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Health

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - The city of Flint will receive more than $970,000 to help residents get increased access to health services.

Timothy Plancon with the DEA's Detroit field office says it's difficult to tell when the dangerous drugs Carfentinil or Fentanyl may be mixed with drugs such as heroin
Narconon

Carfentanil-laced heroin is showing up in Michigan.

That was confirmed last week, when public health officials in Wayne County definitively linked at least 19 deaths since July to the powerful synthetic opioid.

They were on the lookout for carfentanil after it appeared in nearby states this summer — particularly Ohio, where a late-summer surge in fatal overdoses was tied to carfentanil. There was also a suspected case in Kent County last month.

Dr. Pamela Pugh has been on the job as Flint's chief public health adviser for less than two weeks.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are being urged to cooperate with an investigation into disease outbreak that may or may not be connected to the city’s water crisis.

Since March 1, more than 130 people in Genesee and Saginaw counties have fallen sick with an illness called Shigellosis. The disease causes bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain, but has not been linked to any fatalities.

The concern about concussions in sports like football is at an all-time high, but the authors of "Back In the Game: Why Concussion Doesn’t Have to End Your Athletic Career" say the media hype may be overblown.
John Martinez Pavliga / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The issue of contact sports and concussions has been all over the news in recent years.

There’s enough concern that a growing number of parents are deciding against letting their kids play rough sports because of the fear that concussions will lead to permanent neurological damage. It’s a complete swing away from the attitudes of the past when coaches would tell players "just walk it off."

There’s a new book which suggests that, yes, concussions are very serious, but there’s a lot of misinformation about them, and also a lot of media hype. The book is called: Back In the Game: Why Concussion Doesn’t Have to End Your Athletic Career.

Today, we discuss a new book that demystifies breast reconstruction and provides answers to women with breast cancer. And, we hear about a problem Traverse City is wrestling with – a lack of affordable housing.

Some 100,000 women diagnosed this year with breast cancer will undergo mastectomy and breast reconstruction.
Rhoda Baer, National Cancer Institute / Public Domain

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Each and every year, more than 230,000 American women will hear the words, “You have breast cancer.”

Of those, some 100,000 will undergo mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

When your world’s been turned upside down by a breast cancer diagnosis, it can be hard to grasp what options are there for you.

Pat Anstett’s new book provides answers, presented through the stories of women who have been handed that breast cancer diagnosis and then followed many different paths in treatment and reconstruction.

Centers for Disease Control

State health officials have asked for help from the Centers for Disease Control to investigate shigella outbreaks in Saginaw and Genesee Counties.

Shigella is a highly infectious bacteria that causes gastro-intestinal illness. 

According to Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, the State Epidemiologist made the request last Friday. The CDC investigative team arrived today to map the bacteria's spread, and to look into possible risk factors and causes.

Surgical instruments.
Windell Oskay / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

DETROIT - Detroit Medical Center says the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved its plan to address problems with its sterilization of surgical instruments. The medical center announced Tuesday the plan includes the formation of a surgical improvement council and task force to oversee instrument sterilization. It says the plan also addresses better policies and procedures for cleaning, processing and sterilization of instruments and enhanced training and monitoring.

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - Health officials in Jackson County are reporting twice as many cases of Legionnaires' disease so far this year as they've had in any of the past five years.

The Jackson County Health Department says it has eight confirmed cases through the end of September, including three each reported in August and September. That compares with zero to four cases in each of the last five years.

None of the cases have been fatal.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Legionella bacteria has been detected at a residence hall at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Legionella bacteria turned up in three water samples in the Riverfront Residence hall. No illnesses have been reported.

“Please let me reassure you that in checking with the Centers for Disease Control I have been told that these test results do not indicate immediate risk to our campus or community,” says Susan Borrego, U of M Flint Chancellor.

Centers for Disease Control

An outbreak of a gastrointestinal illness  is easing in Genesee and Saginaw Counties.

