Michigan Healthcare

Wikimedia Commons

 

Some Michigan hospitals are experiencing a critical shortage of blood. Blood banks say supply is typically low in the summer because high school students, who make up a bulk of donations, are on break. But this year is especially bad. 

Spectrum Health, which has hospitals in west Michigan, says its reserve is down 84% from normal levels. Statewide blood banks are now issuing an emergency call for people to give blood.

Creative Commons

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.


Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital is closing their maternity unit on May 31. Many residents criticized that plan at a town hall on Saturday.

Jessica Cracraft is 28 weeks pregnant and says she planned on giving birth at the hospital.

"I don't want to have to go to a new hospital. I don't want to have new nurses, and I don't want to have a new doctor," Cracraft said. "I only have 11 weeks left."

State Representative Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) said the closure will make Manistee less attractive to young people.

Julie Viken / Pexels

The fight over abortion rights has resumed in the state Legislature. A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on legislation to ban the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure.

Munson Healthcare

Nurses at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City officially have their first labor contract. It was "overwhelmingly" approved by a vote this weekend, according to a press release from the Michigan Nurses Association.

The contract includes a 13 percent pay increase, limits mandatory overtime and will last three years. Representatives from the the Nurses Association and Munson said they were pleased with the deal. 

Wikimedia Commons

After nearly 20 years, Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City will stop performing court-ordered drug tests.

Max Johnston

Last year nearly 3,000 people died from drug overdoses in Michigan. That was an 80 percent increase in the past five years. There is a form of treatment that could help.

It involves prescribed medication to fight addiction and has been called the “gold standard” for opioid treatment. But it can be hard to find in northern Michigan.

Mike Lober was addicted to painkillers and heroin for 40 years. He says he was constantly chasing his next fix.

Bridge Magazine/Michigan Health & Hospital Association

It’s getting harder to find hospitals where women can give birth in Michigan. The number of hospitals with obstetrics care has dropped significantly over the past four decades, and rural areas have been hit the hardest.

Over 9,000 people struggling with medical debt in northern Michigan will get an early holiday gift this year. The Michigan Nurses Association announced Thursday they're donating $8.9 million to the cause.

“We know that we have patients who say over and over that they are worried about paying the hospital bills when they should be worried about getting better and going home,” says Melissa Boals, a nurse at Munson Medical Center and member of the nurses association board.

Over the past two years, Michiganders across the state have become aware of the chemicals known as PFAS. They first made news when elevated levels were found in more than 20 private water wells in Oscoda. Now, there are 35 known contamination sites around the state.

Munson Healthcare

Nurses have filed charges against one of northern Michigan’s largest hospitals. The Michigan Nurses Association says Munson Medical Center in Traverse City is not operating in “good faith” during contract negotiations.

 

Last year, around a thousand nurses at Munson Medical Center unionized and have been working toward a new contract. James Walker is a Munson nurse and he says they unionized for a number of reasons.

Sen. Schmidt defends Medicaid work requirement

May 16, 2018

A northern Michigan state lawmaker is defending legislation that would require able-bodied people to work an average of 29 hours per week to qualify for Medicaid. 

Opponents of the bill say it would unfairly affect African-Americans living in cities. 

 


Flu closes some Up North schools

Feb 1, 2018
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A second school district in northern Michigan has shut down because of the flu.

Mesick Consolidated Schools closed on Wednesday and doesn’t plan to open again until next week.

The district says nearly a quarter of students missed class on Tuesday due to illness.

In Michigan, veterans commit suicide at high rate

Oct 3, 2017

The suicide rate for Michigan veterans is more than twice as high as the state's overall rate, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs last month.

Returning from the 4th of July recess, Senate Republicans are going to try again to come up with a health care bill that can win the 50 votes it needs to pass.

Word is, they hope to have a revised health bill to show senators by week's end, perhaps by Thursday.

David Cassleman

Hospitals in northern Michigan are bracing for the chance that fewer people will have health insurance in the future. One local hospital leader says that could lead to higher costs for everyone.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Tick season is here in northern Michigan, and with it comes a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease. Lyme disease is transmitted when blacklegged ticks – commonly called deer ticks – bite humans. If untreated, Lyme disease can have serious health consequences like inflammation of the brain or spinal cord, nerve pain or short-term memory loss. Early signs of Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms and muscle aches.

Northern Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) says he supports the GOP health care bill in its current form. The legislation could come up for a vote on the floor of the U.S. House as soon as this week. 

Northern Michigan’s Congressman says he’s just now getting a chance to look at the details of a new Republican health care plan. But Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) sounded upbeat talking about it during a telephone town hall he hosted on Tuesday night. 

It was hours after fellow House Republicans unveiled their plans for replacing the Affordable Care Act.

“The American Health Care Act … is going to ensure that number one everybody is able to get health care,” Bergman said.

Veterans in rural America often have to travel far to get medical care. In northern Michigan, a veteran enrolled in health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs might be required to drive to Saginaw, Detroit or Ann Arbor for a doctor’s visit. 

Leelanau Urgent Care

Tens of thousands of people in northern Michigan could lose health insurance if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed. Congressional Republicans, along with President Donald Trump, have promised to replace the controversial law. 

In fact, northern Michigan has a greater percentage of its population who have signed up for health care through the law than the state average, according to a report by Bridge Magazine

“A lot people in northern Michigan who are taking advantage of [the ACA] have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid,” says Mike Wilkinson, a reporter for Bridge Magazine.

 


Linda Stephan

Right now, if a children get sick in the Cadillac region, they can be hospitalized as an inpatient at Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital. Beginning in May, those kids will be sent to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City or Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Tomas Sienicki

The number of women who smoke while pregnant is way up in Michigan. A new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy says the rate increased by 18 percent between 2008 and 2014.

Smoking while pregnant can lead to a number of bad health outcomes for infants, including early birth.

The report also says that the number of preterm births increased by 20 percent in Michigan during the same time period. 

Cheyna Roth, a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, says advocates are asking for more resources to attack the issue:

 


County to support health care project for veterans

Aug 17, 2016
Veterans Administration

A new project aimed at improving veterans’ health care has the support of Grand Traverse County. County commissioners passed a resolution tonight supporting Project Cherry Tree, a group that wants to connect local veterans with local health care services.

Right now, many veterans have to drive to Saginaw or Ann Arbor for medical care.

Leaders of the new project want to connect veterans with health care services closer to home. The group also wants to provide educational and job opportunities.

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