Health

Health
11:16 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Michigan marks 50 years of infant health screening

Since 1963, more than six million Michigan newborn infants have been tested for dozens of potentially deadly conditions.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

State health officials are celebrating the 50th anniversary of a screening program that has saved the lives of more than seven thousand newborns.

Starting with just one test in 1963, Michigan doctors now routinely test newborn infants for more than 50 potentially life threatening conditions.

Matthew Davis is the Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Community Health.    He says infant screening is one of the best success stories in public health.

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Health
3:56 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Looking for health insurance this fall? These 'navigators' can help

Medical instruments.
user striatic Flickr

If you’re a Michigander looking for health insurance this fall, relax — help is on the way. Well, at least some help.

Earlier this August, Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reported four groups were picked by the federal government to navigate Michigan’s uninsured — or underinsured — through the new health insurance market developed under the Affordable Care Act.

On October 1 — the day the new marketplace opens up — the aptly named “navigators” will guide Michigan residents through their choices under Obamacare.

“Navigators are entities that are working on behalf of the exchange at no cost to consumers,” said Don Hazaert, the executive director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare. MCH is one of the organizations selected to navigate Michiganders, along with Community Bridges Management, the Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services, and American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan.

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Health
9:02 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Getting ready to help Michiganders make health insurance decisions

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The effort to train people to help Michiganders navigate the new federal health insurance law is gearing up.

Starting October 1st, Michiganders will be able to use an online marketplace to choose a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act. How many plans there will be and what the plans will offer is still unclear.

But several groups are preparing to help with the process.

Don Hazaert is the executive director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare. The group received a grant to help implement Obamacare in Michigan.

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Health
10:12 am
Wed September 11, 2013

6 things to know about healthcare changes in Michigan

A stethoscope.
Andrian Clark Flickr

Back in June, we wrote about some changes Michiganders will see in healthcare starting this fall. That's when people who currently do not have health insurance will be able to shop for a plan online.   

But a lot can change in three months — and that’s especially true when it comes to implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Here’s an updated rundown of what’s going on with healthcare in the Great Lake State.

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Stateside
4:03 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

A place for healing for U.S. veterans

Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Spc. Garett Hernandez/flickr

Over the past 12 years, nearly 50,000 American troops have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The visible injuries are often lost limbs from roadside improvised explosive devices. 

But, there are so many who are coping with the "non-visible" injuries: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, for example. The kinds of injuries that can worsen with time and tear apart a soldier's home life, or worse.

Today we talk with Rick Briggs, a retired Air Force Major who has come up with what he thinks will be a perfect refuge  for these vets: Camp Liberty, using the beautiful outdoors of mid-Michigan as a place of healing.

Briggs is also the manager of the veterans program for the Brain Injury Association of Michigan. 

Click on the link above to listen to the full interview.

Health
4:30 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Michigan authorities are closely watching mysterious dog illness outbreak in Ohio

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Officials in Michigan are paying close attention to a mysterious outbreak that's killing dogs in Ohio.

During the past month, more than a half dozen dogs in the Akron and Cincinnati areas have been sickened by a mysterious illness.  About half have died, some only about 48 hours after first showing symptoms, which include severe diarrhea and vomiting.

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Health
1:46 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Creating an oasis in a food desert

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new non-profit bank is opening to encourage grocery stores to locate in so-called "food deserts."

Those are places in cities, suburbs and rural areas with no farmers markets or grocery stores.

Jane Whitacre is director of the Michigan Food Policy Council. She says many other states have long taken advantage of a program that lends money to grocery stores to set up in under-served areas.

“It's really silly that a food state like Michigan hasn't already done this,” says Whitacre.

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Health
5:18 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Oh, babies! Quintuplets born at U-M hospital

Credit University of Michigan

Things got very busy in the delivery room at Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital at the University of Michigan this week.

Quintuplets were born to Jessica and Robert Hicks of Fenton Thursday.

Mom, the three boys and two girls are all doing well.

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Health
1:13 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Michigan follows U.S. trend of declining teen pregnancies

graphic showing teens various birth control options
stayteen.org

Teen births in the United States hit a historic low last year, according to preliminary data.

The new data is part of a long-term trend.

The number of teen births are half what they were in 1991.

Jane Zehnder-Merrill is with the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The group advocates for policies that help children.

She says teen births are also dropping in Michigan, mainly because schools and health groups are making it a priority.