Many of the dozens of cases of Shigella occurred in Flint, but peaked weeks ago.

Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.  More than a dozen people have been hospitalized, but there have been no fatalities.  

Dr. Eden Wells is the state’s chief medical executive. She says it’s not clear if people’s reluctance to use Flint water for basic hygiene is a factor.

Roller coasters may help you get rid of kidney stones.
wikipedia

Sometimes science moves in a mysterious way.

A few years back, urologist David Wartinger, a former Michigan State University professor, saw a student patient who he'd been treating for kidney stones. The patient had just returned from spring break in Florida.

"And he told me, doc, you're not gonna believe this, I went on a roller coaster and I passed a kidney stone. I got right back on the same coaster, I passed another stone. I got back on the coaster a third time and I passed three stones in a row."

A classroom in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan non-profit group will provide more healthcare resources for Flint public schools.

The Genesee Health Plan is expanding its Community Health Workers program to all Flint Community Schools. The program wants to identify the health care needs of students and families in the community. 

Jim Milanowski is the president and C.E.O. of the health plan.

Flickr user/Devon Buchanan / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It was a case that ignited the nation: Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was convicted of raping an unconscious woman behind an alley dumpster after a party.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

 

  

It has been a year now since Michigan and the world learned that the lead levels of children living in areas of Flint has doubled, even tripled.

It was September 2015 when pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha braved the scorn of certain state employees to present her stunning research findings that proved that elevated lead levels in Flint children correlated to the the switch to Flint River water.

  

As we know by now, the dismissive state officials were wrong, and Hanna-Attisha was right.

A contemporary engraving depicting President Garfield leaning after being shot by Charles Guiteau. He is supported by Secretary of State James Blaine.
Public Domain

The next time you're at the doctor's office and you notice all the hand washing and sterile equipment, think of President James Garfield and count your blessings that it's 2016 and not 1881.

On this day in 1881, President Garfield died, completing what Dr. Howard Markel describes as "an agonizing march towards oblivion that began on July 2." 

CREDIT FLICKR USER MIC445 / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

"Hearing voices" is known as an auditory hallucination. The Mental Health Foundation tells us that it may or may not be associated with a mental health problem.

It's the most common type of hallucination in people with disorders such as schizophrenia. 

There's a stigma that follows such hallucinations. If you speak openly about hearing voices, you're likely to be labeled, medicated, even hospitalized. 

But the Hearing Voices Network thinks it has another way to help people understand and learn to live with those voices. 

McLaren Hospital in Flint and the Genesee County Health Department have been working with the Centers for Disease Control since a court order is preventing local officials from talking directly with the state health department.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are confirming an eighth case of Legionnaire's disease in Genesee County.

A press release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says state health department officials can’t say much about the latest case because of a court order preventing it from talking directly to Genesee County health officials.

The court order is part of a criminal probe of the Flint water crisis, which includes the state health department.  

doctor
Public Domain

The Next Idea

If ever there is a time you want your physicians to be on top of their game, it's when he or she is determining your diagnosis. 

Yet, doctors who are overworked and stressed do make mistakes. And the results can be fatal.

One famous case: actor John Ritter was diagnosed and treated for a heart attack. Turns out he actually had a tear in his aorta, which killed him.

Dr. Vineet Chopra is with the Patient Safety Enhancement Program, and he's researching ways to change the way physicians work to give them more time to think about their patients' diagnoses. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Health advocates are pushing what's billed as a simple way to have more CPR-trained lifesavers in Michigan: requiring the instruction in school.

  The legislation easily cleared the Senate in the spring and is pending in the House. Supporters hope the chamber will vote this month before members breaks again to focus on the November election.

  The bill would require that schools provide instruction in CPR and the use of defibrillators at least one time between grades 7 and 12.

