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
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Health Lab
As science searches for answers on depression, what should patients do today?
Serotonin’s precise role in depression is getting attention but SSRIs work for many, and basic neuroscience research goes far beyond ‘chemical imbalances.’
News Release
TRAILS school mental health program enters new chapter
On June 30, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan State Legislature demonstrated a continued commitment to youth mental health by including $50 million for TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) in the budget for fiscal year 2023.
Health Lab
Older adults are missing out on a crucial medication review service
Most older adults take multiple drugs but 80% haven’t had a medication review to check safety and potential savings, and 83% them don’t realize it may be covered by insurance.
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Health Lab
Study of pre-teens yields surprises about alcohol, tobacco and marijuana
Even at age 9 or 10, as many as 10% of children are curious about using substances, and many parents haven’t made specific rules or say kids’ access at home would be easy.
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Health Lab
Winning by default: Tonsillectomy study shows power of pre-set opioid Rx size
Tonsillectomy pain is often treated with opioids, but leftovers can be a risk factor for misuse or abuse. Reducing the default prescription size in hospital computer systems could help right-size pain control.
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Health Lab
Telehealth flexibilities didn’t send Medicare visits soaring, despite worries
Preliminary report of data shows steady level of virtual visits substituting for in-person visits.
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Health Lab
Cost of brand-name epilepsy drugs increased by 277% over 8 years
Generic anti-seizure drugs’ costs went down during the same time, study shows
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Health Lab
Ageism and health: Study shows close link
Nearly all older adults have experienced some forms of “everyday ageism,” but those with more health concerns had higher rates
Parmacist giving vaccine to girl money image floating above.
Health Lab
COVID-19 vaccine incentives get mixed reception from young people
Vaccine incentives have been used to encourage COVID-19 vaccination and could be used in other immunization campaigns. A study looks at youth attitudes.
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Health Lab
When reality fails: What to know about psychosis
Delusions, hearing voices, hallucinations, and other symptoms of psychosis can be treated and the earlier treatment begins, the better
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Health Lab
Doctors across state borders
Telehealth between providers and patients in different states: Medicare data show impact of temporary pandemic telemedicine rules.
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Health Lab
Could time limits on opioid prescriptions reduce misuse?
Hundreds of thousands of surgical and dental opioid prescriptions are filled a month or more after writing, but one state’s law helped reduce this “delayed dispensing”.
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Health Lab
Gen Z wants health providers to ask about food, housing, safety and more
A poll shows strong support for clinics’ efforts to screen for, and providing support for, social determinants of health.
Health Lab
Good news, bad news on risky medication use in nursing homes
The VA’s efforts to reduce use of risky antipsychotic medications in its nursing homes succeeded – but use of other medications with less evidence behind them rose.
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Health Lab
What will it take to transform obesity care?
Although obesity is now known to be a chronic disease that often doesn’t respond to diet and exercise alone, many people with obesity don’t have access to weight loss drugs and operations.
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