Kara Gavin
Research and Policy Media Relations Manager

Gavin draws on more than 25 years of experience in communicating about science, medicine and health policy. She focuses mainly on the health services research done by members of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, who work to understand and improve the safety, quality, equity and affordability of health care. As part of the Michigan Medicine communication team, she has lead responsibility for primary care and mental health topics. Contact: [email protected]; Twitter: @Karag

Kara Gavin photo
bottle cap red
Health Lab
Bipolar disorder and alcohol: It’s not as simple as 'self-medication'
People with bipolar disorder have a high risk of alcohol use issues, which have been seen as “self medication,” but a study shows that changes in drinking predict worse symptoms.
cell phone with brain on screen in blue with blue background
Health Lab
Mental health apps may help those waiting for care, study finds
People with depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts can wait weeks for a mental health appointment, but a new study shows mobile apps and activity trackers might help during the wait.
woman sitting at table in stripe shirt stressed seeming white background window
Health Lab
An unequal toll of financial stress
Inflation rates may have cooled off recently, but a poll shows many older adults are experiencing financial stress – especially those who say they’re in fair or poor physical health or mental health
Dart flying toward target precision medicine
News Release
From ‘trial and error’ to targeted precision: $17.9M grant accelerates U-M mental health research
A new major grant aims to bring the same precision to mental health care for depression, anxiety and other psychiatric conditions that already exists for cancer and heart disease.
people standing in teal background with bubbles overhead
Health Lab
What can America do to make health care and health outcomes more equal?
Inequality in health care access and delivery, and in health outcomes, have changed somewhat in the past 20 years but more needs to be done to reduce racial and ethnic disparities.
counter with credit card machine and white bag
Health Lab
Cost may not keep people from filling opioid addiction treatment prescriptions
Buprenorphine prescriptions almost always get filled by those who receive them to treat opioid addiction, even when costs are higher, suggesting more effort is needed to increase prescribing.
screen of chart and xray and patient and doctor white coat vague in background at computer sitting at keyboard
Health Lab
Pre-op visits by video? Most surgeons say no – but open to post-op telehealth
A survey of surgeons shows most aren’t in favor of operating on a patient they’ve never seen in person, but many are open to telehealth appointments after a successful operation.
person holding arm with band aid teal shirt
Health Lab
More hospitals than ever require staff to get flu shots
Flu vaccination mandates for hospital staff have increased in recent years, especially at hospitals serving veterans
Firearms and mental health
Health Lab
Firearms and mental health: 8 top facts to know
For people with mental health conditions, whether diagnosed or not, easy firearm access during a crisis can be dangerous. There experts offer tips for how to reduce the risk.
orange background, blue skull, brain maze inside large brain and person with white coat looking at it with a magnifying glass
Health Lab
Uncovering mysteries of the developing brain
The ABCD study, a long-term study of the brains of thousands of young people from preteen to late teen years, is revealing important insights into behavior and mental health.
older woman in red long sleeve shirt waving from open door of blue house with other woman leaving with long silver hair and checkered shirt with white undershirt turned towards the door
Health Lab
Most older adults don’t know about resources for navigating aging and caregiving
Social and health services aimed at older adults have low awareness rates among people over 50, suggesting more effort is needed to spread the word to patients and caregivers.
weight scale black white in exam room close up
Health Lab
Adding obesity experts to primary care clinics improves patients’ weight loss outcomes
A weight navigation program for primary care patients with obesity led to more use of proven weight management strategies and more weight loss
pills floating blue pink dark background physician in middle looking at chart white coat scrubs
Health Lab
Better medical record-keeping needed to fight antibiotic overuse, studies suggest
Efforts to reduce overuse of antibiotics may be hampered by incomplete medical records that don’t show the full reasons for prescriptions.
zoom screens with 7 different backgrounds and doctor silhouettes outlined in each
Health Lab
The doctor is in…. but what’s behind them?
A study reveals that what a doctor has behind them during a telehealth visit can make a difference in how the patient feels about them and their care.
cancer cell blue yellow
Health Lab
Widening inequality seen where cancer clinical trials are available
The availability of clinical trials of new treatments for cancer varies greatly by geography, and a new study shows more socially vulnerable areas have far fewer.
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