Michael Hood and Laurie Carpenter, founders of the humanitarian aid group Crossing Water.
Stephanie Kenner / Crossing Water

This weekend the group Crossing Water is calling for volunteers to continue the work they've been doing for a long time now: going door to door helping Flint residents deal with the water contamination in the city. 

McClaren hospital sign.
courtesy of Signs by Crannie / http://signsbycrannie.com/

A dispute between Michigan’s governor and attorney general is spilling over into institutions charged with protecting public health.

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release yesterday saying there’s a seventh case of Legionnaire's disease in Genesee County. But it added it can’t say much more because it’s blocked by a court order from learning more.

From the release:

A motorcyle rider with no helmet and a passenger with a helmet.
IIHS

Motorcycle crash injuries became more serious after Michigan repealed its mandatory helmet law in 2012.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety teamed up with researchers at the University of Michigan Injury Center, the University of Michigan School of Medicine, and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute to look at the numbers.

They found that skull fractures after a motorcycle crash increased nearly 40% in the year after the state Legislature said riders over age 21 could skip wearing a helmet if they so chose.

A vial of prescription drugs
Flickr user SHARYN MORROW / FLICKR / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

“I remember looking at some of the early federal reports involving opioid pain killers and overdose deaths and they had increased so rapidly, when I was looking at the data I was convinced someone had put a decimal point in the wrong place,” Dr. Andrew Kolodny said.

Kolodny is a senior scientist at Brandeis University and executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. He spent time working in addiction medicine in New York City during the early 2000s.

“The sharp increase was very real and what we would ultimately come to recognize is that we were at the beginning of a new, very severe epidemic,” Kolodny said.

A Michigan State University researcher is looking at whether home Wi-Fi systems can be used to help the elderly while protecting their privacy.

The families of many at-risk seniors rely on online cameras, wearable devices or sensors to make sure they haven’t fallen or suffered a medical problem.    

But at a cost of their privacy.

Mi Zhang is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the MSU College of Engineering, He’s received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a home Wi-Fi signal into a near range radar.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This may be a dry Labor Day for some Flint residents.

The city’s nine water distribution centers will be closed on Monday. They’ll also be closed on Sunday as usual.

Mission Flint spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says the decision to close on Labor Day was based on low demand on the last two holidays.  She says demand was a third of normal on Memorial day and the Fourth of July.

CDC / CDC

Michigan wants college students to go back to school with more than just textbooks.

State health officials are urging college students to make sure they are up to date on vaccinations. 

The recommendation for vaccines comes after a meningitis death of a college student in Macomb County earlier this year.

"Much of what we do in public health is providing the information and the tools by which our college campuses can keep their students healthy," says Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's chief medical executive. 

Stateside 8.30.2016

Aug 30, 2016

 

Today, could dental therapy improve access to care in Michigan? We hear both sides of the argument. And, we learn the results of the 2016 state standardized test, M-STEP. 

Courtesy of the Michigan Dental Association

There’s been growing awareness that dental health isn’t just about appearance and avoiding cavities. It’s also essential to overall health.

For instance, poor oral health has been tied to cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections like pneumonia, diabetic complications and dementia.

This means it’s crucial to bring dental care to areas and populations that are underserved by dentists.

Some think Senate Bill 1013 could be the way to do that in Michigan.

The bill was introduced earlier this summer by Sen. Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake). It’s modeled after a program in Minnesota that set up a midlevel dental professional called a dental therapist.

Dr. Nia Heard-Garris sits down with Cynthia Canty for an interview on Stateside.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Whenever there's a story of violence that takes over the news cycle, parents face a challenge: How much do you tell your child? How do you answer your child's questions? Do you wade right into what happened and why? Or do you divert them, and try to give them something different to think about?

For parents of color, these challenges come up with each act of police-related violence on black males, or violence aimed at police officers who are just doing their jobs, such as in Dallas or Baton Rouge.

Dr. Nia Heard-Garris is a pediatrician doing research on the impact racism, and these racially-charged news stories, can have on children.

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