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
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.
woman holding face looking stressed on white couch in white shirt dark blue pants
Health Lab
Health costs top older adults’ list of concerns for people their age, poll finds
People over 50 of all backgrounds say they’re most concerned about various kinds of health costs affecting people their age, including insurance, prescriptions, medical care, dental care and home or longterm care.
Illustration of doctor pictured outside a pill bottle that houses a bent-over figure with pills lying on the ground
Health Lab
It’s easier now to treat opioid addiction with medication -- but use has changed little
Buprenorphine prescribing for opioid addiction used to require a special waiver from the federal government, but a new study shows what happened in the first year after that requirement was lifted.
Pill capsule pushing through a paper with amoxicillin printed on it.
Health Lab
Rise seen in use of antibiotics for conditions they can’t treat – including COVID-19
Overuse of antibiotics can lead bacteria to evolve antimicrobial resistance, but Americans are still receiving the drugs for many conditions that they can’t treat.
Illustration of prescription bottle with a refill notice
Health Lab
In drive to deprescribe, heartburn drug study teaches key lessons
An effort to reduce use of PPI heartburn drugs in veterans because of overuse, cost and potential risks succeeded, but provides lessons about deprescribing efforts.
Exterior photograph of an urgent care clinic
Health Lab
Thinking outside the doctor’s office: How older adults use urgent care & in-store clinics
In the past two years, 60% of people age 50 to 80 have visited an urgent care clinic, or a clinic based in a retail store, workplace or vehicle, according to new findings from the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.
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