The leading edge of precision medicine research

I wanted to share some very exciting news as a follow up to my previous blog about Henry Ford Hospital’s investment in precision medicine. Last month, the National Institutes of Health announced that Henry Ford Health System is leading a five-member research consortium to expand the geographic reach and diversity of the NIH’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program.

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Reduce barriers to health care with a “yes vote”

Cars. This is how we get to work, run errands, visit family and take our kids to school.

A “yes vote” for the Regional Transit Authority Master Plan will improve access to health care for everyone.

A “yes vote” for the Regional Transit Authority Master Plan will improve access to health care for everyone.

Well, not all of us.

Approximately 26 percent of Detroit households are without a vehicle.

So how do they handle the basics like shopping for healthy food, attending doctor appointments or filling prescriptions?

That’s the $3 billion question and one we hope to solve with a regional transportation plan.

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Precision medicine is the key to unlocking a cure

Anyone in the field of health care or observant of patient’s clinical course knows how patients often dramatically differ in their response to prescribed therapy. We have ascribed this to a variety of factors, some assumptive and some ascribed to “biological variability” represented within populations. We construct randomized clinical trials with large, diverse populations to assess responses to a drug versus another drug or placebo in order to figure this out.

The unlocking of the human genetic code has given some insights into what the future of medicine will bring to understand this variability.

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Just like yesterday.

When I was watching the media coverage of the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, I was struck by the significantly different perceptions about the time that has passed since that tragic day. When speaking to several of my friends, many remarked how long ago 9/11 seems and how time has passed to the point, this day of infamy was a distant memory.shutterstock_432103234

But when hearing from those who had been directly affected by the event, those who had lost loved ones, or personally were at Ground Zero, they all commented how it seemed “just like yesterday” and that time seemed to have stopped since that fateful day.

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Doc in the D’s favorite health care-inspired books

So you want some recommendations about books to read, but you’re not interested in the business books that I recommended in a prior blog?

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I hear you and thought I would keep some of the books in the realm of medicine and health care. I may eventually provide you with a list of my casual reading. But I’m afraid this might provide too much insight into my psyche than I am comfortable to reveal.

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A caddies’ story

What did you do on your summer vacation?

I had the pleasure of volunteering at the recent United States Amateur Golf Championship conducted at the venerable Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. This championship, one of the oldest in the country, brought together 318 of the top amateur golfers in the world. Players came from 28 countries. The arduous 36-hole qualifying section lead to a field of 64 golfers, who played “mano a mano” matches for a week until a champion was crowned on Sunday, Aug. 21. The champion was Curtis Luck from Perth, Australia. A truly great player.

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Detroit at 315: A reflection of progress

During the past 315 years, Detroit has been through its share of ups and downs. Some you know about and some you probably don’t. What most of you do realize is the incredible resiliency of this city and the people who proudly call themselves Detroiters. Some term us “survivors.” I like to think of us fighters who get off the mat to battle again.

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Doc in the D’s Favorite Business Books

Read, read, and read. I read all the time. As much and as often as I can. Newspapers, books, usually old school real paper, but on the Kindle and iPad as well. Reading provides the experiences that you cannot often have yourself, and an opportunity to stimulate your own thoughts and to learn from others.

In the leadership and business realm, I am often asked about which books have influenced me the most. Not the “best” business books of all time, but those that have stimulated me to form my opinions about the direction that we need to go for success.

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The Yuck Factor

All of us in health care know the importance of cleaning and washing our hands when we care for others. This simple act can prevent injury to patients and save lives.

I am going to give you another reason to wash your hands.

Take a good look at the bacterial cultures of the hands of two of our employees. Hand2You can see those areas that represent growth of bacteria. Bacteria that can be transmitted to others, including our patients, our co-workers, our friends, our spouses, our children and ourselves.

This phenomenon qualifies by a very precise scientific term, YUCK. Continue reading

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A Big Favor

To kick off the return of Doc in the D, I wanted to share something special that truly touched my heart. The journey we take in our professions is personal but also shared. Much of the shared experience is not technical; it is related to the humanity of our roles and calling.

Some among us can provide insights into this far better than others. They can describe the emotional subtleties, the push and pull on our professional and personal lives, and the fundamental thread of our connectivity with our patients.

A brilliant (and award winning) essay by one of our surgical residents, Dr. Ko Un Clara Park, captures this and needs no further introduction. Continue reading

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