Health

Health
2:59 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Two Michigan babies contracted measles this year, officials investigating a third case

A single virus particle, or "virion," of measles virus.
CDC

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan health officials say two infants have had measles this year, putting the state among 16 states with confirmed cases of the viral disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there were 159 cases reported nationally as of Aug. 24. That's well above the average of 60 cases a year reported in 2001-2012.

Measles is a once common childhood disease now preventable through vaccination. The CDC says at least 82 percent of those infected this year weren't vaccinated.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Monday that the two Michigan cases involved children under 12 months old. It says both infants caught measles outside the U.S. and have recovered.

The agency says it's working to confirm a third infection.

Health
3:24 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Michigan's Attorney General calls for state regulation of drug compounding centers

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
Attorney General's office

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wants the state to regulate and inspect drug compounding centers like the one that produced the medication that caused a nationwide meningitis outbreak a year ago.

At least 264 people were infected by an adulterated pain medication, and 19 died. Michigan suffered more casualties from the outbreak than any other state.

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Health
10:42 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Tighter pharmacy rules planned after Michigan meningitis deaths

Tools used in pharmaceutical compounding
prweb.com

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New legislation is being proposed to more closely regulate 470 compounding pharmacies in Michigan after a deadly outbreak of meningitis a year ago.

The infection of 264 Michigan residents, 17 who died, is blamed on contaminated steroids produced by a company in Massachusetts. But Michigan's attorney general, a top licensing official and a state senator say oversight of Michigan pharmacies should be strengthened to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

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Stateside
4:58 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

How does income level affect health care in Michigan?

Cathy Schoen
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/

A brand-new report card has been released from the bipartisan Commonwealth Fund.

The report examines just how well the health care systems in each of the 50 states are working. The conclusion: if you live in a state that generally does poorly in health care, it doesn't necessarily matter what your income level is. High-income people who live in these poorly-performing states are worse off than low-income people who live in states with high health scores.

Cathy Schoen is senior vice president at The Commonwealth Fund and the author of the new report. She spoke with Cyndy Canty, host of Stateside, earlier in the day.

Listen to the full interview above.

Health
2:42 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Look! In the sky! It's a conversation starter!

A "Go Blue" message wafts across the sky in Ann Arbor, where it's likely to be cheered. But a skywriter's "Go Blue" art over the skies of East Lansing Saturday sparked a different reaction: generosity.
Credit Rina Miller / Michigan Radio

What was meant to stir a football rivalry in Michigan last Saturday has turned into a good deed. 

A skywriter left this message over the East Lansing sky last weekend: "Go Blue."

Those are fightin' words in Michigan State University territory.

The aerial taunt by University of Michigan supporters did not amuse most Spartan fans, but one managed to turn the jab into a  constructive form of revenge.

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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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