Dear Team,

March was in like a lion and out like a lion! I know we are all looking forward to sunshine and warmer weather. Spring is a time for renewal and rejoicing in the brighter days ahead. Let us take a few moments to renew our commitment to each other, our patients, and our community as we strive to advance our mission and live our values.

Thank you,


Dee E. Fenner, MD

Dr. Marsh Featured on Michigan Health Lab

Uncovering drivers of racial disparities in uterine fibroids and endometriosis

But social, behavioral and environmental exposures may be important clues to help researchers understand why Black Americans have a disproportionately higher risk of developing severe fibroids according to a new review in Fertility and Sterility.

Read More

Publication Roundup

Dr. Peahl in Health Affairs

In their new Forefront articleAlex Peahl, MD, MSc, and team discuss how preventing maternal morbidity and mortality requires a paradigm shift in how we think about pregnancy care and prevention.

Spector-Bagdady, Mmeje, & Moniz in The Milbank Quarterly

In their recently published articleKayte Spector-Bagdady, JD, MBE, Okeoma Mmeje, MD, MPH, Michelle Moniz, MD, MSc, and coauthors examine the effects of the new abortion policy landscape in the US.

Dr. Straubhar in Gynecologic Oncology

A new study by Alli Straubhar, MD, and team highlights the variation in surgical procedures performed by gynecologic oncologists in the United States and calls for additional investigation into practice variations.

Quint, Smith, & Rosen in Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology

In their new study, Elisabeth Quint, MD, Yolanda Smith, MD, and Monica Rosen, MD, and coauthors, seek to identify preoperative transabdominal sonographic predictors of surgically-confirmed ovarian torsion (OT) in premenarchal girls.

Dr. Burns in Green Journal

Luke Burns, MD, recently published a Personal Perspectives article in the Green Journal reflecting on the challenges of making difficult decisions as a new attending.

Drs. Moyer & Lawrence in the Lancet

Cheryl Moyer, PhD, MPH, Emma Lawrence, MD, MS, and their Ghanaian colleagues published a commentary on global maternal mortality in the Lancet.

Dr. Smith Brings Expertise to Washington, DC

On March 1st and 2nd, 2023, a dozen researchers, including Gary Smith, PhD, from the International Society for Stem Cell Research visited Washington, DC, to discuss the importance of protecting, supporting, and enhancing Stem Cell Research and progress toward Stem Cell Medical Therapies with the House of Representatives and Senators.

OBGYN Faculty in the News

Dr. As-Sanie in Contemporary OB/GYN

Surgery for Patients With Endometriosis

Hugh Taylor, MD: When somebody fails medical therapy, I'm thinking that they might have adhesive disease, fibrosis-things that aren't amenable to medical treatment. Is that what you see when you do those surgeries? What's your most common reason why patients fail medical therapy? Sawsan As-Sanie, MD: That's a great question.

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Dr. Schon in TIME

Why It's So Hard to Have Your Fertility Tested

Many couples don't realize they have infertility until they try to get pregnant. But getting fertility testing before then can be tough.

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Dr. Langen Featured on CNN

US maternal death rate rose sharply in 2021, CDC data shows, and experts worry the problem is getting worse | CNN

As women continue to die due to pregnancy or childbirth each year in the United States, new federal data shows that the nation's maternal death rate rose significantly yet again in 2021, with the rates among Black women more than twice as high as those of White women.

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Dr. Rosen Quoted in the New York Times

Contaminated Meat is the Surprising Cause of Some U.T.I.s

Certain strains of E. coli, a bacteria commonly associated with food poisoning, can lead to painful urinary infections.

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Dr. Mmeje in the Michigan Daily

Michigan Medicine showcases Healthcare Equity Consult Service

Michigan Medicine hosted a Grand Rounds meeting on March 24 centered around its new Healthcare Equity Consult Service, which launched in 2022. According to Dr. Okeoma Mmeje, who led the Grand Rounds, the event was part of Michigan Medicine's celebration of Healthcare Equity Month, which started March 20.

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We had a successful Pelvic Floor Research Group Day, despite the crazy Michigan weather! Over 80 individuals attended in person and virtually. 

Annual Resident Retreat

On March 15th, we held the annual Resident Education Retreat which featured speakers Anita Malone, MD, Dave Marzano, MD, Pamela Fairchild, MD, and Samantha Kempner, MD. This was a great forum to get feedback from our residents as well as discuss leadership, teaching, evaluations, and other important topics.

