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Sept. 11, 2015

Collaboration brings health research to northern community campus

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine has announced a health research collaboration with UP Health System - Marquette and Northern Michigan University. The collaboration is part of MSU’s statewide initiative to bring academic health research to each of its community campuses.

Two newly recruited researchers will be part of the collaboration, Michael Stoolmiller, a psychologist and recently appointed assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, along with Erich Petushek, who has been named an assistant professor in the MSU Division of Sports Medicine.

The arrival of Stoolmiller and Petushek will provide a local connection to research opportunities for College of Human Medicine students and family medicine residents who are training at the UP Campus.

“We are excited about adding health research to our medical education partnerships with Marquette General and NMU,” said Jeffrey Dwyer, senior associate dean of the College of Human Medicine. “This is yet another example of our institutions collaborating and combining our resources to accomplish what none of us could alone.”

Stoolmiller's research focuses on children’s mental health with the goal of preventing health-risk behaviors and promoting healthier lifestyles when they become adolescents. NMU will provide Stoolmiller research space in its Department of Psychology and he will collaborate with faculty at NMU and pediatric physicians at Marquette General Hospital.

Petushek's work centers on preventing injuries and accelerating rehabilitation by creating efficient screening systems such as training individuals to be better at visually detecting young athletes at risk for ACL injury. He will be located at NMU in the School of Health and Human Performance. It is a familiar environment for the alumnus. He was a graduate teaching assistant in the school from 2009 until he received his master’s degree in exercise science in 2011. NMU’s Olympic Training Site offers Petushek access to a unique population for his research.

“Northern is excited to expand its already existing partnerships with MSU’s College of Human Medicine and with UP Health Systems-Marquette," said Fritz Erickson, president of Northern Michigan University. "It allows experts from all three organizations to collaborate on research that is important to the rural agenda and it gives NMU students even more top-caliber research opportunities.”

Other partners at the announcement included Thomas Noren, chief medical officer at UP Health System - Marquette and Bill Short, community assistant dean for the College of Human Medicine's Upper Peninsula Region Campus.

“Given the dynamic nature of the field of medicine, physicians must participate in lifelong learning in order to keep current on treatment options for their patients,” said Short. “The presence of Dr. Stoolmiller and Dr. Petushek will help our medical students and residents become familiar with the process of conducting scientific research – a skill that will help them evaluate the validity of research studies long into their medical careers.”

“This Community Research Partnership represents the culmination of years of strategic planning by three dedicated institutions, each of which holds the health and well-being of our peninsula’s residents as a top priority,” added Noren “It is very exciting that the advances gained through this collaboration will benefit families living in our region and, indeed, throughout the entire country. Such is the tremendous power of research. In the near future, our NMU pre-medical and CHM medical students as well as UPHS-Marquette family medicine residents will be able to avail themselves of research experience at the community level - a fabulous educational feature.”

By: Geri Kelley