Category Archives: Health

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.

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Third part of Michigan water strategy announced

The Michigan Office of the Great Lakes has released the third part of its water strategy for the state. It’s part of a 30 year strategy to ensure clean water is available across the state.

Part three of Michigan’s water plan focuses on the restoration of water quality and the protection public health.

Officials said 158 million dollars in low interest loans will be awarded to local communities to fund infrastructure projects.

Jon Allan is the director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes.

“These investments help communities piece by piece make sure that we’re delivering back to the citizens clean and safe drinking water. But also clean and safe rivers, beaches, harbors, and lakes as we deal with the waste issue as well.”

Allan said communities will be reimbursed for the cost of eligible projects once they’re complete.

The state is expected to announce a fourth part of its water strategy within the next month.

Flint residents to receive new water test kits

Bottled Water In Cooler
As officials continue investigating the Flint water crisis, some attention is turning to the water faucets in people’s homes.

State officials said older faucets and other fixtures can provide a significant amount of lead in water. They said lead begins to seep into the water when it’s stagnant in the faucet.

Officials are encouraging Flint residents to test their water immediately after turning a faucet on, and again after the water has run. George Krisztian is the Flint Action Plan Coordinator for the DEQ.

“Residents will be receiving a kit with two bottles in it. One 250 to highlight that the lead is coming from the fixture, and a second going to demonstrate that after the 250 mL bottle that lead should go down significantly.”

Krisztian said current water fixtures have lower lead levels than older fixtures. The state wants to collect testing data and then make recommendations to residents on whether or not they should consider replacing fixtures.

A Central Michigan University researcher uses a new method to target diseased cells

Dr. Neeraj Vij lab with Dr. Maish Bodas (back) a postdoctoral fellow in the medical research facility. Central Michigan University photos by Steve Jessmore

Dr. Neeraj Vij lab with Dr. Maish Bodas (back) a postdoctoral fellow in the medical research facility. Central Michigan University photos by Steve Jessmore

The method is called nano-delivery. It sends drugs directly to diseased cells in the lungs, without harming surrounding cells.
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