Robin Erb

Robin Erb, who leads health coverage for Michigan Health Watch, believes it is our personal stories that keep us connected on common ground, whatever the break-neck fragmentation of a digital world. A long-time journalist, Robin previously spent six years at the Detroit Free Press chronicling the fight against - and sometimes the triumph over - our most horrific diseases. Her award-winning stories chronicled the battle over the Affordable Care Act, state expansion of Medicaid, cutting-edge research led by Michigan’s hospitals and universities, deadly mistakes and extraordinary care in Michigan’s nursing homes, and a nearly forgotten mix-up of chemicals in cattle feed in the 1970s and its lingering effects today. She holds bachelor’s degrees in communications and political science from Miami University and a master’s in organizational leadership from Lourdes University (Toledo, Oh). You can contact Robin at rerb@bridgemi.com or 734-725-1155.

Articles

Michigan’s newest headache: Young adults are driving coronavirus growth

Michigan’s newest headache: Young adults are driving coronavirus growth

July 7, 2020 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

 Industries that serve the vulnerable see risky behaviors among young workers, but say they’re limited on what they can do.

Computer pad can help Michigan seniors use telehealth during coronavirus

Computer pad can help Michigan seniors use telehealth during coronavirus

July 6, 2020 | Robin Erb

Metro Detroit seniors are embracing online doctor visits using a customized tablet that makes technology less intimidating. It could prove a model for seniors increasingly dependent on telehealth to visit doctors.

Michigan study: Hydroxychloroquine saved lives among coronavirus patients

Michigan study: Hydroxychloroquine saved lives among coronavirus patients

July 2, 2020 | Robin Erb

The drug’s effects had been called into question after a series of studies and controversies since it was promoted by President Trump. A study at Henry Ford Health System found lower death rates when the drug is given early. 

Large jump in Michigan deaths outside hospitals as coronavirus raged

Large jump in Michigan deaths outside hospitals as coronavirus raged

July 2, 2020 | Robin Erb

Fear of contracting the virus at hospitals appears to have kept many patients from seeking care, including a large number of people suffering strokes or heart attacks. 

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

July 1, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press

Even with federal relief funds intended for providers slammed by COVID-19 patients, some hospitals say they are still shedding jobs to balance their books during the outbreak.

 
 

As coronavirus cases rise, Whitmer halts plans to further reopen Michigan

As coronavirus cases rise, Whitmer halts plans to further reopen Michigan

July 1, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

Public health experts say they expected coronavirus cases to rise as Michigan's businesses reopened but say they worry about COVID fatigue leading to more cases.

Coronavirus outbreaks tied to migrant farm workers in Michigan

Coronavirus outbreaks tied to migrant farm workers in Michigan

June 25, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting

COVID-19 is flaring up statewide among migrant workers. Experts say close quarters, crops that won’t wait, mistrust are perfect growing conditions for outbreaks.

AARP: To guard Michigan seniors from coronavirus, avoid nursing homes

AARP: To guard Michigan seniors from coronavirus, avoid nursing homes

June 25, 2020 | Robin Erb

New report says health disparities and economics helped expose Michigan’s oldest residents to COVID-19; offers recommendations that AARP Michigan’s director says are “achievable.”

Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

June 24, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb

A new report highlights disparities in how federal coronavirus relief money was distributed, suggesting Michigan hospitals were shorted.

Coronavirus outbreak traced to East Lansing pub after Michigan bars reopen

Coronavirus outbreak traced to East Lansing pub after Michigan bars reopen

June 23, 2020 | Robin Erb

Though the 18 people whose infections were traced to an East Lansing restaurant weren’t seriously sick, their positive tests raise concerns about the virus’ spread to others.

In Michigan nursing homes, a no-win choice between infection and isolation

In Michigan nursing homes, a no-win choice between infection and isolation

June 18, 2020 | Robin Erb

In lockdown against coronavirus, families face Father’s Day still separated from loved ones in Michigan’s long-term care facilities.

For now, Michigan is a success story in flattening the pandemic curve

For now, Michigan is a success story in flattening the pandemic curve

June 17, 2020 | Robin Erb

Counted as cases, deaths or positive test results, COVID-19 sinks to lowest sustained levels in three months in Michigan.

Extraordinary surgery in Michigan gives mom, daughters new faces

Extraordinary surgery in Michigan gives mom, daughters new faces

June 16, 2020 | Robin Erb

A rare disorder, Crouzen syndrome, dramatically disfigures the skull and face. More than cosmetic repair, the series of procedures reshapes the skull, relieving pressure on the brain and repairing hearing and vision loss and other problems.

More than 1,900 coronavirus deaths in Michigan nursing homes

More than 1,900 coronavirus deaths in Michigan nursing homes

June 15, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs, Robin Erb

Michigan health officials finally announced the death toll for nursing homes and the results were sobering. Dozens of nursing homes had 20 deaths or more.

Feds halt emergency use of coronavirus drug backed by Trump

Feds halt emergency use of coronavirus drug backed by Trump

June 15, 2020 | Robin Erb

Early hopes that hydroxychloroquine could help treat COVID-19 patients have been dashed by research that questions the drug’s efficacy and safety. It does not appear the FDA's ruling will impact a Michigan clinical trial.

Coronavirus lays bare health disparities amid Michigan protests

Coronavirus lays bare health disparities amid Michigan protests

June 11, 2020 | Robin Erb

Some protesters in Michigan say they are focused on police brutality. Others see George Floyd’s death as “a crisis within crisis within a crisis,” with structural racism the common thread. 

Michigan continues to stumble in tracking coronavirus in nursing homes

Michigan continues to stumble in tracking coronavirus in nursing homes

May 30, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting, Ted Roelofs

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services acknowledges its count of nursing home COVID-19 cases is likely inaccurate. And the agency still cannot accurately list how many senior residents have died from virus complications.

Wanted: Michigan blood samples — lots of them — in fight against COVID-19

Wanted: Michigan blood samples — lots of them — in fight against COVID-19

May 29, 2020 | Robin Erb

A biobank at University of Michigan is collecting blood samples from both sick and healthy people as researchers search for clues to treatment and a vaccine.

Michigan’s Beaumont Health cancels merger with Ohio system, vague on why

Michigan’s Beaumont Health cancels merger with Ohio system, vague on why

May 29, 2020 | Robin Erb

Neither Beaumont nor Ohio-based Summa Health offered specifics on why the deal was nixed. Beaumont said, however, that its decision was unrelated to financial losses during the coronavirus crisis.

Michigan nursing homes linked to 1 in 4 coronavirus deaths. Tally will grow.

Michigan nursing homes linked to 1 in 4 coronavirus deaths. Tally will grow.

May 27, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Robin Erb, Ted Roelofs

As questions swirl about transparency of Michigan nursing home data, a Democratic lawmaker slams Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s policies that required homes to accept COVID-19 patients as an ‘epic fail.’

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