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.

Group champions policies empowering ‘mamas of color’ 

By: - April 1, 2022

A video flashed on the screen being streamed Thursday evening by Mothering Justice, a Detroit-based racial and gender justice advocacy organization. In it, a woman leaned into the frame and spoke casually into the camera. Her words were a deluge of familiarity and gravity, turns of phrases that included terms like “Big Bang P” for […]

‘We are still here living it’: Sparrow Hospital staff process pandemic pain through art exhibit

By: - March 27, 2022

When two health care workers at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing first asked their colleagues to submit work for an upcoming art show centered around the pandemic, they didn’t know how many people would want to participate.  It was January, and caregivers were, yet again, stressed to their breaking point during the omicron wave. COVID-19 case […]

At Michigan’s only all-women prison, reimagining a ‘hostile situation’

By: - March 23, 2022

“There are only two things that can happen once you go to prison,” Lawanda Hollister said. “You are either going to die there, or you’re going to get out.” Hollister, who spent 34 years at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility before being released on May 8, 2020, was determined not to die there. No […]

‘I could not stop crying’: Why postpartum depression rates have soared during the pandemic

By: - March 20, 2022

When Kara Smith thinks of her pregnancy during the pandemic, there’s a word that seems to surface more than others: isolation.  Other words come, too, words like panic and anxiety, but it’s the loneliness that seems to permeate her language the most.  Which makes sense — Smith, a nurse who lives in Farwell, a small […]

As political threats intensify, Michigan Dems look to ban guns at polling places

By: - March 17, 2022

As experts warn of increased political violence in the coming elections and GOP lawmakers push voting restrictions, Michigan House Democrats on Wednesday announced a package of nine bills aimed at keeping guns away from polling places and expanding ballot access. “Before and during the Civil Rights movement, guns were used to harass and intimidate Black […]

DHHS did not misrepresent COVID-19 nursing home deaths, AG’s office says

By: - March 14, 2022

A January report from the state Auditor General’s office did not find that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) intentionally underreported or misrepresented the number of COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, despite some Republican lawmakers’ comments otherwise, according to an analysis released last week by state Attorney […]

‘My heart couldn’t take it’: Two years into the pandemic in Michigan, a focus on healing

By: and - March 10, 2022

Molly Nixon’s heart couldn’t take it anymore. The day she decided to leave her job as a nurse at Mercy Health in Muskegon, she dissolved into tears because she knew the three COVID-19 patients she was caring for that day were going to die. “I’d briefly met my three patients, and there was the realization […]

Senate passes GOP tax cut plan; Whitmer calls proposal ‘fiscally irresponsible’

By: - March 3, 2022

The GOP-led state Senate on Thursday gave its final stamp of approval on a sweeping tax cut plan that now heads to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer – who is expected to veto the legislation and on Thursday called the proposal “fiscally irresponsible” and “unsustainable.” “According to the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency (HFA) analysis, this legislation will […]

‘I need to heal’: Michigan health officer resigns in wake of mask mandate anger

By: - March 3, 2022

When Lisa Peacock resigns as the health officer at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan at the end of April, she plans to get as far away emotionally as she can from these past two years.  She plans to heal. Heal from the trauma of the pandemic. From being scared for her life. From receiving […]

How Long COVID has become the ‘silent pandemic’

By: - February 28, 2022

Every night at 5 p.m., Sheila Decker wraps up her full-time job and opens her computer to spend her evening hours reading “all the newest articles, the newest studies, the newest anything to gain knowledge of what’s going on” about Long COVID. For almost two years, Decker, a 37-year-old living in the Lansing area, has […]

Michigan health officials drop K-12 schools masking recommendation

By: and - February 17, 2022

State health officials announced Wednesday that they are no longer recommending masking in K-12 schools and other indoor public spaces because people have access to vaccines and COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are decreasing — although they remain far higher than they were at this point last year when the shots were just being rolled out. […]

Michigan reports 4,271 new COVID-19 cases since Monday

By: - February 16, 2022

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 2,042,013 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 31,271 have died from the virus — an additional 4,271 cases and 312 deaths since Monday. The new numbers combine Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 2,136 […]