Category Archives: Health

This week is Carbon Monoxide Safety and Awareness Week in Michigan

P1000474The awareness week is scheduled in the fall because we are approaching the winter months when water heaters, furnaces, and other fuel burning entities are more frequently used.

Jennifer Eisner is the Public Information Officer with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Carbon monoxide is very hard to detect, the warning signs would include flu like symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. So if you start to have sudden, severe flu like symptoms there is the potential that it’s carbon monoxide poisoning so it’s very important that you leave the area immediately and seek medical attention.”

Eisner says infants, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease are at greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and typically show symptoms earlier.

She says if you notice symptoms it’s important to leave the area and immediately seek medical attention.

EPA decides to cap Kalamazoo landfill

LANDFILL 1After years of debate, the EPA has decided to cap and consolidate hazardous waste at Kalamazoo’s Allied Paper Landfill. Several residents wanted all of the waste removed from the Superfund site.

Others suggested hiring the bioremediation company BioPath Solutions – which uses microbes to neutralize toxic chemicals. Michael Berkhoff is the EPA’s remedial project manager for Allied. He says BioPath Solutions could not prove to the EPA that their product works on PCBs.

The EPA’s record of decision released Friday calls for consolidating about half the contaminated soil into a capped mound in the middle of the site. This would allow room for industrial or commercial business – which the City of Kalamazoo advocated for last year.

Once the work starts, the agency expects the 63 million dollar project will take three years to complete.

Grants available for programming for people with developmental disabilities

484665892062d4dbb8c17fe028a65441The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council is looking for organizations interested in creating opportunities for developmentally disabled people.

The Council will award $650,000 in grants through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for programming increasing support for persons with disability. Continue reading

Ann Arbor is home to a Alzheimer’s testing site where a new drug is being tested

file000894312228 (1)The A4 study, as it’s known, is focused on people 65 to 85 years old who still have a normal memory, but have early signs of Alzheimer’s.

These people will be administered a drug to see if it will slow or stop the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Reisa Sperling is the Director at the Center for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment.

“This is a new study and what’s particularly new about it is trying it in people who don’t yet have symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. So we’re really trying to change the way we think about Alzheimer’s disease and focus on prevention, rather than most of the trials which unfortunately have not done so well at later stages of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Sperling says the study has been going on since 2014, and results are expected in 2020.

Sperling says the study will cost around $140 million and is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The presidential election is a large cause of stress for over half of Americans, according to new report


Republicans, democrats, and men and women are equally stressed about the upcoming election, according to a new report.

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association shows the election is a significant source of stress for Americans.

And adults who use social media say they feel more stressed about the state of politics, than those who do not. Continue reading

Michigan is in the process of implementing its vision for bringing traffic deaths in the state down to zero

IMG_0037It’s called Toward Zero Deaths, and it is intended to reduce roadway fatalities.

The initiative aims at changing driver behavior. Experts say driver behavior factors into nearly 90 percent of all crashes.

Gregg Brunner is the Associate Region Engineer for MDOT’s Bay region.

“And within Michigan there’s approximately 900 fatalities each year on our roadways. So what we’re doing is trying to go out and educate drivers, and move that 900 number within Michigan down to zero.”

Brunner says the strategy used will involve the four E’s, engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response.

He says the campaign has been going on for a few years now, and has been implemented across several states.

A Grand Traverse County medical marijuana clinic is looking to educate healthcare professionals on the benefits of cannabis

A Grand Traverse County medical marijuana clinic is looking to educate physicians about how to recommend cannabis to patients.

The Center for Compassion says not many doctors and nurses know how to recommend medical marijuana to patients.

The organization is working to educate healthcare professionals on the benefits of cannabis. Continue reading

Criminal justice reform is one focus for the upcoming election

One national non-profit organization is using this election season to address the link between the criminal justice system and poverty.

Bread for the World is encouraging people to make criminal justice reform a top priority for their presidential candidate in the upcoming election.

Eric Mitchell is the Director of Government Relations for Bread for the World. He says, the criminal justice system contributes to hunger in America in many ways.

“Many women who were formerly incarcerated have less access to food, less access to safety net programs like food stamps, housing vouchers, have a loss of household income, added debt, and most importantly it’s harder for them to find and maintain solid jobs to provide for themselves and their families.”

Mitchell said they want candidates not only talk about criminal justice reform but to take action.

Michigan has launched a consultation program that enables health professionals to ask questions about HIV

file0001466200438The program allows medical professionals to consult experts on HIV.

Dr. Norman Markowitz is a staff physician in the division of infectious diseases at Henry Ford Hospital. He says the number of people affected by HIV has remained consistent for years.

“There’s still 40 to 50,000 new cases in the United States. 14% of people or so don’t know their diagnosis so there’s still a lot of work. Although virus and HIV can be managed successfully in most cases there are still individuals who one who do not know they’re infected and two who don’t have access to care that’s out there.”

Markowitz says the program launched this month.

For more information on the program or to request a consult, visit the Henry Ford Health System website.

Lawmakers say first responder health fund should cover breast cancer


Some Democrats in the Legislature say a state health care fund for firefighters and other first responders should cover breast cancer treatments.

State Senator Curtis Hertel (East Lansing) says firefighters are commonly exposed to benzene and other chemicals linked to breast cancer. He says it’s only fair that breast cancer is covered by the first responders fund.

“Those that protect us should always be protected,” he said.

Detroit Senior Firefighter Elizabeth Szmrecsanyi says women in her profession are three times more likely than the average woman to develop breast cancer.

“We put our lives on the line, just like our brethren do in the fire department,” she said, “and I don’t see why females – why our parts shouldn’t be covered just as the gentlemen already are.”

Unions for police, firefighters and other first responders support the expansion.

Hertel says policymakers were slow to recognize the risk to female firefighters, in part, because there are so many more men in the profession. But he says new studies show the dangers to female first responders.

“Some of it’s just common sense,” he said. “We know that dangerous chemicals like benzene lead to breast cancer, and that’s what people in a fire are fighting. So, oftentimes, people are going to have exposure and we should make sure they’re protected.”

Michigan’s first responder health care fund already covers 10 types of cancer – including prostate and testicular cancer. It was created in 2014, but it wasn’t funded by the Legislature until this year.

Michigan schools participating in “Apple Crunch Day” on October 13

An apple at the table

Isabella, Arenac, and Wexford county schools – among others – are planning on crunching on an apple next week for “Apple Crunch Day”.

Michigan Apple Crunch is a statewide campaign aimed at increasing access to healthy, Michigan grown food – specifically apples. Continue reading

Rally calls for shutdown of Line 5 pipeline

IMG_0610Roughly 100 attended a rally held by The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Monday in in Saint Ignace to bring awareness to the dangers of the Enbridge pipeline under the straits.

Continue reading