College of

Dean's Update

March 4, 2016

Expanding Pediatric Specialties in Lansing

Today, Michigan State University and Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital (HDVCH) are announcing a partnership to expand pediatric services in Lansing by opening a new pediatric specialty clinic. The HDVCH Lansing cardiology practice has moved to a new location at 3960 Patient Care Drive and will be joined on a rotating basis by specialists in gastroenterology, nephrology, pulmonology, plastic surgery, and neurosurgery. MSU will bring specialists in genetics, infectious disease, endocrinology, and general pediatrics to the new clinic. HDVCH plans to recruit Lansing-based specialists in ear, nose, and throat (ENT), and pediatric sleep medicine. The partnership also includes adding a full-time pediatric researcher based on campus at MSU that will expand our pediatric research in Lansing, Grand Rapids, and our other College of Human Medicine campuses throughout the state.

Pine Rest and MSU Join NNDC

Pine Rest and the College of Human Medicine have announced a joint associate membership with the National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC). This offers our college tremendous opportunities for collaboration with clinical and academic research with NNDC’s 24 member centers throughout the country. In addition, this partnership offers our medical students exposure to the newest approaches to treating mood disorders. Eric Achtyes, MD, and Vitaliy Voytenko, PsyD, will work together with the NNDC staff in defining this new relationship.

New App: Empower Flint

Congratulations to Rick Sadler for his geography expertise in helping WKAR and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences develop and launch a new mobile device app called “Empower Flint.” The new app provides Flint residents with a new tool to navigate available community resources and has a “find” operation to search for the closest water stations, free water filters, and sources of healthy food. The app is available for both Android and Apple iOS smart phones and tablets and can be found on

Aron Sousa, MD
Interim Dean 


Beyond the water crisis
What's ahead for the Pediatric Public Health Initiative and Flint public health research

Collaboration brings mental health research to Midland region
Midland Daily News | February 29
Carol Janney, Ph.D., has joined Michigan State University College of Human Medicine as community health researcher and assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics. Janney will be developing programs to improve the mental and physical health of individuals with mental health issues in local communities throughout MidMichigan Health’s service area.

Flint's poorest area is at center of crisis
Wall Street Journal | February 28
Flint pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha and researchers at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine are mapping the rise in blood lead levels in Flint children found the highest percentages of children with elevated levels in the Fifth Ward, which contains part of Flint’s downtown that has seen recent redevelopment but also streets with boarded-up houses near a vast former General Motors complex.

US Muslims in Michigan, East Lansing gather to share experiences
AhlulBayt News Agency | February 25
Muslims from Michigan State University (MSU) and East Lansing communities came together and were given the opportunity to share their experiences, both positive and negative, in an event called “Visions for the Future: Stories from your Muslim Neighbors,” on Tuesday. All of the student panelist members were graduate students enrolled in either MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine or College of Human Medicine. 

Flint water focus of MSU forum
MSUToday | February 24
Forum speakers include MSU researchers with insights into community management, utilities and pediatric health, including the doctor who publicly sounded the alarm about the health of children exposed to high levels of lead, Mona Hanna-Attisha.

These elementary school students have already been to medical school
Michigan Radio | February 24
It’s 8:45 on a Saturday morning, and I’m following along with one of the co-founders of Reach Out to Youth, a long-running program that brings elementary age kids into medical school for a day. As the event gets underway at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids, I find a medical student named Haben Debessai, sitting cross-legged on the floor of one classroom, showing a group of young girls how to take her blood pressure.

Mona Hanna-Attisha: "Flipping the story" in Flint
MLive | February 23
Michigan State University and Hurley Children's Hospital have announced a new Pediatric Public Health Initiative to address the Flint community's population-wide lead exposure and help all Flint children grow up healthy and strong. "It's our effort to flip the story," says Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, and assistant professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine. You know her as Dr. Mona from the Flint Water crisis. "We're trying to build a model public health program."
READ MORE | Related: The Spartan Podcast

Collaboration brings mental health research to the middle of Michigan
MSUToday | February 23
Carol Janney has joined Michigan State University College of Human Medicine as community health researcher and assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the college’s Midland Regional Campus, located at MidMichigan Medical Center.
READ MORE | Related: MidMichigan Health

Zumba-thon raises money for Pediatric Public Health Initiative
Fox 17 | February 22
Hundreds gathered in Flint for a fundraiser for the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, a joint effort by Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Hurley Children's Hospital.
Related: Fox 13, Fox 43

