Ted Roelofs

Ted Roelofs of Kentwood, has been a general assignment reporter at Bridge since 2012 and has written extensively on healthcare 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


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’

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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.”

How Michigan can prepare for the coming Alzheimer’s crisis

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

It’s not just Flint: Poverty is bad for your health in Michigan, study finds

July 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs, Jim Malewitz

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer focuses on environmental justice, a new study by the University of Michigan maps ‘hot spots’ where low-income people of color are exposed to high levels of pollution.

After three student suicides, one Michigan school district fights back

July 23, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Following a year of unrelenting grief in rural Cedar Springs, the district resolved to find ways to identify stress before students fall into crisis. There are signs the effort is beginning to make a difference.

A Michigan mother finds solace in schools’ response after son’s suicide

July 23, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

“This could happen to any family,” the west Michigan mom said, nearly four years after her son took his life just before his senior year of high school.

Michigan doctors not trained to treat opioid abuse ‒ and don't want to be

July 12, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A statewide survey found most primary care physicians don’t want training to administer the “gold standard” treatment of opioid abuse, even as overdose deaths tripled in Michigan.

State ends ties to West Michigan mental-health agency for poor and disabled

July 1, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan is ending its contract with Lakeshore Regional Entity, which coordinates behavioral health care for 30,000 Medicaid patients, citing “fiscal mismanagement” and debt. Agency blames a widespread lack of funding.

Payday blues: Rural Michigan and the quick-cash debt hole

June 26, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

With interest rates that can top 400 percent a year, payday lenders sprout in small-town Michigan. Bipartisan legislation in Lansing would rein in lending practices, but there’s no guarantee it will get a hearing.

How one Michigan credit union is helping ease customers from payday loans

June 26, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

After debt, a second chance for rural borrowers through a capped loan program and community education

Suicide, depression on rise in rural Michigan, but psychiatrists are scarce

June 12, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Doctors in the Upper Peninsula and other rural regions report long waits for psychiatric care; child specialists are even harder to find. Can student loan forgiveness for medical residents and telemedicine reduce the gap?

More than a dozen hospitals in rural Michigan at ‘high risk’ of closing

June 12, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A devastating trend shows few signs of slowing, which means longer waits for an ambulance, distant maternity care and a brutal cycle that may lead more residents (and medical workers) to abandon rural communities.

In Alabama, one rural town reached for its wallet to keep its hospital open

June 12, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Residents who depended on the hospital in tiny Haleyville agreed to pay hikes in sales and property taxes. Their sacrifice in tax-averse Alabama may portend what it will take to keep other rural medical facilities in business.

Anguish in Benton Harbor as years of mistakes lead to a school’s likely demise

June 6, 2019 | Ron French, Ted Roelofs

Teachers blame administrators. Administrators blame the board. The board blames the state. Caught in the middle are students saddled with devastatingly low rates of achievement.