September 18, 2008
||Media contact: Kara Gavin
Rapid rise in diabetes spurs UMHS to move, expand endocrinology clinic
New space at Domino's Farms to open in mid-2009 will mean more coordinated, comprehensive care and access to research for patients
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The number of Americans living with diabetes has more than doubled in the last 25 years, and will keep growing into the future as today’s overweight children, teens and adults face a high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
At the same time, doctors who treat diabetes and other hormone-related disorders can do much more than ever before to help patients manage these conditions over the long term. Putting all of those services in one location that’s convenient to patients makes it more likely that they will receive all of their necessary diagnostic tests, treatments and preventive care.
For these reasons and more, the University of Michigan Health System
is planning to move, consolidate and expand its outpatient space for diabetes care and most other adult endocrinology services.
The project, approved today by the U-M Board of Regents
, marks a major commitment by UMHS to provide comprehensive, coordinated care for adults who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis and other hormone-related issues. The new space will also make it easier for patients to take part in clinical trials of new treatments, or to volunteer for studies that seek to better understand their disease, through the Michigan Diabetes Research & Training Center
To be located at the Domino’s Farms
complex in northeast Ann Arbor, the 23,000 square foot facility will include 23 outpatient exam rooms, specialized endocrine testing services, and space for people with diabetes to receive foot care from U-M podiatrists, and receive screening eye exams. The latter types of care address two of the major complications that affect most adults with diabetes over the course of time: potentially crippling foot and leg problems, and potentially blinding retinal disease.
Other specialized services at the new clinic will include a new pre-conception program for women who have either form of diabetes and are considering becoming pregnant; diabetes counseling and classes taught by certified diabetes educators; and rapid Internet-based consultation between endocrinologists at the clinic and U-M pathologists and eye specialists.
“By bringing nearly all of our resources to a single, much larger place, we’ll be able to offer better care, and accommodate the growing need for our expertise that we know will only increase with time,” says Craig Jaffe
, M.D., the medical director of the Adult Endocrinology Clinic
and a clinical associate professor in the U-M Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Diabetes
(MEND). “This new location will also be much more convenient for patients from around Michigan, who turn to us for care that’s not available in many communities.”
The new location will replace two current, much smaller clinics at the Taubman Center
on the main U-M medical campus, and at the Briarwood complex in southern Ann Arbor. It will free up more space in the Taubman Center for other U-M Department of Internal Medicine
U-M endocrinologists will also continue to see patients with adrenal or thyroid cancer at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. A nationally known Pituitary and Neuroendocrine
program run jointly by MEND and the U-M Department of Neurosurgery will continue to see patients at the Taubman Center. Pregnant women who have developed gestational diabetes, or who need help managing their pre-existing diabetes during pregnancy, will continue to be seen by U-M obstetricians and endocrinologists at Taubman.
Inpatients at the U-M hospital who have diabetes or need short-term control of their blood sugar after surgery or illness will still be treated by members of the hospital-based Inpatient Hyperglycemia Program. And U-M endocrinologists will continue to see patients in the Geriatrics Center’s
clinic at the East Ann Arbor Health Center
, and at the U-M Brighton Health Center.
Meanwhile, laboratory teams around the U-M medical campus continue to search for answers to basic cellular, molecular and genetic questions about diabetes and other metabolic disorders. U-M is currently building a facility that will include new laboratory and computing facilities for the William and Delores Brehm Center for Type 1 Diabetes Research and Analysis
, which is seeking a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The new facility is part of the expansion of the Kellogg Eye Center, scheduled to open in mid-2010.
Ryan Noel, the administrator for MEND who is working with Jaffe to plan the new space and the move, notes that the free and accessible parking and other U-M outpatient services offered at Domino’s Farms should make the new location even more convenient for patients. The clinic is being laid out to make it easier for mobility-challenged patients – including people with diabetes who have suffered nerve damage in their feet and legs – to get to and from their appointments.
In addition to the planned MEND clinic, UMHS currently leases space at Domino’s Farms for outpatient clinics in cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation, sports medicine, family medicine, allergy, reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, obesity management, pre-surgical care, and dermatology. U-M diagnostic testing facilities there already include general radiology including X-ray and ultrasound, vascular testing, and testing for patients who take blood-thinning drugs.
The new MEND site will also allow for expansion of specialized testing done by the MEND Division. Included in the new location will be procedure rooms for doing dynamic testing of endocrine hormone levels secreted by different glands that work in tandem with one another. Such testing is not widely available, even at academic centers, and allows U-M physicians to better delineate and understand abnormalities in hormone regulation.
In addition, the site will include procedure rooms for ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy of thyroid nodules. An on-site blood-draw station will also make it convenient for people with diabetes and other hormone conditions to receive the regular checks that can help them stay on track with treatment.