This holiday season, our gift to you is a list of story ideas - some with a holiday or winter angle, and some that are evergreen stories that can help fill your broadcast or publication during the typically lean news cycle.
Read the story ideas that follow, and please let the University of Michigan Health System Public Relations office know if we can help you with these or other stories.
Young stroke survivor celebrates first Christmas as a new mom
This month, 39-year-old graphic designer Kristy DeCastro of Canton and her husband will celebrate more than just their baby's first Christmas. They'll be celebrating the fact that Kristy is here to observe the holiday at all. In mid-2006, Kristy drove herself to the U-M hospital for what she thought was a bad headache - but turned out to be a stroke.
The U-M Stroke Program team recognized her symptoms immediately, and performed a procedure that's not available at most medical centers. Called intra-arterial tPA, it delivers clot-busting medicine directly to the area of the stroke, through a catheter threaded into the brain. It must be performed within six hours of the start of a stroke - and Kristy was already in hour five. Fortunately, it prevented lasting damage, and after a short stay in the U-M Stroke Unit and some speech therapy, Kristy is back to normal. She married her longtime boyfriend, and in September, they had a baby, with help from U-M's high-risk obstetrics team.
C.S. Mott Buckle Up! program saves life of Ann Arbor infant
Just a few weeks after Ann Arbor resident Caitlin Rowe received a car seat safety inspection run by the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, she was in a car crash with four-month-old daughter Ellie in the car. The timing was lucky; before the inspection, Ellie's car seat was on the passenger side of the car - the exact spot that was hit in the accident. Fortunately, the inspectors from Mott had moved the seat to the center of the car, and Ellie was not harmed. This could be an interesting feature story, and one that reminds readers that car seats are often installed improperly.
Avoid tummy trouble while traveling this holiday season
While holiday goodies are often to blame, U-M gastroenterologists say that holiday travel, along with stress and poor eating habits, can create a recipe for tummy trouble too. But, they say, understanding your gut's internal rhythm and watching what you eat when you travel can help ease tummy trouble this holiday.
5 tips for buying the safest toys for kids this holiday season
With recent recalls, many parents are worried about buying safe toys for their kids this holiday season. To help, a U-M pediatrician puts recent concerns over toy safety into perspective, and offers tips to help parents pick the safest and most age-appropriate toys for their children.
C.S. Mott Children's Hospital holiday wish list for patients, families
Throughout the year, support from the community makes it possible for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital to provide its patients and families with a host of fun amenities - a mobile library cart, arts and crafts, music, games and other recreational activities for all ages - to make their hospital visit just a little more enjoyable. And the holiday season is no exception. While gift cards and monetary donations make the greatest impact on the health and happiness of young patients and their families, this holiday season Mott also has created special holiday "wish lists" at several area stores: Target, WalMart and Toys "R" Us. These lists have been carefully created to meet the personal and medical needs of Mott patients and their families.
Clicking your way to a veggie-filled New Year
Whether you start before the holidays or after the New Year, adding more fruits and vegetables to your next meal is just a click away. A new Web site from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center offers healthful and delicious recipes searchable by the ingredients you like. The individually tailored Web site, Cancer Center Recipes Just for You, features delicious recipes developed by Graham Kerr, TV's "Galloping Gourmet" and leading advocate for healthy eating. The Web site also contains several hundred video and audio clips of Kerr preparing the dishes. It's available at mcancer.org/recipes.
Preventing winter sports injuries: 7 tips to safely play in the snow
From sledding accidents to snowmobile crashes, pediatric trauma experts at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital say they see a startling number of snow-related injuries among children each year. In an effort to prevent injury among children this winter season, Mott experts offer seven tips to keep people on sleds, skates, skis and snowmobiles safe in the snow.
Holiday travel: 7 ways to dash through the snow safely
Whether you are headed to grandma's house, down the road or across the country, experts at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital say safety must come first when traveling this winter. To help, they offer seven tips to make sure you and your family travel safely by plane, train or automobile to your holiday destination.
Videophones at UMHS benefit deaf visitors, patients
The University of Michigan Health System is one of the first hospitals in the country to provide a Sorenson VP-200® videophone for its patients and staff who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, and who use American Sign Language to communicate. Recently, UMHS also became one the first American hospitals to offer access to such communication in patients' rooms and in the Emergency Department. More information and a high-resolution photo of one of the videophones are available by emailing email@example.com.
Written by: Katie Vloet