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Health

Tap water in a Flint hospital on Oct. 16, 2015.
Joyce Zhu / Flintwaterstudy.org

The Community Foundation of Greater Flint has set up a charitable fund so people can donate money to help Flint children.

The fund, called the Flint Child Health & Development Fund, is meant to support the delivery of public health, medical, and community services to improve health outcomes for children exposed to lead as a result of Flint's water crisis.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Congress could take up legislation this month to require a federal standard for labeling genetically modified food.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says the public has a right to know that the food their families are eating contains genetically modified organisms or GMO’s.

The expanded legislation would protect more people reporting overdoses
Sharyn Morrow / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan has a growing problem with what's called "uncoordinated prescription opioid use," and it's putting hundreds of patients at risk.

“In Michigan we went from 81 deaths in 1999 to 519 deaths in 2013 from opioids,” said Marianne Udow-Phillips from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation.

A new report from CHRT finds that most opioids are used and prescribed appropriately, but a small number of patients receive numerous prescriptions from separate prescribers within a short period of time.

via stjohnprovidence.org

Most nurse-anesthetists at two Detroit-area hospitals lost their jobs Thursday, after they refused to sign a contract outsourcing their jobs to a private company.

The nurses worked for Saint John Providence hospitals in Southfield and Novi.

In October, the hospitals gave them a choice: either sign a contract with a brand-new company run by a hospital anesthesiologist, or “voluntarily resign” their jobs.

After weeks of contentious talks, 66 decided on the latter.

MSU / Michigan State University

A new study out of Michigan State University found that, among adolescents, 14- and 15-year-olds are particularly vulnerable to opioid addiction.

Looking at a national sample of 42,000 respondents, the study found that 14- and 15-year-olds are two to three times more likely than 20- and 21-year olds to become dependent on prescription painkillers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Officials in Michigan have lifted a statewide ban on poultry exhibitions that was put in place earlier this year as a precaution to a bird flu outbreak across the Midwest.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the decision to remove the ban Wednesday comes after the disease risk and status of the outbreak were evaluated.

Poultry and waterfowl shows were banned at fairs and elsewhere to fight the spread of bird flu. It was aimed at preventing the co-mingling of birds from different locations. It could be reinstated if the disease re-emerges.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Updated 10:30 p.m.

Virginia Tech researchers accuse Michigan health officials of trying to “stonewall” the investigation into lead in Flint’s drinking water.

The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, are available online. 

Marc Edwards says newly obtained internal documents show Department of Health and Human Services employees tried to hide evidence that matched the increased lead levels in children found by doctors at Hurley Medical Center.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A new Michigan law lets arenas, camps and other venues stock epinephrine injectors to treat allergic reactions.

  The measure signed this week by Gov. Rick Snyder permits doctors to prescribe and pharmacists to dispense EpiPens to youth sports leagues, amusement parks, religious institutions and other places. The proposed law also establishes storage and training requirements, and limits liability from lawsuits.

  The law follows a 2013 law requiring every public school to have EpiPens.

Clarita / MorgueFile

Twenty-four Michigan hospitals will pay a penalty for having too many patients with infections they contracted while in their care.

That's up from last year, when 21 of the state's hospitals paid the penalty – which is 1% of the hospital's Medicare funding.

Laura Wotruba is with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

She says the federal law unfairly punishes teaching and urban hospitals, which have sicker patients.

Andrew3000 / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

To quote actor-writer-comedian Steve Martin: "A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."

Old man winter officially knocks down the seasonal door at 11:48 p.m. next Monday, December 21. The good news is that the days will start to get longer. The bad news:  it will be three months before the days, once again, become longer than night. 

If you are one of those Michiganders whose mood slides downhill as we slide into winter, you've got plenty of company. And it's all tied into the relationship among light, mood and melatonin.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report on the nation’s health says Michigan is taking a few steps forward and a few backward. 

This is the 26th year the United Health Foundation has released its America’s Health Rankings report.    Michigan’s place on the rankings didn’t change much.   The state moved from 34th to 35th on the list this year.  

The Foundation’s Rhonda Randall says like other states, Michigan is continues to struggle with a rising obesity rate.

Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Our Issues and Ale discussion about Flint's water crisis was a full house.

Flint residents posed important questions to our panel, which included Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the pediatric residency program at the Hurley Medical Center; Marc Edwards, professor, Virginia Tech University; Michigan Radio's Flint reporter, Steve Carmody; and state Senator Jim Ananich, D-Flint.

Portrait of Oscar Wilde, taken by Napoleon Sarony circa 1882
Miscellaneous Items in High Demand collection, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsca-07757

115 years ago today, a great literary voice was silenced.

Oscar Wilde died November 30, 1900. He was only 46 years old.

Since then, it has been widely held that Wilde succumbed to the ravages of end-stage syphilis.

But some determined modern physicians have done some medical detective work and have developed a much different theory about what killed the great writer: an ear infection.

Pills and tablets
e-Magine Art / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new report from the Trust for America's Health says drug overdose deaths among juveniles in Michigan tripled within a decade.