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Health
7:42 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

PTSD, insomnia patients urge state panel to allow use of medical marijuana

Melody Karr told the Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Panel Thursday that she suffers from both PTSD and insomnia.
Jake Neher/MPRN

Melody Karr says doctors have told her cannabis might not be helpful for the posttraumatic stress she’s suffered since her husband’s grisly suicide. She says they’re wrong in assuming side-effects such as forgetfulness could interfere with talk-therapy.

“The problem is not that I can’t think or talk about my post-traumatic stress and the issues related to it. The problem is that I can’t stop thinking or talking about it.”

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Health
7:18 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Michiganders told to beware of 'Obamacare' scams

getoverit.org

Michiganders will begin signing up for health care coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act in one month.

But state officials are warning that scammers are already at work using Obamacare to defraud people.

Caleb Buhs is with the Department Insurance and Financial Services.   He says his department is already hearing about scammers trying to convince people they need ‘new Obamacare or Medicare’ cards.

The scammers try to get social security numbers and bank account information.

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Health
3:18 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Food insecurity could continue to increase in Michigan

beancounter Flickr

Nearly one in seven households in Michigan couldn't afford enough food at some point during the last year.

According to a report by the Michigan League for Public Policy, this number represents a 45 % increase in food insecurity over the last decade in Michigan.

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Health
12:10 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

State health officials report first human case this year of H3N2 flu

The life of a swine at a county fair
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner)

State health officials say Michigan has recorded its first human case this year of a potentially serious pig-borne flu virus.

The child who fell ill with H3N2 is recovering.   The child was showing swine at the Berrien County Youth Fair earlier this month.

H3N2 is carried by swine.    When a person catches this flu bug, it’s like any other form of influenza.   The infected person can develop a fever, runny nose or cough.  Also like the regular flu, the symptoms can become serious.

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Health
10:14 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Health insurance lags among state's teens

A teen in the Turn the Corner fitness program and an instructor at The Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti. The Corner works to deliver preventative health services to adolescents and tries to sign them up for government sponsored insurance.

  Teenagers in Michigan eligible for no-cost government sponsored health insurance like Medicaid and MIchild aren't getting signed up. 

That means they're walking around uninsured. Many aren't getting regular preventative care and many are relying on the Emergency Room if something comes up. This pattern can have a huge detrimental impact on a families finances, and a teens health. 

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Health
2:19 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Flint is looking for the right prescription to cure its downtown's woes

Genesys Health System opened its new clinic in downtown Flint this month
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

What’s being called an ‘Eds and Meds’ strategy is paying off for people trying to revitalize Flint’s downtown.

Many downtown buildings in Flint are empty. But local economic development leaders say they are making progress by attracting educational and medical investment.

The ‘Eds and Meds’ strategy is intended to not only bring in jobs, but also create activity and excitement, in a downtown in need of all three.

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Health
2:56 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

"Navigators" picked to guide Michiganders through health plans tied to the Affordable Care Act

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Four groups have been tapped by the federal government to help low income Michiganders navigate their way through the new federally mandated health insurance market.

The new health insurance marketplace is set to open on October 1st. About a million Michiganders without insurance will have to pick among a dozen or so health plans.

To help them, the federal government has picked four groups to serve as “navigators”.

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Health
4:25 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Michigan doctor faces federal indictment for unneeded cancer treatments

Credit googleimages

A Detroit-area doctor is facing a federal grand jury indictment charging him with health care fraud. 

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Health
3:11 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Tough Mudder races are filthy, and we're not talking about mud

Norovirus, anyone?
Dmitry Gudkov/Tough Mudder Facebook

The norovirus is the latest obstacle that participants in Tough Mudder races have to fight.

In June, participants in Brooklyn, Michigan's Tough Mudder race got more than a mouthful of mud. 22,000 participants and supporters were at the event.

Afterward, the Michigan Department of Community Health received "many reports of gastrointestinal illnesses." With some investigation by the MDCH Bureau of Laboratories, that bug turned out to be a norovirus.

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Health
4:07 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

UM study finds adolescents have easy access to prescription drugs

Tom Varco Wikimedia commons

Three out of four 14-year-olds who have been prescribed medication during the last six months have had unsupervised access to the drugs.

That's according to a new study by the University of Michigan.

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Health
5:50 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

U of M study: Association found between risk of autism and induced labor

A new University of Michigan study finds an association between inducing or augmenting labor during childbirth and an increased risk of autism.

The study compared birth records of more than 600 thousand North Carolina children and their corresponding public school records. Researchers found a 35% increased risk of autism in boys whose mothers' labors were induced or augmented.

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