Campus briefs


Get tailored recommendations with annual health questionnaire 

After a challenging year, many are looking to summer as an opportunity to focus on their health and reassess their needs. MHealthy’s annual health questionnaire takes a few minutes to complete and provides personalized recommendations tailored to individual needs. Recommendations are based on responses and include up to three health and well-being areas to focus on, and programs and resources available through Asset Health, MHealthy and other university entities. Resources are available for a wide spectrum of health areas, including financial well-being, sleep, mental and emotional well-being, nutrition, food security, tobacco cessation support, alcohol management and more. The health questionnaire is available on the new MHealthy Portal, powered by Asset Health. Active benefits-eligible faculty and staff and their spouse/other qualified adult enrolled in a U-M health plan can access the questionnaire at The university has partnered with Asset Health to ensure personal information is kept private and confidential. The new MHealthy Portal can be found online.

Birdi mail-order pharmacy website goes live July 1

NoviXus Pharmacy Services, U-M’s mail-order pharmacy, will soon be known as Birdi. On July 1,, the new Birdi website, will go live. Inquiries to the former NoviXus website will automatically forward to the Birdi site. No action from current mail-order pharmacy members is needed. Members’ services, such as account login and passwords, prescription and refill histories, and payment information, will appear in members’ new Birdi accounts. Mail-order medications generally offer the best value for maintenance drugs ordered in 90-day supplies, such as those for hypertension, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Through Birdi, members’ maintenance medications will be delivered free to their homes. Ordering and payment can be completed through Birdi’s online system, as well. More information is available at Contact U-M’s Shared Services Center toll-free at 866-647-7657 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, with further questions.

Free home COVID tests available to Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti residents

A new initiative open to University of Michigan community members and their households residing in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas provides free, rapid COVID-19 test kits for use at home to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep the community healthy. The Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge is recommended for unvaccinated individuals 8 years old or older. The challenge was launched by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is supported by the Washtenaw County Health Department, among other partners. Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti residents can order testing kits online at for home delivery. Test kits also will be available for pickup locally at the Washtenaw County Health Department, 555 Towner St., Ypsilanti, during COVID-19 walk-in vaccination clinics, and the health department’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Details are at For questions, call the health department at 734-544-6700.

Mott Hospital tops state rankings, earns national honors from U.S. News & World Report

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is the top-ranked children’s hospital in the state and one of the best in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Mott is the only Michigan hospital nationally ranked in all 10 evaluated pediatric specialties in the 2021-22 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings, released June 15. In addition to earning the No.1 ranking for Michigan, Mott is rated a top three hospital in the Midwest in the debut year of state and regional rankings. The annual report names the top 50 pediatric health care facilities out of more than 115 medical centers assessed in the United States. The U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals rankings are based on relevant clinical data from early 2020 (due to the pandemic) and surveys from thousands of pediatric specialists. Read more about the rankings.

U-M joins White House COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge

U-M is among more than 200 higher education institutions in 43 states to join the White House’s COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge that seeks to provide opportunities and access to all members of the university community to become vaccinated. The campaign, which launched June 2, invites college presidents across the country to become Vaccine Champion Colleges and pledge to take specific actions to increase vaccination rates in their college communities. All 15 of Michigan’s public universities have agreed to participate in the challenge. As U-M prepares to resume more in-person learning on-campus this fall, the pledge hopes to increase vaccine uptake in the 18- to 24-year-old population, as well as reach every member of the campus community to encourage them to get vaccinated. Read more about the challenge.

Physician assistants approve contract agreement with Michigan Medicine

Physician assistants represented by the United Physician Assistants of Michigan Medicine/AFT 5297 have ratified a three-year contract with Michigan Medicine. This is the first contract with UPAMM, which represents approximately 340 physician assistants across Michigan Medicine and the university. UPAMM was recognized by the university in June 2020. Negotiations began in September 2020. “We are grateful to all who collaborated in bargaining for a fair agreement with our PAs. We recognize and appreciate the extraordinary commitment and expertise of our PA colleagues who have demonstrated their dedication time and again throughout the pandemic,” said David C. Miller, president of U-M Health and executive vice dean for clinical affairs of the Medical School. “The ratification of UPAMM’s first contract with an overwhelming majority demonstrates PAs’ dedication to working with Michigan Medicine in a collaborative environment of mutual respect. We look forward to continuing to provide patient care alongside the leaders and best here at University of Michigan Health,” said UPAMM President Jill Hasen.

