Health

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Hospitals are supposed to make their patients better, but some may be making patients sick.

A new set of hospital ratings from Consumer Reports says nine of the Detroit area's largest hospitals aren't doing enough to prevent patients from contracting infections during hospital stays.

Beaumont Health System

The Oakland County sheriff says there's an easy way to crack down on prescription drug abuse: require doctors to use a statewide, online database every time they write a prescription for serious painkillers.

Michigan already has an online system called MAPS, the Michigan Automated Prescription System.

Wikimedia Commons / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This week marks the 94th anniversary of the birth of one of the most determined and important women in medical science: Rosalyn Yalow.

While many people may not know her by name, countless patients have benefited from her research.

"She's one of the unsung heroes of modern radiation medicine," says University of Michigan medical historian Dr. Howard Markel.

Carolyn Gearig / Michigan Radio

Michigan has a serious opioid problem. A new task force is looking for public input on how to fix it.

In 2013, more than 400 people in Michigan died from drug overdoses – mainly heroin and prescription painkillers like OxyContin. At least 3,000, at the very least, have died since 2005.

Carolyn Gearig / Michigan Radio

In 2013, Michigan’s drug-related death rate was 18.5 deaths per 100,000 people*, higher than most other states in the country. The U.S. average was 14.6.

An internal memo from the Environmental Protection Agency is raising concerns about lead in Flint’s water.

Courtesy photo / Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center

More Michigan veterans are trying “telehealth” appointments.

It’s sort of like seeing your doctor through a computer online, but the computer can also relay a heartbeat, the sound of a person's lungs, or detailed pictures of an injury.

Courtesy photo / Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center

The VA hospital that serves 26,000 veterans in the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin is having trouble recruiting healthcare providers.

Plus, almost one in five employees at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center is eligible for retirement.

Brad Nelson is a spokesman for the Iron Mountain based clinic. He says they’ve compiled a list of providers they’re expecting to be short on in the next decade.

Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility
Michigan Department of Corrections / Facebook.com

Michigan improperly spent $1.7 million on health care for former inmates. That’s according to a new audit that tracked payments between October 2011 and April 2014.

The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) pays for inmates to see doctors while they’re in prison. But officials say the problem apparently occurred after more than 300 went back to the same doctors after being released or paroled.

Children playing with toys
The Children's Healing Center

A new recreation center set to open in Grand Rapids will give children with weak immune systems and their families a safe, germ-free place to play.

The Children's Healing Center has been specially-designed for children facing cancer, auto-immune diseases, organ transplants or other conditions that put them at high risk for infection.

A big chunk of the center's budget will go toward keeping it as clean as possible.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows shifting views on the safety of childhood vaccines.

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health asked parents how their views have changed during the past year.

Poll director Matt Davis says a third of parents say they believe vaccines are safer and more effective than they thought a year ago. A smaller percentage have more doubts.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new University of Michigan study finds teenage girls are less likely to use contraception if they are obese.  

Researchers from the U of M Health System surveyed 900 18- and 19-year-old Michigan women.  

The researchers found obese teens are less likely to use contraception than their normal weight peers.  Obese girls who do use contraception are less likely to use it consistently.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s effort to prepare for threats like Ebola is getting a boost from the federal government.

Michigan’s Special Pathogen Response Network is getting a $5.5 million dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control and another federal agency. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s another problem connected to Flint’s troubled city water supply.

The University of Michigan-Flint sent an email this week to people on campus, warning of elevated levels of a disinfectant by-product known as Total Trihalomethanes or TTHM in the water on campus.

Charlie Davidson / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

It's easy to assume that all adolescent pregnancies are unplanned. But some teenagers do plan to become pregnant. Instead of worrying about birth control or abstinence, these teenagers actually try to conceive. And they have high hopes that a child will bring more love and meaning into their lives.  

Twenty-one-year-old Tawney Morris is trying to make the best of a hot day with her two-year-old son, Chaz. She sets up a slide and kiddie pool outside their apartment in Traverse City.

imelenchon / morgueFile

Powdered alcohol was legalized this year and is hitting the marketplace this summer.

But some states have already banned it. 

Last month, Michigan’s Senate said yes – unanimously – to a ban.

A new poll from the University of Michigan finds a majority of the public is right there with the state senators. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan has a growing problem with accidental deaths, according to a new report.

The Trust for America’s Health released its new report “The Facts Hurt” today.    

The report looks at drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes, head injuries, sexual violence, homicides, child abuse and other causes of fatal injuries.

Chris Goldberg / Flickr http://ow.ly/NtcRu

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED AT 2:06 pm on 6/15/15

Under legislation introduced in the Michigan House, health insurance policies would be required to cover wigs for children who lose their hair due to illness.

The wigs would be classified as prosthetics, and the law would require they be covered at the same rate as other prosthetics. 

tomaszlach / morgueFile

West Nile Virus has turned up again in Michigan.

Three crows in Ingham County tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus.

ArborWiki.org

Washtenaw County officials are concerned about how state cuts to general funds that provide mental health services are affecting the community. 

Felicia Brabec is a chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners.

user the consumerist / Flickr

Sixteen of the 21 health insurance carriers in Michigan are asking for permission to increase their rates for individual polices next year.

For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is asking for an increase of 11.3 percent and Blue Care Network of Michigan wants a 9.7 percent increase.

The public can submit comments until July 1 on the proposed changes to HealthRateComments@michigan.gov.

user hipsxxhearts / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

UPDATED 6/8/2015

Abuse of stimulant drugs  usually prescribed for ADHD are typically associated with stressed-out college students. But a new study from the University of Michigan Medical School shows that abuse of those drugs typically starts much earlier, in the teen years, with a peak age range of 16 to 18 years for starting to misuse the drugs. 

Wikimedia/creative commons

There will be something missing from the state's 80 county fairs and 4-H exhibitions this year.

Michigan's State Veterinarian, James Averill, has banned showings of chickens and other birds as a precaution, in response to the  epidemic of avian flu that's caused the deaths of tens of millions of birds in other states like Iowa.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Meijer is suing an Indian drug manufacturer it claims cost the Michigan-based retailer tens of millions of dollars. The exact figure won’t be known for some time.

Ranbaxy is already in trouble with the U.S. government for lying to the FDA, among other things. The FDA has banned the company from producing and selling drugs for the U.S. market.

Oskar Annermarken / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

A new study provides some of the strongest support to date for early screening and diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

The study, led by University of Michigan endocrinologist William Herman, made use of data from a European study that enrolled people between 40 and 69 without known diabetes, and evaluated the potential benefit of screening and treatment for diabetes.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows parents are hesitant to talk to doctors about their children’s behavioral challenges.

Temper, anxiety and concentration can be major behavioral health issues for children. But a new Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health shows a large number of parents don’t talk about it with their pediatricians.

Hand-washing is a common hygienic practice that became popularized in the mid-19th century.
user Sarah Laval / Flickr

It’s easy to take for granted the leaps and bounds medical science has made in the last two centuries.

Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope in 1816. 1818 saw the first successful blood transfusion performed by James Blundell. In 1842 Crawford Long performed the first surgical operation using anesthesia.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Wednesday was not an ideal day to plant a garden. 

A chilly day with frost in the forecast overnight. 

But hundreds of people in Flint were more than ready to dig in the dirt.

Double Up Food Bucks program gets boost from USDA

Apr 6, 2015
Chuk Nowak / Fair Food Network

The Fair Food Network says it will use a $5.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand Michigan’s Double Up Food Bucks program.

The program helps residents receiving food assistance benefits purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables through a dollar matching system.

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