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Health

Hepatitis A outbreak reported in SE Michigan

Sep 20, 2017
Daniel Paquet / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Michigan officials are warning health care providers about an outbreak of hepatitis A in the city of Detroit and nearby Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties.

According to Michigan's Medicaid Director Chris Priest, hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that is primarily spread between people through food, water, or oral contact with objects, including hands and eating utensils, contaminated by the feces of a hepatitis A-infected individual.

An older woman and a younger girl laugh.
Mohammad Meenhaj Uddin / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

There’s an old adage that laughter is the best medicine. 

Michigan State University psychiatrist Dr. Farha Abbasi believes there’s some scientific truth to that. 

Enroll Michigan

The Trump administration is cutting funding for Enroll Michigan by 90%.

Enroll Michigan funds 30 subcontractors who help people obtain insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

ACCESS, a social service group in Dearborn that focuses on the Arab American community, also helps people obtain insurance under ACA. It will see its federal funding for those activities cut by 36%. 

Executive Director Dizzy Warren says people could have a lot more trouble getting the right kind of insurance now.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Virginia Tech researchers say their latest tests of Flint tap water are consistent with state tests showing the city’s water is within federal standards for lead.

Dr. Marc Edward’s team has conducted five rounds of testing over the past two years. The team’s original 2015 test revealed high levels of lead in Flint tap water.

Syringe with drip
ZaldyImg / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Physicians are coming out against a bill in Lansing that would make it easier for qualified nurses to administer anesthesia. Currently, a physician has to sign off and supervise while a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist gives anesthesia to a patient. Senate Bill 550 would give hospitals the option to end that mandate.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Jeff Edwards is on a mission to go into as many schools as possible to talk to as many kids as possible about mental health, depression and suicide.

Edwards is the board chairman of the Southeast Michigan Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and this issue is very personal for him. 
 

His son Chase was 12 years old when he died by suicide in 2003.

Syringe with drip
ZaldyImg / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

New legislation aims to improve patients' access to anesthesia in Michigan's hospitals.

A current mandate requires physician supervision when anesthesia is administered by certified registered nurse anesthetists — even if that physician has little or no training in anesthesia.

Senate Bill 550 would allow Michigan hospitals to choose the anesthesia model that best meets the needs of their patients and communities, and give them the option to either keep or eliminate that rule.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report calls for more aggressive action to reduce lead exposure, such as that seen in Flint children during the city’s water crisis.

woman smoking a joint
miss.libertine / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new University of Michigan study finds that marijuana use among college students continues to rise in the U.S.

The latest report from U of M's Monitoring the Future program finds that in 2016, marijuana use among full-time college students was at the highest level since 1987.

Shaun Murphy / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

College campuses are filling up with students again, which means all the associated stress is returning to campuses too.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates may jump in Michigan next year, depending on a decision by the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has threatened to end Cost Sharing Reduction payments.  The federal government offers those subsidies to offset the cost of insurance policies that cover low income residents.  

State insurance officials say Michiganders buying health insurance through the marketplace will see rates rise between 16% and 59% next year.

portrait pictures of dr. kendrick and dr. Eldering
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center / Archives of Michigan

Parents and students are getting ready for school to start next week. That can mean last-minute shopping trips for supplies and clothes, and perhaps a doctor’s appointment to get those vaccines up to date before the school year starts.

Back in the 1930s, pertussis, better known as whooping cough, caused 6,000 deaths a year in the United States. Ninety-five percent of the people who died were children ages five and under.

It was three women in Michigan who helped change those grim statistics.

Da Capo Press, 2017

He was a welcome presence on ESPN and ABC for decades. During his 30 years at ESPN, John Saunders lived every sports fan’s dream job.

But even as this one-time Western Michigan University hockey player rose to become one of the country’s most popular sportscasters, he secretly battled depression – and endured personal traumas that are hard to believe.

A bottle of pills.
Pixabay

Democrats in Lansing want to stop prescription drug price hikes in Michigan.

Prescription drug prices have gone up in Michigan and across the U.S. over the last few years. A recent study by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association showed that the prices its members pay have gone up about 10 percent a year since 2010.

Troy Holden / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

In December, the state will start accepting applications for medical marijuana shops to get licenses. But meanwhile, there’s a dispute over how to deal with the dispensaries that are already open.

At a meeting today, the state’s medical marijuana licensing board considered whether dispensaries should have to close their doors before they can get a license. At least two board members want dispensaries that are already open to close next month – or risk being denied a license.

How to train your mind to get in "the zone"

Aug 21, 2017
With exercises and effort, anyone can train their brain to be more creative, says Dr. David Fessell.
Flickr/vaXzine

The Next Idea

Is there a “state of mind” that aids innovation and creativity?

Think for a moment about the last time you were totally immersed in a hobby, music, or sport. Things just seemed to flow, time became imperceptible, and everything seemed almost effortless. Might you have experienced this when writing? Running or gardening? Creating poetry, music, or dancing? Or even tinkering?

Are such times rare or non-existent in your life? These experiences of “flow” are rocket fuel for innovation and creativity—and you can have more of them.

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.

MICHAEL COGHLAN / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

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.

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