According to the report, the rate of overdose deaths in Michigan between 1999 and 2001 was 2.1 percent for every 100,000 people between 12 and 25-years-old.

Sparrow Hospital entrance in Lansing
Allen Neighborhood Center / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Nurses Association has filed an unfair labor complaint against Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

It stems from the hospital's recent decision to close its substance abuse intake unit and move services to the hospital's main campus.

A recent poll finds 90% of us want to have end of life discussions of our doctors, but only 17% have actually done so
University of Michigan Medical School

No matter what your circumstances in life, there is one great and final equalizer: Every single one of us will die.

Yet it is often difficult for patients, their families and their physicians to accept the approaching end of life and to shift focus of care from curing and treating to comfort.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows strong support for restrictions on e-cigarettes. 

But industry group say more restrictions may create a kind of regulatory “prohibition”.

The latest C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of Michigan finds a majority of parents and teens agree that e-cigarettes should be restricted in public spaces, come with health warnings and be taxed like conventional cigarettes.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dozens of families turned up for free blood lead level testing in Flint today.

Nurses tried to soothe the fears of toddlers, telling them “it’s just a little poke” before using a small lancet to prick the child’s finger.   

Many of the children were not soothed. But many parents hope the clinic will ease some of their worries.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Veterans’ Day observances are taking place across Michigan today.   

On this day, many vets are still struggling with old wounds and new obstacles to getting help. 

EPA Region 5 director Susan Hedman (file photo).
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal agency will review how the state of Michigan monitors local drinking water.

Regional EPA administrator Susan Hedman says her agency will conduct an audit of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s drinking water program.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

New tests suggest high lead levels in the drinking water at one Flint school may have a simple and inexpensive solution.

Initial test results on drinking water samples taken at Freeman Elementary showed high levels of lead in the water: 101 parts per billion or roughly six times the federal action level for lead in tap water.

Follow-up tests were conducted last month on water at four Flint schools that tested at or above the federal action level. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint school officials will hold a lead education session next week.

Preliminary tests showed 4 of 13 Flint schools had lead levels in their drinking water at or above the federal action level. Results from more in-depth testing should be released next week.

Next Thursday, Flint Community Schools, along with the Genesee County Health Department will hold an information session for parents of children five and under.

Michigan gets a "C" on premature birth report card

Nov 6, 2015
Premature babies can benefit from donated or purchased breast milk
Sarah Hopkins / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan got a "C" on the latest Premature Birth Report Card from the March of Dimes.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Michigan's 2014 premature birth rate was 9.8%.

Kara Hamilton-McGraw with March of Dimes Michigan said that's an improvement from the previous year.

"We're still not at the March of Dimes goal which is 8.1 percent by 2020, but we're lowering our rate every year. I find that very encouraging," Hamilton-McGraw said.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michiganders can expect to pay a little more for health insurance as the next round of Obamacare starts today.

Government officials say the cost of a benchmark plan in Michigan on HealthCare.gov will increase 1.2% for 2016 coverage. Consumers could start choosing plans Sunday through the online marketplace and have until Dec. 15 to buy coverage if they want it to start Jan. 1.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents concerned about the safety of their drinking water will have an opportunity this evening to get answers to their questions.

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee is hosting a telephone town hall tonight starting at 7. Here’s a link to participate.

Kildee will be joined by researchers who discovered rising lead levels in the tap water in some Flint homes and in the blood of many Flint children.

Many Michiganders believe a full moon causes us to act peculiar – but researchers find no correlation between the full moon and unusual human behavior.
Rachel Kramer / Flickr

Throughout history, humans have often thought the full moon changes a person’s behavior – most notably through Hollywood movies about humans turning into vampires or werewolves. In fact, the word “lunatic” itself derives from the Latin word for moon, “luna.”

And as Dustin Dwyer on our State of Opportunity team points out, some teachers put full-moon days on the calendar -- preparing for squirrelly kids.

wikimedia commons

It’s national lead poisoning prevention week, and Metro Detroit county health officials are zeroing in on the problem with an event Tuesday.

The event at Sterling Heights’ Freedom Hill is focused mostly on education and awareness.

But there’s also an opportunity to test kids’ toys and other products for lead.

flickr user The National Guard / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Imagine for a moment what it's like to be a firefighter rushing into a burning home. The smoke can be so thick you can't see your own hand in front of your face.

You're searching for survivors and trying to knock down that fire while doing your best to stay safe.

Lance McCord

Blame "antigenic drift" for the failure of last year's flu vaccine to offer a robust protection against the illness.

The Centers for Disease Control says a series of small genetic changes in a flu virus can make it just different enough from the original variant included in the vaccine, that a vaccinated person's immune system won't recognize it.

And that person can get the flu even after getting the shot.

So, so unfair.

However, health department officials say all was not lost last year. 

Virginia Tech University

Virginia Tech researchers are back in Flint testing the city’s water.

This time they’re looking for bacteria that can lead to a variety of illnesses, including Legionnaires' disease.   

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