Author

Anna Gustafson

Anna Gustafson

Anna Gustafson is the assistant editor at Michigan Advance, where her beats include economic justice, health care and immigration. Previously the founder of the Muskegon Times and the editor at Rapid Growth Media in Grand Rapids, Anna has worked as an editor and reporter for news outlets across the country. She began her journalism career reporting on state politics in Wisconsin and has gone on to cover government, racial justice and immigration reform in New York City, education in Connecticut, the environment in Wyoming, and more. Previously, Anna lived in Argentina and Morocco, and, when she’s not working, she’s often trying to perfect the empanada and couscous recipes she fell in love with in these countries. You’ll likely also find her working on her century-old home in downtown Lansing, writing that ever-elusive novel and hiking throughout Michigan.

Once lauded as heroes, health care workers are now spit on and ‘threatened every day at work’

By: - October 5, 2021

When Tom Kelsch heads to his job as a registered nurse in Mercy Health Muskegon’s emergency department, he knows, almost without a doubt, that he’ll be threatened by a patient or their family that day. He knows he may see someone’s fist in his face, as has happened in the past, or have to endure […]

371 Michigan schools report COVID outbreaks

By: - October 4, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Monday that a total of 1,039,337 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 21,139 have died from the virus — an additional 8,704 cases and 62 deaths since Friday. The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of […]

Local health depts. ax school mask orders amid state budget confusion

By: - September 30, 2021

A wave of local health departments across Michigan are rescinding their school mask mandates after Republicans inserted boilerplate language into the state budget that threatens to cut funding from health departments if they implement mask orders for children.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said while signing the Fiscal Year 2022 budget this week that the GOP language […]

U.P. health dept. ‘regretfully’ rescinds school mask mandate

By: - September 27, 2021

An Upper Peninsula health department announced Friday that it “regretfully” rescinded a school mask mandate nine days after implementing the measure meant to fight the spread of COVID-19. Officials said they feared keeping the order would result in the department losing future state funding. Dickinson-Iron District Health Department (DIDHD) officials said they issued the mask […]

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun to step down as Michigan’s chief medical executive 

By: - September 24, 2021

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun will leave her post as the state’s top doctor next week after more than a year and a half of leading Michigan’s ongoing battle against COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced in a news release Friday afternoon.  Khaldun, the chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at the Michigan Department of Health […]

Foster care grads needed lawmakers’ help during COVID. That didn’t come until the last minute.

By: - September 24, 2021

Michael Davis-Thomas has big plans.  The 24-year-old from Bay City wants to run for office — at first, for the state House or Senate and, ultimately, for president. But before he can fully dedicate himself to a life in politics, Davis-Thomas has to figure out how he’s going to afford the $2,000 he needs to […]

After threats to Kent Co. health director, GOP officials won’t back statement condemning violence

By: - September 23, 2021

After Kent County Health Department director Adam London detailed threats and acts of violence against him following his schools mask mandate, Kent County Board of Commissioners members denounced the aggression — but would not unanimously agree to sign a statement saying as much during their Thursday meeting. As first reported by the Michigan Advance this […]

Michigan surpasses ‘sobering’ milestone of 1 million COVID-19 cases

By: - September 22, 2021

On March 10, 2020, the first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Michigan. Eight days later, Michigan’s first death of the pandemic was reported. And now, a year and a half later, Michigan surpassed one million COVID cases. On Wednesday afternoon, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported there have been […]

Despite PPO, Rep. Marino is still allowed in Capitol, House Office Building

By: - September 21, 2021

After state Rep. Steve Marino (R-Harrison Twp.) allegedly told Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham) that he was making it his “life mission to destroy you” and he hoped her car exploded on her way to work, the Democratic lawmaker said she is deeply concerned for her well-being and is terrified to be in the same building […]

‘What was left behind was a broken family’

By: - September 21, 2021

Nelly Fuentes remembers the moment her entire life changed. She remembers how cold it was that morning in February 2008. How her husband’s voice shook when he told her he had been pulled over while driving home from work. “That’s when my nightmare began,” said Fuentes, who lives in Southwest Michigan. “Anyone who’s undocumented knows […]

Poll: Nearly 2/3 of Mich. voters want more state funding for kids and families during pandemic

By: - September 21, 2021

State lawmakers should increase public funding for children and families to address the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two-thirds of Michiganders said in a recent statewide poll from the Skillman Foundation and Michigan’s Children. Across the state’s geographical regions and demographic groups, there was an overwhelming consensus among the 800 likely voters surveyed that […]

Kent Co. health director tells commissioners after almost being run off the road: ‘I need help’

By: - September 20, 2021

Updated 6:06 p.m., 9/21/21, with comments from Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Mandy Bolter and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office After a woman attempted to run Kent County Health Department director Adam London off the road just hours after he issued a mask mandate for some schools last month, the health officer issued a […]