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.

Berrien Co. health officials resign, citing ‘politicization of public health’ during pandemic

By: - October 19, 2021

Two Berrien County Health Department officials announced Monday they are resigning, saying the politicization of the pandemic has made it impossible for them to do their jobs. Acting Health Officer Courtney Davis and Communications Manager Gillian Conrad will leave the health department in Southwest Michigan on Nov. 3 and Oct. 29, respectively.  “I make this […]

Michigan’s new top doctor had to consider violence against health officials before taking job

By: - October 19, 2021

When Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian was considering accepting an interim position as Michigan’s chief medical executive, the stream of public health officials who have faced a barrage of vitriolic criticism and threats over COVID-19 health mandates weighed heavily on her mind. “Before taking this role, that was one of my considerations,” Bagdasarian said in a Friday […]

Michigan’s pediatric COVID cases are on the rise

By: - October 15, 2021

COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to climb in Michigan.  State health officials reported Wednesday that the case rate rose to 304.4 cases per million people. About 4.9% of emergency department visits were for COVID diagnoses over the past week, an increase over last week’s 4.1%. Case rates are highest among 10- to 19-year-olds; there are […]

‘There’s no safe level of lead exposure’

By: - October 14, 2021

When TaNiccia Henry’s grandson, Lloyd, was 4 years old, his “feet turned dark and his hair stopped growing.” Henry, who lives in Detroit and is Lloyd’s primary caregiver, brought her grandson to be tested for lead. When the test came back, the numbers were staggering: Lloyd had a blood level of 28 micrograms per deciliter […]

With a new health equity project, Michigan doctors aren’t just writing prescriptions

By: - October 14, 2021

By the time a patient is referred to the Greater Flint Health Coalition, a doctor or another health care professional has identified there’s something more than just their physical health that’s endangering the person’s health. It may be they don’t regularly have access to transportation to get to their medical appointments, or there’s not enough […]

‘Very scary for us’: Advocates worry Whitmer won’t veto bills privatizing mental health care

By: - October 7, 2021

Two years ago, Republican lawmakers inserted a provision into the state budget that would have, in part, privatized Michigan’s public mental health system.  Immediately, mental health providers and advocates called on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to veto the provision, saying it would cause sweeping damage to the care being provided to approximately 300,000 low-income Michiganders with […]

Conservative activist who ‘invented’ clash over ‘critical race theory’ leads Senate hearing

By: - October 5, 2021

A conservative activist from Washington described as someone who “invented the conflict over critical race theory” was at Tuesday’s state Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee hearing supporting a bill banning Michigan schools from teaching a decades-old theory examining systemic racism. Christopher Rufo, who the New Yorker wrote “invented” the arguments over “critical race theory,” […]

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 […]