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Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

A map of Michigan shows several orange dots denoting locations where PFAS has been discovered.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

UPDATE: This story was updated at 3:53 p.m.

This week, the Environment Report is looking at industrial chemicals called per- and polyfluoralkyl substances – or PFAS. 

People all over Michigan have questions about these chemicals that are being found in their drinking water.

MDHHS
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Applications for energy assistance in Michigan will be open all year round starting Monday, October 1.

Until now, people could only apply for the assistance between November and May -- the state's designated energy crisis season.

child in doorway
Caro / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

An audit of the state's Child Protective Services released Thursday found a pattern of failures to follow state requirements.

The audit reviewed CPS investigations between May 2014 and July 2016.

Groceries, including milk, eggs and produce, sitting on a counter.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Michigan will reinstate a requirement that all able-bodied adults without dependents work 20 hours a week to qualify for food assistance.

That requirement was lifted in 2002 because of high unemployment. When unemployment dropped, the federal government required that it go back on the books. 

The DEQ PFAS Investigation Map near Rockford, MI
From Google map provided by Wolverine Worldwide

Rates of cancer in Kent County where industrial chemicals have been found in the groundwater are not higher than they are in other parts of the state. That's according to a report state and county officials released on Tuesday.

Rudolph Owens
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 


Most Michigan residents can get a copy of their birth certificates within weeks by simply placing an order online. 

But for Detroit native Rudy Owens, attempts to obtain his birth records took decades of legal battles. 

Why? Because he is an adoptee. 

TaxCredits.net / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Mental health agencies around the state say the Department of Health and Human Services refuses to acknowledge a funding shortage that’s leaving some of those agencies in serious deficit.

Tens of thousands of people eligible for Disabled, Aged, and Blind (DAB) Medicaid assistance have been transferred to the Healthy Michigan Plan. According to the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan, the problem with that is this: The base rate paid to agencies to serve those people through Medicaid is $267. Under Healthy Michigan, it’s $29 plus another $15 under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

someone getting a shot
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed Michigan's first case of measles in 2018.

The individual was contagious while flying to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport after a trip abroad on March 6, according to a statement released Wednesday. The patient is now hospitalized and recovering.  

MDHHS

18 months, 25 deaths, and 615 hospitalizations later, state officials are beginning to express hope that a large hepatitis A outbreak is on the cusp of a decline.

Jay Fiedler is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  He says he can definitely see a plateau -- 10 to 15 new cases a week -- and no signs of another uptick.  

erocsid / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Last May, Michigan health officials authorized a way for people at risk of opioid overdose to get Naloxone directly from a registered pharmacy without a doctor's prescription.  The authorization also allows family members, friends and other people who may be able to help a person at risk of overdose to obtain Naloxone directly from a registered pharmacy.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a medication designed to reverse overdoses.

MDHHS
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The state says it’s taking new steps to fix Michigan’s serious lack of inpatient psychiatric care, in hopes of jump-starting a more comprehensive fix.

Michigan largely shut down its inpatient psychiatric facilities in the 1990s. Rather than picking up the slack, community hospitals cut back too.

That means there’s now a serious shortage of beds for people who need care for an acute psychiatric crisis.

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.

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.

Michigan State Police patrol vehicle shield
Michigan State Police

Wayne County Prosector Kym Worthy has charged a former Michigan State Police trooper with 2nd degree murder. Last summer, Mark Bessner fired his Taser from a patrol car during a chase in Detroit. The Taser struck a teenager who was fleeing police on an all-terrain vehicle. The 15-year-old crashed the ATV and died. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the case.


Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Lansing has put Michigan’s biggest mental health agency on notice that its state certification may be in jeopardy.

That agency is the Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Authority. This year, it doled out over $700 million to community mental health service providers serving about 80,000 people.

The warning came in a December 18th letter from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to DWMHA leaders, after Michigan Radio reported on concerns about how the Authority conducts business.

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.

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.

Hepatitis A outbreak reported in SE Michigan

Sep 20, 2017
Daniel Paquet / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Michigan officials are warning health care providers about an outbreak of hepatitis A in the city of Detroit and nearby Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties.

