Health

user: THEMACGIRL / flickr

Muskegon County ranks 82nd out of 82 counties in health behaviors and 64th out of 82 in health outcomes in Michigan. A health initiative has been organized to raise their ranks. 

It's called 1 in 21.

The goal is to raise the county's health behaviors from last to first by the year 2021. 

Linda Jaurez is co-chair of the 1 in 21 campaign and CEO of Hackley Community Care Center. Ken Krause is the director of public health for Muskegon County.

Kruase says the purpose of the initiative is to get the community to commit to changing something in their personal, family, or community life, and move toward healthier habits to create a culture change.

“It’s looking at how do we get people to think of ‘what can you do?’ rather than trying to tell them what to do,” Krause says.

Jaurez says they were able to put together the initiative with little funding.

The campaign has already started some new programs in the county, such as “Bike to Work Week," and had a school participate in an “Eating an Apple” challenge with New Zealand.

The campaign reaches out to those who are health conscious and those who aren’t through health care providers and physicians providing the information to patients about the campaign.

Jaurez and Krause have some advice for all of Michigan on how they can get together to become more health conscious.

“Don’t wait for a big corporation to give money – begin now,” Jaurez said.

*Listen to full interview above.

–Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michgan Radio Newsroom. 

Craig Titley / Flickr

“Camp Kitigin is a chance for adults to get outside and be a kid again,” says Stephanie Wirtz, outdoor recreation and events coordinator for the Saginaw County Parks and Recreation Commission.  

There is one condition: The camp is screen-free –which means no laptops, smartphones, or any other devices. It’s a chance for adults to get away from the screens and social media sites and reconnect with nature.

Wirtz says documenting  every moment has become a part of our daily lives, and you'll still be able to do so at the camp. You'll just have to do it the old-fashioned way. 

Camp Kitigin will provide you with a journal and disposable camera, so you can still capture those fun moments.

Activities at the camp will include fishing, hiking, kayaking, campfires, zip-lining, and more.

Wirtz said there will be men's and women's cabins; each cabin sleeps 10 campers.

Just like when you were a kid, except no curfews.

“We want to get people outside and we want them to get excited about being outside again,” Wirtz says.

Camp Kitigin will be open August 15-17 and again September 12-14 at YMCA’s Camp Timbers in West Branch. Registration is $200 and all proceeds go to athletic programs throughout Michigan. 

*Listen to full story above.

–Bre'Anna Tinsley, Michigan Radio Newsroom. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A bill that would give nurses with advanced degrees more autonomy is coming up for debate in the Michigan House.

Senate Bill 2 would give advanced practice registered nurses, also known as APRNs, the authority to write prescriptions and order tests without a doctor's approval.

The Affordable Care Act has led to more people seeking medical care. Also there is a physician shortage in rural parts of the state. This legislation aims to accommodate more of those additional people.

cswe.org

The state of Michigan still has a way to go when it comes to serving its aging residents.
A new national scorecard by the AARP ranks the state 31st in terms of long-term services and support for the elderly.

The report also focused on how well states support family caregivers who provide the bulk of care for older Michiganders.  This can cause stress and financial burden on those families, especially those who are juggling their own families and full-time jobs. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s water department is getting plenty of complaints about the smell and taste of the city’s tap water.

This Spring, the city started using water from the Flint River after decades of getting its water from Detroit.

Daugherty Johnson is Flint’s utilities administrator. He says complaints about Flint’s water are nothing new.

“We’ve certainly had more complaints since the switch over…and we recognize those hardness issues that we’re working through right now,” says Johnson.

cdc.gov

The fungal meningitis outbreak isn't that far behind us. 

Two years ago, a Massachusetts compounding facility sold tainted steroid medications around the country. What happened was disastrous: 22 Michigan residents lost their lives to meningitis and more than 260 were infected. 

New legislation could prevent that from happening again. A bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, may be voted on this week. It calls for more background checks on compounding pharmacies and more facility inspections.

User: Don Harder / flickr

The controversy over long wait times and improper scheduling practices at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics has cost the job of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

It led to an internal VA audit of its health care facilities.

And that has caused the VA to flag three facilities in Michigan for a closer look.

For this conversation, we asked what might be happening at those facilities, and what this means to veterans in Michigan.

We're joined by Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler and Dr. Joe Schwartz, physician and former Republican Congressman from West Michigan. Dr. Schwartz is now a visiting lecturer at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

*Listen to the full interview above.

rick/ Flickr

The government wants pregnant women to eat more fish. Yesterday the FDA and EPA issued new draft advice that urges pregnant and breastfeeding women to eat at least eight to twelve ounces of fish a week.

The update comes 10 years after the last recommendation, which didn't specify a minimum.

