Health | Michigan Radio


prescription pill bottle
Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Michigan is getting $17.5 million in federal funds to fight opioid overdose deaths and addiction.

a piggy bank, a stack of one dollar bills, and a stethoscope sit on a woodgrain table
FLICKR USER 401(K) / Flickr -

About 240,000 people in Michigan face new work requirements to stay eligible for Medicaid health benefits.

The work requirement took effect at the start of the year, and affects people enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan.

Children in a classroom
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Public school students in Detroit will soon have access to new mental health care services.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District is teaming up with a University of Michigan program called TRAILS, or Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students.


The City of Flint says it needs more time to submit water tests from homes at highest risk for having lead water lines.  

Under the state and federal Lead and Copper Rule, Flint has to test for lead more often than other cities because of the water crisis.  

The city says it must test 60 homes with lead lines, every six months.  

Flint has tested more than 60 sites but, so far, believes they’ve only confirmed 43 of those lead water lines. The city says it needs more time to determine if the rest of its tests fit the criteria.

Doctor's stethoscope

The state's Medicaid expansion has substantially improved access to primary care and preventive services for enrollees. That's according to two recent  studies of the Healthy Michigan Plan by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan medical marijuana patients are being cautioned to expect further product shortages in the new year.

The medical marijuana market has struggled with shortages in the past. The start of the recreational retail market has exacerbated the issue.

woman blowing out smoke from e-cigarette
pavel_shishkin / Adobe Stock

A new University of Michigan study reports a significant spike in the number of adolescents vaping marijuana.

The U of M Monitoring the Future study has been tracking teenage drug use for 45 years.

An artist's rendering of the planned Beaumont/UHS mental health hospital.
Beaumont Health

The ground-breaking ceremony for Beaumont Health's new mental health hospital took place Monday. The hospital will be located on eight acres of vacant land across from Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn.


Haley Lawrence / Unsplash

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has announced that beginning this week, it will remove prior authorizations for medications that are used to treat opioid abuse disorders.


State officials say calls to Michigan's "QUIT NOW" smoking hotline are up dramatically, in large part due to the vaping health crisis.

Vaping products that contain marijuana or tobacco have caused lung injuries in dozens of people in Michigan, and killed two. One 17-year-old had to have a double lung transplant at Henry Ford Hospital, his injuries were so severe.   

The state is urging people to stop vaping, and not to turn to smoking cigarettes instead. 

It appears many people are trying to follow the advice. 

person smoking a marijuana pipe

Michigan’s recreational marijuana retail market is set to open this weekend. But a new study says state cannabis education programs might want to focus on an unexpected group: parents.

The study finds parental marijuana use is associated with increased risk of marijuana and tobacco use, and opioid misuse by children.


An environmental group says many retail stores are improving their policies to reduce harmful chemicals in products.

The Ecology Center says that's especially true for a class of chemicals known as PFAS.

The Center's Jeff Gearhart says PFAS are called "forever chemicals" because they persist in the environment for hundreds and even thousands of years.

woman blowing out smoke from e-cigarette
pavel_shishkin / Adobe Stock

A second person in Michigan has died from lung injuries due to vaping.

56 others in the state have experienced lung injuries from vaping since August, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Transkohr / wikimedia commons

The state has issued a second asbestos-related violation notice to a company that is demolishing the former McLouth Steel plant in Trenton. 

The McLouth Steel plant is owned by Crown Enterprises - one of the companies owned by Detroit businessman Mattie Moroun

Centers for for Disease Control

A new Michigan State University study has found an increase in antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella in Michigan.

The study says Michigan doctors are seeing more strains that are resistant to ampicillin, an antibiotic commonly used to treat salmonella infections.

And the study says multi-drug resistance, namely resistance to more than three classes of antibiotics, has also gone up in Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has reported its first decline in overdose deaths in six years.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says overall overdose deaths declined by 3.2% in 2018. 

