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.

Ludington's Hospital Joins Spectrum

Oct 1, 2013

The hospital in Ludington officially changed ownership this week. Ludington Memorial Medical Center is now Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. 

It's the latest in a series of independent hospitals in northern Michigan to join larger, downstate hospital systems.

We talked with Ludington hospital CEO Mark Vipperman Tuesday. Listen to the audio above.

Kid's Creek Revived

Sep 27, 2013

In the Spring, Munson Medical Center hopes to build a new cancer center. But the spot they picked out – just north of their hospital – had a creek underneath it. So the medical center has been working to reroute the creek. And now – it’s actually closer to what it once was in the past.

Earlier today, a crowd looked on as pitchers of water were poured off a bridge near Munson Medical Center. And with that, a new section of Kid's Creek was officially born.

CAT Scan On Possible Shipwreck Artifact Inconclusive

Aug 30, 2013

Results of an unusual CAT scan performed at the hospital in Gaylord last weekend are inconclusive. A wooden beam recovered from Lake Michigan was tested at Otsego Memorial Hospital. The goal was to find out if it could be old enough to be from the Griffin, a ship that went missing while sailing the Great Lakes in 1679. 

Munson Medical Center has been given the lowest mark from Consumer Reports in a new ranking on surgical safety. The report appears in the September issue of the magazine.

Munson ranked in the bottom six of more than 80 Michigan hospitals. The results surprised Dr. Douglas McKay, medical director of quality at Munson.

A special Michigan grand jury, including members from Grand Traverse County, will investigate meningitis deaths and illnesses linked to tainted steroid injections. The grand jury will look into whether any laws were broken in connection with an outbreak that has killed 16 people in Michigan. To people have died from the tainted injections since the request for a grand jury was originally filed. 

A group that wants to ban hydraulic fracturing in Michigan says the state didn’t follow its own rules in disposing fluid from wells that were fracked. Millions of gallons of water mixed with chemicals is used to get oil and gas out of deep shale wells.

Ban Michigan Fracking has learned that some wastewater from those wells was spread on public roads. And this was done close to a lake and in a campground near the Mackinaw Bridge last summer.

Meningitis Cases Continue To Rise

Nov 29, 2012

Officials with Munson Medical Center say they’ve seen 37 illnesses possibly related to tainted steroid injections, and two confirmed cases of joint infections.

The number of cases continues to climb statewide, with Michigan topping the nation in illnesses related to a fungal meningitis outbreak. Michigan health officials have linked a total of 185 cases and 10 deaths to the outbreak. Those numbers include infections, as well as fungal meningitis cases, and a stroke.

UPDATE Friday 10/12/2012: The number of cases statewide has grown to 41 and  local health officials say there is a suspected case in Grand Traverse County. A Munson Medical Center spokeswoman says they've been a number of nervous patients in the emergency department, and she encourages people to read the guidelines below before coming in to the hospital. 

Michigan currently has 25 confirmed fungal meningitis cases, including three deaths associated with a national outbreak believed related to tainted steroid injections.

Steroid Medication Linked To Meningitis Outbreak Distributed In Michigan

Oct 5, 2012
Alex E Promios/Flickr

Michigan has been added to a recall of a steroid suspected in a nationwide meningitis outbreak.

Four clinics in Michigan received the steroid medication used to treat back pain, but there have been no cases of meningitis reported in the state in connection with the drug.

Petoskey Hospital Announces Cuts, Layoffs

Nov 10, 2010

Leaders at Northern Michigan Regional Hospital in Petoskey have announced major cuts to health services.

As part of the cost savings, the hospital will end inpatient mental health services, and babies who need more than a couple hours on a ventilator will be sent for care in Traverse City or Grand Rapids.

About 65 people will lose their jobs, and the hospital hopes to trim nine million dollars from the budget by the middle of next month, as the hospital's new fiscal year begins.

Rural Hospitals Look For Savings

Jul 27, 2009

The bottom line at West Shore Medical Center in Manistee has swayed from red to black in recent years. Red in fiscal years 2006 and 2007. Then the hospital actually made money in 2008. CEO Burt Parks says West Shore reigned in expenses that year, and added some new medical services for the community - including the latest cardiac CT scanner. He says those were just temporary fixes. In fiscal year 2009, which just ended last month, the hospital once again barely broke even. And, unless something was done, it would be expected to drop back into the red for 2010.