Health

Flickr user Internet Archive Book Images / Flickr

This week marks the 117 year anniversary of the first radiation treatment for cancer. Emil Grubbe is credited for his work on the case when he was still in medical school.

University of Michigan physician and medical historian Dr. Howard Markel says Grubbe was still a student when he discovered that huge doses of radiation may be able to kill cells. This discovery came after he severely burned his hand by using an early x-ray on it multiple times over a short duration. The technology had only been invented a few months prior and little was known about the consequences of the high doses of radiation involved.

Andrian Clark / Flickr

DETROIT - Federal health officials say about 300,000 Michigan residents have signed up for health care through the federal exchange, most with financial help.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told reporters Tuesday that the 299,750 sign-ups as of Jan. 16 represent those who have selected a health plan or re-enrolled, not paid. Of those, 33% enrolled for the first time.

Andrew Pennebaker / Flickr

A small crowd of Flint residents came out to Monday night's city council meeting to protest what they say is discolored, odorous, unsafe water coming out of their taps. 

"It smells horribly," says Cindy Marshall. "I took a shower the other night and my eyes were blood red and burning. I broke out in a rash and was scratching like crazy just from taking a shower."

Vaccine informational sheets.
user DARWIN.WINS / Flickr

The measles outbreak has made it to Michigan.

After the mounting headlines about an outbreak that seems to have begun in California’s Disneyland, the first Michigan case was diagnosed late last week.

The diagnosed individual is an adult in Oakland country and according to Dr. Matthew Davis, the Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health and a Professor at the University of Michigan, this case may well be connected to the Disneyland outbreak.

Rob Swatski / Flickr

It became a kind of overnight urban legend.

A couple of years ago, Detroit's "50,000 feral dogs" made national headlines, which in turn drew eye rolls from residents sick and tired of seeing their city depicted as an apocalyptic hellscape, especially when that 50,000 number was sketchy at best.

Stan Larkin, the first Michigan patient to receive an artificial heart.
University of Michigan

According to the American Heart Association, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with heart failure. These failures can advance to the point where medications, stents, pacemakers, and lifestyle changes are no longer effective options. If that happens, patients may wind up on a list for a new heart transplant.

University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

The cost of school sports is keeping many kids off the field, according to the latest poll by the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital. 

The poll asked parents of children 12-17 years old across the nation how they felt about participation fees for sports. 

There's money to be made around the passion for Michigan football at Michigan Stadium.
Anthony Gattine / Flickr

One in four young adults between the ages of 18-24 has a diagnosable mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. 

But student athletes are far less likely to seek help than non-athletes, says a 2014 study done by a group called the Healthy Minds Network, which is run by a University of Michigan professor. 

So with funding from the NCAA, the University of Michigan started a pilot program this fall to reduce the stigma around mental health for athletes.

Giulia Barbero / Flickr Creative Commons

That’s the surprisingly sudden, fierce debate that's popped up in Detroit, with the city's Black Mothers Breast Feeding Association publishing a list of concerns this week about a breast milk company’s early plans to recruit moms in the city.

First off, yes: you can sell breast milk.

Morguefile

The federal early education program Head Start could help children fight obesity, according to a new study published today in the online journal Pediatrics.

Julie Lumeng, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan and the study's lead author, sampled almost 44,000 Michigan children.

"Over the course of their time in Head Start, if they started the year obese, they become slimmer," said Lumeng.  And the Head Start kids who were obese or overweight were more likely to slim down by the end of the school year than pre-schoolers in the two comparison groups.  

Grand Rapids' "medical mile"
John Eisenschenk / Creative Commons

Hospital expenses grew by 108% in Grand Rapids between 2002 and 2013, according to a study released today by Grand Valley State University. It compared the hospital market in Grand Rapids to Detroit and six other cities.

Patients are being admitted less often and have shorter stays.

3D model of a flu virus.
CDC

It seems like everyone is talking about the flu.

Dr. Matthew Davis is chief medical executive for the state Department of Community Health, and a professor at the University of Michigan.

Popular buzz has pegged this as a pretty miserable flu season. We ask whether the statistics back this up.

Listen to our conversation above.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city leaders are trying to quell concerns about the safety of the city’s water.

Concerns were raised last year by a string of water advisories, along with complaints of discolored, smelly water flowing from home faucets. 

This week, Flint residents received notices that their water system violated the Safe Drinking Water Act. Tests conducted last year revealed a higher an acceptable level of trihalomethane or THM.  THM is a byproduct of the chlorination process.  

Marianne Udow-Phillips is Director of the University of Michigan's Center for Healthcare Research.
user mudowp / Twitter

Marianne Udow-Phillips, Director of the UM Center for Healthcare Research, is not making any more predictions. 

At least, not about health insurance coverage rates in Michigan.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) - Some hospitals in Michigan's Upper Peninsula are implementing restrictions on visitors to help prevent patients and staff from catching the flu.

