Michigan Health Watch

In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident. 

Articles

Michigan reports first two coronavirus cases, in Wayne and Oakland counties

Michigan reports first two coronavirus cases, in Wayne and Oakland counties

March 10, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Ted Roelofs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer confirmed the cases late Tuesday involving two residents who recently traveled, one internationally.

Detroit to offer $25 water restorations as coronavirus fears mount

Detroit to offer $25 water restorations as coronavirus fears mount

March 9, 2020 | Joel Kurth

Detroit is offering to turn back on water for $25 to halt the spread of coronavirus, and for 30 days, the state of Michigan will pick up the tab for those who can’t afford it, Mayor Mike Duggan announced.

How Michigan hospitals and businesses try to keep workers happy, healthy

How Michigan hospitals and businesses try to keep workers happy, healthy

March 9, 2020 | Catherine Shaffer

Research is mixed on whether employee wellness programs actually change behaviors and improve health. But businesses like Quicken Loans, Bell’s Brewery and large hospital systems insist their efforts improve work culture.

Cow dung won’t stop coronavirus and you can open Amazon boxes from China

Cow dung won’t stop coronavirus and you can open Amazon boxes from China

March 5, 2020 | Robin Erb

Cons and conspiracies abound in Michigan as residents brace for coronavirus. Now would also be a good time to tell you not to drink bleach.

Coronavirus fears renew calls for Gov. Whitmer to end Detroit water shutoffs

Coronavirus fears renew calls for Gov. Whitmer to end Detroit water shutoffs

March 2, 2020 | Joel Kurth

One day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer denies a request for a health emergency in Detroit’s water shutoffs, activists again are seeking another one, saying that living without water could spread coronavirus.

State 'may not have' needed supplies if coronavirus spreads in Michigan

State 'may not have' needed supplies if coronavirus spreads in Michigan

February 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

The state’s top doctor says Michigan has enough supplies “for now,” but is limited in specialized masks and other items if coronavirus hits. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activates emergency center in “abundance of caution.”

Michigan schools scramble to plan for a potential coronavirus outbreak

Michigan schools scramble to plan for a potential coronavirus outbreak

February 27, 2020 | Ron French, Robin Erb

Would schools close for weeks at a time? Would lessons be online? What if a student travels overseas? Michigan districts are creating protocols on the fly to address a possible outbreak.

Detroit says no proof water shutoffs harm health. Get real, experts say.

Detroit says no proof water shutoffs harm health. Get real, experts say.

February 26, 2020 | Joel Kurth

 Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is unlikely to declare a state emergency to end Detroit water shutoffs, prompting debate about how much proof is needed about health detriments that researchers say are obvious.  

How to prepare for coronavirus in Michigan. Step 1: Breathe

How to prepare for coronavirus in Michigan. Step 1: Breathe

February 26, 2020 | Robin Erb

Health experts say the COVID-19 coronavirus is on its way. As hospitals and health systems prepare, simple steps can help protect you and your loved ones.

As U.S. braces for coronavirus, Detroit hospital sets up 5 patient rooms

As U.S. braces for coronavirus, Detroit hospital sets up 5 patient rooms

February 25, 2020 | Robin Erb

A CDC official said the virus’s spread to the United States is inevitable, which is why Michigan officials are preparing as they battle flu cases. In one Detroit hospital ‘negative pressure rooms’ await patients.   

Gretchen Whitmer asks to stop Michigan Medicaid work rules; 80,000 at risk

Gretchen Whitmer asks to stop Michigan Medicaid work rules; 80,000 at risk

February 25, 2020 | Robin Erb

80,000 Michiganders who must report to work — or prove to the state why they can’t — have until Saturday to file reports, according to the governor’s office. The state GOP stands behind the work rules. 

For weary Michigan seniors, a retirement in name only

For weary Michigan seniors, a retirement in name only

February 24, 2020 | Robin Erb

Kicking back is not an option for a growing number of residents over 60, who increasingly find themselves caring for very old parents or very young grandchildren. “We’re getting old and we’re not dying.”

More Michigan grandparents are raising grandkids. Two bills may help them.

More Michigan grandparents are raising grandkids. Two bills may help them.

February 24, 2020 | Robin Erb

An estimated 120,000 Michiganders age 60 or older are taking on the round-the-clock job of parenting children or teens, double rates of a generation ago. Help may finally be on the way.

Michigan Senate moves to deregulate health care

Michigan Senate moves to deregulate health care

February 20, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Bills approved Thursday would make it easier to add new psychiatric beds and build hospitals. The measure dropped language impacting rural hospitals and some outpatient heart procedures.

Bernie Sanders calls Detroit shutoffs an ‘outrage,’ as city seeks more help

Bernie Sanders calls Detroit shutoffs an ‘outrage,’ as city seeks more help

February 19, 2020 | Joel Kurth

Citing a Bridge Magazine article, Sanders calls water shutoffs a ‘moral outrage.’ City officials say they want to expand relief efforts for thousands of impoverished residents with no running water.

Detroit wants to expand water help. Here’s how to avoid disconnections.

Detroit wants to expand water help. Here’s how to avoid disconnections.

February 17, 2020 | Joel Kurth

Detroit officials want to double the amount of help available for low-income customers facing water shutoffs. Most programs help those who aren't yet disconnected.

I hate to complain, but I haven’t had water in a year. A Detroit story.

I hate to complain, but I haven’t had water in a year. A Detroit story.

February 17, 2020 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson

After two years of decline, Detroit water shutoffs jumped 44 percent last year, as the city stopped water to 1 in 9 homes. Most stayed off a month or more, and nearly 10,000 homes still don’t have service.

Michigan debates future of kratom, an herbal remedy linked to 9 state deaths

Michigan debates future of kratom, an herbal remedy linked to 9 state deaths

February 14, 2020 | Robin Erb

Made from a tree in Southeast Asia, kratom is promoted for pain relief and as an energy booster. Some say it helps kick opioid addiction. But health officials warn of another, more dangerous side.

Sheriff’s plea on mentally ill prisoner reveals gap in Michigan treatment

Sheriff’s plea on mentally ill prisoner reveals gap in Michigan treatment

February 12, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

An Upper Peninsula sheriff went to Facebook to get state help for a delusional man in his jail. His post highlights severe shortages in the state for violent or severely mentally ill people caught up in the criminal justice system.

5th Michigan person being tested for coronavirus had traveled to China

5th Michigan person being tested for coronavirus had traveled to China

February 8, 2020 | Robin Erb

The Oakland County resident had a travel history to China, said a state health department spokeswoman, who added that the person was not stopped or screened at Detroit Metro airport. 

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