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

Can I get tested for coronavirus in Michigan and other questions answered

Can I get tested for coronavirus in Michigan and other questions answered

March 13, 2020 | Robin Erb, Ted Roelofs, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

Bridge has reached out to the experts to answer your most pressing questions on how to protect your family and what steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe from the new coronavirus.

10 new Michigan coronavirus cases as state reacts dramatically to spread

10 new Michigan coronavirus cases as state reacts dramatically to spread

March 13, 2020 | Robin Erb

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s top medical and school leaders announced the new cases, which brings Michigan’s total to 12. The state also is closing schools for three weeks to slow the illness. 

Coronavirus is here. And Michigan’s public health system is underfunded.

Coronavirus is here. And Michigan’s public health system is underfunded.

March 12, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Robin Erb

Michigan has the lowest rate of public health funding in the Midwest, and local governments may strain to provide other services in the wake of the coronavirus.

Cow dung won’t stop coronavirus and you can open Amazon boxes from China

Cow dung won’t stop coronavirus and you can open Amazon boxes from China

March 5, 2020 | Robin Erb

Cons and conspiracies abound in Michigan as residents brace for coronavirus. Now would also be a good time to tell you not to drink bleach.

Judge blocks Michigan’s Medicaid work rules in victory for Gretchen Whitmer

Judge blocks Michigan’s Medicaid work rules in victory for Gretchen Whitmer

March 4, 2020 | Robin Erb

A federal judge’s decision to halt the Medicaid work law in Michigan follows the suspension of such laws elsewhere. Tens of thousands of residents had failed to follow its reporting requirements

State 'may not have' needed supplies if coronavirus spreads in Michigan

State 'may not have' needed supplies if coronavirus spreads in Michigan

February 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

The state’s top doctor says Michigan has enough supplies “for now,” but is limited in specialized masks and other items if coronavirus hits. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activates emergency center in “abundance of caution.”

Michigan schools scramble to plan for a potential coronavirus outbreak

Michigan schools scramble to plan for a potential coronavirus outbreak

February 27, 2020 | Ron French, Robin Erb

Would schools close for weeks at a time? Would lessons be online? What if a student travels overseas? Michigan districts are creating protocols on the fly to address a possible outbreak.

How to prepare for coronavirus in Michigan. Step 1: Breathe

How to prepare for coronavirus in Michigan. Step 1: Breathe

February 26, 2020 | Robin Erb

Health experts say the COVID-19 coronavirus is on its way. As hospitals and health systems prepare, simple steps can help protect you and your loved ones.

As U.S. braces for coronavirus, Detroit hospital sets up 5 patient rooms

As U.S. braces for coronavirus, Detroit hospital sets up 5 patient rooms

February 25, 2020 | Robin Erb

A CDC official said the virus’s spread to the United States is inevitable, which is why Michigan officials are preparing as they battle flu cases. In one Detroit hospital ‘negative pressure rooms’ await patients.   

Gretchen Whitmer asks to stop Michigan Medicaid work rules; 80,000 at risk

Gretchen Whitmer asks to stop Michigan Medicaid work rules; 80,000 at risk

February 25, 2020 | Robin Erb

80,000 Michiganders who must report to work — or prove to the state why they can’t — have until Saturday to file reports, according to the governor’s office. The state GOP stands behind the work rules. 

For weary Michigan seniors, a retirement in name only

For weary Michigan seniors, a retirement in name only

February 24, 2020 | Robin Erb

Kicking back is not an option for a growing number of residents over 60, who increasingly find themselves caring for very old parents or very young grandchildren. “We’re getting old and we’re not dying.”

More Michigan grandparents are raising grandkids. Two bills may help them.

More Michigan grandparents are raising grandkids. Two bills may help them.

February 24, 2020 | Robin Erb

An estimated 120,000 Michiganders age 60 or older are taking on the round-the-clock job of parenting children or teens, double rates of a generation ago. Help may finally be on the way.

Michigan debates future of kratom, an herbal remedy linked to 9 state deaths

Michigan debates future of kratom, an herbal remedy linked to 9 state deaths

February 14, 2020 | Robin Erb

Made from a tree in Southeast Asia, kratom is promoted for pain relief and as an energy booster. Some say it helps kick opioid addiction. But health officials warn of another, more dangerous side.

5th Michigan person being tested for coronavirus had traveled to China

5th Michigan person being tested for coronavirus had traveled to China

February 8, 2020 | Robin Erb

The Oakland County resident had a travel history to China, said a state health department spokeswoman, who added that the person was not stopped or screened at Detroit Metro airport. 

The first line of defense against coronavirus: Try soap, not a mask

The first line of defense against coronavirus: Try soap, not a mask

February 7, 2020 | Robin Erb

As health officials marshal resources to contain a new  coronavirus, which hasn't hit Michigan, there are simple steps anyone can take to reduce risks. You don’t need special equipment. 

As Michigan braces for coronavirus, H1N1 quietly makes a comeback

As Michigan braces for coronavirus, H1N1 quietly makes a comeback

February 6, 2020 | Robin Erb

A small lab at the University of Michigan is one of five U.S. sites that monitor influenza viruses to gauge vaccine effectiveness. The lab also is monitoring coronavirus developments as part of a federal effort.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s health budget is heavy on prevention

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s health budget is heavy on prevention

February 6, 2020 | Robin Erb

Addressing everyday social determinants today — from food security to postpartum care to youngsters’ teeth — will save more in the long run, says Michigan’s Health and Human Services director.

A steady job can give you health coverage, but can health coverage help you work?

A steady job can give you health coverage, but can health coverage help you work?

February 3, 2020 | Robin Erb

Researchers say those covered by Michigan’s expanded Medicaid plan saw a 6 percent boost in jobs and school in a single year, outpacing job growth in general population.

Michigan Legislature weighs dropping high school health, gym requirements

Michigan Legislature weighs dropping high school health, gym requirements

February 3, 2020 | Robin Erb

Republicans say reducing graduation requirements gives flexibility to students who want to work after high school. Critics say health and gym are critical as teen levels of anxiety, STDs and obesity rise.

3 coronavirus tests ruled 'negative' in Michigan; new case investigated

3 coronavirus tests ruled 'negative' in Michigan; new case investigated

January 27, 2020 | Robin Erb

A widespread flu virus in the state poses more of a threat right now, but health officials remain vigilant for cases of coronavirus in Michigan.

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