Health

Health
11:51 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Shortage of Michigan autism specialists creating long wait times for kids

According to a report from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, a lack of autism specialists in Michigan is creating long wait times for children to be diagnosed and treated.

Marianne Udow-Phillips, the group's director, explains that average waiting times for appointments can range anywhere from a month to two years. She hopes  that lawmakers will extend a temporary fund they created to train new specialists.

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Health
5:59 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

UN team says Detroit water shutoff program violates human rights

People upset about Detroit's water shutoff program listen to United Nation's Human Rights Office officials deliver their report.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A United Nations team says the city of Detroit is violating human rights by shutting off water to those who can’t pay their bills.

Some 27, 000 customers have had their water cut off during the first nine months of 2014. Detroit launched the water shutoff program as part of efforts to deal with the city’s financial problems.  

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Health
5:24 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Michigan ramps up Ebola preparedness efforts

Ebola Virus
Credit CDC Global

Michigan has activated its Community Health Emergency Communications Center to coordinate statewide preparedness against the threat of the Ebola virus. The goal is for Michigan to be able to respond rapidly and effectively if a patient who may have, or is at risk for, the Ebola virus were identified in Michigan.

Gov. Rick Snyder has designated Director of Michigan Department of Community Health Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Matthew Davis to lead the efforts.

"The public can be assured that the Department of Community Health is working with its partners across state government and in hospitals across the state to make certain we are maximizing protection for the population," said Davis.

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Health
3:17 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

Summit to address growing heroin problem among Michigan youth

Credit Narconon

State law enforcement and health officials will hold a summit on heroin addiction in Michigan Monday.

Heroin use has grown because of demand created by prescription drug abuse and cheap heroin coming across the border with Mexico.

“(Prescription drug abuse) leads to greater heroin abuse because people want to continue that high,” says Lt. Joseph Thomas, Michigan State Police post commander in Lansing.

Thomas says high school students are becoming heroin users in larger numbers.  

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Health
9:19 pm
Sat October 18, 2014

State is coordinating Ebola preparedness

Credit CDC

LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder has named two health officials to lead the state's efforts against the threat of Ebola.

In a statement Friday, the Michigan governor says he has designated Department of Community Health Director Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Matthew Davis for the job.

Lyon and Davis will be asked to coordinate with the state's health and medical community to ensure adequate training, education and equipment for health care workers.

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Health
3:42 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Michigan will give terminally ill patients the right to try experimental treatments

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two new laws will give terminally ill patients in Michigan a right to try experimental medicines.

The bills signed by the governor today don’t guarantee dying Michiganders will get access to experimental drugs, but they are intended to remove some barriers.

“Allowing Michiganders dealing with extremely difficult medical situations to try alternative treatment options could extend or save their lives,” says Gov. Rick Snyder. 

If a patient has exhausted all other options, the right-to-try laws would allow them access to unproven drugs and medical devices.

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Health
11:42 am
Thu October 16, 2014

First flu cases confirmed in Michigan, officials encourage others to get vaccinated

3D model of a flu virus.
Credit CDC

OKEMOS, Mich. (AP) - Health officials are encouraging Michigan residents to get flu vaccinations as the state says it confirmed its first influenza cases of the 2014-2015 season.

The Michigan Department of Community Health announced Thursday that it recently confirmed three cases of influenza in adults, the first of the season identified by a state laboratory. One case is H1N1, one is H3N2 and one is an influenza B virus.

The announcement came as the department, the Michigan Osteopathic Association and the Michigan State Medical Society worked to promote vaccinations.

The peak of seasonal flu typically comes between January and April. Officials warn influenza is potentially life-threatening, especially for infants and the elderly. During the 2013-2014 flu season, officials say there were three influenza-associated deaths of children in the state.

Health
10:04 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Nurses say Michigan hospitals not ready for Ebola

Credit CDC

Michigan nurses say state hospitals are not ready to handle a case of Ebola.

Despite recent assurances by Michigan hospital administrators and Gov. Rick Snyder that the state is prepared for a case of Ebola, the state’s largest nurses union disagrees.

Two Texas nurses have tested positive for Ebola, after treating a patient from West Africa, who recently died from the disease.

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Stateside
5:56 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Comprehensive mental health program for children isn't available throughout Michigan

Credit Sue Day / Flickr

Parenting a mentally ill child can be one of life's greatest challenges.

When you keep asking questions, keep searching for mental health care that can help your child, you may not get the right answers.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Alvarez is the Public Insight journalist for the State of Opportunity project.

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Health
4:35 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Spectrum Health to offer same-sex partner health insurance benefits in 2015

Credit Spectrum Health website

Same-sex partners of Spectrum Health employees can get health insurance coverage starting in 2015.