During the afternoon session, we were joined by our Trinity Health (Formerly St. Joe’s Ann Arbor) residents, and teaching awards were distributed between both spectacular groups. 

Thank you to our residents for helping make OBGYN the leaders and best in the education realm!

First MFM Cohort For Korle Bu Teaching Hospital

We are excited to share that all the Ghanaian MFM fellows who came to Michigan Medicine to study passed their fellowship exams this month!

Our Ghanaian partners expressed their deep gratitude to Tim Johnson, MD, Emma Lawrence, MD, MS, and our MFM team.

Region 9 Doula Training

The Region 9 PQC received funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and UM Community Benefits Office to support Doula training and mentorship.

In early March, 27 individuals across Southeast Michigan participated in the DONA-approved training.

Each new Doula will be paired with a mentor to support them as they begin their Doula career. If you're interested in learning more about the Region 9 PQC or Doula care, visit or contact Helen Joa

Dr. Marsh Named New Vice-Chair for Department of OBGYN

Erica Marsh, MD, MSCI, FACOG, the S. Jan Behrman Collegiate Professor of Reproductive Medicine, has been named the Vice-Chair for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology!

Dr. Marsh is a committed community advocate, mentor, dedicated scholar, and DEI Champion. Dr. Marsh has dedicated her career to creating safe environments where all are respected and thrive. 

Her leadership has been transformational in alleviating disparities, whether in the diagnosis, management, and care of women with fibroids, mentoring and championing students and faculty of color, or boots-on-the-ground engagement with community partners.

Congratulations, Dr. Marzano!

David Marzano, MD, Residency Director and faculty member in the Division of Women’s Health, has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the GME Faculty Innovation Award.

This award is given annually to recognize a University of Michigan Medical School faculty leader who has made outstanding and innovative contributions to graduate medical education.  

In choosing the recipient, several things are considered, including demonstrated innovation in graduate medical education, evidence of impact on educational outcomes, and overall quality and/or potential for dissemination across GM.

Dr. Lim Named Director of MIGS Advanced Training Program

Congratulations to Courtney Lim, MD, the new Program Director of the Department of OBGYN Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Advanced Training Program!

Dr. As-Sanie Awarded New RO1

Congratulations to Suzie As-Sanie, MD, MPH, on receiving funding for her RO1 on endometriosis-associated pain!

Title: Novel biomarkers and pathways of persistent endometriosis-associated pain across the life course.

Sponsor: NIH/NICHD

Other collaborators include Kathryn Terry (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), Stacey Missmer (Michigan State University), and Andrew Schrepf (UM-Anesthesiology).

OBGYN Makes a Splash at National Conferences

Our department shared original research and expertise at multiple national conferences this month!

CREOG/APGO Annual Meeting

The OBGYN Education team had another year with a strong showing at the CREOG and APGO Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, with 25 faculty, residents, and students attending and presenting over 20 sessions including oral abstracts, discussions, breakouts, and several posters.

Congratulations to Drs. Hammoud, Marzano, and Morgan for winning first place for their oral abstract titled: “Proceed with Caution: A review of grading criteria and MSPE ratings across medical schools.”

SGS 49th Annual Scientific Meeting

We were well-represented at the 2023 Society of Gynecologic Surgeons (SGS) Annual Meeting, with abstracts by three residents (Drs. Russell, Southworth, and Latack), two fellows (Drs. Ciesilski and Hong), and a medical student (Beth Shrosbree). Faculty member Sara Till, MD also had a podium presentation. 

Special congratulations to Christopher Hong, MD, who was awarded the David H. Nichols Award for Best Vaginal Surgery Presentation for his project, "Decreasing Utilization of Vaginal Hysterectomy: An Analysis by Candidacy for Vaginal Approach.” Daniel Morgan, MD, is the senior author of the project. 

In addition, Dee Fenner, MD, was honored with the 2023 SGS Distinguished Surgeon Award. First presented in 1985, the Distinguished Surgeon Award is presented each year to an individual who has significantly advanced the field of gynecologic surgery or mentoring, either through clinical research or innovation.  

NASPAG Annual Clinical & Research Meeting

Our faculty and learners presented 5 posters and 3 oral presentations at the 37th Annual Clinical & Research Meeting in Nashville, TN.