According to Michigan's Medicaid Director Chris Priest, hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that is primarily spread between people through food, water, or oral contact with objects, including hands and eating utensils, contaminated by the feces of a hepatitis A-infected individual.

Legionella pneumophila
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State officials are working with health departments in Detroit and Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties to investigate an increase in Legionnaires' disease cases.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that 73 cases of legionellosis were identified in June and July in southeastern Michigan.

An average of 30 cases were identified over the same two months from 2014-2016.

Taisha standing behind a sign that says neighborhoods of hope
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Family visits for kids in foster care often take place in a foster care agency’s office, which is not always the homiest setting. But a new program launching in Wayne County wants to change that.

Neighborhoods of Hope is a collaboration between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and community partners in Detroit.

The centerpiece of the project is a townhouse in the GardenView Estate public housing development in Detroit. The furnished home has a cozy living room, a full kitchen, and a play area in the backyard.

Wikipedia Commons

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says there's been 200 confirmed cases of hepatitis A in Southeast Michigan since last August, resulting in ten deaths. The virus has been reported in Oakland, Wayne, and St. Clair counties.

piggy bank, stethescope, and bundle of money
flickr user 401(K) 2012 / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Top officials in Gov. Rick Snyder's administration say it could cost Michigan up to $800 million a year to keep the state's Medicaid expansion program at current enrollment levels if cuts approved by the U.S. House are enacted.

State Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon gave the estimate Monday during an event in which Snyder aides and advocates defended the expanded Medicaid program.

Tom Watkins

“Legislators… NOT FOR SALE: My Mental Health Care.”

So says a series of billboards that have popped up along I-75. The billboards, which also feature a couple and their young daughter, are targeted at state legislators who will be driving up north this weekend for the annual Mackinac Policy Conference.

crow
Grendel Khan / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The first cases of rabies and West Nile virus were confirmed by state officials this week. Three birds and a bat were discovered to have the diseases, which can be harmful to humans.

On Thursday, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced that an Ingham county big brown bat had tested positive for rabies, the first confirmed case of 2017. 41 cases were confirmed in 2016.

groceries
Ruth Hartnup / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Thousands of children in Flint are presumed to receive additional money for nutritional foods that can limit lead exposure effects.

The Detroit Free Press reports the $7 million in food aid is going to about 15,000 kids who qualify for food assistance. Qualifying families will receive a one-time payment of $420 per child. That money is expected to be used throughout the year and is in addition to the $30 per child families got in March.

Close up of adult, child holding hands
FLICKR.COM/SWAITY / LICENCED UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY/2.0/

The Michigan Supreme Court this week handed a big win to parents with disabilities in child welfare cases.

If the state removes a child from her home and puts her in foster care, generally the goal is to reunite the child and parent as soon as possible. The parent is given services and a plan with specific goals they have to meet before reunification, and if those goals aren't met, their parental rights can be terminated.

A Health Blog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Community mental health groups fear that their funding and management could be transferred to private insurers.

The state House and Senate subcommittees on Health and Human Services passed their budget plans for the department this past week. Mental health groups say the Senate subcommittee's plan intends to privatize by 2020.

Similarly, Gov. Rick Snyder last year called for moving the $2.5 billion of community mental health money and management to private insurers. The House's proposal did not call for moving the money or management to private insurers.

Lance McCord / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the influenza-related deaths of two Michigan children.

Officials did not release any other additional information related to the deaths, other than one was a child in northern Michigan and the other child was in western Michigan.

In a statement, the department reiterated the importance of flu vaccinations for anyone older than six months of age.

User apoxapox / Flickr

Cases of hepatitis A are increasing in Detroit, as well as Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced today that there has been a significant uptick in the number of lab-confirmed hepatitis A cases.

In a press release, the department said that 107 cases were confirmed from August 1, 2016 to March 1, 2017. That's eight times higher than the previous year.

A Health Blog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder wants the $2.4 billion in mental health Medicaid money to be turned over to private insurance companies to manage.

He believes that Medicaid funds will be better spent and more people with behavioral issues and mental illnesses will be better served. Mental health would be integrated with physical health under the HMOs.

Many mental health advocates and patients don’t like the idea.

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