Michigan Healthcare

Taylor Wizner

 

In the early days of the pandemic Munson Healthcare administrators were in a flurry of panic.

 

 


Max Johnston

As coronavirus sweeps through the nation, tearing families apart and overwhelming hospitals, there’s one part of healthcare that’s expanding: opioid addiction treatment.

Interlochen Public Radio

This story was updated April 22 at 11:55 a.m. with more information from District Health Department #10.

Health officials confirmed coronavirus cases in what the state calls “congregate care facilities” in Otsego and Crawford counties this week. The Health Department of Northwest Michigan says a cluster of nearly 20 positive cases were found at an undisclosed care facility in Otsego County over the weekend.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Munson Healthcare, McLaren Northern Michigan and the Grand Traverse County Health Department are asking the public to donate medical supplies and protective gear.

They are asking for the following items in new and original packaging:

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Update 3/16/20, 11:30 am: In addition to bars and restaurants, Gov. Whitmer’s executive order also closes gyms, spas and health clubs, casinos, as well as theaters and other performance venues across the state. Order restrictions will remain in place until Monday, March 30 at 11:59 pm.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will sign an executive order this morning that closes bars and restaurants in Michigan starting this afternoon. The emergency action is to help slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The ban will only apply to sit-down service.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Syringe service programs involve giving medical supplies and clean needles to injection drug users.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say people in those programs are three times more likely to stop using drugs than those who aren't in them.

Democratic state lawmakers say all people need to be able to make independent decisions about their reproductive health. House Democrats announced their plan for a so-called Michigan Reproductive Health Act Tuesday.

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.

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