through the Guest Assistance Program.
Patients can walk in or make an appointment to try on various styles, get assistance with fitting, receive instructions on wig care and receive referral information for professional wig and hair care resources.
“This was so easy! I thought I would have to jump through hoops and then find something I didn’t really like,” said one patient who recently came to the Wig Bank. “But the process was incredibly convenient. I’m just grateful to have this type of service available at Michigan Medicine.”
Last year, the Wig Bank program helped more than 200 patients with wigs, hats and hair coverings. The program — which is staffed by trained social workers — can also bring wigs to inpatients in their rooms.
For more information about the Wig Bank or to schedule an appointment for a patient, please call 800-888-9825.
Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, M.D., M.S., distinctly understands both sides of a catastrophic medical event.
That’s because he has been a patient and a doctor in that scenario.
In 2013, Okanlami was on his way to becoming an orthopaedic surgeon. The U-M Medical School graduate was in his third year of residency at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.
But his dreams were almost derailed after sustaining a spinal cord injury at a Fourth of July pool party with friends and fellow residents.
“I jumped into the pool,” he said. “I didn’t do a backflip or anything like that. There was no diving board, but I hit either the ground or the side of the pool or someone’s leg. I can’t be completely sure, but immediately I was unable to move anything from my chest down.”
Okanlami’s medical instincts kicked in.
“In my mind, I was thinking of next steps: Stabilize my spine, get me onto the stretcher and get me to the hospital,” he said. He also credited his colleagues for the expert care he was given from the beginning — quickly springing to action, getting him from the pool to the emergency department and onto the operating room table in record time.
Faith and progress
Okanlami’s journey after the accident seems like something out of a Hollywood movie. Despite breaking his neck and becoming paralyzed from the neck down, he never doubted he’d be able to live a productive and independent life, still planning to leave his mark on the world.
“I have an interesting intersection of science and faith, such that even if doctors had said to me I would never walk again, I wasn’t going to let that limit what I hoped for my recovery,” Okanlami said. “I know there is so much we don’t know about spinal cord injury, and I know the Lord can work miracles.”
On Sept. 8, 2013, just two months after the accident, Okanlami moved his leg again.
“It was one of the most amazing days of my life,” he said. “It wasn’t a small flicker of a little muscle. I extended my leg at the knee. It was pretty sweet.”
A renewed energy
The accident didn’t end Okanlami’s professional pursuit, but it did send him down a different path. After months of inpatient rehabilitation, he moved home to South Bend, Indiana, to live with his parents — both doctors themselves — to continue extensive outpatient rehabilitation.
While learning to walk again, Okanlami found time for many other achievements.
He earned a master’s degree in engineering, science and technology entrepreneurship from the ESTEEM Program at the University of Notre Dame. He was appointed by the mayor of South Bend to sit on the county’s board of health. He became the coach of the River City Rollers, a wheelchair basketball team.
And as if all of that weren’t enough, he also went back to being a doctor.
“During my rehabilitation period, I was blessed with the opportunity to return to work as a physician in the family medicine residency program at Memorial Hospital” in South Bend, said Okanlami. “I was able to take care of patients from cradle to grave — delivering babies, taking care of patients in nursing homes and everything in between.”
His journey came full circle in early 2018 when he joined the Family Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation faculty at Michigan Medicine.
Shifting attitudes and awareness
Dedicated to the belief that disability does not mean inability, Okanlami is more than just a doctor. He’s also an advocate and mentor for physicians and patients with similar backgrounds.
More than 20 percent of Americans live with a disability, but as few as 2.7 percent of them are practicing physicians. One reason for the gap: Technical standards used for admission at many medical schools require physical aptitude, which can inadvertently exclude applicants with disabilities.
Okanlami found a perfect match at U-M Family Medicine. A social media campaign, #DocsWithDisabilities, based out of the Family Medicine department, is working to raise awareness about doctors with disabilities. Okanlami and his colleagues share a passion for and a focus on disability inclusion in medicine that is fueling their research agenda. Doctors Philip Zazove, Michael McKee, Lisa Meeks and others are researching mechanisms for improving access to medicine for physician, learner and patient populations.
“Increasing physician diversity has a positive impact on patient care and access for other marginalized groups,” and it may result in similar improvements for patients with disabilities, said Meeks, a leading researcher in disabilities in medical education and a clinician scholar at U-M’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
Okanlami’s vision has led to a joint appointment in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as a role in The Office for Health Equity and Inclusion — partnerships he hopes to further his desire to “disabuse disability” and create a health system that is inclusive and accessible to all.
While he can’t run yet, Okanlami can walk using assistive devices, some of which he has worked with a rehabilitation engineer to design and create. He also has a standing frame wheelchair that has been more versatile than he could have imagined. Despite his love for gadgets, he still tries to make time for regular exercise to stay physically fit for now, but with a goal of leaving the assistive devices behind some day.
How well do “u” know patient care units around the organization? From the PICU to the MSSU and others in between, there are areas across the academic medical center that provide world-class care for patients with specialized needs.
