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Officials overseeing the former General Motors’ Buick City site in Flint have submitted a plan to the state to expand their investigation of PFAS contamination discharging into the Flint River.

PFAS has been linked to numerous public health issues. 

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Several environmental, legal and advocacy groups, including the ACLU of Michigan and Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, have petitioned the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to intervene in water shutoffs in Detroit, calling them a public health emergency.

ACLU attorney Mark Fancher says more than 112,000 Detroit households had their water shut off at some point between 2014 and 2018.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out for an online fundraising campaign for a program that uses Flint teenagers to test their neighbors' tap water.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State and local health officials are investigating multiple cases of a gastrointestinal illness in southwest Michigan. caused by a microscopic parasite in southwest . 

Measles case in Detroit confirmed, says health department

Jul 19, 2019
3D rendering of the measles virus
Centers for Disease Control

The Detroit Health Department has confirmed a case of measles in Detroit. The person is a resident of Detroit, and had recently returned from traveling overseas. 

The person went to the emergency department at Children’s Hospital of Michigan on July 16 between 12:30 and 9:30 p.m.

They also went to their physician’s office in Macomb County, Michigan, and everyone who was exposed at that location was directly informed.

A nurse administers a vaccine.
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More Michigan parents are requesting vaccination waivers for their children.

The rate dropped to 3.1% in 2015, after a new state law went into effect in 2014, requiring parents who want a waiver to attend a vaccine education session at their county health department.

The rate has since crept up to 3.8% in 2018.

Bob Swanson directs the Immunization Division at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In a waiting room at the Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix, a 74-year-old woman named Rubie is about to find out whether she has a gene that puts her at risk for Alzheimer's.

"I'm a little bit apprehensive about it, and I hope I don't have it," she says. "But if I do, I want to be able to plan for my future."

The gene is called APOE E4, and it's the most powerful known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's after age 65.

Sinai-Grace Hospital avoids loss of Medicare funding

Jul 11, 2019
A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After facing the loss of its Medicare funding, officials from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs say Sinai-Grace Hospital has passed an inspection to determine whether it would keep the funding. In early March, the Detroit Medical Center’s hospital was found to be in violation of numerous Medicare compliance rules and was threatened with being removed from its Medicare funding program.

Map shows counties considered "high-risk" in the opioid epidemic. The state of Michigan having 24 high-risk counties.
Rebecca Haffajee

 


person smoking a marijuana pipe
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As more states climb aboard the legal weed train, there are voices from the medical community urging caution ─ especially when it comes to teens. They warn that adolescent brains are exposed to a much more potent form of cannabis than the pot of days gone by.

Inside the doctor's office.
Jennifer Morrow / Flickr

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced it would end its contract with Lakeshore Regional Entity, a local group that's one of the state’s Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHPs) and coordinates mental and behavioral health care for low-income people and people with disabilities in West Michigan.

In this era of legal cannabis, a doctor's warning

Jun 25, 2019
Person rolling a marijuana cigarette.
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Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan. But physicians are warning that more research is needed to determine how, exactly, cannabis affects the brain and body. 

prescription drugs
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The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs says the number of opioids dispensed in the state decreased by 15% in 2018 compared with the year before. The number of prescriptions dispensed fell from roughly 9.6 million in 2017 to about 8.2 million in 2018.

The data provided by LARA show that the individual units dispensed (such as tablets and milliliters) decreased by 16.9%, the total days’ supply of opioids decreased by 10.8%, and the "milligram morphine equivalent," or the standard used to measure the potency of opioids, decreased by 21%.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan legislators may soon vote to slap a warning label on marijuana products aimed at pregnant and nursing mothers. 

While it is discouraged by medical professionals, some women use cannabis products during pregnancy to ease the effects of morning sickness. 

Gretchen Whitmer
Whitmer for Governor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced that $1.3 million in grants will go to hospitals to help create better systems for treating people with opioid addiction. 
               
Whitmer says opioid addiction is a large and growing problem. She says one reason is that people end up in emergency rooms after they overdose. But she says they are often released without a followup plan.
She says that means many of the same people make repeat trips to the hospital for emergency care without treating their addiction.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A dispute between the state health department and a Flint hospital is escalating.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is ordering McLaren Hospital in Flint to immediately correct conditions in its facility to reduce the risk of future exposure to Legionella at the hospital.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Genesee County health officials are reporting the county’s first possible death from Legionnaires' disease this year.

