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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Were the children of Flint "poisoned?”

It’s a word that gets tossed around a lot in connection to the lead exposure caused by Flint’s improperly treated drinking water.

But in an opinion piece published in Sunday’s New York Times, Dr. Hernán Gómez and co-author Kim Dietrich argue that saying Flint's children have been poisoned "unjustly stigmatizes their generation."

If you’re out in wooded or brushy areas this summer and want to avoid Lyme disease, here’s the advice of the day: Wear long sleeves and pants, and check yourself frequently for ticks, which spread the disease.

But for a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s, people had the option to take an even more preventative measure: They could get a Lyme disease vaccine.

Pages