Opioid-related fatal overdoses also declined. The decline in opioid-related overdose deaths in 2018 was largely driven by decreases in the number of deaths due to poisoning by heroin and commonly prescribed drugs, including oxycodone and hydrocodone.

a brain scane
Adobe Stock

How do you diagnose death?

For the last several decades, doctors have used brain death, defined as the complete and irreversible absence of all brain function, to determine when someone is legally dead. But in two recent cases in Michigan, both involving children, families have pushed back on doctors' diagnoses of brain death. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Doctors say a 17-year-old faces a long recovery after undergoing a double lung transplant after suffering from a vaping-related lung illness.

The teen was hospitalized back on Sept. 5th for what doctors originally diagnosed as pneumonia. But his condition deteriorated quickly. In less than two weeks, his lungs grew so weak that he had to be placed on a machine just to keep him alive.

He celebrated his birthday waiting for a transplant.

He was transferred to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit where he underwent a double lung transplant last month.

Filling a sample bottle.
Virginia Tech

Twenty-one drinking water systems in Michigan this year have found lead amounts that exceed the federal action limit, according to state officials.

Those results are at least partially due to the state’s new standards for lead testing.

Out of the 21 systems that exceeded the federal action level, nine were over because of the new standards, state officials says.

person smoking an ecigarette
fedorovacz / Adobe Stock

Michigan officials may have something to learn from a pair of new studies looking at the vaping habits of young people.

The Journal of the American Medical Association Tuesday published two studies from the University of Southern California. The studies include a U.S. government report based on a survey indicating that the U.S. teen vaping epidemic shows no signs of slowing down.

Photo outside of Pine Rest Psychiatric Urgent Care Center's entrance.
Photo courtesy of Colleen Cullison.

When you have an injury or illness that needs immediate attention, but isn't an emergency, you head to the urgent care center. Those facilities allow people to be seen outside of doctor's office hours while avoiding an expensive trip to the emergency room.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids has taken that idea and applied it to mental health treatment.

Adobe Stock

State health department officials are urging sexually active Michiganders to get tested regularly for a wide variety of sexually transmitted diseases.

Michigan, like the nation as a whole, has seen an increase in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The next round of Affordable Care Act health insurance sign-ups starts Friday, amid declining health care premiums and declining enrollment.

More than 270,000 Michiganders signed up for Obamacare health care coverage in 2019, that’s down from nearly 350,000 in 2016.

October marks the start of a new flu season, with a rise in likely cases already showing up in Louisiana and other spots, federal statistics show.

The advice from federal health officials remains clear and consistent: Get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, especially if you're pregnant or have asthma or another underlying condition that makes you more likely to catch a bad case.

person holding tongs to pick up marijuana on scale
Get Budding / Unsplash

It's been almost a year since Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana. Soon, the state will begin accepting applications for recreational pot businesses. That begs the question: what does all this mean for the existing medical marijuana industry in Michigan? 

C.S. Mott Children's & Women's Hospital, East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dwight Burdette / Wiki Commons

On Tuesday morning, a Michigan judge rejected a request to keep a 14-year-old boy on life support so his family could find another hospital. Washtenaw County Judge David Swartz said he had no power to intervene, although he understood the family's "heartbreak."

Following the decision, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital conducted a second brain death examination on Bobby Reyes of Monroe County late Tuesday morning, according to a statement from Michigan Medicine. As his family gathered in his room, mechanical ventilation was discontinued, and Reyes was pronounced dead.

When Will tried his first vape during his sophomore year, he didn't know what to expect. It was just something he had vaguely heard about at school.

"I just sort of remember using it a bunch of times, like in a row," he says. "And there's this huge buzz-sensation-like head rush. And I just ... didn't really stop."

Joint Base San Antonio

Five people have now died of Eastern Equine Encephalytis or EEE in Michigan. The illness is spread by mosquitos. The latest victim lived in Cass County.

Lynn Sutfin is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

She says people should not let down their guard, even though freezing temperatures are forecast for some parts of lower Michigan Monday night.