Legionnaires is a type of pneumonia that sometimes strikes people who are older, have a history of smoking, chronic lung disease or have poor immune function. Legionnaires' disease doesn't spread from person to person. Instead, the Legionella bacteria spreads through the air, often through contaminated ventilation systems in large buildings. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a new measles case in Michigan. It’s the 44th case this year.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the latest case is out of St. Clair County.   The case involves an international traveler visiting Michigan and is not related to the southeast Michigan outbreak.   Most of the cases in the outbreak occurred in Oakland County.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Advocates say more needs to be done to make Michigan more capable of helping a rising number of people with dementia.

It’s estimated 190,000 Michiganders over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s.  

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This week, the St. Clair County jail will start offering some inmates a chance to get on medications that can help them kick opioid addiction.

The state-funded pilot program, which will start with 12 inmates, puts the county among the small but growing ranks whose jails offer addicted inmates some form of medication assisted treatment.

Inside the doctor's office.
Jennifer Morrow / Flickr

Legislation to ban a second-trimester abortion procedure is on its way to the full Michigan state House.

Tuesday, on a largely party-line vote, the House Judiciary committee approved two bills (HB 4320 & HB 4321) banning the medical procedure dilation and evacuation, also known as D&E.

Newborn baby
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Nearly seven out of every 1,000 babies born in Michigan will not live to their first birthday. That rate is more than double when it comes to African American and Native American infants.

As part of its new effort to move the needle on infant mortality, the state is tailoring solutions to different communities. It recently released a draft of its 2019-2022 Mother Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan (MIHIEP).

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Several events are scheduled Thursday to look back at the beginning of the Flint water crisis. There’s also one looking forward.  

On April 25th, 2014, the city’s drinking water source was switched to the Flint River. But improperly treated river water damaged pipes, releasing lead into Flint’s drinking water.

 Detroit Medical Center, Harper Hospital and Hutzel Woman's Hospital.
user Parkerdr / Wikimedia Commons

The Detroit Medical Center’s Harper University Hospital passed an important inspection this month.

Harper Hospital could’ve lost Medicare payments after a Dec. 13, 2018 inspection listed several violations, including failure to accurately record time of death for three patients, "resulting in the potential for the inability to recover tissue and/or organs for use in transplant."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new Michigan State University study finds marijuana users gain less weight over time than those who don’t consume cannabis products.

The “munchies” have long been associated with marijuana use.

But MSU researchers say that doesn’t lead to serious weight gain.

In a study appearing in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the researchers reviewed the body mass records of more than 30,000 people over the age of 18.

Child with measles
weerapat1003 / Adobe Stock

After declaring one case of measles a false positive last night, the Washtenaw County Health Department says today there is now a separate confirmed case of the measles, related to international travel.

An international visitor to the University of Michigan campus, who has now returned home, was confirmed as having the measles.

This latest case is not part of the current Michigan outbreak, but a new introduction of the virus.

It brings the total number of known measles cases in Southeast Michigan to 40.

this is a picture of someone getting a shot
Rido / Adobe Stock

 


The measles outbreak continues, and the number of cases in Michighan is climbing. There are now 41 cases confirmed to date in Oakland, Wayne, and Washtenaw Counties.

Doctors and public health officials are grappling with how to best deal with this growing public health crisis, including how they should talk to parents who refuse or delay vaccinations. 

A newspaper being printed.
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Today on Stateside, three cardiologists are suing the Detroit Medical Center, citing alleged fraud and concerns over quality of care. We get the latest from the Detroit News reporter who has been following this story. Plus, we talk to staff at two small-town Michigan newspapers about what communities have to lose when local news sources go out of business. 

heart monitor during surgery
Adobe Stock

Doctor Ted Schreiber is the third cardiologist in a week to file a civil lawsuit against the Detroit Medical Center and its parent company, Tenet Health Corporation.

Schreiber's attorney Stephanie Ottenwess says he raised a number of safety concerns after Texas-based Tenet Health Corporation bought the hospital in 2013.

The number of confirmed measles cases in Oakland County continues to rise. We talk to Oakland County Health Department's health officer Leigh-Anne Stafford, and Pamela Hackert, a physician with the department. They explain what residents need to know about the highly-contagious disease, and how they can protect themselves.

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