The FDA is worried that fears over mercury levels in seafood have kept many pregnant women from getting enough of the nutritional value needed for their babies.

user Steven Depolo /Flickr

Childhood lead exposure costs Michigan about $300 million a year.

That's according to a report by the University of Michigan and the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health.

They recommend lead remediation projects for around 100,000 houses throughout the state at a cost of $600 million. They say the program would pay for itself in three years.

Paul Haan is executive director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan. He says more remediation programs would be a good long-term investment for the state. 

“At the end of the day we’re going to continue to pay the cost of the problem of lead poisoning if older housing is not remediated,” said Haan.

“So the question we really need to ask ourselves is do we want to pay the increased cost of suffering the consequences, or do we want to pay the lower cost of remediation?”

About 70% of childhood lead exposure comes from lead-based paint in older homes.

Earlier this week, the state Legislature approved an additional $500,000 for lead hazard control in next year’s state budget. The change is pending approval from the governor.

Haan says this shows that “public will is building and that state leadership recognizes the need for the kind of investments called for in the report.” 

– Reem Nasr, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Heroin abuse in Michigan is on the rise. Felix Sharpe of Michigan's Bureau of Substance Abuse and Addiction Services says that 680 people died from heroin overdoses in Michigan last year.
United Nations Photo

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that heroin use in the U.S. jumped 79% from 2007 through 2012. And heroin overdose deaths rose 45% between 2006 and 2010.

Police and public health officials say Michigan is on the same track, with heroin addiction and overdose deaths on the rise.

Special Agent Rich Isaacson is with the Detroit division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Isaacson says the increase in heroin use and overdose deaths is directly related to the rapid increase in the misuse of opiate drugs, such as OxyContin and Vicodin. Isaacson says these prescriptions can get very expensive, which can result in addicts turning to heroin, which is also an opiate drug, for a much cheaper price.

Isaacson says prevention and education are very important to reduce the addiction and overdose rates. He adds that strict oversight on how the drugs are obtained and educating doctors about addiction could help as well.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Are your taste buds linked to your overall health?
Paul Scott / Flickr

We know that our taste buds help steer us toward foods we like and away from things that might not be safe for us to eat.

But some interesting research suggests your sense of taste might actually affect how long you live.

Scott Pletcher is one of the researchers. He's with the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan.

Research shows that sensory experience can impact organisms’ behavior and physiology.

“The sensory system is viewed as the brain window to the world,” Pletcher said. “Simple experiences that we have taken for granted for years are interpreted by the brain and induce dramatic changes in us physiologically.”

Pletcher relates this to the experience of being hungry, smelling an apple pie and feeling your stomach react.

“What we are realizing is that this is not just a short-term thing, and maybe it has long-term consequences,” Pletcher said.

*Listen to full interview above. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The next round of Obamacare health insurance policies and rates must be submitted to Michigan regulators by tomorrow.

272,000 Michiganders signed up for Affordable Care Act health care policies this year. 14 companies offered plans in Michigan.    

Caleb Buhs is a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.    He says state regulators don’t know what to expect from companies filing new health plans and rates for next year.

uofmhealth.org

The National Institute of Mental Health tells us that some 5.7 million American adults struggle with bipolar disorder. 

A critical part of managing the disorder is the ability to sense when the mood swings are about to happen – something the patient isn't aware of – and get that patient to a physician straight away for help.

A research team at the University of Michigan is working on a smartphone program called PRIORI. It detects mood swings through voice analysis of phone conversations, while still protecting the patient's privacy. 

Dr. Melvin McInnis is one of the researchers. He's a psychiatrist and a bipolar specialist, and he joined us on Stateside. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan firefighters are a step closer to getting help paying for treatment of a serious illness they may contract on the job.

The state Senate this week overwhelmingly approved a bill to create a $15 million fund to cover the medical costs firefighters incur when they fall sick with cancer.

The fund would compensate insurance companies that cover firefighters who make claims for treatment of bladder, skin, brain and a half dozen other forms of cancer. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The federal health care exchange for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act closed on March 31. 

The very next day, the attention turned to Healthy Michigan, the state's expanded Medicaid system for some 477,000 low-income Michiganders.

It looks like the state's Healthy Michigan plan is on track for enrollee sign-up.

Don Hazaert is the director of Michigan Consumers for health care, which helps people sign up for the coverage.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

dangerouscurrents.org

Safety advocates hope to reduce drownings caused by rip currents in the Great Lakes this summer - especially at Michigan beaches.

A rip current is a strong river-like flow of water away from shore, that happens when water is pushed up against something like a pier, island, or sandbar.

Swimmers who get caught in one can panic, become exhausted swimming against it, and drown.

Elizabeth LaPorte is with the Michigan Sea Grant.

