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

Intensive care nurse in Flint dies of the coronavirus

Intensive care nurse in Flint dies of the coronavirus

April 6, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ashley Wong

The latest death underscores the danger and anxiety for health care workers on Michigan’s front lines as the virus spreads through the state.

Nurses say Detroit hospital told them to leave after coronavirus protest

Nurses say Detroit hospital told them to leave after coronavirus protest

April 6, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb

Night-shift nurses staged a protest at the hospital over heavy patient caseloads that they said were dangerous. Hospital officials asked the nurses to leave, they said.

Beaumont chief blasts Michigan for lack of hospital data during coronavirus

Beaumont chief blasts Michigan for lack of hospital data during coronavirus

April 5, 2020 | Robin Erb

Beaumont Health CEO John Fox faults the state for not forcing hospitals to share real-time data on available resources at other hospitals when patient counts surge, leaving patients to wait hours to be transferred. 

Inside Michigan hospitals, a ‘crushingly hard’ week in coronavirus fight

Inside Michigan hospitals, a ‘crushingly hard’ week in coronavirus fight

April 5, 2020 | Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, Robin Erb

In the toughest week yet in Michigan's fight against coronavirus, hospital workers share their fears, anxieties and triumphs of treating patients and ensuring they don't bring the highly contagious virus home to their loved ones. "You don't know what you're walking into, and you don't know if you'll be able to walk away without being sick, yourself," one says.

Michigan’s COVID-19 death toll is undercounted. So some want to test the dead.

Michigan’s COVID-19 death toll is undercounted. So some want to test the dead.

April 4, 2020 | Robin Erb

Assumptions, a lack of testing, and false negatives lead to an unclear tally of COVID-19 deaths. A Detroit effort might change that.

Could hydroxychloroquine stop coronavirus? Detroit is first in nation for study

Could hydroxychloroquine stop coronavirus? Detroit is first in nation for study

April 2, 2020 | Robin Erb

Participants will receive either an antimalarial drug or a placebo in a first-of-its size trial by Henry Ford Health System, in an attempt to halt a deadly virus decimating Detroit and the world.

You were told no mask if you don’t have coronavirus. That might be wrong.

You were told no mask if you don’t have coronavirus. That might be wrong.

March 31, 2020 | Robin Erb

As coronavirus spreads across Michigan and the nation, experts are rethinking the message that only those with symptoms of the illness need to wear a mask in public.

As coronavirus bears down, Detroit enters a grim new phase

As coronavirus bears down, Detroit enters a grim new phase

March 30, 2020 | Kelly House, Robin Erb, Riley Beggin, Louis Aguilar, Mike Wilkinson

In metro Detroit, the epicenter of Michigan’s outbreak, the pandemic is spreading rapidly as hospitals, government leaders and residents deal with medical shortages and some painful goodbyes.

In metro Detroit, coronavirus deaths spike overnight amid ventilator need

In metro Detroit, coronavirus deaths spike overnight amid ventilator need

March 30, 2020 | Robin Erb

Oakland County executive Dave Coulter issued a call for masks and ventilators at the beginning of what he called “the most challenging week yet.”

Coronavirus, an ‘almost perfect killing machine,’ hits Michigan nursing homes

Coronavirus, an ‘almost perfect killing machine,’ hits Michigan nursing homes

March 29, 2020 | Robin Erb

COVID-19  has breached the walls at Michigan nursing homes, where vulnerable residents are at risk because of tight quarters, a shortage of supplies and low-paid workers. In Macomb County, one home is begging for help.

Khaldun: Michigan has coronavirus testing supplies ‘through another week'

Khaldun: Michigan has coronavirus testing supplies ‘through another week'

March 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

State’s remains in “dire need” of supplies. For every infected patient, hospitals need 10 specialized N95 masks, Michigan’s chief medical executive, Joneigh Khaldun, told Bridge.

Trump grants some disaster aid to Michigan; state also gets N95 masks

Trump grants some disaster aid to Michigan; state also gets N95 masks

March 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

Disaster package loosens federal funds to help cover costs related to COVID-19 — from medical supplies to personal protective equipment to child care.

Detroit hospital: We’re nowhere near ‘worst-case’ coronavirus decisions

Detroit hospital: We’re nowhere near ‘worst-case’ coronavirus decisions

March 27, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kelly House

Henry Ford Health System reassures patients and public following the release of an ethics guideline that discusses who should get ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic. Other hospitals have similar policies.

Separated in their own home, a Michigan family adjusts to coronavirus

Separated in their own home, a Michigan family adjusts to coronavirus

March 27, 2020 | Robin Erb

A Canton Township family endures a week of sadness, frustration and surprising moments of joy after a diagnosis of COVID-19 and self-quarantine.

Detroit hospital warns some coronavirus patients may not get ventilators

Detroit hospital warns some coronavirus patients may not get ventilators

March 27, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kelly House

Guidelines by Henry Ford Health System are leaked onto social media detailing how the sickest patients may not get ventilator care. The draft letter outlines an ‘absolute worst-case scenario’ that hospital officials say has not yet come.

 Coronavirus spreading faster in Detroit than nearly anywhere in United States

Coronavirus spreading faster in Detroit than nearly anywhere in United States

March 25, 2020 | Sarah Alvarez, Anna Clark, Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

Detroit, which faces a host of challenges, is the ‘epicenter’ of Michigan’s coronavirus outbreak. Some attribute that to testing. Others say city residents are more susceptible. All agree the rise burdens folks who are already suffering.

Michigan adjusts to strange, empty world of coronavirus lockdown

Michigan adjusts to strange, empty world of coronavirus lockdown

March 24, 2020 | Ron French, Mike Wilkinson, Valerie von Frank, Robin Erb

From empty streets to locked stores, Michigan residents awoke Tuesday morning to a state desperately trying to slow the spread of a potentially deadly virus.

Alarm grows as Michigan hospitals begin to fill with coronavirus cases

Alarm grows as Michigan hospitals begin to fill with coronavirus cases

March 23, 2020 | Robin Erb

Hospitals are still waiting on critical supplies and workers are concerned about staying safe as a surge in COVID-19 cases is anticipated across the state.

Michigan hospitals turn to quilting scraps, DIY videos to fight coronavirus

Michigan hospitals turn to quilting scraps, DIY videos to fight coronavirus

March 20, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Robin Erb

The state is trying to learn exactly what resources hospitals are working with. In the meantime, health care workers are taking measures into their own hands.

Michigan farmers, distributors worried by coronavirus threat to supply chain

Michigan farmers, distributors worried by coronavirus threat to supply chain

March 19, 2020 | Robin Erb

Food producers and processors are having difficulty getting products to grocers. Add labor shortages to the mix and state agriculture officials say the situation is unprecedented.

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