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, Ohio). You can contact Robin at rerb@bridgemi.com or 734-725-1155.

Articles

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.’

Nearly killed by COVID-19, Michigan doctors, nurses return humbled, smarter

Nearly killed by COVID-19, Michigan doctors, nurses return humbled, smarter

May 26, 2020 | Robin Erb

Two new studies suggest 1 in 100 health care workers involved in the care of coronavirus patients may have become infected themselves. Bridge Magazine spoke to some of them about how their experiences changed them.

Michigan regulators moved fast on dangerous dam. To protect mussels.

Michigan regulators moved fast on dangerous dam. To protect mussels.

May 21, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, Robin Erb, Riley Beggin

In court papers, the owners of a dam that failed this week near Midland acknowledged it was considered unsafe for decades. But Michigan’s only action against the dam was a suit contending it lowered water and killed freshwater mussels.

Michigan appeals court sides with vape shop, against flavored vaping ban

Michigan appeals court sides with vape shop, against flavored vaping ban

May 21, 2020 | Robin Erb

The Michigan Court of Appeals panel upheld a trial court’s injunction against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency rules against flavored vaping products.

As floodwaters bear down on Dow Chemical, worries about water toxins

As floodwaters bear down on Dow Chemical, worries about water toxins

May 20, 2020 | Robin Erb, Kelly House

Dow Chemical evacuates its Midland headquarters as dam breaches bring flooding to the complex’s containment ponds.

Health board accuses Michigan State Police of being lax on Capitol protesters

Health board accuses Michigan State Police of being lax on Capitol protesters

May 12, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

An Ingham County community health board said state and Lansing officials endanger public safety by not cracking down on anti-Whitmer protesters who do not follow restrictions intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Police say they will take enforcement action when necessary.

In Michigan, 23K are ‘recovered’ from COVID. Many still feel like hell.

In Michigan, 23K are ‘recovered’ from COVID. Many still feel like hell.

May 10, 2020 | Robin Erb

Destroyed kidneys, ravaged lungs and liver — the coronavirus that nearly killed some patients leaves them struggling to do everyday tasks long after Michigan considers them ‘recovered.’

Michigan’s definition of coronavirus ‘recovery’ looser than other states

Michigan’s definition of coronavirus ‘recovery’ looser than other states

May 10, 2020 | Robin Erb

Michigan counts those “who are 30 days out from their onset of illness” as recovered. The definition reflects the disconnect between data and real life underscores both the shortcomings in reporting.

Treatment and trials go on, but Michigan doctors split on coronavirus drug

Treatment and trials go on, but Michigan doctors split on coronavirus drug

May 8, 2020 | Kate Wells, Michigan Radio, Robin Erb, Kelly House

Hydroxychloroquine was touted early on as possible treatment for COVID-19 patients, but a growing body of research points to possibly deadly side effects

Plasma may hold promise for Michigan coronavirus patients, but where is it?

Plasma may hold promise for Michigan coronavirus patients, but where is it?

May 7, 2020 | Robin Erb

Some families turn to social media as doctors work the phones trying to find plasma donors among those who beat the virus, a treatment with early promise but for which proven benefits are not yet known.

Detroit children’s hospital ousts 25 pediatricians in war with Wayne State

Detroit children’s hospital ousts 25 pediatricians in war with Wayne State

May 5, 2020 | Robin Erb

Wayne State University School of Medicine’s new dean calls the action an “egregious” violation of the Detroit Medical Center’s mission. It’s the latest turn in a years’ long legal drama.

As coronavirus eases, Michigan hospitals ramp up more lucrative procedures

As coronavirus eases, Michigan hospitals ramp up more lucrative procedures

May 4, 2020 | Robin Erb

Michigan hospitals were forced to halt non-emergency surgeries and procedures as COVID-19 surged. The state is now blessing their decision to take patients with less urgent but “time-sensitive” cases. 

Remembering 11 Felician Sisters in Livonia who died in April

Remembering 11 Felician Sisters in Livonia who died in April

May 3, 2020 | Robin Erb

At least five of the deaths were linked to the coronavirus, which tore through the convent. There were 60 to 70 sisters, many of them elderly, living at the convent prior to the pandemic.

Coronavirus tears through a beloved Michigan convent devoted to service

Coronavirus tears through a beloved Michigan convent devoted to service

May 2, 2020 | Robin Erb

The Felician Sisters, who founded Madonna University, schools, a hospice and hospital in Livonia, were hit by 22 cases of COVID-19. The order lost 11 sisters in 16 days, with at least five deaths tied to the virus.

Oakland County to test 15K residents of senior facilities for coronavirus

Oakland County to test 15K residents of senior facilities for coronavirus

April 30, 2020 | Robin Erb

Following trends nationwide, nearly half of all deaths from COVID-19 are in nursing homes in Oakland County. Now, first responders are going into senior centers to test residents and staff in an effort to get ahead of the pandemic.

Michigan doctor near death among first to get coronavirus plasma treatment

Michigan doctor near death among first to get coronavirus plasma treatment

April 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

He received convalescent plasma at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, one of 14 patients there receiving the experimental treatment. Early returns are promising but it’s far too early to know if it actually works.

Coronavirus empties pediatrician offices in Michigan, decreases vaccinations

Coronavirus empties pediatrician offices in Michigan, decreases vaccinations

April 26, 2020 | Robin Erb

Parents are avoiding health care settings for fear of coronavirus. But doing so, doctors say, puts a child’s health at risk with missed vaccinations, untended anxiety problems or life-threatening diseases that can develop undetected.

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