In addition, Katie O'Brien, MD, our first-year Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology fellow, won the Sally E. Perlman Award for the best overall poster presentation for her project, "Oophorectomy at the Time of Gender-Affirming Hysterectomy in Young Adults." The project was coauthored by Elisabeth Quint, MD, Mina Farahzad, MD, PhD, Becca Warwick, MD, Monica Rosen, MD, Yolanda Smith, MD, and Melina Dendrinos, MD.

ACOG Congressional Leadership Conference

Anita Malone, MD, MPH, Halley Crissman, MD, MPH, Colin Russell, MD, MPH, and LeAnn Louis, MD, attended the 41st annual Congressional Leadership Conference on March 5–7, 2023, in Washington, DC.

Drs. Kempner & Baruch Honored by Medical Students

Each senior medical student class selects 18 faculty (out of the thousands of clinical and basic science faculty at Michigan Medicine) to be included in their Class Composite Photograph that is displayed in the halls of Med Sci II. 

The students recognize these faculty as being important contributors to their medical school experience. Our department was well represented this year with Adam Baruch, MD, and Samantha Kempner, MD, chosen to be included within the 18.

Collin Russell Wins Bronze Beeper Award

Congratulations to Collin Russell, MD, MPH, for winning a Bronze Beeper award and continuing the tradition of teaching excellence in our department!

Every year Galens, Michigan's oldest medical student society, awards Bronze Beepers to 12-15 residents who are outstanding teachers. Nominations were made and subsequently voted on by the entire M2, M3, and M4 classes.

Dr. Mehari Receives Making a Difference Award

Kathleen Mehari, MD, recently received the following words of gratitude from her patient:

"Dr. Mehari has been my doctor for over three years. At every single appointment, she has been the most caring, passionate doctor I have ever seen. Words can't describe Dr. Mehari and how much she truly cares about her patients and their physical and emotional health. She always goes above and beyond; she takes time to answer all my questions and concerns. she is very knowledgeable. She calls and follows up after clinic hours and makes sure all my needs have been covered."

Thank you, Dr. Mehari, for making a difference for our patients!

Innovative New Work from the PFRG Team

Mariana Masteling, PhD, was just awarded the I. K. McIvor Award for her thesis entitled: “On the In Vivo Viscoelastic Properties of the Human Lower Birth Canal During the First Stage of Labor: Secondary Analysis of Data from the EASE Trial.”  

The award is presented annually to senior graduate students who have demonstrated excellence in research and scholarship in the area of applied mechanics.

Dr. Masteling's work, done with James Ashton-Miller, PhD, and John DeLancey, MD, of the PFRG group, is the first analysis of the remarkable change in the vagina during late pregnancy related to a woman’s likelihood of sustaining an injury during vaginal birth. 

New Faculty Members:

  • Melissa Brackmann, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, GYO

New Staff Members:

  • Michaela Mandernach, Administrative Assistant, REI
  • Jessica Kieft, Financial Specialist
  • Denise Parrish, Quality & Outreach Coordinator, OBI
  • Xinyan (Ellie) Han, Clinical Information Analyst, OBI

Introducing our New Residents!

Black Maternal Health Week Activities

As part of its DEI 2.0 initiative, the Office of Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI) is collaborating with the Department of Spiritual Care seeking to promote increased awareness of the needs of Muslim patients, healthcare givers, and learners. 

Join the virtual “Community Conversation: Ramadan through the eyes of Muslim Healthcare team members”, in which Michigan Medicine Muslim health providers, discuss the fasting experience. This is hosted in conjunction with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Middle East Resource (MERg) groups.

Date: April 6, 2023

Time: 12:00 pm

Location: Zoom (Register)

Learn More About Ramadan at Michigan Medicine

Black Maternal Health Week Activities

2023 Women's Health Luncheon

Date: May 5, 2023

Time: 11:00 am

Location: Franklin Hills Country Club

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Women’s Health Innovation Fund, which supports physicians and researchers who are in the early stages of important scientific research. Questions? Contact: Alex Kamer.

More Information

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Event Support

For any events that would like DE&I support, please reach out to Courtney Townsel and Emily Rivkin – the team is happy to help advertise, brainstorm, and collaborate.

Active U Updates

Registration for MHealthy in-person exercise classes opens on April 10, 2023. Classes are held at 8 locations in Ann Arbor. Check out the class schedule!

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