Michigan Office of Highway Safety

The number of Michigan drivers who always buckle up is declining. So the state is stepping up its annual enforcement campaign. Michigan still has one of the highest rates of seat belt compliance in the nation. But it slipped to 93% last year, from a high of 98% in 2009. Anne Readette is with the Office of Highway Safety Planning. She says the goal is to get back to 98% "I know it's a very high number," says Readette, "But we were there before and we do know it's possible." The decline in seat belt use coincided with a decline in spending on the annual Click it or Ticket campaign.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit officials are launching a new effort to reduce the rate of preterm births in the city. The rate of premature births in Detroit is 18%, among the highest in the world.

The city, Wayne State University and Detroit’s leading health systems are working together on the effort called Make Your Date.

Mayor Mike Duggan outlined how the program simplifies the way pregnant women can find prenatal care.

Health officials suspect undercooked ground beef.
user i believe i can fry / Flickr

State health officials say they're working with health departments in Kent, Livingston, Oakland, Ottawa and Washtenaw counties to investigate a cluster of recent illnesses due to the bacteria E. coli O157.

The state Department of Community Health and the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced Wednesday that the suspected source of the bacteria is ground beef.

More from the MDCH press release:

getoverit.org

A basic tenet of the Affordable Care Act is preventive care: Get people into the health care system before disease or disability set in.

But that's highlighting a problem with our medical education system. Medical schools are turning out too many specialists and not enough primary care physicians. Cynthia Canty spoke with Dr. William Strampel, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. 

user striatic / Flickr

There's some pretty unsettling data that has come out about the health of the people who call the Upper Peninsula home. 

The Centers for Disease Control numbers say heart attack rates for the entire western and eastern UP for 2008-2010 are right up there at the highest level for the top five categories the CDC tracks.

What does the high rate of heart attack and heart disease say about health care and health habits in the UP? And what can bring those high rates down?

Dr. Teresa Frankovich, medical director for the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, joined us. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

user striatic / Flickr

There is a distinct health care trend happening in Michigan. For-profit health care systems are taking over community hospitals.

The question has become, is this a way for a community hospital to stay alive, or even for it to expand and modernize? Or is it a trend where "bottom-line thinking" is going to affect patient costs and quality of care? 

Writer Julie Edgar explored these questions in her recent article for Bridge Magazine, and she joined us to discuss. 

University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

It turns out parents are just as likely as other motorists to talk on the phone, eat, text or engage in other risky distractions behind the wheel, even with their kids in the car.

University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital quizzed hundreds of parents with young children about their driving habits.

It turns out 90 percent admit to using their mobile phones, eating and feeding their kids while behind the wheel.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report claims teen pregnancies cost Michigan taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. That’s a despite a sharp decline in teen birth rates during the past two decades.

Bill Albert is with the ‘National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’, which produced the report.

Albert says the finding is based on their estimate of costs to public assistance programs, reduced earnings, criminal justice and lost tax revenues. But he says there is a bright side.

Farm in rural Michigan
user acrylicartist / MorgueFile.com

One of the most important aspects of the Affordable Care Act is consumer choice. More choice leads to more competition among insurers, and that can mean lower costs to consumers.

But, as Michiganders shopped for health coverage on the federal marketplace, the amount of choice was not even.

If you lived in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb Counties, you got to choose from 55 insurance plans. If you lived in Delta County in the Upper Peninsula, you were only offered 5 plans, all of them from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Josh Fangmeier is a health policy analyst with the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

User: Vangore / Wikipedia

Seventy-five years ago, one of the most influential books ever written was published. It has sold over 30 million copies. And what's inside this book has changed the lives of millions of people around the world.

The official title of the book is "Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism" written by the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson.

Dr. Howard Markel joined us today. He's the director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. 

Wikipedia.org

Since January, Michigan hospitals have been dealing with the effects of a nationwide shortage of a critical supply of intravenous fluid.

The fluid is used in a wide variety of intravenous therapy, including chemotherapy. The shortage is blamed on reduced production and increased demand during the winter flu season.

Laura Appel is with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. She says hospitals are working to share what fluid they do have.

State of Opportunity's new service, Infowire, looks at why so many young people who've aged out of foster care don't know they're eligible for health care. Foster care advocates are trying to get the word out. Do you know a young person who needs this information? Send them over to State of Opportunity and get them hooked up with the Infowire.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says preventable dental treatment is taking a bite out of Michigan hospital emergency room budgets.

The Anderson Economic Group study says in 2011, about 7,000 people with cavities, abscesses, and other preventable dental problems showed up in Michigan ERs.  About 1,000 needed to be hospitalized.

Megha Satyanarayana

A South Lyon pharmacy has been shut down and the lead pharmacist fined for selling contaminated goods to a Detroit hospital.

Pages