Health

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Toledo officials are stressing that the city's water is safe to drink as they continue to monitor for the toxin produced by Lake Erie cyanobacteria blooms  that shut down services two weeks ago to about 400,000 people.

Officials say tests on untreated water coming into a city plant are showing a "strong presence" of the toxin microcystin, but the treated water is safe.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Adults surveyed for a new poll rank childhood obesity as the top health concern for kids. 

More than two thousand adults were surveyed for the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

Director Matt Davis says obesity, smoking and drug abuse top the list of health concerns adults have about children.

via buildingdetroit.org

  First the flood waters, now the concern is about mold.

Many southeast Michigan basements flooded on Monday.

George Miller is the director of Oakland County’s Department of Health and Human Services. He says to avoid mold, homeowners should remove everything damaged by water from their flooded basement.

“The biggest thing is, the faster you can get the water out of your basement and start to dry it out, the less chance you’re going to have for the mold that everybody’s concerned with,” says Miller.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) - Bay City officials are searching for the source of a water main break that is draining 10 million gallons of water a day and threatening to empty reserves by Monday in the Michigan city of 35,000

The Bay City Times says public works Director Dave Harran is urging residents and businesses to avoid all unnecessary water use.

Harran says crews discovered Saturday afternoon that there was a major water main break and searched all night for its location without success.

International health experts tackling Ebola in West Africa
EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection / Flickr

A senior American health official says the U.S. will be sending at least 50 public health experts to West Africa over the next month to tackle the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola.

Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the BBC that Ebola was currently out of control but could be easily stopped with basic health practices.

“We do know how to stop Ebola … Find the patients, make sure they get treated, find their contacts, track them, educate people, do infection control in hospitals. You do these things and you have to do them really well, and Ebola goes away,” Frieden said.

Even with that, the questions remain on the minds of many: What is the possibility of Ebola spreading further?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - The mayor of Ohio's fourth-largest city says water will be flowing into the Toledo area from all corners of the state to help the 400,000 people who are being warned not to drink the city's water.

Toledo's mayor says water is coming from Akron, Cincinnati and even a prison near Columbus.

City officials issued the warning Saturday after tests revealed the presence of a toxin possibly from cyanobacteria on Lake Erie.

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Last year, the state Senate passed a bill allowing the certification of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), which will allow APRNS to practice independently from physicians, granting them the ability to write prescriptions and refer patients to specialists. Last November, the bill was referred to the House.

Kathleen Potempa, Dean of Nursing School at the University of Michigan, said the data shows in other states that have adopted similar policies, the quality of patient care remained high. She added that this could alleviate primary care shortages in Michigan.

Potempa joined Stateside today to talk about how Senate Bill 2 could change the role of nurses in Michigan.

*Listen to the full interview above.

Courtesy of Children First

Recent reports show an early uptick in hand, foot and mouth disease.

The Kent County Health Department is seeing an increase of cases of the highly contagious virus, which normally occurs in August.

The virus is most common in children and is spread similarly to the common cold. Symptoms include fever, sore throat and sores on the mouth, hands and feet.

Lisa LaPlante represents the Kent County Health Department. She says the uptick could be attributed to public pools and playgrounds.

click / morgueFile

The state’s top health official says Michigan could be more transparent about how many people get infections while at hospitals.

A recent MLive.com series suggests the state has withheld that information from the public. That includes infection rates at specific hospitals.

Jim Haveman, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), says that information is becoming more important for many patients.

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The number of younger men diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer has been rising sharply over the past two decades.

Prostate cancer has generally been associated with aging. But researchers at the University of Michigan say it's time to rethink that.

Dr. Kathleen Cooney is professor of internal medicine and urology at the university. She said there could also be a genetic factor that makes some men more susceptible to the disease earlier in their lives.

psurecreation

Students who purchased a gym membership at Michigan State University got better grades and were less likely to drop out, according to a study by MSU Professor of Kinesiology James Pivarnik.

Pivarnik says there are studies that show K-12 students do better in school if they get exercise, but this is one of the first studies suggesting there could be an academic benefit for college students who work out.

And there's ample evidence that exercise is good for people's mental and physical health. 

"The hard part is, well, how do we get people to do it?" asks Pivarnik.  "And if part of it is, having to pay this fee, then, okay."

Pivarnik says he has to do other studies to rule out what else could account for the better grades. 

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In less than four months, Michigan has already hit its 2014 enrollment goal for the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

More than 322,000 low-income Michiganders now have government sponsored healthcare through the Healthy Michigan program.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) say the dramatic jump in enrollment will help boost the state’s economy.

