Health

Health
8:46 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Michigan hunters feed the hungry

Ron Abfalter flickr

Interview

This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Dean Hall. He is the president of Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. The group donates it's game venison to soup kitchens and food pantries across the state. He says, "We can use the benefit of deer management to people that need the help sorely."

Health
4:30 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Congressional probe of meningitis outbreak begins tomorrow

This map from the Centers for Disease Control shows the extent of the outbreak as of November 9th.
CDC

A congressional hearing tomorrow will look into a fungal meningitis outbreak that has sickened hundreds of people in 19 states, including Michigan.

Tainted steroid injections used to relieve back pain are blamed for the outbreak.

Nationally, more than 400 people have fallen ill.  32 have died. 

Michigan has the highest number of cases at 128.   Nine people from Michigan have died.

Angela Minicuci is a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health. She expects the number of new cases to slow in the coming weeks.

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Health
12:27 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Blue Cross officials say overhaul must pass before end of the year

federal health care law would setup health exchanges in each state
photo by Anna Strumillo Phuket - Thailand www.fotopedia.com

Officials with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan say the state Legislature must pass bills to overhaul the health insurer by the end of the year. Under the measures, Blue Cross would become a customer-owned non-profit, and would have to pay state and local taxes.

The federal health care law would setup health exchanges in each state to help people shop for policies. Deadlines for states to set up those exchanges are coming up soon.

Mark Cook of Blue Cross testified Tuesday before the state House Insurance Committee. He said the bills need to pass soon for the state’s largest insurer to participate in the health care exchange.

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Health
7:58 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Retaining safety in Detroit with neighborhood patrols

Credit User: ktpupp / flickr

Interview

Many cities across the state are cutting back, and police and fire department budgets are often on the chopping block. In some cases, citizens have taken safety matters into their own hands, through neighborhood patrols. The aim is to observe what's going on in the community, and call the police if anything usual is noted.

Coach Muhammad is president of the community patrol of the Grandmont neighborhood, in northwest Detroit. He volunteers 40 hours a week to keep his neighborhood safe.

As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series. Muhammad talks with Morning Edition host Christina Shockley about what his patrol has been able to do for his neighborhood.

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Health
7:08 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Meningitis outbreak claims 9th Michigan life

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Officials say an 88-year-old Ingham County woman is the ninth Michigan resident to die in a national meningitis outbreak.

The woman was added to the meningitis update Wednesday by the state Department of Community Health. No other details about her were released.

There have been 64 Michigan cases of meningitis, including the nine deaths. In addition, there have been 54 epidural abscesses, one stroke and six joint infections.

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Health
10:00 am
Wed November 7, 2012

One woman's fight to end the cycle of poverty

A family photo of Keisha Johnson and her three children
Keisha Johnson

Economic mobility for Americans at the bottom of the income scale seems to be fading. Today more than 40 percent of children born into poverty stay in poverty as adults.

State of Opportunity's Jennifer Guerra profiles one woman trying hard to be on the right side of that statistic.

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Health
12:26 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Going undercover in a Detroit Walmart

Credit European Parliament / flickr

Interview with Tracie McMillan

For Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Tracie McMillan. She is a journalist who went undercover to find out why we eat the way we do in America, and what it would take for everyone to eat well in this country.

To learn more about the food industry, she lived and worked in three different communities across the country, including Detroit.

She wrote about her experiences in her book, "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table."

She says we need to ensure that quality, healthy foods are available in all neighborhoods.

Health
6:24 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Stateside: Walking with a purpose

Koerner's walk across Michigan raises awareness for CFS.

For several years, Koerner Gray Buchta, a 20-year-old man from Grand Rapids, has battled an illness that’s commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Myalgic Encephalomyalitis (often abbreviated to ME/CFS).

There is no known cure for ME/CFS. The illness is difficult to manage because there is no consistently effective treatment.

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Health
6:48 am
Thu November 1, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

Credit User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Former state Attorney General sues Blue Cross

"Former state Attorney General Mike Cox says Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan illegally denies seniors access to certain plans. Cox filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against the state’s largest health insurer. It claims Blue Cross denies access to its most popular Medigap plan to anyone with a retiree health savings account. Medigap is a program that covers healthcare costs that Medicare does not. Cox says the policy unfairly forces some customers to buy more expensive plans. Blue Cross officials say the lawsuit is baseless. They say they’re simply complying with state regulations," Jake Neher reports.

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems plan merger

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems announced plans Wednesday to merge into one non-profit health care system. It’s a blockbuster move that pairs two of southeast Michigan’s three largest health systems. The two healthcare providers have only signed a letter of intent thus far. But it’s clear that unless some major hiccup emerges, they’re moving full speed ahead toward a merger. It would become the region’s largest health care system: with ten hospitals, 200 patient sites, and nearly $6.5 billion in operations," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Great Lakes levels at record low

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says water levels on Lakes Michigan and Huron are nearly at record low levels because of drought and evaporation. Corps officials said Wednesday the level at the end of October is 1.5 inches above the historical average for the month. All the lakes are below their long-term averages for October and lower than they were a year ago. Heavy rain this month isn't enough to offset the decline," the AP reports.

