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Health

FLICKR USER PAHO/WHO / FLICKR

Vaccine education groups are asking parents to get their kids vaccinated before school starts.  

Veronica McNally is with the Franny Strong Foundation. Her baby girl died at age three months from whooping cough.

She says parents are also protecting babies and immune-compromised people when they vaccinate themselves and their children.

"Whooping cough, for example, would require several doses of dTAP (the pertussis vaccine) before an infant would get vaccine-conferred immunity," says McNally. "So it's important to give that infant the circle of protection -- vaccinating everybody around the infant. And the same is true of influenza."

UCI UC Irvine / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

In 1960, the first oral contraceptive was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as contraception.

That drug, Enovid, changed the course of history for women.

Yet Beverly Strassmann, a professor of anthropology and a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, has a challenge for the drug companies that make hormonal birth control: don’t rest on your laurels.

Her research indicates it might be past time for pharmaceutical companies to tweak the formulation of the pill.

Donnie Ray Jones / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit is trying to do more to prevent premature births and infant deaths. The city outlined the new plan Wednesday.

Money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Medicaid expansion is good for hospitals' bottom line and for the people using it, according to a study released earlier this week.

The Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT) found that between 2013 and 2015, hospitals decreased uncompensated care costs by 56%. Uncompensated care is the amount of care a hospital provides but never gets fully reimbursed for.

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Asbestos popped up a few times in the news this week.

The Detroit Free Press published an investigative piece about how the quick pace of demolitions of abandoned homes and buildings in Detroit might be endangering residents.

The city says that’s demonstrably false.

Then yesterday, Michigan’s Auditor General found the state’s asbestos remediation program needs more inspectors and more money. As Michigan Radio reported, the program is falling behind in its reports and follow-up visits.

graph showing decline in mortality after vaccination initiatives.
Centers for Disease Control

County health departments are in their usual August scramble to schedule meetings with parents who don't want to vaccinate their children.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A big chunk of federal funding is on the line for Michigan’s community health centers.

The federal Health Center Fund is set to expire October 1st.  

The fund provides tens of millions of dollars to centers that provide access to health care for 650,000 Michiganders, more than half of whom are on Medicaid. 

John Chevier / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

In 2000, 59 young adults in Michigan between the ages of 18 and 29 were reported as having chronic hepatitis C (HVC). Last year, there 2,060 reported cases in that same age group.

That’s an astonishing 3,391 percent increase within the span of just 16 years.

Those numbers come from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services annual assessment of hepatitis rates, which was released on Wednesday. 

outline of human body
Alexander Tokarev / Courtesy of Arul Chinnaiyan

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have taken a big step forward in understanding how to craft precision treatments for advanced cancer – cancer that has metastasized, or spread.

Using 520 tumor types, they found that in 90 percent of cases, key contributors to an individual patient’s cancer can be identified.

IMAGES MONEY / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

President Trump has made no secret of his desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“You know, I said from the beginning: Let Obamacare implode,” Trump said late last week after the Senate failed to repeal the ACA.

But is the president letting Obamacare implode, or is he making it implode?

Trump threatened on Twitter to end the cost-sharing reduction subsidies – money that helps poorer Americans buy health insurance on the ACA exchanges.

sign that says "please be a leader in the fight for single payer"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan opponents of repealing the Affordable Care Act say now that the latest effort to repeal it has failed, it’s time to look at how to fix Obamacare's problems. 

Rising costs was a complaint raised by several people attending a forum on health care in Saginaw on Wednesday. 

water going into cup from faucet
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It happened last December, in the final hours of the last Congress.

After a lot of heavy lifting by Michigan lawmakers on Capitol Hill, a federal aid package for Flint was finally passed.

Today, we've learned 14.4 million of the federal aid dollars from that package will go to Michigan State University to set up a registry of everyone exposed to the lead-tainted water in Flint. 

hands holding a pile of pills
Daniel Foster / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Health organizations in Michigan just got some more ammunition in the fight against opioid abuse.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund has awarded nearly $6.5 million dollars in grants to health programs around the state in an effort to address the opioid crisis.  

Becky Cienki, the MHEF's senior program officer, says the grants were made through the fund's behavioral health initiative. The 16 projects that received grants are focused on either substance abuse disorders or mental health.

Courtesy of the Detroit Health Department

Detroit activists are highlighting what they say is a growing public health crisis. Today they brought in medical experts from outside the city to discuss the potential health implications of mass water shutoffs in Detroit. They want a moratorium.

“There’s no question that access to safe and clean water from a health perspective is a top priority,” Detroit’s top health officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said.