The power of collaboration: Networking aimed at understanding and treating depression adds Pine Rest and MSU College of Human Medicine
Grand Rapids Press | February 21
Pine Rest and MSU College of Human Medicine jointly are new associate members of the National Network of Depression Centers. The NNDC is a nonprofit network of leading clinical and academic centers of excellence in the US, working to transform the field of depressive illnesses and related mood disorders.
READ MORE | Related: WGVU Radio

In Flint, moving the farmers market drew more poor shoppers
NPR's The Salt | February 19
Rick Sadler, a public health professor at the Flint campus of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, first interviewed shoppers at the Flint Farmers' Market in 2011, seeking to understand the demographics of its customers. Three years later, the market made a controversial move from an industrial area north of the city core — inaccessible to public transit and pedestrians — to a central downtown location across from the bus station. That prompted Sadler to return in 2015, to see if the customer demographics had shifted. They had: At the new location, the market was seeing far more shoppers from the city's poorer neighborhoods.

Q&A: Lead poisoning and other silent public health threats
MedPage Today | February 19
Efforts to resolve the water crisis in Flint, Mich., continue, with HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell touring the city yesterday and announcing $500,000 in funding to help two area health centers. Earlier this week, Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, the pediatrician who discovered the lead levels in the water, presented an update on the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, with interventions designed to help the children of Flint who were exposed to lead. Given the breadth of this issue, we contacted a wide range of experts -- from toxicology experts to pediatric and environmental health specialists -- via email to ask.

MSU outlines nutrition initiative for Flint children
Detroit News | February 19
Michigan State University is tackling the hurdles facing Flint families in the wake of the water crisis, with a particular focus on nutrition as a way of combating lead poisoning in the city’s children. Those efforts were in the spotlight at the university’s Board of Trustees meeting, where members heard from school officials and researchers such as Rick Sadler, a geographer working in MSU’s College of Human Medicine.

The importance of medical screening
Upper Michigan's Source | February 18
Thursday night at Northern Michigan University, students heard from a medical expert about staying healthy for the long-term. David Walsworth, a professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, was the guest speaker. He talked about the importance of screening for preventable diseases based on family history.

Forever Young? Maximizing Our Options as We Age
Burton View | February 18
Forever Young? Maximizing Our Options as We Age is the topic of the Your Health Lecture Series event Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Gorman Auditorium on the Flint campus of Mott Community College, 1401 E. Court Street. The event is free and open to the public. 

MSU leaders weigh in on research efforts
WZZM TV 13 | February 18
Michigan State University leaders are continuing to try to help kids affected by lead poisoning in Flint. Last night, experts from their College of Human Medicine and a number of other organizations weighed in. They say they've been researching public health in Flint for years now. But they've amped up their efforts since the water crisis came to light. Panel members say they're also studying the health of adults affected in Flint.

MSU researchers say lead just one of many things hurting Flint kids
WILX TV 10 | February 18
MSU formed a pediatric public health initiative to assess, monitor, and reduce the impact of lead on Flint and its children. The Dean of the College of Human Medicine in Flint says the school is uniquely positioned to help. "We have the space," Dr. Aron Sousa said. "And really remarkable, internationally-known scholars who focus on community health, community participatory research, who have come here to do their work."
READ MORE | Related: Fox 47 News

Pediatrician sees long road ahead for Flint after lead poisoning crisis
Journal of the American Medical Association | February 17
Concern about lead exposure in her pediatric patients thrust Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan, into the eye of a growing public health scandal surrounding lead contamination in Flint’s water supply.

MSU College of Human Medicine helping with lead water crisis
Fox 66 | February 17
A new initiative from Michigan State University hopes to help the city move beyond the lead water crisis. Researchers are looking to find solutions to reduce the health effects of lead exposure. The university introduced four researchers at an event Wednesday night in downtown Flint. The doctors are studying different impacts lead exposure could have on the lives of local children.

Feeding a city with better food sources
MSUToday | February 17
Access to clean water hasn't been the only health issue facing Flint. Since 2008, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine public health expert, Rick Sadler, has been mapping out areas of the city that have had almost no access to healthier food options and evaluating solutions that could help remedy the problem. The Flint native's most recent study, published in the journal Applied Geography, has found that simply changing the location of a farmers' market to downtown Flint has brought cascading positive effects to residents of the area.
READ MORE | Related: WLNS TV 6Fox 47eScience NewsScience CodexSeattle PI,Washington TimesKSLPendleton Times PostWDIV TVAlpena News

Beyond lead: Crisis highlighted larger issue
Fox 17 | February 17
Health officials and experts with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine say the crisis in Flint highlighted a much larger public health issue in the city. Today, staff with the university alongside doctors from Flint discussed more than 160 health research projects MSU is currently working on in Flint in partnership with the CS Mott Foundation and Hurley Children's Hospital.

