Health Policy

Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing kids

BY: - September 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. Within […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: The Mackinac Conference lauds civility, but Kent Co. conflicts tell another tale

BY: - September 23, 2021

“Civility still lives here at the Mackinac conference,” Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandy Baruah declared while kicking off the (usually) annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Tuesday. But apparently, that value is waning more than 200 miles southwest of the storied island in business-friendly Grand Rapids, once the unofficial home of “Michigan Nice.” While […]

New: State budget includes pay hike for some health care workers during pandemic

BY: - September 21, 2021

The nearly $70 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget will include a temporary $2 hourly pay raise for direct care workers providing Medicaid-funded in-home behavioral health and long-term care services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Advance has learned.  The budget also allocates $460 million to give a permanent $2.35 hourly raise to direct care […]

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 […]

Bipartisan bills boost crisis response and jail diversion programs for people with mental illness

BY: - September 20, 2021

State Sens. Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes) and Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) introduced two bills last week to establish grants funding community crisis and jail intervention programs in localities to address pitfalls in mental health response programs in Michigan.  In 1974, the Community Mental Health code was established in Michigan that created laws and programs to […]

COMMENTARY

Trish Zornio: 5 facts anti-abortion activists get wrong

BY: - September 20, 2021

Want to reduce abortions? Doing so doesn’t require unconstitutional abortion bans. Conversations on female reproductive biology have long been muted. The duct tape is often applied by religious and conservative sects that historically view even the most basic utterances of sexual education as lewd. The result? A fundamental lack of understanding of reproductive health by sexually […]

‘This feels like a family reunion’: Kalamazoo hosts 1st live LGBTQ Pride in 2 years

BY: - September 20, 2021

During a year and a half of social distancing during the pandemic, hugging has become rarer — especially with those you don’t know.  But this was a special occasion for Kris Schirripa, 51, and her husband, Nick Schirripa, 47, who sat in the middle of Bronson Park in Kalamazoo Saturday during one of the first […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: An overlooked goal of the rising far-right? Get good people to quit.

BY: - September 19, 2021

When U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) this week announced his retirement after being one of only a handful Republicans to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection, it was greeted with the usual discourse when moderates step aside. Pundits are always atwitter if this mean that Democrats are moving too far […]

Rep. Jewell Jones offers to write vaccination exemption letters as Delta variant surges in Michigan

BY: - August 31, 2021

State Rep. Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) took to his social media over the weekend to offer to write letters of support for anyone seeking vaccination exemptions. On Aug. 28, Jones shared to his followers that he was willing to write letters to support those filling out vaccination exemption forms for work or school. The offer comes […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: As COVID surges again in Michigan, Whitmer’s leadership shrinks

BY: - August 28, 2021

For weeks, terrified parents, anxious teachers and weary administrators have been waiting for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to step up and be the leader she was at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sane majority is sick and tired of being pushed around by wild-eyed anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers berating and threatening health and elected officials […]

Biden mandates vaccines in nursing homes, admonishes GOP govs on school masks

BY: and - August 19, 2021

Updated, 6:50 a.m., 12:12 p.m. 8/19/21, with comments from SEIU Healthcare Michigan, DHHS WASHINGTON — Nursing homes will be required to ensure their staffers are vaccinated against COVID-19, or risk losing federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars, the Biden administration announced Wednesday in a major move on vaccinations as the delta variant sweeps many states. President […]

Biden taps former DHHS Director Gordon for federal health post

BY: - August 18, 2021

Former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Robert Gordon has been nominated by President Joe Biden for a key federal health post. The White House on Wednesday evening announced his nomination for assistant secretary for financial resources at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). After being elected in November, Biden […]