SJMHS Oncologists Recognized for Excellence in Clinical Trial Participation

Ten physicians from Saint Joseph Mercy Health System were recognized for excellence in clinical trial participation in 2017 by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

This year the NCORP program awarded 358, of the 3500, NCORP physician investigators with awards recognizing excellence in clinical trial participation.  Clinical trials are essential for moving new methods of preventing, diagnosing , and treating cancer from the laboratory to physicians’ offices and other clinical settings and, ultimately, to improve care and quality of life for people with cancer.

Congratulations to the following Saint Joseph Mercy Health System physicians who were recipients of these prestigious awards. They include:

2017 Gold Award Recipients

Phil Stella, MD – IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Livingston
Tareq Al Baghdadi, MD – IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Livingston

2017 Silver Award Recipients
Christopher Reynolds, MD – IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Livingston
Elie Dib, MD – IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Chelsea/Livingston
Judie Goodman, DO – Newland Medical Associates – St. Joseph Mercy Oakland

2017 Appreciation Award Recipients
Li Ding, MD – IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Livingston
Katie Beekman, MD – IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Chelsea/Livingston
Niklas Mackler, MD –IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Chelsea/Livingston
Jerome Winegarden III, MD – IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor/Livingston
Amit Mohindra, MD – St. Mary Mercy Oncology Practice – St. Mary Mercy Livonia

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) is a national NCI-supported network that brings cancer treatment and prevention clinical trials to people in their communities.  There are 34 funded NCORP programs and St. Joe’s is proud to be the lead institution for one of the largest and most successful programs, the Michigan Cancer Research Consortium NCORP  (

For more information about our oncology clinical research trials, visit


The Long Hike to Conquering Cessation

Last January, Alisa Soos enjoyed a sunrise atop Mt. Haleakalā on the Hawaiian island of Maui.  She and her husband carried their two sons on the hike and managed to snap a picture as proof they made it. As the sun inched above the horizon, it dawned on Alisa how easily she could breathe in the thin, crisp air.

Alisa has been tobacco-free since 2007, and not a day goes by without a reminder of what that choice has granted her. Ten years ago, she admits, it would have been hard to climb a flight of stairs without getting winded. But today, 39-year-old Alisa is healthy, and she wants to encourage others that it’s never too late to quit smoking.

In fact, Alisa has made it her job. She transitioned two years ago from St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor’s surgical intensive care unit as a nurse coordinator, to the oncology program, where she now works as a lung nodule nurse navigator. Every day Alisa encounters patients at risk for lung cancer – many of them lifelong smokers – and she uses her own personal journey to encourage them to start their own toward a tobacco-free life.

A Moment of Truth
Alisa grew up in a smoking household, where both her mother and father were regular smokers. She and her two brothers had second-hand smoke exposure throughout their childhood, before becoming smokers themselves. It was never a big deal, Alisa said. Until it was. Continue reading “The Long Hike to Conquering Cessation”

Reasons Your Heart Just Skipped a Beat and When to Worry

by Ediva Zanker

This article was originally published on Sharecare.

tanmay swadia_2015_printHas your heart ever felt like it was fluttering, throbbing, pounding or skipping a beat? That feeling is called a heart palpitation.

Generally, heart palpitations aren’t life threatening, says Tanmay Swadia, MD, a cardiologist at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. Infrequent palpitations and palpitations only lasting a few seconds usually don’t need further evaluation. However, there are instances where a dysrhythmia, or an abnormal heart beat, can be a cause for concern. Dr. Swadia details ways to tell if the heart beat in your chest is normal, or not.

What your heart beat says about your heart
Palpitations are basically a heightened awareness of your own heartbeat, explains Swadia. Your heart might beat faster, slower or differently than usual for a few reasons. Continue reading “Reasons Your Heart Just Skipped a Beat and When to Worry”

Bridging the Gap in Behavioral Health Care

ANN ARBOR – St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor is using an innovative care model to bridge gaps in behavioral health services – a growing need across the country and especially in Washtenaw County – to better serve adults with serious mental illness.

The Transition Clinic was originally designed to transition adults from an acute setting into outpatient care. National studies suggest that up to half of all patients discharged from a behavioral health hospital or inpatient facility are readmitted within one year due to a poor transition to outpatient services which often have delays due to high volume. After being discharged from the hospital, individuals with persisting mental illness are especially vulnerable, and are more likely to relapse or engage in self-harm behaviors. Studies show that for patients with serious mental illness, brief, intensive outpatient case management can be an effective bridge from inpatient to outpatient behavioral health care.

Stephen Pinals, M.D.Dr. Stephen Pinals, system chair for the Department of Psychiatry at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston, states, “This program has been so successful in helping to keep our patients out of the hospital that we’ve decided to open up our access to local primary care groups and community partners.  By providing psychiatric assessment and evaluation for patients who are unable to wait two to three months for an outpatient appointment, we’re now able to avoid unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”

Continue reading “Bridging the Gap in Behavioral Health Care”

You’re Invited to St. Joe’s ICR Open House – Nov. 9

Join St. Joe’s Ann Arbor to celebrate the newly renovated Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Space at the Michigan Heart & Vascular Institute on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Enjoy a free tour of the space, refreshments, giveaways and cooking demos. The ICR team will also have educational and interactive resources and information.

Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Open House
Thursday, November 9, 2017
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Michigan Heart & Vascular Institute
5325 Elliott Drive • Suite 105
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

The event is free but registration is requested:
See flyer

Have a Cold? Here’s How to Get Some Relief

by Ediva Zanker

This article was originally published on Sharecare.

bohnsackAside from having an excuse to binge watch the latest season of your favorite TV series, there aren’t too many perks of having a cold. Between the coughing and sneezing, you may wonder how you even caught a cold in the first place. But before you start blaming your best friend or family member, it’s important to know how the common cold spreads.

The common cold is a contagious viral infection that can be spread by direct contact with someone who has a cold. It can also be transferred from one person to another by way of tiny air droplets released through a sneeze or cough, or by someone blowing their nose. Some cold viruses can even live on surfaces for several hours. Keeping your overall hygiene in check, including frequently washing your hands for 15 to 30 seconds, can help prevent the spread of germs.

Typical symptoms of the common cold are a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, a sore throat from post-nasal drip, a cough or a headache. Generally, symptoms of a common cold persist for three to seven days, or in some cases, up to two weeks.

Although there is no proven cure for the common cold, there are ways to get some relief. Dr. Kevin Bohnsack from St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor in Michigan gave us some intel into common cold remedies that actually work. Continue reading “Have a Cold? Here’s How to Get Some Relief”

When Early Detection is Everything

Hillary Ward readily admits she often puts her clients’ needs before her own. As a real estate agent, she’s used to accommodating the busy schedules of everyone else – adjusting her day to meet prospective buyers at the hottest new listing or fitting in a home inspection, even on her day off.

But something compelled Hillary to put her needs first when she registered – via Facebook – for a free breast cancer screening through the See, Test & Treat program at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. Funded by a grant from the CAP Foundation, See, Test & Treat allows uninsured or under-insured women to receive free cervical and breast cancer screening with same-day results.

Hillary has no family history of cancer. But knowing she was about 10 years behind in receiving her first mammogram, she signed up for a 10:30 a.m. appointment on April 22.

“I had some clients who wanted to have their home inspection on that day, but I just – for some reason – stuck to my schedule, which is a little out of the ordinary for me,” Hillary said.

As an uninsured woman over the age of 40, Hillary figured she had nothing to lose. Little did she know, she had everything to gain. Continue reading “When Early Detection is Everything”