Ali Elisabeth / Michigan Radio

This week, community organizers in Detroit are bringing in experts to talk about the health implications of city-imposed mass water shutoffs. They want to highlight a research project done at Henry Ford Health System that showed a statistically significant correlation between water shutoffs and water-associated illness.

But Henry Ford Health System spokeswoman Brenda Craig warns the study was not conclusive because the city only provided block-level data, not specific addresses that have been turned off.

A chicken visible through a chickenwire fence
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Keeping backyard chickens is getting more popular in Michigan, as more communities decide to let residents maintain backyard coops.

Megan Nichols is a public health veterinarian with the Centers for Disease Control. She says keeping backyard chickens is linked to salmonella outbreaks.

blacklegged tick
Scott Bauer / USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

2017 is only halfway over, but there have already been more cases of Lyme disease reported in Michigan this year than in all of last year.

So far, 279 cases have been reported, compared to 233 in 2016. All of these cases still need to be confirmed.

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria species Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease is spread to humans through the bite of infected ticks and can cause serious long-term illness.

F. D. Richards / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Fast food is not good for us. That's not exactly a secret.

Nutritionists point to all that fat and salt in fast food as one of the main causes of the growing obesity rate in this county, and elsewhere around the world.

There's a commonly held belief that poor people eat more fast food than any other group.

University of Michigan-Dearborn Economics Professor Patricia Smith decided to test that belief in a study on fast food consumption. She found that the poor don’t actually eat more fast food than anyone else. It is those who are busiest, often the middle class, that do.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Western Lake Erie may see the third largest cyanobacterial bloom in the past 15 years this summer.

The Lake Erie forecast was released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which funds the research.

Cyanobacteria is fed by runoff from farmers’ fields and urban sources.

Sasha Kravchenko and Jessica Fry, MSU scientists
Michigan State University

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel says proposed cuts to National Institutes of Health grants would be devastating.

He says the U of M could lose $92 million if the cuts go through.

The Trump administration is proposing to strictly cap the amount allowed for overhead, including facilities and administration costs.

Stateside 7.11.2017

Jul 11, 2017

Today, we hear why the state's largest hospital system would prefer to repair the Affordable Care Act, not start from scratch. And, we learn why the Selfridge Air National Guard Base aims to become a home for the new F-35 fighter jet.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

A piggy bank, stethescope and bundle of one dollar bills
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

Returning from the 4th of July recess, Senate Republicans are going to try again to come up with a health care bill that can win the 50 votes it needs to pass.

Word is, they hope to have a revised health bill to show senators by week's end, perhaps by Thursday.

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Health care providers and patient advocates in Michigan are watching to see what’s in a re-vamped Republican health care overhaul once it’s rolled out in Washington.

RoAnne Chaney is with the Michigan Disability Resource Center. Chaney says she’s very concerned about potential cuts to Medicaid. She says an overhaul could affect whether people with disabilities can remain in their homes.

Wikipedia Commons

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says there's been 200 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in Southeast Michigan since last August, resulting in ten deaths. The virus has been reported in Oakland, Wayne, and St. Clair counties.

kids playing soccer
User: USAG-Humphreys / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children be active for at least one hour every day. A new survey suggests most kids in Southeast Michigan are getting far less than that.  

"In the USA, 27 percent of kids actually get that. In SE Michigan, it’s only 13 percent," said David Egner, president of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, which commissioned the report. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Federal officials say $15 million is going to provide health and social services for people who have had or are at risk for lead exposure stemming from the Flint water crisis.

“We understand the urgency of the situation, and this funding will help connect affected and at-risk Flint residents to comprehensive health and social services proven to mitigate the effects of lead exposure,” says U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
 

The University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center
cancer.med.umich.edu

The phrase "you have cancer" might be one of the most terrifying collections of words a person can hear in their lifetime.

Many readers have heard that phrase spoken to them, or  have had a close friend or relative experience it. The level of anxiety and other psychological issues that accompany a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming for many people.

To help combat that, there is now a subspecialty of oncology. It’s called psycho-oncology.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder is concerned about what a Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will mean for tens of thousands of Michiganders on Medicaid.

Today, U.S. Senate Republicans issued a revised version of their health care bill. The changes include a penalty for people who let their insurance lapse. 

doctor looking at chart
CommScope / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

Usually, when we hear the word “hacking,” we think of someone breaking into something — like your computer or customer data at a credit card company. But there’s a constructive, positive spin on the word hack too.

A2 Health Hacks is a weekend-long exercise where people come together to find new solutions to old problems in health care.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Fewer insurance companies will be offering health care plans in Michigan through the Affordable Care Act marketplace this fall.

Since Obamacare began, Michigan insurance regulators have vetted the companies willing to offer health care plans in the state.  This year, they’ll have fewer companies to vet. 

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