IHA appoints new Department of Surgery Chair

News Release
March 31, 2015
For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Amy Middleton

IHA appoints new Department of Surgery Chair

ANN ARBOR, MI – (March 31, 2015) – IHA is pleased to announce that Andrew Pruitt, MD, FACS, a cardiovascular surgeon with IHA, has been named the next Department of Surgery Chair. Dr. Pruitt will succeed Walter M. Whitehouse, Jr., MD, FACS, who has served in this role since 2013. Dr. Whitehouse will retire effective June 30, 2015.

Dr. Pruitt received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Kentucky, graduating with highest distinction as a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. He then completed his residency in general surgery and a fellowship in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, during which he received numerous prestigious awards during his training.

Following his fellowship, Dr. Pruitt relocated to Michigan where he joined the St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor medical staff and began practicing with the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons of Ann Arbor. Dr. Pruitt and his partners integrated with IHA in 2013. Dr. Pruitt has served in many leadership roles during his medical career in Ann Arbor, including Section Head for Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery from 2002 – 2011 and Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery from 2009 – 2013. He also served on the board of Michigan Multispecialty Physicians and as President for a two-year term.

After medical school, Dr. Pruitt joined the U.S. Army Reserves and retired from the service in 2009 as a Lt. Colonel. Dr. Pruitt and his wife, Jenny Cotton Pruitt, MD, PhD, a dermatopathologist with IHA, reside in Ann Arbor with their children.

“Dr. Pruitt is recognized as an outstanding surgeon and colleague,” notes Mary Durfee, MD, Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer for IHA. “His extraordinary surgical skills and high ethical character give him the credibility necessary to integrate diverse groups for the delivery of a remarkable patient experience. We are thrilled that he has accepted this positon. He understands how to work within physician organizations and will bring new perspectives and ideas to IHA.”

In his new role, Dr. Pruitt will be responsible for overseeing quality initiatives, developing innovative service delivery methodologies and creating cross-functional teams focused on delivering terrific surgical care. He will also focus on identifying and developing future divisional and departmental leaders.

“On behalf of IHA’s Governing Board and Surgery Department, I want to thank Dr. Whitehouse for not only his many years of dedicated service to his patients, but also for the outstanding leadership he has demonstrated during the past three years as IHA’s first Surgery Department Chair,” says Bill Fileti, president and CEO for IHA. “His commitment to building one of the best surgical divisions in the region has been truly exemplary and we congratulate him on his well-deserved retirement.”

“IHA continues to evolve into one of the largest and best multi-specialty group practices in Michigan,” adds Fileti. “A number of exceptional surgeons were interviewed for this position and our search committee was impressed with the high quality of candidates. We are confident that Dr. Pruitt is the right person for this role and will expand our surgical capabilities in order to provide patients with truly outstanding care.”

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About IHA
IHA is one of the best and largest multi-specialty groups in Michigan. IHA employs more than 1,600 staff members, which includes 450 providers consisting of: physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives across 55 practices in southeastern Michigan. IHA provides high quality medical care and excellent service to more than 355,000 active patients. Recognized as one of Michigan’s top performing medical groups, IHA also ranks in the top quartile for patient satisfaction nationally. Offering extended office hours, Urgent Care, and access to clinical research studies, IHA demonstrates that it cares by bringing safe, high quality, comprehensive and affordable care to its patients. For more information about IHA, visit www.ihacares.com.

Tutu Run 2015

Do you want to run a 5k while wearing your favorite tutu? Join us for Tutu Run on April 18, 2015 at Hudson Mills Metro Park in Dexter. Registration begins at 7:00 am, with the race beginning at 9:00 am. The race cost $25, proceeds benefit Ballet Chelsea. Visit the website to learn more, or to register today: http://www.tutu-run.com/

Beat the Summer Rush

If your child needs a back-to-school physical or is planning on participating in sports during the 2015-2016 school year, don’t wait! A physical is required after April 15, 2015 to participate in sports during the 2015-2016 school year. Appointments are available now! Please log in to our patient portal to schedule an appointment. Did you know your child can get their physical from the office’s nurse practitioner?

Download the preparticipation physical evaluation history form (long form) or the annual sports health questionnaire (short form) to take to your appointment. Be sure to ask your office which form you need to bring with you (you should not need to bring both).

Preventing Frostbite and Hypothermia

With the recent snow that blew through and the temperatures that are going to stay low over the next few days, many of us are still digging out our cars or way out of our driveways. Anyone can end up with frostbite or hypothermia, it’s important to know the risks of frostbite and hypothermia, especially for those that are at higher risk and are more susceptible to extremely cold weather. Some groups that be at higher risk include:

  • Very young children and our older senior population
  • Diabetic patients and other with conditions leading to poor circulation
  • Patients with heart conditions or those who take beta blockers

Don’t Ignore Shivering!

When you’re exposed to cold temperatures your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will use up your body’s energy, resulting in hypothermia. Some warning signs of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion
  • Trembling hands
  • Memory loss
  • Slurred Speech
  • Drowsiness

If you notice any of these signs, please seek immediate medical attention.

Frostbite is literally the freezing of body tissue; fingers, toes, ears and nose are the most vulnerable. Frostbite is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, or shorter exposure to extremely cold temperatures. The warning signs of frostbite are:

  • Red or pale skin
  • Prickling
  • numbness

Frostbite and hypothermia can be prevented; here are some tips to help keep you safe:

  • Limit the time you’re outside in cold, wet or windy weather
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing
  • Wear a hat or headband that fully covers your ears
  • Wear mittens rather than gloves
  • Wear socks and liners that fit well and wick moisture
  • Keep moving