Health | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Health

After nearly a year of grief, vaccinations bring joy to Michigan

11 hours ago
Elaine Cromie / Bridge Michigan

For much of last year, Michigan’s nurses and other frontline workers were sometimes called names, cursed at, or lied to.

DONFIORE / ADOBE STOCK

The city of Detroit's health department is investigating a large COVID-19 outbreak at the Whole Foods store.

Twenty-three of the store's 196 workers have tested positive so far.

Denise Fair is Detroit's Chief Public Health Officer. She calls the outbreak "outrageous," and says it raises questions about Whole Foods' internal practices.

woman in personal protection equipment talking to woman in wheelchair
Wikimedia Commons

Michiganders aged 18-64 with disabilities are currently in group 1C in terms of priority for the COVID-19 vaccine. Disability rights activists are asking the state to move them to group 1B, along with the support staff and other people who provide them care.

In a letter to the governor and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition asked Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Elizabeth Hertel to consider moving the group.

Updated 2:12 p.m. ET

With coronavirus infections on a steady, six weeks long descent in the U.S., it's clear the worst days of the brutal winter surge have waned. Yet researchers are still not sure how sustainable the decline is. And a small but concerning uptick in cases in the last three days has health officials on edge.

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, two-thirds of Washtenaw County's COVID-19 cases are affiliated with the University of Michigan. A campus health official discusses efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Also, a look at Michigan’s possible future as a haven for those escaping the worst effects of climate change.

Vaccines are like milk. Both make us stronger, but if stored at the wrong temperature, they spoil.

ADOBE STOCK

The Livingston County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution at its meeting Monday night, criticizing the state's use of the CDC's social vulnerability index in determining COVID-19 vaccine allocation and calling on the state to retract the plan.

The resolution claims that the state's use of the index is disproportionately hurtful to Livingston County seniors. It says that the population at biggest risk of contracting COVID-19, according to experts, is senior citizens, particularly those with underlying health conditions.

How do we wrap our minds around the fact that nearly half a million people have died of COVID-19 in the United States alone?

The nation is on the cusp of that milestone: 500,000 lives lost, in just one year.

Dr. Remus Robinson poses for a portrait during his time serving on Detroit's Board of Education. This photo was taken in the 1960s.
Courtesy photo from the Robinson family

Dr. Remus Robinson was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1904. He first came to Detroit as a teen before getting his medical degree from the University of Michigan in 1930. 

At the time, Detroit had about 120,000 Black residents, but the overwhelming majority of people who lived in the city were white. Many institutions in the city, including the biggest and most well-funded hospitals, were still segregated and openly discriminated against Black people. Black patients who did go to the city’s major hospitals were kept in separate wards and died from treatable diseases more often than white patients.

COURTESY OF SPECTRUM HEALTH

Beaumont Health has canceled some scheduled second doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, citing an unexpected shortage of doses from the state.

Beaumont announced Monday that it would cancel 1,884 second dose appointments scheduled for Thursday.

Adobe Stock

On March 1, tens of thousands of Michiganders will be added to the growing pool of those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the state health department announced Monday. An estimated 79,000 workers in the food processing and agricultural industries will be eligible as part of the “1B” category, making them the latest group to become eligible.

Healthcare workers, teachers and childcare workers, corrections workers, and those who work in group living settings (like homeless shelters and foster homes) are already eligible, as well as anyone over the age of 65.

Doctor's stethoscope
Pixabay.com

An executive order from President Joe Biden has made it possible for for uninsured Michiganders to get health insurance outside of the regular enrollment period.

People would usually have to enroll between November and December, and would need a qualifying life change to enroll outside that period.

man in a mask gets a vaccine from health care worker in a mask
Adobe Stock

Today, on Stateside, we talked with photographer Leni Sinclair about her years of political involvement and her stunning photos of Detroit’s stages and people. Also, how Detroit leveraged help from a large and well-funded partner to coordinate its massive effort to vaccinate residents. 

black and white archive photo of two nurses wearing masks.
National Archives

Today, on Stateside, a new state budget paves the way into another uncertain year. Also, a discussion about how undocumented immigrants have been shut out of federal aid during the pandemic.

COURTESY OF MERCY HEALTH

Mercy Health in West Michigan has distributed 21,960 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to date. Of the vaccines distributed, 3% of those doses have gone to Black people and 3% have gone to Latino people. That’s a number that the health system is hoping to improve.

