Department of Health and Human Services

Some lawmakers want to prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from issuing rules restricting access and use of vaping products. Lawmakers debated the bill in front of a House committee Tuesday.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announces the new policy change at the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan lawmakers want to make it easier for people to apply for public assistance.

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  The state has launched a program to help kids stop smoking, in part so students don’t get suspended from school.

 

An increase in students using e-cigarettes has led to many schools implementing automatic suspensions for smoking.

 

A recent state survey found 25 percent of seventh and 11th graders in the region say they vaped within the last 30 days. In Emmet County, youth vaping increased by 84 percent over the last two years.

 

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Grand Traverse County health officials say there has been a confirmed case of measles in the county.

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Michigan health officials are trying to educate parents that are skeptical of vaccines, encouraging them to immunize their kids. But it’s not working in Grand Traverse County, where more and more parents are opting out of vaccinations. Plus, a dietician helps people cook healthier food.


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This spring, a measles outbreak in southeast Michigan spread because of a high concentration of unvaccinated people. The outbreak was contained to that part of the state, but Grand Traverse County is still a high-risk area because of the large number of unvaccinated students.

After a state mandate required parents to learn the risks of not vaccinating their kids, immunizations increased across Michigan. But in Grand Traverse Couty, many are still saying 'no' to vaccines.

Meghan Flaska used to vaccine her kids without a thought.

The Department of Health and Human Services office in Cheboygan.
Owen Goslin

Last fall the state changed the way it processes benefits like food stamps and emergency heating assistance.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services created a new system called the “universal caseload.” State officials said it would be quicker and more efficient, but that hasn't been the case.


Max Johnston

Michigan schools have one of the highest rates of chronic absenteeism in the country -- that’s students that miss at least 10 percent of the school year.

 

However, Birch Street Elementary school in Kalkaska has found a way to keep kids in school by helping them inside and outside of the classroom.

State of Michigan

People in Blair Township are now dealing with PFAs contamination. On Friday, twelve households started getting bottled water at the township hall. That’s after contamination was found in wells this week. 

PFAs are found in things like fire-fighting foam and are linked to cancer.

 


Most Michigan residents can get a copy of their birth certificates within weeks by simply placing an order online. 

But for Detroit native Rudy Owens, attempts to obtain his birth records took decades of legal battles. 

Why? Because he is an adoptee. 

State health officials says infants in Michigan die at a higher rate than the national average. 

The state Department of Health and Human Services says there were 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in Michigan in 2015. The national average was 5.9 deaths per 1,000.

An advocacy group for kids says a court-ordered report shows Michigan has a long way to go before it can guarantee the safety and welfare of children in foster care.

The monitors report says problems include the state not doing background checks on many relatives who take in foster kids, and not investigating credible allegations of abuse or neglect.

Have abused children been put in greater harm's way by the very people who are supposed to protect them? 

Reports in the Lansing State Journal point to an answer of "yes." And now lawmakers are promising to investigate alleged faking of records by Department of Health and Human Services officials in at least seven counties.

State lawmakers say they will look into reports the Michigan agency that handles child abuse and neglect cases fudged its numbers to make it appear it was complying with a court order.

Morgan Springer

We all know cigarettes are bad for you, and it’s incredibly hard to quit. It takes most people between five and eight attempts to actually quit, according to a Farid Shamo, a public health consultant with the Tobacco Control Program the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Lately, DHHS is focusing on a particular group: people with HIV. Half of them smoke.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday afternoon they’ve sent a “public health strike team” to Flint.

HHS says it has sent in more than a dozen officers with the Commissioned Corps. That’s a uniformed service of public health experts.

They’ll be doing follow-up medical visits with kids whose tests have come back with elevated levels of lead in their blood.