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Updated 10:00 AM April 17, 2006




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  M-CARE and Michigan Healthy Community Initiative
Health question? Here's the answer

My doctor wants me to have an MRI, and he gave me a brochure about it, but I want to know more about the procedure. Where can I find additional information?

Another study on effects of hormone replacement therapy just flashed across the TV news. How can I find more information on the pros and cons of this treatment for my menopause symptoms?

I keep reading about the growing number of cases of diabetes in the nation. I am overweight and have a family history of the disease. How can I find out the symptoms of diabetes so that I might know if I need to ask my doctor if I should be checked?

Information on health concerns, disease prevention and a number of medical procedures are among the more than 6,000 health topics soon to be available to the faculty and staff community through a joint program of M-CARE and the Michigan Healthy Community Initiative (MCHI).

Beginning today, (April 17), a link will be added to the MHCI Web site ( that will take members of the campus community to the Healthwise® Knowledgebase. M-CARE has contracted with the resource to provide current, reliable information on health topics. The service can be accessed by faculty and staff through use of a uniqname and UMICH (Kerberos) password. M-CARE members, whether or not they are U-M employees, also have access to Healthwise through the M-CARE Connect portal found on the organization's Web site,

"Whether it's a spouse, parent, or child, at some point in everyone's life, the need to find out detailed, accurate health information becomes personal," says Betsy Nota-Kirby, associate director of health management programs. "We chose the Healthwise Knowledgebase so our members can turn with confidence to M-CARE for health information. And I'm pleased that we were able to make this service available to the whole U-M faculty and staff community."

A 2004 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that although 59 percent of survey respondents said they watched local news, many health-related stories did not provide appropriate context or details and, in some cases, actually contained errors.

The Healthwise database is full of detailed information written by health care professionals, Nota-Kirby says. "As an example, a Healthwise search on cardiac catheterization yields detailed information including a test overview, why the test is done, how the patient can prepare, testing procedures, how it feels to have the procedure, inherent risks, results, factors affecting the test, things to think about, illustrations and links to related topics."

Healthwise includes complementary and alternative medicine, and Spanish-language information.

The addition of Healthwise continues a University-wide focus on creating a healthy community that began as one of four presidential initiatives. To date it has included an 8-week physical fitness challenge, Active U, and an ongoing Enhanced Ergonomic Awareness Program. Other programs are being considered by an MCHI task force that is exploring long- and short-term goals for improving the health and well-being of employees, retirees and students.

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