“We’ve heard stories about people who are now addressing some really serious health problems that prevented them from working,” said Angela Minicuci, a spokesperson for MDCH.

mich.gov / Michigan Government

In Detroit, the number of women dying from pregnancy-related causes is three times the national average.

Data from the state Department of Community Health show a maternal death rate that is even higher than countries like Libya and Vietnam.

High poverty and limited access to health care are the main culprits. Women living in poverty are less likely to receive consistent medical care before and during pregnancy, which can lead to complications during childbirth.

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DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit and Flint areas are getting nearly $9 million to help train new primary care providers.

Most of the money announced Monday goes to the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority for training in family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology. Flint's Hamilton Community Health Network is getting $900,000 for family medicine training.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the money is part of $83.4 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support primary care residency programs nationwide. Overall, it will help train more than 550 doctors during the 2014-2015 academic year.

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A total of 33 new HIV cases were reported in Washtenaw County in 2013. That's 37% more than the cases reported in 2012. This is the highest number of cases in the County since 1999. This also reflects a trend happening in Southeast Michigan.

Cathy Wilczynski is a nurse practitioner and program supervisor at Washtenaw County Public Health. She said most of the newly infected are younger.  

“We have ten new cases between the ages of 15 and 24. That is unheard of,” Wilcynski said.

The cases are clustered in the African-American and gay communities. Nearly 80% of the cases in the region involved men who identified themselves as men who have sex with men.

Wilcynzski said one of the reasons for the increase could be that the message that HIV exists is not real to those under 30.

“We need to come up with a new message. We need to figure out what message is going to work,” she said. “I had someone tell me the other day that there is no ownership to that message anymore.”

*Listen to full story above. 

University of Michigan Health System

A new University of Michigan study suggests muscle and bone injuries are the most prevalent common factor among soldiers deemed “unfit” for further military service—but other factors play nearly as a big a role.

The researchers followed an Army brigade of more than 4100 soldiers who deployed to Iraq in 2006 through their 15-month deployment, and for another four years after they returned.

Centers for Disease Control

Michigan is making progress against West Nile.

600 people were infected with West Nile in 2002 when the mosquito-borne virus first appeared.

Last year, there were only 34 cases.

Angela Minicuci is with the state Department of Community Health.

She says many cities now regularly flush out the stagnant pools of water where mosquitos that carry West Nile  breed.

She says individual homeowners' efforts are also contributing to fewer cases.

Michigan cannot ban all felons from being caregivers in the state’s Medicaid in-home care program. That’s according to state officials who outlined an upcoming background check system on Monday.

People convicted of patient abuse or neglect, health-care fraud, or drug-related crimes will be barred from working with in-home Medicaid patients. But state officials say federal law prevents them from excluding people based on crimes that are not related to in-home care.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report links a young child’s knowledge of fast food and snack food logos with their being overweight.

A research team asked three- to five-year-olds if they could identify various advertising logos.

It turns out the young children who could easily ID things like “golden arches,” "silly rabbits,” and “a king’s crown,” were more likely to have higher body mass indexes.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A handful of Michigan county health department leaders say “health” should play a bigger role in local decision making. 

Health department officials from Wayne, Genesee, Ingham, Kent, Kalamazoo, Saginaw and Washtenaw counties met in Lansing this past week to strategize how to change the way local governments do pretty much everything. 

Linda Vail is Ingham County’s Chief Health Officer.   She says city and county leaders often fail to consider the potential effects their decisions will have on their community’s health.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The cost of Obamacare health insurance plans will likely rise next year in Michigan. 

272,000 Michiganders signed up for health insurance using the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.   They will be paying more for those plans if proposed rate increases released this week are approved by state and federal regulators.

Josh Fangmeier is a health policy analyst with the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation at the University of Michigan.    

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a push underway to get hospitals to do away with restrictive ‘visiting hours’ policies.

Two Michigan hospitals are being cited as successfully doing just that.

The Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care is a Maryland-based group launching a campaign this week to encourage hospitals to give families 24 hour a day access to patients.

Alex Proimos / flickr

April 1 was an important day for many in Michigan. It was the day nearly half a million people in our state became newly eligible for the expanded Medicaid program.

Since then, more than 300,000 people have enrolled. Many have not seen a physician for a long time. Or, they have relied on emergency rooms for their medical care.

As revealed in a study published in the medical journal JAMA Surgery, there's good news and challenging news in all of this.

Certainly it's good that patients will be able to turn to a physician for medical care.

But the challenge is the overall poor health of many of these patients, especially surgical patients, and that has many implications – to the patients, to the hospitals and to the surgeons treating them.

Chief Medical Officer of the University of Michigan Health System, Dr. Darrell Campbell, Junior, talked about the study on Stateside.

