Reasons To Be Thankful

This week, many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving and take time to appreciate those things for which we are fortunate and grateful. As a Health System and as a community united by a commitment to improving health and saving lives, we have many reasons to be thankful. I’d like to share just a few of them with you in this post.

Graph 10 years_SmallThis year, we performed our 2000th liver transplant and our 200th transcatheter aortic valve replacement, and we delivered our first set of quintuplets. We celebrated the Department of Radiology’s centennial, as well as Gifts of Arts’ silver anniversary. And because of ongoing continuous improvement initiatives, patient satisfaction is at an all-time high. We are on target to achieve a satisfaction index score of 93 by Fiscal Year 2017, which is the goal defined in our strategic plan. I will be surprised if we haven’t exceeded our target by that time!

Research coming out of our Medical School resulted in a record 133 new inventions and 41 patents, representing one-third of the University’s total output. In addition, we produced significant discoveries across the spectrum of disease and care delivery, including adding disease-specific stem cell lines to the national registry, coordinating a global DNA study that identified new drug targets and a bigger role for triglycerides in heart risk, demonstrating a cellular difference in the body clocks of people with depression, and discovering that commonly used catheters actually double the risk of blood clots in ICU and cancer patients.

The excellence of our Medical School training and students was honored with an incredible gift of $30 million in scholarship support from Rich and Susan Rogel. At the same time, the compassion of our Medical School family was powerfully evident in how you supported one another after Paul DeWolf’s tragic death, and in rebuilding the Student Run Free Clinic after it burned down in February.

Thanks to the voices of many individuals and groups within and outside our community, Michigan Medicaid expansion was passed and 400,000 Michiganders now qualify for health insurance. Additionally, we continue to be prominent in advancing the dialogue around health care reform, the Affordable Care Act, research funding and more.

And, thanks to extraordinary efforts of faculty and staff across the entire Health System, we have been operating at roughly a 3 percent margin for the last 10 months. This is a terrific place to be, given the challenges we’re facing. We want to continue on this trajectory, heading toward a goal of a 5 percent margin by 2017.

I know that each of us is grateful for the opportunity to play a role in creating the future of health care, and I am thankful for our incredible staff, faculty, students, trainees and volunteers. There can be no greater privilege than to work with you in this extraordinary organization.

This week, please remember to take time to say ‘thank you’ to those who help you do what you do, because we never do it alone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

6 thoughts on “Reasons To Be Thankful

  1. Betsy de Parry on said:

    And I would just add: I am so thankful for UM’s extraordinary patient care and for the doctors and nurses and researchers who give so many people, like me, back our futures. Thank you all for all that you do for so many.

  2. Teresa Herzog Mourad on said:

    I am thankful for the excellent care provided by the UMHS MHealthy Tobacco Consultation Service team. Day in and day out these dedicated professionals are providing evidence-based quit tobacco care for our patients, employees, students and community.

  3. Robin Slawnyk on said:

    Thanks for sharing! I would like to add that I am thankful for being a part of this U of M Family! What a great and inspiring article. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Michelle Brown, PT on said:

    I am very proud to return to the UM Acute Care Physical Therapy Cardiovascular Team on a contingent basis. I am most proud of the absolutely EXCELLENT CARE that my 14 y.o. son received for treatment of brain cancer (primary CNS large B-cell lymphoma) this past year. Within FOUR months of chemo, his 8/30/2013 MRI showed complete resolution of multiple brain tumors that were present in his mid-May MRI. THANK YOU to ALL throughout UMHS for DOING what you do BEST! Our family has SO much to be grateful for, and I am thankful to be a part of the UMHS team again.

  5. D. Faye Addison on said:

    I am thankful and grateful to have the privilege of working at such a great institution as the UMHS with our faculty, staff and students.

    The care given to our patients and families by our staff is insurmountable!

    Have a Very Blessed Thanksgiving holiday to all.

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