Anti-Racism Collaborative awards nearly $100,000 in summer research grants

The Anti-Racism Collaborative, administered by the National Center for Institutional Diversity, has awarded summer research grants to 21 U-M graduate students. The Rackham Graduate School is co-sponsoring the awards, which amount to $99,825. The grants aim to support engagement in research projects focused on racial inequality, racial equity, and racial justice while advancing graduate student progress toward degree. NCID and Rackham will host opportunities for the campus and broader communities to engage with the award recipients and learn more about their research during the 2021-22 academic year. For a full listing of the grant recipients and their projects.

Schlissel sends message of support for those affected by Israeli-Palestinian conflict

In a message to the campus community, President Mark Schlissel acknowledged the pain and suffering members have experienced stemming from the violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And he condemned increasing instances of threats, intimidation, hateful speech and vandalism on and near campus. “Any actions motivated by anti-Black or anti-Asian racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian bias or any other form of bigotry have no place in the discourse of a great university,” Schlissel wrote. “To fully thrive as a university and confront the most difficult issues we face as a society, we must remain a unified community that believes in peaceful disagreement, free speech, and advancing arguments through productive discourse and respect for our shared humanity.” Read the president’s full message.

Pharmacy faculty member appointed to NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guideline Panel

Gregory Eschenauer, clinical associate professor at the College of Pharmacy, has been appointed to the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guideline Panel, convened by Anthony Fauci. The panel is composed of academicians, clinicians and representatives from multiple professional societies and government agencies to provide current, evidence-based care recommendations for COVID-19 patients. It was convened by Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in March 2020. Eschenauer, also a clinical pharmacy specialist in infectious diseases at Michigan Medicine, is an expert in infectious disease and antimicrobial stewardship. He represents the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists on the panel. His role is to review new literature pertaining to COVID-19 therapeutics, assist in the writing and development of updates, and participate in discussions regarding such changes.

Michigan Medicine announces name of new hospital

The Pavilion at University of Michigan Health will be the name of the new Michigan Medicine hospital currently under construction, the organization has announced. Work on the project resumed this spring after a pause in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new adult inpatient facility is scheduled to open for patient care in the fall of 2025. The planned 12-story hospital will house 264 patient rooms capable of converting to intensive care, advanced imaging and 20 operating rooms for high-level neurological, cardiovascular and thoracic cases. This isn’t the first time the word “pavilion” has been used at U-M: the first Pavilion Hospital opened in 1876 as an extension to the original University Hospital.

Report explores anxiety and depression among Detroit public school students

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, serious mental health concerns impacted a significant portion of students in Detroit public schools, a new report shows. More than half of student respondents in the Detroit Public Schools Community District had experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, and an alarming 23 percent had seriously considered attempting suicide within the past year, according to a pre-pandemic assessment conducted by the DPSCD in collaboration with the University of Michigan TRAILS program and Youth Policy Lab. The needs assessment was the first step in a multiyear partnership between U-M and DPSCD that will focus on student mental health with the goal of providing effective services in all 100-plus DPSCD schools. Read more about the project.

Global view shows seasonal changes and sources for ocean microplastics

An estimated 8 million tons of plastic trash enters the ocean each year, and most of it is battered by sun and waves into microplastics — tiny flecks that can ride currents hundreds or thousands of miles from their point of entry. The debris can harm sea life and marine ecosystems, and it’s extremely difficult to track and clean up. Now, U-M researchers have developed a new way to spot ocean microplastics across the globe and track them over time, providing a day-by-day timeline of where they enter the water, how they move and where they tend to collect. The approach relies on the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, or CYGNSS, and can give a global view or zoom in on small areas for a high-resolution picture of microplastic releases from a single location. The technique is a major improvement over current tracking methods, which rely mainly on spotty reports from plankton trawlers. Read more about this research.

Compiled by James Iseler, The University Record


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