Learn Our Lingo is back to clarify what these units are — and how they fit within the continuum of care at Michigan Medicine!
- ADTU: Ambulatory Diagnostic Treatment Unit. The ADTU is a patient’s best option for nonemergent ambulatory care, addressing acute issues that could normally be handled in a clinic setting, but require extra time or intervention. While the ADTU requires a referral from a Michigan Medicine team member, it reduces emergency department admissions and alleviates wait time for patients.
- CCMU: Critical Care Medicine Unit. A 20-bed area on the 6th floor of University Hospital that provides intensive specialized care for critically-ill adult patients. It is similar to what is referred to simply as the Medical ICU (intensive care unit) in other hospitals and health centers.
- MPU: Medical Procedures Unit. This unit cares for patients who undergo endoscopic and procedural interventions in the fields of digestive and pulmonary disease. It is located on the second level of University Hospital.
- MSSU: Medical Short Stay Unit. Founded in 2015, the MSSU provides care to patients that require a brief hospital stay, typically expected to last less than 48 hours. There are two locations, one on B1 of Taubman Center and one on the fourth floor of UH South.
- CICU: Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. An area that cares for critically-ill cardiac patients. It is located on the seventh floor of University Hospital.
- NICU: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Babies who are born prematurely or who need specialized care are treated in the NICU, located on level 8 of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
- PICU: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Faculty and staff in the 30-bed Mott PICU provide advanced care for infants, children and young adults with life-threatening conditions. It is located on the 10th floor.
- PCTU: Pediatric Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit. Cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and nurses in this 30-bed unit, located on the 10th floor at Mott, are specially trained to handle patients who are approaching or already in cardiorespiratory arrest.
- PACU: Post-Anesthesia Care Unit. Where most patients are taken following a surgical procedure that includes anesthesia. Anesthesiologists and other experts monitor patient conditions near all Michigan Medicine operating rooms to ensure they are making a safe recovery.
- SICU: Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Faculty and staff in this unit care for post-operative patients who are critically ill or at high risk. This includes individuals recovering from kidney and liver transplants and patients with cancer. The 20-bed unit is located on the 5th floor of University Hospital.
General inpatient units at UH do not have acronyms, though they include a number (corresponding to the floor it is on) and a letter (A, B, C or D). For instance, patients may have their beds on 4B, 6C, etc.
At C&W, general inpatient units also have a number (corresponding to the floor) and either an E or W (depending on the direction of the building it is on). That means patients may be cared for on 7W, 9E, etc.
That’s a lot of letters — but now “u” are in the know!
Are there other acronyms you’ve always wondered about? Let us know and they could be featured in the next LOL!
For a complete list of past acronyms highlighted in Headlines, click here.
The holiday week has flown by! If you missed anything while enjoying the festivities, get caught up with the Headlines Week in Review.
The week started with some tips designed to help you celebrate Independence Day as safely as possible. Readers also learned details of the joint venture between Michigan Medicine and St. Joseph Mercy Health; and a patient shared his feel-good story after receiving four organ donations at U-M.
Here’s the latest!
Celebrate with a bang! Tips to keep you safe during Fourth of July festivities
Independence Day may be over, but fireworks celebrations will continue throughout the summer. If you want to put on a fireworks display of your own, be sure to do so as safely as possible by checking out important tips from Brad Uren, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine.
U-M Health, St. Joseph Mercy Health joint venture in Chelsea now official
As of July 1, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea hospital is operating as a joint venture between U-M Health and St. Joseph Mercy Health. The new partnership is designed to help both organizations better serve patients in western Washtenaw County. Click through for more information on the agreement and the care that will be provided at the 133-bed hospital!
Four-time organ transplant recipient pays (and pedals) it forward
While Kyle Bailey may show no signs of being a medical miracle, he certainly is one. The 32-year-old has four transplanted organs — two lungs, a kidney and his liver. And the fact that he is strong today is a testament to modern medicine — and the care he has received at Michigan Medicine. Click for more on Bailey and find out what is driving him to recruit new organ donors each and every day.
On the surface, Kyle Bailey shows no signs that he’s a medical miracle. But inside, he is a testament to the lifesaving power of transplant surgery: The 32-year-old’s body contains four organs from other people. That’s right, four.
“I can’t put in words what it feels like,” said Bailey, a Port Huron, Michigan, native. “Two people, out of the kindness of their hearts, decided to donate — and that’s why I am here.”
There’s the double lung transplant, which gave him the capacity to inhale deeply after years of struggling to take a single breath. Subsequent liver and left kidney transplants (the original organs were damaged from a lifetime of lung medication) ensure that his body can function without machinery.
The precious gifts, received over several surgeries at Michigan Medicine, gave new hope to an adult who at one point weighed 73 pounds and required oxygen and dialysis.
Today, Bailey works 40-plus-hour weeks as a PGA professional at a golf course near his home.
He also knows that his experience, though it involved multiple rounds, isn’t unique. Nearly 115,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant — including 3,285 patients in Michigan.
It’s a backlog that Bailey wants to reduce. That’s why he recently completed a 1,500-mile bike ride from the Big House in Ann Arbor to Walt Disney World in Florida.
