Michigan Healthcare

Credit Alex E Promios/Flickr

From debate over childhood vaccinations to the changing business of hospital finance, IPR has the stories of hospitals and public health that affect northern Michigan.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Starting Wednesday, restaurants in Michigan are again limited to delivery and takeout, high school and college classes can only be online, and non-professional sports games are cancelled. That’s under an order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s public health director.

Michigan’s COVID-19 caseload has been on a rollercoaster for the past few weeks. We spoke with Michigan's medical director Joneigh Khaldun for an update. Plus, researchers at Michigan State University are working on cultivating the ever elusive morel mushrooms. And, we kick off our summer series about how systemic racism shapes the world around us with a conversation about 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

Work to reduce opioid-related deaths is beginning across the state, as part of a $10 million investment to fight the opioid epidemic.

 

Michigan ranks in the top 15 for drug overdose deaths, according to 2018 figures from the Center for Disease Control.

 

Director of Drug Use Initiatives at Vital Strategies Daliah Heller says not enough communities have access to naloxone, a life-saving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. 

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.

quinntheislander/Pixabay.com

This week on Points North, as suicide rates rise in the United States, local crisis hotlines are shutting down and national ones are taking over. Plus, how northern Michigan schools help students cope with teen suicides.


   

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.

Today on Stateside, how does the right to free speech apply when it comes to the personal Twitter accounts of elected officials? Plus, we hear about how a nationwide shortage of volunteer firefighters is affecting communities in the state.

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.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE/MICHIGAN HEALTH & HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION

The hospital in Manistee will close their maternity unit on May 31. In a statement, the CEO of Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital James Barker says providing maternity services is a challenge for rural hospitals.

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.

TheraCann

Lake Superior State University is offering what they call the nation’s first 'Cannabis Chemistry' degrees.

For example students can take classes on the preparation and hydration of cannabis, also known as marijuana, as part of their degree. University President Rodney Hanley says the curriculum is no joke.

“This is not a slouchy education that you get here, and it’s certainly not some stereotyped thing around cannabis or something like that," Hanley says. "This is very much a high-quality, analytical chemistry program.”

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.

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