Campbell analyzed data on 14,000 patients who had operations in 52 hospitals in Michigan from July 2012 to June 2013. The study looked at the Medicaid population and compared them to people with private insurance but were around the same age. The study analyzed the condition those patients were in prior to their surgical procedure.

“What we found was that they weren’t in very good shape,” Campbell said. “And that has consequences for the results after they have surgery, not only in terms of how well they do from physical point of view but also the cost and resources that are used afterwards.”

user: THEMACGIRL / flickr

Muskegon County ranks 82nd out of 82 counties in health behaviors and 64th out of 82 in health outcomes in Michigan. A health initiative has been organized to raise their ranks. 

It's called 1 in 21.

The goal is to raise the county's health behaviors from last to first by the year 2021. 

Linda Jaurez is co-chair of the 1 in 21 campaign and CEO of Hackley Community Care Center. Ken Krause is the director of public health for Muskegon County.

Kruase says the purpose of the initiative is to get the community to commit to changing something in their personal, family, or community life, and move toward healthier habits to create a culture change.

“It’s looking at how do we get people to think of ‘what can you do?’ rather than trying to tell them what to do,” Krause says.

Jaurez says they were able to put together the initiative with little funding.

The campaign has already started some new programs in the county, such as “Bike to Work Week," and had a school participate in an “Eating an Apple” challenge with New Zealand.

The campaign reaches out to those who are health conscious and those who aren’t through health care providers and physicians providing the information to patients about the campaign.

Jaurez and Krause have some advice for all of Michigan on how they can get together to become more health conscious.

“Don’t wait for a big corporation to give money – begin now,” Jaurez said.

*Listen to full interview above.

–Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michgan Radio Newsroom. 

Craig Titley / Flickr

“Camp Kitigin is a chance for adults to get outside and be a kid again,” says Stephanie Wirtz, outdoor recreation and events coordinator for the Saginaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.  

There is one condition: The camp is screen-free –which means no laptops, smartphones, or any other devices. It’s a chance for adults to get away from the screens and social media sites and reconnect with nature.

Wirtz says documenting  every moment has become a part of our daily lives, and you'll still be able to do so at the camp. You'll just have to do it the old-fashioned way. 

Camp Kitigin will provide you with a journal and disposable camera, so you can still capture those fun moments.

Activities at the camp will include fishing, hiking, kayaking, campfires, zip-lining, and more.

Wirtz said there will be men's and women's cabins; each cabin sleeps 10 campers.

Just like when you were a kid, except no curfews.

“We want to get people outside and we want them to get excited about being outside again,” Wirtz says.

Camp Kitigin will be open August 15-17 and again September 12-14 at YMCA’s Camp Timbers in West Branch. Registration is $200 and all proceeds go to athletic programs throughout Michigan. 

*Listen to full story above.

–Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A bill that would give nurses with advanced degrees more autonomy is coming up for debate in the Michigan House.

Senate Bill 2 would give advanced practice registered nurses, also known as APRNs, the authority to write prescriptions and order tests without a doctor's approval.

The Affordable Care Act has led to more people seeking medical care. Also there is a physician shortage in rural parts of the state. This legislation aims to accommodate more of those additional people.

cswe.org

The state of Michigan still has a way to go when it comes to serving its aging residents.
A new national scorecard by the AARP ranks the state 31st in terms of long-term services and support for the elderly.

The report also focused on how well states support family caregivers who provide the bulk of care for older Michiganders.  This can cause stress and financial burden on those families, especially those who are juggling their own families and full-time jobs. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s water department is getting plenty of complaints about the smell and taste of the city’s tap water.

This Spring, the city started using water from the Flint River after decades of getting its water from Detroit.

Daugherty Johnson is Flint’s utilities administrator. He says complaints about Flint’s water are nothing new.

“We’ve certainly had more complaints since the switch over…and we recognize those hardness issues that we’re working through right now,” says Johnson.

cdc.gov

The fungal meningitis outbreak isn't that far behind us. 

Two years ago, a Massachusetts compounding facility sold tainted steroid medications around the country. What happened was disastrous: 22 Michigan residents lost their lives to meningitis and more than 260 were infected. 

New legislation could prevent that from happening again. A bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, may be voted on this week. It calls for more background checks on compounding pharmacies and more facility inspections.

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The controversy over long wait times and improper scheduling practices at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics has cost the job of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

It led to an internal VA audit of its health care facilities.

And that has caused the VA to flag three facilities in Michigan for a closer look.

For this conversation, we asked what might be happening at those facilities, and what this means to veterans in Michigan.

We're joined by Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler and Dr. Joe Schwartz, physician and former Republican Congressman from West Michigan. Dr. Schwartz is now a visiting lecturer at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

*Listen to the full interview above.

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