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


Mentally ill suspects get help in Miami, jail in Michigan. Guess which works

May 1, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Miami’s innovative program has slashed the number of mentally ill jail inmates in Miami, saving Dade County millions of dollars while providing hope to that region’s most vulnerable residents. Michigan officials are taking stock.

In Miami, judges weigh treatment, not prison, for the mentally ill

May 1, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A day in Miami-Dade Circuit Court shows the promise of a program that has reduced the region’s jail population and may serve as a model for Michigan.

After surviving mental illness, he works to keep others like him out of jail

May 1, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

In Miami, peer specialist Justin Volpe taps into his own dark past to reach out to criminal suspects with serious mental illness. Michigan court and government officials are studying whether to adopt such a model.

Mounting debt threatens West Michigan Medicaid mental health agency

April 28, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

The state health department threatens closure of Lakeshore Regional Entity, which coordinates behavioral health care for 30,000 recipients in West Michigan. Lakeshore’s board chair threatens suit, says state is to blame.

If Whitmer’s road funding pitch fails, where is Michigan’s Plan B?

April 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A Grand Rapids roads summit provided no clear answers on how Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican-led Legislature might reach a deal that still raises the more than $2 billion need annually for a roads fix.

Michigan is obese, unhealthy and dying young. And that's costing billions.

April 24, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs

From Detroit to Clare, poor choices and limited access to health care have added up to lower lifetimes for many state residents, making health a gnawing but significant concern to those who live in Michigan and those leading it.

As measles outbreak spreads, Michigan anti-vaxxer group hits Lansing

April 11, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan health officials say 39 residents have contracted the highly contagious disease. But groups opposed to mandatory vaccines are asking lawmakers to preserve their freedom on whether to vaccinate children.

Michigan Commission: Fund courts so judges aren’t turned into fundraisers

April 8, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Trial judges routinely impose significant court costs on guilty criminal defendants that go to help fund court operations. A state-appointed commission calls the practice corrupting and evidence of a broken system.

Detroit isn’t alone. Car insurance sky-high throughout Michigan, data show

March 28, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs

Look up average rates in your ZIP Code. Guaranteed, they are higher than the national average, adding grist to debate about reforming Michigan’s no-fault laws.

Here’s how Michigan should spend Bloomberg’s $10 million to fight opioids

March 15, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg invests $10 million for “high impact” solutions. Experts tell Bridge Magazine where investment would help most.

Suicides, often linked to opioids, spike in rural Michigan and among young

March 7, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

A new study finds links between two grim causes of death, but also poses some proven ways to reduce rates

A $18B debt is coming due, and it’s haunting small town Michigan

February 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

See how your town compares as a new state law tracking public pension and health care debt lays bare the financial woes of rural Michigan.

Will Michigan cities keep vow to cut legacy debt? New law lacks teeth

February 25, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Experts concede a new Michigan law on pension and retiree health debt has no real enforcement powers on communities that refuse to tackle this significant problem on their own.

Budget tests Gretchen Whitmer’s promise to repeal Michigan pension tax

February 5, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Gov. Whitmer faces likely Republican opposition to her campaign vow. And a repeal blows a $330 million hole in the state’s already strained budget.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer rips Michigan Republican pork deals; says she can't block them

February 1, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expressed displeasure with millions of dollars spent on dozens of pet projects during lame duck, but said state will honor the bill

Gov. Whitmer seeks speedy Michigan public record response, but not (yet) for her office

February 1, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

The Michigan governor’s order is intended to make state agencies more responsive to FOIA requests. She did not make her office subject to the law, and Republicans pounced.

Whitmer administration changing tone around Michigan marijuana regulation

January 22, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

The Democratic governor is signaling a less restrictive approach to pot licensing than under Gov. Rick Snyder. Critics say she will be held accountable for any downside to the state’s pot laws.

In opioid war, studies urge medication. Michigan clinics push abstinence.

January 17, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Slowly, addiction treatment centers in the state are shifting away from old-school abstinence to combining counseling with medication. But experts warn Michigan isn’t moving quickly enough

From opioid-fueled thief to grateful counselor to peers in Michigan

January 17, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

Kyle Hanshaw lied, stole and tricked doctors to get painkillers. Then he found a Bay City medication treatment program that worked.

Pregnant in rural Michigan? Fill up your gas tank for delivery day.

January 10, 2019 | Ted Roelofs

As rural hospitals close their obstetrics units, many mothers and their babies will pay a price in far longer journeys for hospital care