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 email@example.com or 734-725-1155.
For much of April, coronavirus cases dropped consistently in Michigan. They are jumping upward again in the past few days as cases spread outstate. But experts also attribute the rise to more testing.
April 23, 2020 | Robin Erb
More than 40 years ago, a dying newborn and a doctor who ended up at the University of Michigan helped set the course for technology that today may be the last chance at survival for some COVID-19 patients.
The Detroit-based hospital system is the latest in a string of medical providers to announce deep staff cuts as the coronavirus pandemic dries up revenue streams.
April 21, 2020 | Robin Erb
Beaumont Health, the state’s largest health system, blamed the dramatic cuts on losses incurred during the pandemic, which forced it to cut revenue-generating procedures to handle the surge. CEO temporarily cuts his own pay 70 percent.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is under enormous pressure to loosen an economic lockdown by May 1. But by any national standard, the state must significantly improve COVID-19 testing to safely reopen for business.
April 17, 2020 | Robin Erb
Midwives, mostly paid out of pocket, say they could serve more women and better respond to a long-term pandemic if insurance companies would cover home deliveries.
From metropolitan health systems to independent rural hospitals, hospital budgets are taking big financial hits as surgeries and other money making medical procedures are put on hold.
April 15, 2020 | Robin Erb
The eight-hospital system, like others, blames the cancellation of more lucrative non-emergency procedures during the COVID-19 surge for its cash-flow problems. It did not say what workers are affected.
That slowing of coronavirus cases has prompted the state's largest hospital system to reassess staffing and space.
The Ann Arbor-based health system said 2,000 of the masks were distributed to health workers but were found to be unusable, so they are not using any of them. This follows similar mask complaints from Alabama and Oregon.
April 13, 2020 | Robin Erb
Serologic studies are being launched in at least three hospital systems to identify those with immunity to COVID-19 after surviving the virus. Such data can inform business openings and patient treatment.
Insurers have loosened restrictions and boosted benefits to extend telemedicine as never before.
As the coronavirus decimates hospital revenues, the Detroit Medical Center notifies 60 lab assistants and more they are being laid off, while McLaren is exploring cost-cutting measures and furloughs.
April 6, 2020 | Robin Erb
The numbers at Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest hospital system, are the latest reminder of the dangers facing hospital workers in metro Detroit.
The latest death underscores the danger and anxiety for health care workers on Michigan’s front lines as the virus spreads through the state.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.