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, Ohio). You can contact Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-725-1155.
July 27, 2020 | Robin Erb
New state data and reports from county medical examiners show a rise in opioid-related overdoses and deaths in parts of Michigan, which was likely fueled by the isolation and anxiety of the pandemic.
July 22, 2020 | Robin Erb
COVID-19 tests were once reserved for very sick or at-risk groups. Now people across the state are now getting tested. But the volume is slowing results and straining test supplies, making it harder to track the virus’ spread.
July 22, 2020 | Robin Erb
Testing criteria has changed. So have the options. But which test is most reliable? Bridge has sorted out answers to some frequently asked questions.
July 15, 2020 | Robin Erb
Do masks work? Do disability or medical privacy laws allow me to enter a store without one? Michigan researchers, doctors and a lawyer weigh in on the much-debated mask mandate.
Tensions are boiling over as confrontations increase over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's mask rule designed to contain COVID-19 becomes “the number one anxiety-producing pain point for retailers right now.”
July 12, 2020 | Robin Erb
Disheartened by images of raucous crowds ignoring safety measures, some health officials wonder if contact tracing — long a trusted tactic in controlling infectious diseases — may be losing its usefulness.
Industries that serve the vulnerable see risky behaviors among young workers, but say they’re limited on what they can do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
June 25, 2020 | Robin Erb
A new report says health disparities and economics helped expose Michigan’s oldest residents to COVID-19 and it offers recommendations that AARP Michigan’s director says are “achievable.”
A new report highlights disparities in how federal coronavirus relief money was distributed, suggesting Michigan hospitals were shorted.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.