Legally married gay employees and same-sex couples who can demonstrate they are in a committed relationship will be able to opt for health insurance for their spouses and partners. The couple's children will also be eligible.

The new insurance  coverage will begin in January.

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Health
9:34 pm
Sat October 11, 2014

Michigan toddler dies from enterovirus D68

DETROIT (AP) - A toddler is the first person in Michigan to die from the virus that has caused severe respiratory illness across the country.

Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit says 21-month-old Madeline Reid died Friday afternoon from enterovirus D68.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rudolph Valentini said in a statement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the illness after the Clinton Township girl's arrival, but did not specify which day.

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Health
11:31 am
Sat October 11, 2014

Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital admissions on hold

Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital
Credit MDCH

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Admissions to the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital are on hold while investigators examine allegations that patient rights were violated.

A spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health tells the Kalamazoo Gazette that 17 hospital staff members have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. She says her department will continue looking into the allegations and respond with appropriate action.

She says although the hospital isn't currently admitting more patients, it will still take information for potential admissions.

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Health
5:27 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Gov. Snyder wants dental care program for low-income kids expanded statewide

Gov. Snyder and local officials celebrate the launch of Healthy Kids Dental in Macomb County at an event in Warren on Monday.
Credit Jake Neher / MPRN

Gov. Rick Snyder says one of his budget priorities in his second term would be to expand a program that helps low-income kids get dental care.

Right now, the Healthy Kids Dental program is available to more than 500,000 children in 80 of Michigan’s 83 counties. But the program is not available in three of the state’s largest counties – Wayne, Oakland, and Kent.

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Health
4:47 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

U of M plans genome sequencing project to study bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Credit Pacific Northwest National Laboratory / flickr.com

Researchers at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health and Medical School are working on a genome sequencing study to help better understand bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The Ann Arbor university announced Monday that its researchers are leading the collaboration with researchers at the University of Southern California as well as the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to sequence the genomes of 10,000 people.

They received three separate four-year awards totaling $16 million from the National Institute of Mental Health to help fund the work.

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Health
7:49 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Michigan has 3 confirmed cases of respiratory illness in children

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Federal health officials have confirmed three Michigan cases of an unusual respiratory illness in children.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Friday that 160 lab-confirmed cases of enterovirus 68 were reported in Michigan and 21 other states. They are the state's first positive cases for the uncommon virus.

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Health
9:13 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Terminal patients in Michigan may soon have a right to try experimental drugs

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Terminally ill patients in Michigan may soon have a new avenue to pursue unproven treatments.

The State House Health Policy committee Tuesday approved "right-to-try" legislation. The state Senate has already approved the legislation, which tries to give patients a better chance of getting drugs or medical devices that show promise, but have not been fully tested.

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Health
6:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Flint officials working to resolve water issues

Flint Public Works director Howard Croft explains what the city is doing to resolve problems with the city's water system during a news conference this week.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People in Flint may be a bit wary of drinking water from their taps these days.

Several boil water advisories have been issued in the past month, after tests showed potential problems with bacteria.   The latest pair of advisories were lifted last week.

Howard Croft is Flint’s public works director. He says the problems are due to Flint’s aging infrastructure. 

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Health
5:22 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

Toledo may use conservation to fight water toxins

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Consumers in Ohio's fourth-largest city may be asked to voluntarily conserve water next year to limit demand and help reduce contamination from toxins left by Lake Erie algae.

Such toxins fouled water for 400,000 people in the Toledo area last month, leaving some without clean tap water for two days.

The Blade newspaper reports the water treatment commissioner talked about the planned conservation request during a panel discussion this week. Commissioner Tim Murphy says lowering demand would allow water to be treated for longer periods of time.

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Health
4:00 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Group wants state to end Medicaid funding for circumcisions

One of the protesters at today's anti-circumcision rally at the state capitol in Lansing, Michigan.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An anti-circumcision group says Michigan’s Medicaid program should stop funding for circumcision.

Michigan has one of the highest circumcision rates in the country.

Norm Cohen is the state director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers. Members of the group picketed at the state capitol today.  Many in the group wore white pants, stained in the crotch with red paint. 

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Health
3:18 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Michigan health centers receive $8.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding

Genesee Health System in Flint, MI. One of the MI health service centers to receive Affordable Care Act funding.
Credit Genesee Health System / Facebook

Three-dozen health care centers in Michigan are being given more than $8.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding. 

The announcement was made Friday by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In all, $295 million was awarded to 1,195 centers across the country. 

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the funding will enable targeted health centers to:

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