WSU Medical Article Named Among Most Significant: A study and subsequent article by a Wayne State University School of Medicine professor concerning death rates after spinal fusion surgery has been identified as one of the most significant medical articles published in 2009. The article, “Mortality after Lumbar Fusion Surgery,” by Sham Maghout Juratli, M.D., assistant professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, was originally published in the journal Spine last year. Faculty of 1000 Medicine recently selected the article for inclusion as one of the most important articles published in medicine. Faculty of 1000 Medicine identifies and evaluates what it considers the most important articles published in medicine based on the recommendations of 2,400 peer-nominated leading researchers and clinicians. Selection and inclusion of articles provide recognition from peers of scientific merit and positive contributions to medical literature. Juratli’s study found that pain medications are involved in more than 20 percent of deaths that occur in the years after spinal fusion surgery for low back pain. The risk of analgesic-related death is highest among patients with degenerative disc disease — especially men aged 45 to 54 — according to the findings. Of 2,378 workers’ compensation patients who underwent spinal fusion surgery in Washington between 1994 and 2001, 103 died by 2004. Juratli and her team analyzed the cause of death for each. The rate of death within three years after surgery was 1.9 percent. Deaths involving pain medications were the single most common category, accounting for 21 percent of all deaths. Of 22 analgesic-related deaths, 19 were accidental overdoses and three were suicides. In all, nearly 1 percent of workers who underwent spinal fusion died of analgesic poisoning. Although other diseases like cancer or heart disease combined cause more deaths, analgesic-related deaths were the main cause of potential life-years lost because younger patients were more likely to die of analgesic poisoning, whereas older patients were more likely to die of other causes. Workers whose back pain was primarily caused by degenerative disc disease were at elevated risk of analgesic-related death — nearly three times higher than those with other diagnoses. The risk of death due to pain medications was highest among men aged 45 to 54 who had degenerative disc disease, more than seven times higher than for other groups. The risk of death in the first three months after spinal fusion surgery was 0.29 percent. This risk was highest for patients who were undergoing a second spinal fusion. The use of spinal fusion (also called lumbar fusion) is growing rapidly, despite a lack of agreement on which patients should undergo the procedure. This is of special concern because spinal fusion carries a higher risk of complications than other less-extensive surgical procedures. Although the initial risk of death is low, few studies have looked at the mortality rate beyond the first few months after spinal fusion. The new results raise concern about the long-term risk of death after spinal fusion, especially deaths related to pain medications. The deaths reflect the high use of opioid (narcotic) analgesics by patients with back pain, despite the lack of strong evidence for their effectiveness.

Pratt & Miller ISO Certified: Pratt & Miller Engineering of New Hudson announced that the corporation is confirming its current quality and customer service standards with ISO 9001:2008 certification. With a background in motorsports and a strong connection to the GM racing program, Pratt & Miller has always valued stringent quality control.  ISO certification allows Pratt & Miller to continue recognizing the importance of quality process standards in relation to effective quality management systems. As a full service engineering and manufacturing company specializing in design, development and manufacturing for the motorsports, automotive, aerospace and defense industries, Pratt & Miller has more than 70 engineers and a total staff of more than 140 employees. It’s 100,000-sqiare-foot headquarters houses engineering, manufacturing and development. More at

Inteva Products CIO Dennis Hodges Named to InfoWorld’s CTO25 List: Dennis Hodges, CIO of Troy-based Inteva Products LLC, has been named one of InfoWorld’s CTO25, an honor given to technology leaders. Hodges demonstrated leadership in IT and directed the restructuring of Inteva’s information systems and data management supporting 17 facilities in six countries across three continents. In just one year a complete overhaul of the company’s IT environment occurred, significantly decreasing costs and strengthening the system. “This was a huge undertaking for our IT department and our global team,” said Inteva’s president and CEO, Lon Offenbacher. “We are extremely proud of Dennis and his team for bringing innovative solutions to Inteva’s business systems, resulting in streamlined processes — saving time and money.” Each year, InfoWorld awards senior IT executives who have demonstrated leadership within their companies and the IT community by creating a better work environment while improving the company as a whole. “Everyone knows that 2009 was an extraordinarily tough year for most organizations, so most IT groups had to hunker down and defer many innovative efforts as revenues dried up and keeping the lights on became the only focus,” said InfoWorld’s executive editor for news and features, Galen Gruman. “Despite that environment, some CTOs were able to move forward with innovation, in some cases finding ways to create new opportunities for their business and in others leveraging the economic crisis to make their IT operations significantly better even as they got leaner. The ability to be innovative and cost-effective was very evident in this year’s InfoWorld CTO 25 winning entries. These IT leaders combined management savvy, technological insight, and the ability to lead a team to success despite difficult circumstances. This year’s honorees reinvented untenable legacies, provided game changing insight, and managed both their own teams and key organization stakeholders to make their businesses succeed through the use of technology. Our honorees did much more than implement technology well; they brought its use to a new level.” Inteva designs, engineers, manufactures, and assembles interior systems, cockpits, latch and closure systems, door module and window lift systems and advanced materials for  OEMs around the globe. For more information visit

Enliven Software Wins 2010 Microsoft Distinction in Marketing Award: East Lansing-based Enliven Software announced it had won the 2010 Microsoft Distinction in Marketing Award for Best ISV Marketing Campaign. Microsoft Convergence 2010 positioned Enliven Software as the Green Holistic Solutions provider with the easy to use and fast to activate Fidesic platform. The Fidesic platform is a full circle, integrated electronic accounts receivable and accounts payable processing platform and solution for Microsoft Dynamics GP. Enliven Software worked hand to hand with Mariano Gomez, one of 10 Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals and recognized by UK-based DynamicsWorld as one of the Top 100 most influential professionals in the Microsoft Dynamics space. Enliven Software delivered a comprehensive demonstration of the Fidesic platform to Gomez, who immediately took a personal interest in Enliven Software’s success. Gomez was also instrumental to Enliven Software’s Microsoft Convergence 2010 marketing campaign, by providing his honest feedback. Enliven Software’s specific goals were to create an integrated corporate brand and product awareness campaign that would promote the Fidesic platform as a new and innovative way to conduct business by leveraging e-invoicing, e-payments, and e-payables solutions. For more information or to schedule a live demo with Enliven Software featuring the Fidesic platform,, e-mail, or call an Enliven Software Product Evangelist at (866) 439-5884.

Compuware Wins Value Award: Detroit-based Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR) announced that Enterprise Management Associates has named Compuware a “Value Leader” and recognized as the industry’s best Business Service Management solution in the “EMA BSM Service Impact Radar Report.” The report evaluated 14 BSM vendors on vendor strength (architecture, integration functionality), cost efficiency (ease of administration, deployment, customer support, cost advantage) and product strength. A complimentary copy of the report can be viewed at: Value leaders are among the BSM Service Impact elite who have achieved the highest product scores around cost, deployability, architecture and functionality. They also have relatively quick time-to-value with strong contributive BSM Service Impact benefits. According to the report: “Compuware’s strengths in overall Service Impact monitoring are industry leading — in part because of its native strengths in flow-based views of complex applications/infrastructures, its leadership in User Experience Management and its recent acquisition of Gomez for superior support of mobile environments and transaction performance from outside the firewall.” Together, Compuware Vantage and Gomez deliver the market’s only application performance management solution that provides broad visibility and deep-dive resolution across the entire application delivery chain, spanning both the Enterprise and the Internet. These unrivaled capabilities make Compuware the global standard for optimizing application performance.

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