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A new website lets people check on their hospital's track record, and compare it with the track record of other hospitals.

VerifyMICare.org includes rates of hospital-acquired infections, deaths, readmission rates, C-sections, post-op pulmonary embolisms, and other indicators of care quality.

Ruthann Sudderth is with the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. She says a pregnant patient might use the website to raise concerns with her doctor, for example.

kate wells / Michigan Radio

Beginning Friday, victims of a former Michigan State University doctor convicted of sexually assaulting young gymnasts can begin accessing help through a fund set up by the university.

MSU has selected Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation Inc. (CMCI) and the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) to help the victims of former MSU physician Larry Nassar to get counseling and mental health services.

GAGE SKIDMORE / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The recent publication of Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury focused our attention on President Trump's fitness to hold office.

Wolff claims White House aides harbor deep concerns about the president's mental health, although those same aides publicly deny that.

Cigarette packaging with surgeon general warning
Melania Tata / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

The TV series "Mad Men" was set in the 1960s, and its creators went to great pains to make it look as authentic to the era as possible.

That means just about every character smoked. Everywhere. All the time.

number of hepatitis A case in Michigan by year
Data from MDHHS / Michigan Radio

As of last week, Michigan officially has the deadliest of several hepatitis A outbreaks going on nationwide.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, at least 22 people have died from outbreak-related cases since August 2016.

Brain Imaging Research Division / Wayne State University School of Medicine

Talking about mental illness goes hand in hand with talking about stigma, that fear of being judged or having one’s symptoms blamed on bad behavior rather than a disease. Stigma keeps people from seeking the help they need for their mental illness, but what if patients and families could see their mental illness?

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

All the snow and cold and even a bum wrist from a recent fall didn’t stop Otis Lee from his mission to get vaccinated. Using a cane, Lee hobbled into the student center at the University of Detroit Mercy, where the Detroit Health Department has set up a vaccination clinic specifically for restaurant workers and food handlers.

Bob Doran / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The state is advising Michigan residents to beware of  third parties if they are seeking a medical marijuana registry card.

According to a recent announcement from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Michiganders who want to register as medical marijuana patients should apply directly to the state.

The Department warned that using third parties can delay applications and increase the possibility of fraudulent submissions and misuse of documents.

Richy! / Flickr

A lot more Michigan residents are going to be told they need to bring down their blood pressure under new national hypertension guidelines.

In fact, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, an additional one million Michiganders -- or about 10% of the state population -- are now considered to have high blood pressure. 

That's because the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have redefined high blood pressure as starting at a reading of 130 systolic over 80 diastolic. The previous definition was 140/90.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds Michigan is falling short of being prepared to respond to a health emergency.

John Auerbach is the president and CEO of Trust for America's Health. 

He says the Trust’s latest “Ready or Not” report finds Michigan meeting only three of ten main recommendations on public health preparedness.

Auerbach says it’s important that states like Michigan prepare now for future health threats.

Detroit is trying to fight a hepatitis A outbreak in the face of limited resources and low national vaccine supplies.

Detroit health department director Dr. Joneigh Khaldun talked about the city’s efforts to fight an outbreak of the viral liver disease on a conference call with other local and national health leaders Tuesday.

Michigan is one of a handful of states experiencing hepatitis A outbreaks right now. Michigan’s is one of the largest, with 610 cases and 20 deaths reported since August 2016.

PFAS chemicals have contaminated water across Michigan. Today on Stateside, we learn what that means for public health and clean up. And, in honor of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we visit Terra Prime Light Armory in Ann Arbor, where athletes spar with lightsabers.

person shaking prescription pills from bottle into hand
flickr user frankileon / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The number of government lawsuits against prescription opioid makers and distributors is rising rapidly.

"There are over a hundred that have been filed by state governments, federal governments, local governments, and then Native American tribes,” said Rebecca Haffajee, assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

Haffajee thinks those lawsuits could be an effective tool in the fight against the opioid epidemic, as she wrote in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article

Prince Albert memorial
Paul Hudson / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

 

156 years ago this day, a husband died.

His grieving wife wore black from that day until her own death 40 years later.

That is the story of Britain's Queen Victoria and her husband, the Prince Consort Albert.

Genesee Community Health Center mobile care
Genesee Community Health Center

Since 1965, community health centers have provided care for low-income and uninsured Americans.

And now, that vital care for 26 million people in more than 10,000 locations is threatened by the failure of Congress to renew its funding, which expired September 30.

If the fund is not renewed, community health centers could lose out on $3.6 billion, and one policy brief from the National Association of Community Health Centers estimates between 76,000-161,000 private jobs could be lost nationwide.