Adobe Stock

Michigan’s top doctor says the state is planning to increase COVID-19 vaccine access for the hardest hit communities.

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun spoke at a virtual town hall Wednesday evening, addressing vaccine skepticism in the Black community. She announced that the state will be allocating vaccines based on the CDC’s social vulnerability index.

Credit Courtesy Photo

There are over 370,000 people in Michigan who have finished both doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

"I kind of feel like I'm a little bit of a superhero," said Jamina Washington, a labor and delivery nurse from Ypsilanti. She got her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine in early January.

"I just want to walk around, flashing my card like it's a badge of honor or something to have completed our doses."

Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is expanding options for Detroiters over age 65 to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Duggan says the city will be providing low-cost or no cost rides to a vaccination clinic at the TCF center.  And for the next four Saturdays, the mayor says the city will be providing special vaccination clinics just for seniors. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Genesee County health and education officials want young children from Flint evaluated for developmental issues.

Testing has shown Flint’s drinking water has long since recovered from its lead crisis in 2014 and 2015.   

But Nicole Jason, Intervention Services Supervisor with the Genesee Intermediate School District, says women may still be passing lead on to unborn children.

Adobe Stock

Meijer is expanding COVID-19 vaccinations across Michigan this week, with plans to administer up to 25,000 doses to people age 65 and older by week's end. Monday's announcement comes more than three weeks after the retailer began immunizations at a limited number of its pharmacies in Wayne County. Residents can pre-register by sending a text message, going online or visiting a Meijer pharmacy. Meijer reports administering more than 20,000 doses since its first clinic on Jan. 15, primarily to seniors.

It's been more than a year since I've seen my mother. Like many families, we live a fair distance apart and the pandemic has put a stop to our visits. I was supposed to visit last April to celebrate her 90th birthday, but instead we shared a toast over the phone and tightly crossed our fingers that by summer things would be better. They weren't.

Homeless man
SamPac / creative commons


Groups across Michigan that provide emergency shelter are bracing for a rough two weeks.

Temperatures some nights could plunge to near or below zero, and COVID-19 restrictions will make it even more difficult than usual to keep people safe in life-threatening cold. 

Faith Fowler runs Cass Community Social Services in Detroit, which typically has about 150 people being sheltered overnight.  She says that number can easily double in single digit cold snaps. 

man receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot in his right arm
Spectrum Health

State health department officials say they want more COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Michigan with longer hours. 

Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services laid out their strategy for getting 70% of Michigan residents vaccinated in the coming months.  The exact timetable is dependent on the supply of vaccines.

As Michigan ages, a shortage in health care workers explodes into a crisis

Feb 5, 2021
a home healthcare worker helps an elderly woman walk down a hallway
Chris duMond / Detroit News

Living alone in a Grand Rapids apartment, 84-year-old Nancy Klomparens clings to her independence — and has the injuries to show for it.

Poor eyesight contributed to a series of falls, as she said she’s fractured her back five times in the past four years. Once a week, she depends on a home care worker to drive her to the grocery store and help with shopping and other chores.

Innovation, bonuses may help curb Michigan’s home health care shortage

Feb 5, 2021
a caregiver hands a newspaper to her charge
Craig Ruttle / Detroit News

Like home care agencies across the country, New York City’s Cooperative Home Care Associates faced a nagging challenge: How to hire and retain quality direct care workers?

Starting small, in 1985, the agency has become a nationwide model for what experts nationwide say is a burgeoning crisis in home health workers. From an initial staff of 12 home health aides, it now employs more than 2,000. And unlike the vast majority of home care agencies, it’s employee-owned: Workers have the option of buying into the company.

girl dribbling basketball in front of a blurry background
Ron Alvey / Adobe Stock

The state health department is allowing indoor contact high school sports to resume in Michigan on Monday, February 8.


testing swab
Shutterstock image

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with Wayne State University and Wayne Health to bring COVID-19 testing to more Michiganders using mobile health units.

The mobile health units are based in vans that already serve Detroit and its metropolitan area. The vans are equipped to provide COVID-19 tests, flu vaccines, blood pressure screenings, and HIV tests.

With millions of older Americans eligible for COVID-19 vaccines and limited supplies, many continue to describe a frantic and frustrating search to secure a shot, beset by uncertainty and difficulty.

The efforts to vaccinate people who are 65 and older have strained under the enormous demand that has overwhelmed cumbersome, inconsistent scheduling systems.

Woman with IV in arm
Adobe Stock


Pages