Get Your Mind into Your Colon

by Lila Lazarus

I’m going to ask you to do something you may never have done before.  Take a moment to think about your colon. This isn’t just your personal garbage disposal. Your colon, which is your large bowel or intestine, plays an integral role in the quality of your life, and most people don’t even take a moment to appreciate the job their colon is doing! That is until it’s suddenly out of commission. And by then, it may be too late.

newlilacolumnart_2017Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer. (Lung cancer has the No. 1 spot.) But colon cancer is 98 percent curable if detected early. And even more frustrating, it’s mostly preventable. That’s why I’m asking you to spend a full minute focused on ways to keep your colon healthy. If you do your job, your colon will thank you and do its job better, absorbing fluids, and housing good bacteria that break down and help process your waste.

People don’t usually pay attention or, heaven forbid, discuss their colon until there’s some sort of digestive issue— bloating, diarrhea or bloody stool. (If those symptoms last for even a few days, you need to be seen by a doctor.) 100,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer every year. Many of those people didn’t want to think about their colon even when the colon was sending red flags. But to avoid the troubles from the start, here are some things you can start doing TODAY to make your colon happy: Continue reading “Get Your Mind into Your Colon”

Proud Parents of Loss: Grief and Joy at St. Joe’s

ANN ARBOR – April 4, 2016 – it was a big day. Expecting parents Amber and Josh Horwitz were going to meet their baby girl, Harper. At 39 weeks, she was ready to make her grand debut. Labor and delivery was supposed to be smooth sailing, just as Amber’s pregnancy had been.

As Amber said, “I gained the proper amount of weight. I measured perfect. My blood pressure was always perfect.”

There was no reason this birth wouldn’t be perfect, too. Continue reading “Proud Parents of Loss: Grief and Joy at St. Joe’s”

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, and serves as a reminder that this serious disease is preventable, treatable and beatable.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States and the second leading cause in men. It is expected to cause about 
50,260 deaths during 2017.

Beth-Ann ShankerGeneral and colorectal surgeon Beth-Ann Shanker, MD, shares insight about colon cancer, risk and prevention in this Q&A.

  1. How common is colorectal cancer?
    Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the United States. However, early detection can impact survival.
  1. Who is most at risk? Is it genetic?
    Most colorectal cancers occur in those without a family history of the disease. However, some individuals are at higher risk. Lifestyle choices can contribute to colon cancer including smoking, being overweight and little physical activity. Other factors cannot be controlled such as a personal or family history. In addition, certain genetic syndromes are associated with a higher likelihood of colon or rectal cancer such as Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer or Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s, are also at risk.

Continue reading “March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: What You Need to Know”

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals

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St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston have been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson HealthTM business.

In addition, both hospitals were named one of 10 national award winners that earned its Everest award, honoring hospitals that have achieved both the highest current performance and the fastest long-term improvement over five years. Continue reading “St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and St. Joseph Mercy Livingston named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals”

Register for 2017 Probility Ann Arbor Marathon – March 26

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ProbilityMarathonLogoSlideTake to the scenic streets of Ann Arbor on Sunday, March 26 for the 2017 Probility Ann Arbor Marathon, brought to you by Epic Races and Champions for Charity. With a variety of running events that appeal to all ages and abilities, you’ll find that the Probility Ann Arbor Marathon is your ideal early-spring race, whether you’re walking your first 5K or running your 50th marathon. Register here and visit for more information.


Marathon Half Marathon (Actual/Virtual) 10K 5K Deadline
$115.00 $100.00 $50.00 $45.00 Feb. 1 – March 24
$125.00 $105.00 $55.00 $50.00 Race-Weekend Registration (cash only)

Sip a Shamrock Smoothie


Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day does not need to harm your health. Enjoy a healthy, green smoothie in celebration of the holiday.


  • Juice of 1 navel orange
  • 1/2 banana, peeled
  • 1 cup tightly packed organic spinach
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, adjusted as desired
  • Orange zest
  • Ice

Add all ingredients to a blender with a few ice cubes and blend on high to combine. Add more almond milk as desired to reach desired consistency for smoothie. Pour into a glass and top with orange zest.

All You Need is Love

by Lila Lazarus

I remember the day Cupid’s arrow pierced me squarely in the heart. Seriously, my heart started to flutter and I felt like I had to sit down. It was the first time I saw my husband. I knew he was good on the eyes, but the feeling I had was directly in my heart.

I would say he “stole my heart,” but after doing a little research on the connection between love and coronary health, I now know he fortified it!  Initially, my flushed cheeks and that pitter-patter was caused by a rush of adrenaline which makes your heart beat faster. But as a relationship grows, love actually calms your heart and lowers your blood pressure. Most studies indicate cupid’s arrow is really good for you.

Love, romance and frequent you-know-what have serious health benefits. A dose of love results in fewer coronary events. People who say they’re in love tend to live longer with lower blood pressure.  And if you end up getting married, as we did two years later, chances are you’ll live longer. The research shows married men extend their lives by seven years and women by two years. And if you have heart troubles, your odds for recovery are better if you’re married. Continue reading “All You Need is Love”

See Test & Treat – April 22, 2017



St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor is pleased to host the free See, Test & Treat screening and community health education program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Women’s Health Center. See flier or visit for more information. Call 734-712-7881 to register. Continue reading “See Test & Treat – April 22, 2017”

Tobacco 21: Forging Ahead on Public Health Policy in Washtenaw County

by Elisabeth Vanderpool, Director of Community Health, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston

The city of Ann Arbor is making bold moves to prevent tobacco-related deaths. In early August 2016, the Ann Arbor City Council passed a landmark ordinance to raise the legal age of purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. The ordinance went into effect Jan. 1, 2017, and Ann Arbor joins over 170 localities in 13 states, in addition to the entire states of Hawaii and California, that have raised the tobacco age to 21. A March 2015 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the most prestigious scientific authorities in the United States, strongly concluded that raising the tobacco sale age to 21 will have a substantial positive impact on public health and save lives. The report predicts that raising the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 will, over time, reduce the smoking rate by about 12 percent and smoking-related deaths by 10 percent, which translates into 223,000 fewer premature deaths, 50,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer, and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost. Continue reading “Tobacco 21: Forging Ahead on Public Health Policy in Washtenaw County”

The Heart Matters: A Story of Enduring Love

Eva and Rev. Harlan Klein

One look at Reverend Harlan Klein, and anyone would know his heart is working fine, because after 54 years of marriage to his dearly beloved, he still wears it on his sleeve.

He was just 15 years old when he met Evangeline. She was 14.

“I stole a kiss under the street light,” Klein recalled, telling Eva, “Go on, say what happened next.”

Eva obliged, having finished this story for many a listener. “I walked away, I was going home, I turned around, he’s still standing there and I thought, ‘What is he doing?'” she explained.

“I just kissed the girl I’m gonna marry,” Klein said he told his pastor that very night. Continue reading “The Heart Matters: A Story of Enduring Love”