Thank you, John Ballew, for 31 years of dedicated service to UMHS

Today, the Health System celebrated John Ballew, director of Health System Facilities Planning. After 31 years of dedicated service to the University of Michigan Health System, John is retiring and relocating to Durango, Colorado.

John’s expertise as a nationally certified professional architect has been invaluable over the past three decades, especially as the organization has made many critical decisions regarding space allocation, leaseholds, new facility development and existing facility renovations.  John played a leadership role in the planning and design of the U-M Cardiovascular Center, the expansion of the Kellogg Eye Center and the C. S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital replacement project.

John’s humor and talents will be greatly missed, but his imprint surrounds us in all of the buildings he has helped to create and improve. Of course, we couldn’t let him go without a little fun. Since Tony Denton and I couldn’t be at John’s retirement reception today, we made him a video (with a lot of help from our in-house videographer and producer, Natasha Arnold). Take a look:

Initial response to Supreme Court Ruling on Affordable Care Act/Health Care Reform

—As of July 2, commenting on this thread is closed. Thank you.—

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act, it is time to move forward.

The University of Michigan Health System has been working on making health care safer, more cost-efficient and quality-driven since before the Affordable Care Act was written and signed into law, and we will continue to do so because it is the necessary and right thing to do. We look forward to working in partnership with the federal government and local partners to create a better national health care system.

University of Michigan Orthotics and Prosthetics Center: Creativity in Action

One week from today, the University of Michigan Orthotics and Prosthetics Center will celebrate an extraordinary milestone – 100 years of service – with an open house event.

One of the reasons the O&P team has been making such a tremendous difference in the lives of their patients and families is because they embrace creativity as part of their daily work. Creativity is one of my 7Cs and, honestly, the most important C of all.

The O&P team assists people of all ages with diverse challenges, and each solution they develop is a combination of tools and therapies customized to the patient’s unique needs, goals and abilities.

We all have limitless opportunity to be creative in our daily work, because at its very core creativity is about looking at the same problem everyone else is looking at, but seeing it differently and taking a unique approach to finding a solution.

In April, I had the opportunity to visit with the O&P team see first-hand why they are so exceptional. Rather than tell you about my visit, why don’t you see for yourself:


Remembering Six Heroes

This morning, I was privileged to participate in a ceremony honoring the service and memory of six heroes who lost their lives five years ago today.

On that day – June 4, 2007 – I was still in Indiana, but I remember hearing the news about the University of Michigan transplant and Survival Flight team that didn’t make it home from their life-saving journey across Lake Michigan. I felt a special connection to the story not only because I am a physician, but because my late husband, Mark, was a transplant surgeon. He and his team – as well as transplant and medical aircraft teams across the nation – mourned with Michigan on that tragic day.

Five years ago, the UMHS community came together in grief, sadness and disbelief. Today, we came together once again to remember and honor six extraordinary men whose legacies inspire us each and every day.

David Ashburn, Richard Chenault, Dennis Hoyes, Ricky LaPensee, Bill Serra and Martin Spoor will never be forgotten – they will forever remain in our thoughts and in our hearts.  We will think of them when we look at the memorial art piece that was commissioned in their honor and now stands at the front of University Hospital. We remember them through the six endowments the University created in their honor. And we think of them with each life saved by an organ transplant.

Having since suffered a devastating loss myself – the death of my husband, Mark, more than a year ago – I understand the shattering effect tragedy can have on one’s life and one’s family. That’s why I want all of the family members to know that your extended Health System family continues to be here for you whenever you need us.

And to those of you who lost beloved colleagues on that heartbreaking June day, remember that through your work, you keep their extraordinary legacies alive and strong.

We can never replace loved ones who die too soon, but we can live each day after in tribute to them, and to the immense love and joy they brought to so many others.