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Michigan Impact

Western Michigan
2013 spring Issue

Better stroke care, everywhere: NIH-funded study boosts local hospitals' clotbuster use

From the moment a stroke occurs, patients must race against the clock to get treatment that can prevent lasting damage. Now, a new study shows the promise – and the challenges – of getting them state-of-the-art treatment safely and quickly at their local hospital.

The results come from an effort that tested methods to improve delivery of a time-sensitive, clot-busting drug in stroke patients at 24 community hospitals across Michigan. To date, clot-busting treatment has been mostly used at larger hospitals.

Participating hospitals in West Michigan were: Battle Creek Health System, Borgess Medical Center, Community Health Center of Branch County, Holland Hospital, Lakeland Community Hospital, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Mercy Health Partners, Hackley Campus, Saint Mary’s Health Care, and Sparrow Hospital and Health System.

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Funding high-energy projects in eight Michigan cities

U-M graduate students have partnered with Ypsilanti-based Clean Energy Coalition to develop a self-sustaining funding mechanism that would provide capital to eight of Michigan’s poorest cities, including two western communities, for investments in energy-efficiency projects.

Benton Harbor and Muskegon Heights are two of the eight participating cities. Others include: Detroit, Flint, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Pontiac and Saginaw.

Energy efficiency offers Michigan municipalities an attractive opportunity to reduce energy use, save money, and mitigate environmental impacts, but many cash-strapped cities lack the seed capital to invest in these projects.

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U-M establishes Transplant Outreach Clinic in Kalamazoo

U-M established an outreach clinic in Kalamazoo to serve patients who need transplant evaluations and ongoing medical care while waiting for donor organs.

The U-M evaluation team includes physicians from Transplant Nephrology and Surgery, a Transplant Nurse Coordinator who provides patient education along with a Transplant Social Worker. They work out of a Fresenius clinical location in Kalamazoo once a month.

As the long travel to U-M is both a logistical and financial challenge for many of our patients, these changes have resulted in improvement to both patient access and their satisfaction.

The outreach clinic is a model of teamwork across disciplines and highlights our commitment to patient care while serving as a model for future efforts.

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U-M leading the way to improve care for Medicare participants while lowering costs

More than 1,800 Michigan physicians will work together to tackle the challenge of providing better medical care and slowing the growth of health costs for an estimated 81,000 Medicare-enrolled patients.

The new Physician Organization of Michigan (POM) is a joint venture of the U-M Health System and eight other Michigan physician organizations. Together, they have launched a new accountable care organization, or ACO.

POM ACO focuses on the triple goal of better care for patients, better health for entire populations, and lower health care costs. The physicians will share in the savings to Medicare if the costs for caring for the patients stay below the national growth rate, and quality is improved.

The physician groups in West Michigan that have members in POM ACO are Advantage Health, St. Mary’s Health Care, Lakeshore Health Network, the Physicians’ Organization of Western Michigan and Wexford PHO.

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