Aimed to raise awareness about organ donation, the solo trek had a greater purpose: to register 500,000 new donors. Michiganders can complete the process online or when they obtain or renew a driver’s license; Bailey’s namesake nonprofit foundation also has details.
“I would love to see organ donation just be so common that the waitlist is weeks and not years,” Bailey said. “As long as I’m alive, I will fight to do this.”
A lifetime of struggle
The eldest of two children, Bailey was born with cystic fibrosis. The genetic disease causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs.
He was mostly unaffected until he began developing lung infections at age 12, which required trips to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics. He also dealt with periodic digestive-tract blockages that kept him from school.
Bailey, who still managed to play hockey and have a social life, remained a straight-A student.
Upon moving to South Carolina for college, life seemed to settle.
But at 25 years old, Bailey was told by a doctor that his lung capacity was only about 35 to 45 percent of what it should be. Medical teams, he recalled, were “astonished” the patient could attend school, work and play “round after round” of golf with such limited function.
It wasn’t a question of whether Bailey would need a double lung transplant — it was when.
At his doctor’s suggestion, Bailey opted to return home to Michigan for care.
New lungs, new outlook
After his arrival in May 2010, it wasn’t clear how long Bailey would need to wait to find a suitable donor. At 5 feet, 5 inches tall, he was of smaller stature and has a rare blood type, factors that limited his compatibility.
Bailey was put on a transplant waiting list that September. As the weeks went by, however, he developed another serious lung infection — and learned that his lung capacity had plummeted to 15 percent.
Nearly a year after moving back to Michigan, good news finally arrived.
On June 20, 2011, Bailey’s family rushed to Ann Arbor. Despite his nerves, Bailey recalled joking about dashing off to the hospital in shorts and flip-flops and asking whether Michigan Medicine transplant surgeon Andrew Chang, M.D., had gotten enough sleep the night before.
A nine-hour transplantation surgery was a success, with early signs of improvement visible upon Bailey’s waking.
“My fingernails were pink,” Bailey said. “For the last year, they were blue due to lack of oxygen.” Even better, the patient soon regained full lung capacity.
Not one to waste time, Bailey was riding a bike within two weeks of his discharge. And just two years later, he ran across the state of Michigan in August 2012 to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Gift of Life Michigan.
“It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever done,” Bailey says. “I felt unstoppable.”
Not out of the woods
The turnaround allowed Bailey to return to his job. The man who valued normalcy in body and routine was glad to resume life.
But exactly three years after his momentous run, more trouble surfaced.
Bailey woke up one morning in August 2015 to find bloating around his waistline that resembled a tire. “It literally looked like I had swallowed a tube and put it around my waist,” he said.
The new diagnosis was a gut punch: Medications intended to preserve his lung tissue, consumed over the course of many years, had caused liver cirrhosis and affected the kidneys, too.
A low-salt diet and a combination of dialysis and oxygen helped sustain his health over several months while the family deliberated what to do. Once again, weak and emotionally worn down, Bailey found himself on the transplant list.
“My whole life has been a waiting game,” he said.
Fortunately, a match was located just four days later. In the early morning hours of Feb. 24, 2016, two transplant surgeries took place at U-M.
This time, recovery was a much bigger challenge.
While maintaining a high-calorie diet to help his emaciated body gain weight, Bailey also needed to relearn basic functions such as gripping a pencil. Walking even a few steps was painful.
Bailey joked, however, that being allowed to sip beef broth after months of tolerating a salt-free diet was like “liquid gold” and “better than the lottery.”
No day taken for granted
Twenty-one months after his last transplant surgeries, it’s still strange for Bailey to take stock in his journey.
“I am a quadruple organ transplant recipient, which I never thought I would be,” he says. “I’m proud of it; I’m proud of these scars.”
It’s a marvel for medical professionals, too. Bailey is likely one of 20 or fewer patients in the U.S. to receive four new organs, says John Magee, M.D., director of the U-M Transplant Center. “And we’ve probably had two or three of them here,” at U-M, said Magee, who noted that treating a patient with even one failing organ (let alone four) can be a challenge.
Still, “It’s always amazing when one sees how sick a person is before transplant and how healthy they are afterward,” he said. “It is almost unbelievable to us who do it every day, how much better somebody is and what life is about, how healthy somebody could be.”
As for Bailey, he wants those awaiting a transplant to stay positive: “Be active. Have a great, healthy routine. Exercise and have lots of hope. There’s plenty of donors out there waiting to donate.”
Given his experience and the national waitlist statistics, the cause is never far from his mind.
“To know that someone donated and gave me first, second, third, my fourth chance — I don’t take it lightly.”
To learn more about Kyle Bailey’s organ donation registry efforts, click here.
Happy Independence Day, Michigan Medicine!
Whether you’ll be celebrating with family and friends or spending the holiday at the academic medical center providing exceptional care and service to patients and their families, the Headlines team wishes you a safe and happy holiday.
While Headlines will take a hiatus tomorrow, July 4, the employee newsletter will return on Thursday, July 5.