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

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.”

How Michigan can prepare for the coming Alzheimer’s crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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