Health

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report suggests it’s getting harder to get reproductive health care at Michigan hospitals.

A series of hospital mergers in recent years means more hospitals in Michigan are part of a Catholic health system.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Ten community health centers in Michigan are getting million dollar federal grants to expand.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the money will pay for renovations and expansion. By expanding, the health centers will be able to provide more primary and preventative health services to people with little access.

The department’s Dr. Nicole Lurie toured the Genesee Community Health Center today. What she saw was a center bulging at the seams.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State health officials are warning of a growing outbreak of salmonella in Michigan.

Since the beginning of March, there have been 20 cases of salmonella in Michigan directly tied to people handling baby chicks and ducklings. Six people ended up in the hospital.   

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a new effort to help Flint school children and teachers deal the stress of the city’s lead tainted drinking water.

Yoga classes were held at two Flint schools last week.

Mark Williams is with Gaia, an organization that promotes Yoga and inner peace.

“You know, as you make your way through life, you have these tools in your back pocket, now you have a chance of succeeding better,” says Williams.

Williams says more yoga outreach efforts are planned.

Andre Johnson, President and CEO of Detroit Recovery Project.
Recovery4Detroit.com

The White House will recognize a Detroit man for his role in establishing a drug recovery program. Andre Johnson is the President and CEO of the Detroit Recovery Project and will be recognized by President Obama as one of 10 “Champions of Change.”

Listen to the full interview below.

On April 25, 2014, Flint officials toasted each other as they flipped the switch to the Flint River.
WNEM-TV

Today marks the second anniversary of Flint’s ill-fated switch to the Flint River for the city’s drinking water source.

The river water was not properly treated with anti-corrosive chemicals, and the highly corrosive river water damaged pipes and fixtures, which continue to leach lead into the city’s drinking water. 

Velsicol Chemical operating on the banks of the Pine River in St. Louis, Michigan.
Pine River Citizen Superfund Task Force

Researchers are expected to release preliminary findings this week about the potential long term health effects of PBB. The flame retardant was accidentally introduced into Michigan’s food supply in the 1970s.  

Experts are expected to release the results at a conference hosted by Alma College. PBB was once manufactured in the neighboring city of St. Louis, Michigan.

“We want an outcome that goes beyond just all of us hearing about this information from these experts,” said Ed Lorenz, a professor at Alma College.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are looking at a potential new source of data on lead exposure in Flint: baby teeth.

Assessing the effects of Flint’s lead tainted tap water in children is tricky. Blood lead tests only tell part of the story. 

State Health Department director Nick Lyon says studying baby teeth could help.

“The concept would be as children’s teeth fall out there is a potential that you could use information from that going forward as part of a lead registry,” Lyon said.

Lyon says the idea of studying baby teeth is still in its early stages.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Local, state and federal health officials are joining forces to reduce the chances of another Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County.

The agencies are starting a pilot program to educate the managers of large buildings and hospitals on how they can reduce the spread of Legionella bacteria in their water systems. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are now confirming 12 people died in a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Genesee County.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released the updated numbers today. 

Bay County plans another public forum on heroin epidemic

Apr 10, 2016
Narconon

BANGOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Bay County is planning another public forum as part of an ongoing effort to deal with a heroin epidemic as declared by the health department and law enforcement officials in June.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is getting nearly $7 million from the federal government to expand a nutrition program for children.

Today, dozens of children in Flint ate breakfast at the Haskell Youth Center, thanks to a federal child nutrition program. But the program hasn’t operated during the summer, until this year.

Kevin Concannon is the undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He says a special pilot program is being expanded, that will provide 16,000 Flint children with nutritious meals during the summer months too.

Flickr user David Salafia/Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The city of Detroit wants all its schools to test for lead in drinking water.

The Detroit Public Schools is already on board with the initiative, and has tested 60 schools so far.

But Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the Detroit health department director, says the city won’t stop there.

New initiative aims to get milk to Flint families

Apr 1, 2016
Guy Montag / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Water donations have been pouring into Flint for months, because of the city's lead-contaminated tap water.

Now, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan wants to make sure Flint families also have plenty of milk.

A new initiative aims to get people to donate 1 million glasses of milk to help children who've been exposed to lead.

It's part of of larger effort to shift the focus in Flint from water to nutrition.

James Gathany/PHIL-CDC / public domain

Health officials are warning Michiganders traveling to certain countries on spring break to bring plenty of 20% DEET mosquito repellent.

The CDC says there are outbreaks of Zika virus in many countries in the Carribean, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands.

"People usually don't get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika," says Jennifer Eisner of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  But she says Zika has been linked to a severe birth defect, microcephaly. 

The University of Michigan Health System
The University of Michigan

When a child gets sick, there are few scarier words in the English language for a parent than cancer.

Once that word comes out of a doctor’s mouth, there are lots questions to be asked, and even more decisions to be made. Few of them are easy.