MSU researches effects of lead contamination in Flint water crisis
WLNS TV-6 | February 17
Michigan State University has been helping with the crisis as well. Officials from their Flint division will announce how their research into the health emergency is coming along. The school has been studying the crisis through its College of Human Medicine's Division of Public Health and has recruited four public health researchers to help out.

Watch: MSU college live streams announcement of updates to Flint public health initiative
State News | February 17
Tune in live at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, where Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha will take part in a live stream to provide updates on the joint MSU College of Human Medicine and Hurley Medical Center public health initiative she launched after releasing data in September 2015 showing elevated blood lead levels in Flint's children.

Meet the woman building the "model public health program" in Flint, Michigan
Elle | February 16
Many are calling Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha a hero—but the pediatrician, professor, and whistleblower behind the water crisis insists she's only doing her job. ​

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a hero. Here's why | February 16
Dr. Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician in Flint, Michigan. She grew up in a suburb of Detroit. She graduated from the University of Michigan before attending medical school at Michigan State University. During her clinical years (the 3rd and 4th years of medical school), she spent many months at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, which serves as a clinical training site for MSU medical students (far from the flagship campus — something I can relate to).
READ MORE | Related: MyInforms

Rockford Construction and Clark Construction Lead Safety Push on MSU’s $88M Grand Rapids Research Center
Michigan Contractor & Builder | February 15
Situated on a tight site alongside I-196, the $88 million Michigan State University (MSU) Grand Rapids Research Center aims for LEED certification and high safety standards on an aggressive schedule. But the impact of the six-story building extends to more than its 162,000 square feet near downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. As part of the MSU College of Human Medicine, the new research building expands the school’s capabilities. “We’re a community-based medical school; we don’t have our own hospital so we have relationships around the state, including Grand Rapids,” explained Vennie Gore, MSU Vice President for Auxiliary Enterprises.

Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD: Flint's Voice of the Voiceless
MedPage Today | February 15
Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, the pediatrician who first discovered the lead-laced water in Flint, Mich., is having a surreal year. "I come home every day and my husband asks 'What happened today' and I'm like 'I just met with the head of the HHS and the head of the CDC and I just did a press conference with our U.S. Senator and we introduced new legislation, and next week, I'm going to D.C. to testify in front of Congress," she told MedPage Today. "It's just surreal -- if I show you my schedule, it's unbelievable."

MSU, LSSU, War Memorial sponsor health screening talk 
Lake Superior State University | February 14
Preventative care is one of the most important things we can do to manage our health, including being active, eating healthy and getting an annual physical. As we age, what more can be done to identify and prevent the most common ailments? 

Medical mobile unit will help aid Flint children exposed to lead in water
MLive | February 12
A mobile medical clinic unit has been deployed to Flint to help bring medical care to Flint children who may have been exposed to lead from Flint's water. There are no details on what areas will be first priority yet but Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of Hurley's pediatric residency program and an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics & Human Development at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, said it is much needed in the community.
READ MORE | Related: Bloomberg

Amid politics, pediatrician stands out as trusted advocate in Flint water crisis
American Journal of Pediatrics | February 12
As blame, debate and federal investigations continue into the water crisis in Flint, Mich., Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, remains focused on the care of the city’s children. The pediatrician who proved Flint’s water system was contaminated with lead was named director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative (PPHI) at Michigan State University (MSU) and Hurley Children’s Hospital. 

Possible lead exposure-miscarriage link probed in Flint water crisis
MLive | February 11
The pediatrician who exposed rising blood lead levels in young children in Flint and the state of Michigan are separately investigating whether pregnant women who drank the city's tainted water had abnormally high miscarriage rates. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, of Flint's Hurley Medical Center, and the state Department of Health and Human Services confirmed their work is already underway, but each said it is premature to draw any conclusions.
READ MORE | Related: Detroit Free Press

Spartan MDs help solve medical mystery 
WLNS TV-6 | February 10
College of Human Medicine doctors Saleh Aldasouqi, chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Tiffany Burns, clinical instructor in the Department of Family Medicine helped detect a rare disease in a young woman, after years of pain, embarrassment and the patient being told "it was all in her head."