Hospital exam room
pixabay

The window to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is smaller this year, but that hasn't slowed enrollment in Michigan.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 153,241 Michigan residents were signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov as of December 9

That's a 16 percent jump from the same time last year, when 131,989 were signed up. 

Telephone
user mconnors / morgueFile

A spike in hepatitis A cases has prompted the Genesee County Health Department to start a telephone hotline to keep residents up-to-date.

The hotline provides information like symptoms of the infection, how it's transmitted, and where to get vaccines.

A nurse administers a vaccine.
Rhoda Baer / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The hepatitis A outbreak has affected at least a dozen restaurants in three southeast Michigan counties this year. That’s why Oakland County is hosting two vaccination clinics for restaurant workers this week, no appointment necessary.

Restaurant workers are a priority target for the limited supply of the hep A vaccine because they handle other people’s food. Those who catch the virus are most contagious before they show symptoms of hep A.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The latest testing shows lead levels in Flint tap water continue to decline.

The Department of Environmental Quality's George Krisztian says the latest testing shows lead levels at about five parts per billion.  That’s well below the 15 parts per billion federal threshold.

Speaking to the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee on Friday, Krisztian said Flint is getting to the point where the system has recovered.

St. Martin's Press, 2017

It began with unbearable pain — an alarming development for a woman seven months pregnant.

And before too long, Dr. Rana Awdish was losing her grip on life.

While Awdish did not die, she did endure a long, tough recovery from the medical crisis that cost her the life of her unborn child.

And, as a physician who cared for patients in the intensive care unit, she learned profound lessons about how doctors and nurses practice medicine.

Augmented reality app
Courtesy of SpellBound

The Next Idea

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition announced its list of winners earlier this month.

It's time to meet one of them: Christina York, CEO of SpellBound, joined Stateside to talk about the app that just won her company the People’s Choice Award.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Vaccine waiver rates for school-age children have increased slightly in Michigan.

The Detroit News reports that Department of Health and Human Services data shows 3.2% of kindergartners and seventh-graders received immunization waivers in 2016 compared to 3.1% the year before.

A nurse administers a vaccine.
Rhoda Baer / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan is having a hepatitis A outbreak, and state health officials are encouraging those most at risk of getting it to get vaccinated. But the state also faces dwindling supplies of the hepatitis A vaccine.

Pascal Maramis / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

How does loneliness impact your mental and physical health?

Dr. Farha AbbasiMichigan State University psychiatrist, believes loneliness is one of the greatest challenges we face as a society. She joined Stateside to share her work.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan’s death rate from suicide, alcohol and drug use is poised to skyrocket over the next decade.

The report, Pain in the Nation, examines the effect of rising death rates related to drug use, alcohol abuse and suicide.

According to the report, Michigan’s death rate from these three preventable reasons is expected to soar 44% between now and 2025. That would lift Michigan’s death rate to 20th in the country. 

MDHHS

More people were sickened this week, and another person died in the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in southeast Michigan.

495 cases have been reported since the outbreak began in the summer of 2016. 416 of those cases involved hospitalization. 

The numbers continue to rise despite public health efforts to vaccinate those at higher risk, and to educate people about how this virus strain is being spread -- person-to person, via lax hygiene and close contact.

pills
DenisenFamily / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

President Donald Trump recently declared America's opioid crisis a “national emergency."

Prescription opioids are prescribed for pain, but the medications can be highly addictive. People who become addicted may switch to heroin when they can no longer get pills at the pharmacy or on the black market.

The epidemic is rapidly killing people, something like 90 people a day in the U.S.

While the nation is coming to grips with the opioid crisis, researchers at the University of Michigan have started a group to reduce opioid addiction in this state.

Peeling lead paint.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Lead poisoning in Kent County is up nearly 31% from 2014 to 2016.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 615 children in the county had elevated blood-lead levels last year.

Paul Haan, executive director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, a non-profit that tries to help children stay healthy by avoiding harmful housing conditions, says drinking water isn't the cause for the increase in Kent County, but lead-based paint is.

Today on Stateside, we learn how Michigan is fighting hepatitis A to prevent its spread. And, we look back at the history of the Mackinac Bridge in honor of its 60th birthday. Also on the show, we discuss the court-martial that begins today for the Marine drill instructor accused of abusing Muslim recruits.

Ariel Dovas / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Digital technology has infused our lives. And while it brings many benefits, we’re paying a price for having our brains constantly plugged into the digital world. At special risk: children and adolescents.

Just what is the effect of screen time on kids and parents, and what should we do about it?

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