One of those difficult questions is whether you want your child to be a part of a clinical trial.

Laura Sedig, a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at the University of Michigan, joined Stateside to talk about clinical trials for childhood cancer and the options for parents faced with making this difficult decision.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State health officials have confirmed a tenth death connected to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County.

The latest case involves a patient from Shiawassee County. The patient wasn’t counted originally as part of the outbreak, because health officials didn’t know the patient had spent time in a Genesee County hospital

Dr. Eden Wells is the Chief Medical Executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service.   She says state health officials found the latest fatality during a review of all Legionella cases in Michigan in 2014 and 2015.

Dr. Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University.
Derrick L. Turner / Michigan State University

The eighth annual Muslim Mental Health Conference is taking place in Dearborn this week with a wide range of topics on the schedule. Everything from Islamophobia and extremism to interfaith training for people who are working with American Muslim families will be discussed.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are getting some relief when it comes to their water bills. But what about their medical bills? It’s a question some Flint families are asking.

Medical bills are adding up for Keri Webber. I met her over the weekend, volunteering at an open house for Flint residents.

SpecialKRB / flickr

A new study suggests when it comes to childhood obesity, kids benefit from having a younger sibling.

And that link is surprisingly strong, according to an analysis of data from nearly 700 U.S. children.

Dr. Julie Lumeng, associate professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital, was the study’s lead author.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Drug overdose deaths rose 14% between 2013 and 2014, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

MDHHS Public Information Officer Jennifer Eisner says a state task force is looking at ways to prevent the problem, as well as increase access to treatment.

"We are looking at ways to reduce doctor shopping and pharmacy shopping," says Eisner, "as well as how to expand access to access to Naloxone (a drug used to treat addicts), increasing access to care and increasing the number of addiction specialists that there are in the state."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The federal government has approved Michigan’s request to expand Medicaid eligibility in Flint. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says pregnant women and people under 21 in Flint are now eligible for the expanded coverage.

The Snyder administration asked the federal government for the expanded Medicaid coverage, as part of its response to the Flint water crisis. There are concerns about the health effects of exposure to Flint’s lead-tainted drinking water. 

The expansion will affect an estimated 15,000 Flint residents.

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

People in Flint still should be drinking only filtered water or, in the case of pregnant women and children under six, bottled water. 

But officials say there are hopeful signs that phosphates are re-coating the Flint water system's damaged pipes, and may be lowering the amount of lead getting into the water.

U.S. EPA On-site Coordinator Mark Durno says phosphate levels in the city's water mains are rising.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is one of four cities that’s getting its health put under the microscope.

Flint, Michigan, Kansas City, Kansas, Providence, Rhode Island and Waco, Texas were named pilot cities in the Municipal Health Data for American Cities Initiative last week.  

Flint’s lead-tainted drinking water has been getting most of the attention lately. But Flint has other health problems, too.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If you’ve never had norovirus, you’re a very lucky person. It’s highly contagious and can knock you down.

“Either diarrhea or vomiting. Some people also have both at the same time, which is obviously the most unpleasant of all the outcomes,” says Christiane Wobus, an associate professor at the University of Michigan Medical School who studies norovirus.

Roughly 150 students got sick with the virus on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus last week.

If you’re a scientist, this outbreak is an opportunity.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new program is underway to get fresh produce to people affected by Flint’s drinking water crisis.

Foods rich in calcium, vitamin C, and iron can help mitigate the effects of lead exposure. But many Flint residents don’t have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Starting this week, the state and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan are sending more than 100 truckloads of healthy food to local food pantries that serve parts of Flint that have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new round of testing could show if the amount of lead in Flint’s drinking water is declining.

Virginia Tech researchers will send testing kits to people in Flint this week. The researchers spent Friday assembling 300 kits.  

Researcher Siddhartha Roy says they are testing the same homes they did back in August and September.  Those tests revealed unsafe levels of lead.

They also expect to see lower lead levels.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A top state official says people in Flint are relying more and more on water filters. He says that is reducing demand for bottled water.

In response to Flint’s water crisis, six weeks ago the state started stocking distribution centers in Flint with bottled water, filters and lead testing kits.  

But demand at the centers is down significantly. For example, demand for bottled water is now less than a third of its peak. 

The Flint River and the Flint water treatment plant.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says there’s still work to be done to ensure clean drinking water in Flint.

In a letter to state and city officials today, the agency laid out “two significant issues that need immediate attention” as it relates to complying with an emergency order the EPA issued on Jan. 21.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Social justice groups are teaming up with local county health officials to call for change in the wake of Flint’s drinking water crisis.

In Flint today, they announced their intention to work together to call for “health equity."

“What is most important at this point is to repair the damage done to the residents of Flint and to assure that they are protected from further harm,” says Charles Wilson, the health promotion and disease prevention supervisor Washtenaw County Health Department.

But the group’s focus goes beyond Flint.

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