Medical miracles

December 17, 2015

It’s a problem that medical providers often face: patients near the end of their lives request treatments that their physicians think are medically inappropriate, or futile.  The problem becomes even thornier when the patients request futile treatment because they believe in the healing power of prayer and are hoping for a religious miracle, according to Teneille Brown, a professor at S.J. Quinney College of Law who has researched the issue and earlier this year published a paper titled “Accomodating Miracles.” Most states have passed medical futility statutes that allow physicians to unilaterally discontinue futile treatments. However, physicians are generally quite uncomfortable invoking these statutes, especially if the life support, chemotherapy, or feeding tubes are requested in order to give the patient more time to pray for a miracle, Brown’s research has found.  Under the religious freedom protections of the federal and state governments, what are the doctors legally allowed to do?  Do these medical futility statutes violate principles of religious freedom? Brown is available to speak about these issues and how they relate to her research.
Teneille Brown | Phone: 801-581-5883 | Email:

Breast cancer awareness

October 22, 2015

October has become synonymous with pink ribbons, as breast cancer awareness month reaches a fever pitch. Caren Frost, director of global social work at the College of Social Work, can speak to the issue of breast cancer awareness from a global perspective. Frost, who is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, is engaged in developing topic-specific workshops with women’s group for women with refugee status.  In addition, she is involved in interdisciplinary research across the University of Utah campus, as well as with colleagues from other universities in the U.S. and globally.

Phone: 801-581-5287 | Email:

October is Substance Abuse Prevention Month

October 9, 2015

This October marks the second annual National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, which aims to encourage prevention strategies and ensure the health of teens and young adults. Eric Garland from the College of Social Work is available to talk about what’s new in the field of substance abuse and dependence.
Phone: 801-581-6192 | Email:  

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 9, 2015

This October, the U is participating in Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its Breast Assured campaign to encourage more women to learn about mammograms and self-check breast exams at one of our pink lemonade stands throughout the month. Dr. Nicole Winkler, a radiologist specializing in the detection of breast cancer through mammography, is available for interviews regarding a variety of oncology-related topics. More specifically, she can discuss whether mammograms are as effective as we thought in detecting cancer and what to do if your mammogram comes back abnormal. To schedule an interview with Dr. Winkler, contact Linda Aagard, Director of Public Relations for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Phone: 801-587-7639 | Email:

Understanding suicide risk factors and prevention

September 11, 2015

This week a Massachusetts teen was prosecuted for pressuring her boyfriend to commit suicide, raising questions about whether the incident was her fault or whether he would have done it anyway. Child psychiatrist Doug Gray, M.D., is available to explain the risk factors that can lead to suicide, including damaging relations and other pressures, environmental factors such as high altitude and a genetic predisposition. He is working to reduce the stigma around mental illness so more people will get the help they need. He can describe successful prevention methods and local assistance programs for teens and adults. For more information, contact Libby Mitchell in the Health Sciences Office of Public Affairs.
Phone: 801-587-0945 | Email:

Sam Smith’s voice rehab

June 19, 2015

After surgery to fix injured vocal cords, singer Sam Smith is exercising his voice with a drinking straw. The technique really helps protect vocal cords, according to U voice scientist Ingo R. Titze, executive director of the National Center for Voice and Speech. His research and hisvideo demonstration of the vocal straw exercise have helped make it popular among professional singers.
Phone: 801-596-2012 | Email: