December 2015

Happy holidays, everyone!  This time of year is always a good time to say "Thank You" to everyone who makes PM&R such a wonderful place for people to get the rehabilitation care that they need, for students of all kinds to learn the science and art of rehabilitation, for investigators to work on the important questions of human function, disability, and pain and for all of us to come to work each day.  As I near the completion of a decade as chair of this department, I reflect on how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to work with each and every one of you.
 
As some of you know, the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is going to go through a process called “External Review” in early 2016.  Three distinguished department chairs from other PM&R programs around the country will spend two days in Ann Arbor, talking to people here and learning about the department.  Their job is to verify if we are using best practices in all of our missions—clinical care, research and education—and to make recommendations as to how we can continue to improve.
 
As part of this process, many senior faculty and staff members worked together to perform an internal review of the department, and produced a document for the external review committee to use as background for their review.  First, I want to thank everyone who put tremendous time and effort into this document, which is more than 100 pages long.  Secondly, I am proud to say that this document, which is inclusive of all of the work done in our department, describes a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department that is second to none.  Let me tell you a few of the highlights:
 

  • Leadership at a regional, national and international level among faculty and staff;
  • Clinical programs that are national leaders and include components of translational research and innovative care;
  • High levels of patient satisfaction;
  • Evidence of growth in both inpatient and outpatient areas;
  • NIH funding that ranks third in the nation;
  • Cutting edge research programs in many areas of PM&R;
  • Work in progress to bring together researchers and clinical providers to make sure everyone’s expertise is brought into the efforts to create and investigate innovative rehabilitation care;
  • Leading training programs for physicians, psychologists, therapists, O&P professionals and rehabilitation researchers;
  • And many, many more, too many to list here. 

So as a way of saying thanks and honoring ALL of you, whether you are hands on with our patients or support the ones who are, whether you are the principal investigators on the grants, the front line educators or the people who help them to do their job, my wife, Karen, and I are investing in this department and its future by giving a gift to the Theodore M. Cole Lectureship fund, which builds the continuity of this department and helps to assure that its great work continues.  We will also make a gift to the Cerebral Palsy research fund, which supports just one of the great areas of research going on in PM&R.   I hope that all of you will consider doing something similar as the year draws to a close.  It is a gift that says that we are all doing a great job, and we want that to continue.
 
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you again for all of the great work that you do.
 


February 2015

The University of Michigan recently kicked off MHealthy Rewards 2015, an annual program that can help you take time to annually reflect on your health and then take steps to maintain or improve it. Your participation can help us achieve the MHealthy vision of the UM becoming a model community of health.

I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity, which includes:

  • Complete the 2015 confidential health questionnaire by March 13 to get a personalized health report – takes about 10 minutes and you will earn $50.
  • Also complete one qualifying healthy activity by June 26 – earn another $50. More than a dozen programs qualify including nutrition consults, personal exercise sessions, stress management programs, Weight Watchers, StayWell online programs, and more. 
  • If you have a spouse or other qualified adult enrolled on a U-M health plan, they can also take the StayWell® health questionnaire to get a personalized health report and are eligible to participate in our free or low cost programs. (Note, spouses/OQAs are not eligible for the $100 incentive, with the exception of those who complete our tobacco treatment services).

If privacy is a concern, know that the university has taken significant steps to ensure your personally identifiable health information remains private. The confidential health questionnaire and health coaching are administered by StayWell Health Management®. It is legally bound to protect employee privacy and will not share any personally identifiable health information with the university.

To complete your health questionnaire and sign up for eligible activities, go to www.MHealthy.umich.edu/rewards. The health questionnaire can also be mailed to you by contacting StayWell at (800) 543-6717.

If you have questions, please call MHealthy at (734) 647-7888 or email mhealthy@umich.edu.


December 2014

Happy holidays, everyone!  This time of year is always a good time to say "Thank You" to everyone who makes PM&R such a wonderful place for people to get the rehabilitation care that they need, for students of all kinds to learn the science and art of rehabilitation, for investigators to work on the important questions of human function, disability, and pain and for all of us to come to work each day.  In addition, I think the party we had at the Big House shows that this department knows how to have fun as well.  It has really been a great honor to be the chair of this department for the past eight years, and I am hopeful for continued growth and greatness for our department in the future. 

Many of you will remember that I sent this story out last year, but I really think it bears repeating.  It was written now a year ago, but  I will leave it as is.

This is the time of year that people tend to talk about miracles.  With that in mind, I want to share a story with you.  The following was written by Dr. Liza Green, whom most of you know as our pediatric rehabilitation inpatient leader.  I have edited this slightly and changed the name of the patient.  This was written about a week ago.

“The very first day I met Jack, his dad asked me "so tell us some of some of your miracles with spinal cord injury."   I answered, "I definitely do have some miracles regarding patients with other diagnoses, but spinal cord injury tends to be very predictable."  Dad told me that he was planning to do a triathlon with Jack next year. I looked right at Jack and said "we'll get you moving again."  I did NOT say "we will get you walking again."  Everyone in the room heard the difference. They went home that night disappointed, and they posted on Facebook about how U of M isn't all they were told it would be. But, I knew that they would be fine.

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