Health
6:08 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems plan merger

A trade group is challenging Michigan's new health claims tax.
Adrian Clark Flickr

Beaumont and Henry Ford Health systems announced plans today to merge into one non-profit health care system.

It’s a blockbuster move that pairs two of southeast Michigan’s three largest health systems.

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Health
10:02 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Meningitis outbreak claims two more lives in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Officials say two more Michigan residents have died as a result of the national meningitis outbreak.

The victims are an 81-year-old woman from Charlevoix County and a 64-year-old woman from Wayne County. The Department of Community Health said Tuesday that there have been 62 Michigan meningitis cases, including eight deaths.

The illness has been linked to contaminated steroids made by a Massachusetts pharmacy and shipped to at least four Michigan clinics.

Health
2:38 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Got a concussion? There's an app for that

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

University of Michigan researchers have created a mobile phone app that helps people who suffered a concussion track their symptoms.

Amy Teddy is an Injury Prevention Program Manager at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.  Teddy says the app, called “Return2Play”, will help patients communicate better with their doctors by asking them questions about their recovery from a concussion.

“It may prompt them to consider things they didn’t realize they should be tracking,” says Teddy.

Health
1:10 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Project in 23 Michigan schools seeks healthy approach

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan education officials are launching a pilot project in 23 high schools that aims to boost academic achievement by incorporating physical, emotional and social health programs.

The effort dubbed "think.respect." is funded through a $24 million federal grant and will be administered by the Michigan Department of Education. Schools were selected based partly on persistently low achievement.

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Health
8:12 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Meningitis outbreak cases continue to grow in Michigan

Credit Centers for Disease Control

The number of Michiganders affected by the national meningitis outbreak continues to rise.

The Centers for Disease Control now lists 82 patients in Michigan infected by tainted steroid injections intended to relieve back pain.   Six people from Michigan have died.

Angela Minicuci is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She expects the number will continue to rise, as some patients are still waiting to see symptoms develop.

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Health
12:11 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Grand Rapids research organization to lead new pancreatic cancer study

The Van Andel Institute is on Grand Rapids' "medical mile".
John Eisenschenk Creative Commons

The National Cancer Institute has chosen the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids to lead a new study on pancreatic cancer.

The NCI estimates 43,000 people in the U.S. will get pancreatic cancer in 2012; leading to 37,000 deaths.

Brian Haab Ph.D., Head of Van Andel Institute’s Laboratory of Cancer Immunodiagnostics, will head the research team.

Many times pancreatic cancer spreads to internal organs before people realize they have it and by then the prognosis is usually not so good. "It’s an aggressive disease. It doesn’t respond well to almost anything we’ve tried. Though there are individual cases that have worked out well,” Haab said.

He says pancreatic cancer is still hard to detect.

“It can be a long, expensive, and sometimes invasive process to do that and we want blood tests that can make it quick and inexpensive process,” Haab said.

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Health
3:36 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Another death in Michigan linked to the national meningitis outbreak

The latest Centers for Disease Control map of the national fungal meningitis outbreak
Centers for Disease Control

Another death has been linked to a tainted steroid injection in Michigan.

The Centers for Disease Control says five people in Michigan have now died as part of a fungal meningitis outbreak tied to the tainted injections. A sixth person from Michigan died in Indiana.

Angela Minicuci is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She says state health officials have made contact with almost all the 1927 people who received the injections at four Michigan clinics.

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Health
12:53 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Washtenaw Co. death is Michigan's 5th in meningitis outbreak

Current case count for fungal meningitis outbreak. State officials have reported 49 infections related to contaminated steroids.
CDC

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Authorities are reporting a fifth Michigan death in a national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroids.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Thursday that its death count has risen by one in the last day. Mlive.com says the latest victim was a 62-year-old Washtenaw County man.

The state agency now reports 45 Michigan cases of fungal meningitis, plus four non-meningitis infection cases related to the same contaminated steroids.

8:08 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Lab responsible for meningitis outbreak raided by feds

Lead in text: 
There have been calls for a criminal investigation. Now news of a raid from Reuters.
(Reuters) - The top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts on Tuesday said federal agents raided the New England Compounding Center, the pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that has killed 15 people and sickened more than 200 others. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said: "I can confirm that this office and our law enforcement partners are investigating allegations concerning the New England Compounding Center."
Health
9:28 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Meningitis cases in Michigan reach 46, other meds could be involved

Current case count from the fungal meningitis outbreak. Michigan has reached 46 cases.
CDC

The Michigan Department of Community Health said the number of meningitis cases associated with the recent outbreak reached 46 yesterday. Three deaths in Michigan are linked to the outbreak.

In the meantime, the New York Times reports the FDA warns other drugs could be involved:

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Health
3:43 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Dingell Says FDA Not Regulating Meningitis-causing Company

Congressman John Dingell says it will take time to figure out the best response to a meningitis outbreak caused by tainted steroids.  But he's urging Congress to take action and make sure it never happens again.

Dingell says the Food and Drug Administration doesn't have the authority to regulate the company that made the contaminated medicine which has killed 15 people so far, including 4 in Michigan.

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