  The Mining Journal of Marquette reported Wednesday that each patient at UP Health System-Marquette is allowed only two visitors and those are limited to the patient's advocate, immediate family member or significant other.

moppet65535 / Creative Commons

There’s been a spike in the number of people going to the emergency room with flu like symptoms in Kent County.

Brian Hartl is an epidemiologist with the Kent County Health Department.

He says nearly 17% of people coming into the emergency room in the last week reported symptoms of flu-like illness.

Alex Proimos / flickr

Most Michigan patients should be able to access primary care doctors - even though the Affordable Care Act means more people are likely looking for appointments.

Nine out of ten Michigan primary care doctors say they have capacity for new patients. And almost two-thirds say they are accepting new Medicaid patients.  That's according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Changes in how doctors are paid for treating some injured employees covered by workers' compensation are expected to address the long-term use of pain relievers and help cut medical costs for Michigan job providers.

The Michigan Workers' Compensation Agency says the new rules prevent reimbursements for opioid treatment beyond 90 days for non-cancer related chronic pain unless physicians meet detailed reporting requirements.

MDCH

The Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital has a new director.

Jill Krause directed a division of a mental health organization in Kent County and has over 20 years of experience in the field.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s already proving to be an intense flu season at many Michigan hospitals.

“It’s been a very heavy season so far. We’ve had about four times the normal number of flu cases as we had at this time in previous years,” says Dr. Matthew Sims, director of infectious disease research at Beaumont hospitals.

Other hospitals in the region are reporting a similar spike.

JazzyJeff85 / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set new standards of nutrition for school meals, school vending machines, and snack bars. The agency wants to limit fat, sugar, sodium and calories.

A study by a team at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research shows how badly school menus and food offerings needed to be overhauled.

Yvonne Terry-McElrath is an author of the study.

*Listen to Terry-McElrath below

National Poll on Children's Health / C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

Many parents don't believe their  18- to 19-year-olds are ready to manage their own health care.  

According to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, 69% of parents think adolescents should move to an adult-focused primary care provider by age 18. But only 30% of  the parents reported that their adolescents had transitioned from their pediatricians by age 18.  

The poll surveyed a national sample of parents of adolescents and young adults aged 13-30.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

  DETROIT - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has helped push enrollment for health coverage through the national Affordable Care Act before Monday's deadline.

  He attended a press conference Saturday to kick off a free enrollment assistance event running from noon to 5 p.m. at the Detroit Public Library on Woodward Avenue. U.S. Health and Human Services Region V Director Kathleen Falk also participated.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report gives Michigan mixed grades on the state of people’s health.

The United Health Foundation ranks Michigan near the middle of its annual report. The state ranks 34th overall.

Hawaii topped the rankings, while Mississippi sits on the bottom.

CDC/wikimedia

Beginning Jan. 1, Michigan parents will have to get a certificate from their local health department if they want to opt out of vaccinating their children. The certificate will state they were told about the risks of not vaccinating, both for their kids and the greater community.

Call it a lecture, although the Michigan Department of Community Health is calling it "a conversation."

Wikipedia

The Michigan Department of Community Health is urging parents in Michigan to have their children vaccinated against the measles, after five unvaccinated children came down with the highly communicable disease.

"Measles can result in complications that include hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis and in severe cases, death," says spokeswoman Jennifer Smith. "So it isn't something to be taken lightly."

Brad McGinley / Flickr

You’ve no doubt heard that eating red meat is not healthy, or that beef production is a big contributor to greenhouse gases. It’s been suggested often that we’d all be better off if we reduced or eliminated beef from our diet.

A new book challenges much of what we’ve been told about raising cattle, and consuming dairy and beef. Defending Beef: the Case for Sustainable Meat Production was written by Nicolette Hahn Niman,  an environmental lawyer and a vegetarian-turned-cattle-rancher. 

History Rewound / Flickr

We’re coming up on an anniversary this weekend. It’s probably not one you’ve noted before. On Dec. 14, 1799, the nation’s first president, George Washington, died at his home, Mount Vernon.

It was not an easy death, primarily because of the medical treatments he was given. Dr. Howard Markel is a physician and medical historian at the University of Michigan and he’s written an essay about that.

Two separate investigations are looking into reports of patient and staff abuse at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital.  

The state-run hospital has been embroiled in controversy since a patient died from a lack of oxygen in March.

Meanwhile, staff at the hospital are being repeatedly injured by violent patients, says AFSCME's Stacie Dineen.

Sono Tamaki / flickr

University of Michigan researchers say a woman's weight during pregnancy may have a much bigger impact on her infant than previously understood.

A study that looked at 1.8 million live single births in Sweden found that women who had a BMI of 35 or higher had twice the infant mortality rates of women who were not obese.

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