Ted Roelofs

Ted Roelofs of Kentwood, has been a general assignment reporter at Bridge since 2012 and has written extensively on health care in that time as well as prison and juvenile justice reform. Roelofs spent nearly three decades at the Grand Rapids Press where he covered politics, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rural poverty and mental illness among the homeless. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Reach Ted at ted.roelofs@gmail.com

Articles

Attorney General Dana Nessel takes hard line in juvenile inmate rape cases

Attorney General Dana Nessel takes hard line in juvenile inmate rape cases

November 5, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Like her predecessor Bill Schuette, Nessel is contesting every claim by juveniles who said they were raped by adult prisoners — including whether the teens, some as young as 14, can be called children at trial.

Juvenile rape accuser: ‘Regardless of what I did, I was still a child’

Juvenile rape accuser: ‘Regardless of what I did, I was still a child’

November 4, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Two former juvenile inmates describe being raped by adults in a Michigan prison. Attorney General Dana Nessel contests the claims as the case heads to trial. (WARNING: Video contains graphic and explicit language and content)

For 10,000 Michigan counselors, bill’s passage a sigh of relief

For 10,000 Michigan counselors, bill’s passage a sigh of relief

October 29, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill Tuesday that preserves the right of counselors to diagnose and practice psychotherapy in the state. The measure effectively overrules a licensing agency’s bid to restrict their professional practice.

Water protection hits close to home for Grand Rapids audience

Water protection hits close to home for Grand Rapids audience

October 24, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A Center for Michigan water conference Thursday took place within miles of a PFAS contamination site. Experts weighed in on key challenges the state faces to keeping water clean and safe.

This flu season looks deadly. Yet much of Michigan won’t get its shot.

This flu season looks deadly. Yet much of Michigan won’t get its shot.

October 18, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

In much of rural Michigan, and in Detroit, fewer than 20 percent of residents get flu shots, even though the vaccine makes it far less likely that people will die or get seriously ill from the virus.

 New law shields 10,000 Michigan counselors from limits to their practice

New law shields 10,000 Michigan counselors from limits to their practice

October 17, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

The measure approved Thursday overrides proposed state regulatory changes critics said would be “devastating” to mental health care in Michiga

In the spring, Gov. Whitmer praised an opioid clinic. In the fall, a veto.

In the spring, Gov. Whitmer praised an opioid clinic. In the fall, a veto.

October 8, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s vetoes in the Michigan budget included funds for Andy’s Place, an opioid recovery project near Jackson that she endorsed months ago. The planned facility is in the district of Republican budget and political foe Mike Shirkey.

Michigan counselors fighting ban on right to diagnose, give psychotherapy

Michigan counselors fighting ban on right to diagnose, give psychotherapy

October 3, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Licensed counselors fear that new regulations could put them out of business. Psychologists have long argued that counselors need more training to perform more serious mental health work. A hearing takes place Friday.

Preparing Michigan cities, health systems for more ransomware attacks

Preparing Michigan cities, health systems for more ransomware attacks

October 1, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Cyberattacks on public bodies and hospitals in Michigan can cost millions if they don’t take steps to train workers and protect computer systems. “It’s just going to get worse,” one expert told Bridge Magazine.

In Ironwood, a tiny hospital merged to save itself. Despite fears, it thrived.

In Ironwood, a tiny hospital merged to save itself. Despite fears, it thrived.

September 29, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

For Aspirus Ironwood Hospital, in a sparsely populated former mining region in remote Michigan, merger points to a brighter future.

Rural hospitals in Michigan face a dilemma: Merge or not?

Rural hospitals in Michigan face a dilemma: Merge or not?

September 29, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Rising fiscal challenges force independent Michigan hospitals to seek alliances. They can save the hospitals, but some critics ask at what cost.

Budget fight looms over changes in Medicaid mental health in Michigan

Budget fight looms over changes in Medicaid mental health in Michigan

September 26, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Mental health advocates want Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to veto a plan they say threatens care for 300,000 Medicaid patients. Supporters say the plan safely integrates mental and physical health care for low-income patients.

Michigan jails filled with unlicensed drivers, people who miss court dates

Michigan jails filled with unlicensed drivers, people who miss court dates

September 20, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan’s jail task force is finding that one explanation for the state’s crowded county jails is thousands of people being locked up for relatively minor charges rather than dangerous crimes.

As Michigan schools ban cellphones, reports surface of ‘talking,’ ‘eye contact’

As Michigan schools ban cellphones, reports surface of ‘talking,’ ‘eye contact’

September 13, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

 Studies are increasingly drawing links between heavy student cellphone use and anxiety and lower achievement. In one suburban Grand Rapids district, a phone ban may be spawning something else ... conversation.

Suicide rates rise across Michigan, with few answers

Suicide rates rise across Michigan, with few answers

September 4, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A proposed state commission on suicide would seek solutions to the spiking suicide rates, particularly among young people, military veterans and i rural counties. Meanwhile, a bill to help students remains stalled.

 

What’s behind the population boom in rural Michigan jails?

What’s behind the population boom in rural Michigan jails?

August 23, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A state task force could convene on why rural jails hold a greater share of inmates, with more awaiting trial.

Part of bribery case against GOP Rep. Larry Inman proceeds

Part of bribery case against GOP Rep. Larry Inman proceeds

August 9, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A federal judge declines to dismiss one felony charge against GOP state Rep. Larry Inman, put two others on hold

New plans for Michigan psychiatric facility raise more concerns about care

New plans for Michigan psychiatric facility raise more concerns about care

August 5, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Mental health advocates say a decision to keep a Caro psychiatric hospital open doesn't improve Michigan's mental health system.

Study: Untreated mental illness, substance abuse ‘staggering’ in Michigan

Study: Untreated mental illness, substance abuse ‘staggering’ in Michigan

July 30, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

The analysis highlights over 1.1 million instances of undiagnosed anxiety, depression and substance abuse in Michigan and a critical shortage of mental-health workers and treatment facilities, particularly in rural northern Michigan.

Alzheimer’s in Michigan: The coming storm

Alzheimer’s in Michigan: The coming storm

July 29, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Initiatives to address the looming Alzheimer’s crisis can make a difference, particularly in a state like Michigan, which has an aging population and a dearth of physicians and health workers specializing in senior care. 

Experts say aging baby boomers will put rising stress on the health care system and more than a half-million caregivers. One expert warns: “Michigan is not ready for this.”

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