I’m Not a Rockette, But I Played One “For The Kids”

The caliber of students at the University of Michigan never ceases to amaze me! Their academic excellence and ambition are impressive, as is their extraordinary passion to serve others. This month, I experienced two powerful reminders of the important role that our terrific students play in the Health System.

On March 15, I got to stop in and say hello during the Match Day luncheon. I was incredibly inspired as I talked to members of the Medical School’s remarkable 2013 graduating class and their beaming friends and families. It was an exciting day for all as the students learned where they would be doing their residency training. This year, 72% of students matched to residency programs in the nation’s top hospitals, including U-M, Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, UCSF Medical Center in California and other leading academic medical centers across the country.

Later that day, I participated in a video shoot with members of the Dance Marathon at University of Michigan team. DMUM is one of the largest student-run non-profit organizations on the U-M campus. We taped a PSA to promote this year’s Marathon – an event where hundreds of students stand on their feet for 30 hours to show their support for pediatric services at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Beaumont Hospital. Since 1998, DMUM has raised funds to support pediatric rehabilitation programs at Mott Hospital, as well as our Child and Family Life program and Trails Edge Camp for ventilator-dependent children.

In an email I received after the video shoot, Monica Walls, DMUM Internal Director 2012-2013, said: “. . . As a senior at the University of Michigan, I can truly say that DMUM has defined my college career and shaped me into the person that I am today. It has taught me the value of hard work, dedication and passion for a cause that I truly believe in. It means so much to have the support of Health System leadership in our mission. I feel so blessed, honored and humbled to be a part of this wonderful community, and know that I will forever feel tied to the Maize and Blue. . . .For The Kids, Monica”

I encourage all faculty and staff to support our students through mentoring, by celebrating Match Day and other milestones, or by participating in fundraisers like the Galens Medical Society’s Tag Days or Smoker, and the University of Michigan Dance Marathon. These and so many other opportunities are how we demonstrate a true community of Leaders & Best.

Be one of the first to see the official DMUM PSA:

A Comment on Sequestration

While there is much still unknown about how sequestration will affect the nation and academic medical centers like the U-M Health System, we will continue to monitor the situation. I encourage you to read today’s University Record article What does sequestration mean for U-M? to gain further insight and understanding of the potential impact of sequestration on our University.