Joint membership fosters better understanding around depression
MSUToday | February 9
The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services are a new associate member of the National Network of Depression Centers, or NNDC. The joint membership is synergistic because of several collaborations. Currently, Pine Rest is a teaching hospital of the College of Human Medicine and medical staff serves as clinical faculty in the college’s Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Together, the two have developed a psychiatry residency program and both institutions are already working on mental health-related research.

President Simon discusses campus issues in State of the University address
State News | February 9
Despite being miles away, MSU has made its mark to help with Flint’s water crisis. Simon reflected on MSU's involvement in Flint prior to her State of the University Address during an award convocation for faculty members. "All of us by now know Dr. Mona...she's been called by many, a hero." Simon said. She said MSU had an influence in bettering health in Flint well before the national spotlight on the issue. MSU held about 40 community meetings when they decided to expand the College of Human Medicine.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha goes from doctor to global hero
Detroit Free Press | February 6
Dr. Mona has melded her calling as a doctor (complete with an hour-long commute from Oakland County to Flint) with her new role as spokeswoman for a tragedy. She still heads Hurley Medical Center’s pediatric residents program and is a professor of pediatrics and human development  at Michigan State University’s Flint-based College of Human Medicine.

A long friendship put spotlight on Flint water crisis
Detroit Free Press | February 6
Mona Hanna finished her studies at the University of Michigan, then went to medical school at Michigan State University. She married a fellow pediatrician, had two daughters and built a career in Flint.

Flint's crisis isn't just dirty water - they need better food, too
Huffington Post | February 5
The issue of healthy food access is just one facet of the city’s problems that Richard Sadler, a Flint-based assistant professor with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, says share a common theme: the overall disinvestment in the community in recent decades.

Medical schools boost pain management education
MedPage Today | February 4
Aron Sousa, MD, interim dean of MSU's College of Human Medicine, told MedPage Today depression screening is particularly important. "People almost certainly feel more pain when they're depressed. So if you can treat their depression ... they will probably have less pain."

From the UP to Flint and Detroit neighborhoods, partnerships are vital to MSU Extension's mission
MLive | February 3
A paradigm of the power of partnerships is connecting community health care providers, MSUE educators and the MSU medical colleges—something Dwyer, previously a senior associate dean in the College of Human Medicine, is committed to strengthening. "Our Health and Nutrition Institute already does of lot of community-based health care education. And between the College of Human Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine, there are over 2,000 trainees across the state. But many traditional health care providers, and even some of the trainees, are not aware of MSUE's health programs that are offered literally right outside their doors."

Flint pediatrician at center of water crisis: 'You have to use your voice'
MLive | February 3
Hanna-Attisha took her first environmental health classes at Michigan as an undergraduate and studied public health policy as a master's student in U-M's public health school. She said the training she received at the university—and as a medical student at Michigan State—prepared her to handle the crisis in Flint.

What is means to be a Michigan State Spartan
Forbes | February 2
Doctors perform under immense pressures, struggling to save their patients’ lives, and often have to push aside their own inner demons long enough to convey devastating news to the very people that have entrusted them to deliver their loved ones to health. These are but a few of the humbling lessons that Mark Dantonio, Tom Izzo and the seventeen other Michigan State coaches experienced first-hand in an all too real simulation at the University’s College of Human Medicine.

The magic pill
Leader's Edge | February 1
Meeusen is, in many ways, a product of his environment. He grew up in Grand Rapids, coming of age in an area nationally recognized for its collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to palliative and hospice care. Meeusen received his residency through Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners and his education through Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Sen. Peters introduces legislation to help Flint kids | February 1
“In order to help Flint children who are at risk for developmental delays from lead-leached water, we must support and expand Head Start programming to intervene early and minimize any long-term damage,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Director of Pediatric Resident Education, Hurley Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. “Head Start can provide a critical lifeline to children in Flint, who will need specialized care and services for years to come. I thank Senator Peters, Senator Stabenow and Congressman Kildee for their leadership and commitment to helping our community overcome the impacts of lead exposure.”

Member Feature: Anas Al-Janadi, MD, Michigan State University Breslin Cancer Center
Big 10 Center Research Consortium | February 1
A conversation with Anas Al-Janadi, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and medical director of the MSU Breslin Cancer Center, a member of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium.