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Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan.gov

Michigan’s healthcare systems have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, especially those in the metro-Detroit area. So Governor Gretchen Whitmer is calling on medical professionals and everyday citizens to volunteer their talents and time to assist hospitals in fighting COVID-19.

Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched a new volunteer website where trained medical professionals can sign up and find out how to help their local communities.

Illustration of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says three patients in state psychiatric facilities have tested positive for COVID-19.

Two of the positive cases are patients at the Walter Reuther Psychiatric Hospital in Westland and one is at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Saline.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The current flu season has turned deadly for two Michigan children.

They are the first pediatric flu fatalities of the current influenza season.

vaping product
Pixabay

Michigan has recorded its third vaping-related death.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the unidentified adult male died December 19th.

No specific brand of vaping device or e-liquid has been identified as the source of the severe lung damage. Federal health officials have linked an ingredient (Vitamin E acetate) in black-market THC vapes to some cases of severe lung damage.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is starting an overhaul of technology used by its child welfare system that critics say is long overdue.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is replacing the current Michigan Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System. 

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.

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.

three mexican gray wolf pups
Courtesy of the Binder Park Zoo

Tests confirm two Mexican gray wolf pups at southern Michigan zoo have died of a rare mosquito-borne virus as health officials work to curb the spread of the virus in people and animals.

Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek says results received this week confirm the pups that died in early September were killed by Eastern equine encephalitis, which is also known as Triple-E. The two wolves were part of a litter born June 14 to a breeding pair of wolves at the zoo. The one wolf pup who survived appears healthy and is being monitored along with her parents. 

a mosquito filled with blood on the tip of a human finger
User: Oregon State University / Flickr CC / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The state health department is considering the use of pesticides in areas that are affected by Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as Triple-E. It's a mosquito-borne virus that can be fatal for people.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has reached out to local health officials in areas affected by the virus.

PFAS foam on lakeshore
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The federal government is launching a new study to examine the link between drinking water contaminated with industrial chemicals called PFAS and health outcomes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry announced the start of the health study this week.

The agencies are giving grants to several institutions around the country to study PFAS exposure.

"Do Not Eat" advisory for deer in Oscoda still in effect

Sep 20, 2019
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

With hunting season in Michigan beginning October 1, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are reminding hunters about the “Do Not Eat” advisory for deer taken within 5 miles of Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda Township.

The advisory was originally issued in October of 2018, after venison was tested and found to have extremely high levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid), the most common chemical in the PFAS family. 

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

The number of cases of suspected respiratory illnesses connected to vaping continues to climb in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says there are now a dozen confirmed or probable cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping. The department is investigating another 14 possible cases.

Adobe Stock

State health officials are launching an investigation into vaping.  They are looking for a possible link to a serious respiratory illnesses.

Microscope
Pixabay.com

Cases of a rare form of gonorrhea have spiked in West Michigan, officials say. Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) is a form of gonorrhea that affects many parts of the body.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will receive a $1.66 million federal grant to help fund the Michigan Pediatric Epilepsy Project. The four-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration will provide about $416,000 each year to the project, which provides comprehensive care to children with epilepsy in Michigan. The grant is focused in particular on improving health outcomes for pediatric epilepsy patients in rural and underserved areas.

A mosquito
flickr user trebol-a / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

That's after cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis -- or Triple E -- were confirmed in animals in Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Cass counties.

The disease is transmitted from horses and deer to humans through mosquito bites.

“Use mosquito repellant, maybe even wear some long sleeves if you can,” said MDHHS spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin. “Also, check your doors and your screens. Try and make sure those mosquitos are staying outside of your home.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State health department officials say the state of Michigan should keep a psychiatric center in the Thumb open, but scrap plans for a major expansion.

The Caro Center has been operating for more than a century in Tuscola County. Hundreds of people are employed at the center which provides psychiatric care to dozens of patients in a collection of aging buildings.

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 . 

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.

Job application and pen
flazingo.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The employment rate for individuals in Michigan with serious mental illness increased in 2018.

That's according to a new report from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

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. 

Flickr user Amy the Nurse

A Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) policy regarding returned baby formula has been revised to make unopened baby formula available for low-income families at shelters, food banks and pantries.

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program released a policy in February of this year that didn't allow for the distribution of the unused, returned formula. That was in accordance with USDA guidelines.

An image of the former MDHHS public assistance application beside the new, shorter version.
Michael Brennan

Filling out applications for government assistance programs, like Medicaid or food stamps, can be a lengthy and confusing process. 

In Michigan, it used to involve filling out a 42-page form that, among other highly-specific questions, asked applicants to give the exact dates their children were conceived.

But thanks to the work of Michael Brennan and his team at the Detroit design firm Civilla, the application has gotten a user-friendly overhaul.

Unsplash

A state audit found Michigan Health and Human Services officials delayed notifying a key watchdog agency about many children’s deaths linked to potential neglect or abuse.

The state Auditor General found officials failed to follow procedure in notifying the Office of Children’s Ombudsman in 206 children’s deaths (approximately 20%) between 2014 and 2017.    

3D rendering of the measles virus
Centers for Disease Control

Michigan is now among a growing list of states experiencing measles outbreaks, with state health officials confirming 40 cases so far in Oakland County, one in Wayne County, and one in the City of Detroit since March 13. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines an outbreak as three or more cases.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is re-examining plans for a multi-million dollar psychiatric hospital in Michigan's Thumb region.

For more than 100 years, the Caro Center has been treating Michiganders with serious medical conditions.  Starting in 1914, the center provided treatment for people with epilepsy. The focus shifted to patients with psychiatric disorders in the 1950s.

Map of parts of Grand Rapids, Wyoming, and Walker
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

State and local officials updated some Grand Rapids residents about possible air pollution in the southwest area of the city on Wednesday night.

The company Viant Medical uses a chemical called ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment.

fresh vegetables at a grocery store.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Preparations are underway for what could be a long gap between monthly benefits for some SNAP recipients.

Bob Wheaton is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He said the department is giving a heads up to organizations that they could see more people in need.

Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two employees at the state Department of Environmental Quality have pleaded no contest to misdemeanors related to the Flint water crisis. 

Michael Prysby and Steven Busch have also agreed to testify against others in the cases. The two men are the fifth and sixth people to agree to deals rather than go to trial on charges related to involvement in the Flint water crisis. 

They pleaded no contest to misdemeanors in exchange for prosecutors dropping felony charges that include tampering with water monitoring reports. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is dumbfounded by a decision to offer a new state job to one of the defendants in the Flint water crisis criminal investigation.

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