Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Howard Russell
Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources / canr.msu.edu

It's a great time of year to get outdoors! But, there are some potentially harmful critters waiting for you. Ticks have expanded their habitat in Michigan, and there is a major increase in the populations in Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Michigan State University entomologist Howard Russell to find out why that is and what we can do to keep ourselves and our pets safe. 


Donele Wilkins
Greendoor Initative / greendoorinitiative.org

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the the African-American community more in a variety of negative ways.  Among other things, it has highlighted the systemic issues that continue to support environmental racism.  Detroit-based "Green Door Initiative" was created specifically to fight such inequities.  Organization founder and CEO Donele Wilkins discusses progress and present and future challenges with WEMU's David Fair.  


To help reach the state’s goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders over age 16 and bring a quicker end to the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services officials announced the state is moving to a new phase of vaccination on Monday, January 11.  Lisa Barry talks with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia about how the county plans to handle this updated vaccination plan.


Allie Lyttle/Ji Hye Kim

Two Ann Arbor restaurant chefs say they plan to "pivot and roll with the punches" in light of the latest order by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to pause indoor restaurant dining for the next three weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Lisa Barry talks with Ji Hye Kim of Miss Kim's Korean Restaurant and Allie Lyttle of the recently opened Lala's Restaurant--both in Ann Arbor--about the impact of the pandemic and the recent decision and what the local community can do to support all restaurants in the area at this time.


COVID-19
PxHere / pxhere.com

Starting Wednesday, restaurants in Michigan are again limited to delivery and takeout, high school and college classes can only be online, and non-professional sports games are cancelled.  That’s under an order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s public health director.  We have more from Rick Pluta.


Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law Thursday that show Democrats and Republicans can find room to cooperate on the state’s response to COVID-19.


MDHHS
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is once again allowing in-person visits at nursing homes across much of the state.  We have more from Rick Pluta.


Coronavirus
CDC / cdc.gov

The state’s Chief Medical Executive was among those who testified Monday before a joint House and Senate committee examining the state’s COVID-19 response.  We have more from Rick Pluta. 


Michigan House of Representatives
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The legislative committee looking into the state’s COVID-19 response meets again today.  Top health officials in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration will face questions from the committee.  We have more from Rick Pluta.


Michigan Capitol
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign a series of bills adopted by the Legislature as part of a deal on the state’s response to COVID-19.  It includes extending unemployment benefits for people who lost their jobs during the health crisis.  Rick Pluta reports.


Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Health Department / washtenaw.org

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen across the country, and more are being seen in Washtenaw County.  Locally, most of the news cases can be traced to the University of Michigan.  There are also newly confirmed COVID-19 cases stemming from two restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor.  WEMU's David Fair and Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia provide the latest. 


Joneigh Khaldun
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services / michigan.gov

Saying the COVID-19 virus is still present and we need to do everything we can to prevent the spread, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health and Human Services for the state of Michigan, talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about where we are now both locally and statewide in dealing with the pandemic.


Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive orders were struck down by the Michigan Supreme Court on Friday.  That created a great deal of uncertainty among residents and businesses about COVID-19 protocol and regulations.  For clarification, the Washtenaw County Health Department issued four orders of its own on Monday.  Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to further explain the county response. 


Michigan Supreme Court
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday a court opinion that she exceeded her authority with a series of COVID-19 emergency orders will not be the final word on the issue.


Raymond Rion
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

The coronavirus pandemic has affected virtually everyone, but it has been particularly difficult for those who struggle with access to health care.  On "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with Dr. Raymond Rion, executive director of Packard Health.  It is the non-profit mission to help that part of the community, but there are changes in how many of those services are rendered. 


TheRide
Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority / theride.org

Many aspects of daily life have been dramatically changed due to COVID-19, and public transportation is certainly no exception.  Although services like the Ann Arbor Area Transportion Authority (AAATA) promote a cleaner environment, they still have financial obligations and public health matters to consider.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," AAATA CEO Matt Carpenter explains how his organization and other forms of public transit in Michigan are adapting to the pandemic in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair.


Joneigh Khaldun
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services / michigan.gov/mdhhs

It could be another month before the Coronavirus pandemic even peaks, according to Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  

WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with the state health leader about the latest developments concerning the pandemic and what that means to Michigan residents.


Fresh Start Clubhouse Lays Off Employees

Mar 28, 2020
Fresh Start Clubhouse / https://freshstartclubhouse.org/

The coronavirus crisis has caused layoffs at an organization in Ann Arbor that offers mental health services.  WEMU's Jorge Avellan has the details.

COVID-19
Governor Tom Wolf / flickr.com

There are 11 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan.  That brings the total number to 65, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  As Rick Pluta tells us, there is still a shortage of kits to test for the disease.


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Since President Donald Trump took office, 58 environmental protection policies have been rolled back or rescinded.  37 more are in the process of being taken off the books.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair checks in with 12th District Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell about efforts to thwart federal policies that threaten environmental health and sustainability.  


Mosquito
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is a particularly dangerous virus spread by mosquitoes.  Infections have been reported in southeast Michigan, but actions are being taken to contain the virus from spreading.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Juan Marquez, Medical Director for the Washtenaw County Health Department, about what's being done to fight EEE in Washtenaw County.


Mosquito
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

So far in 2019, the weather has particularly warm and damp, which has led to a serious increase in the mosquito and tick population.  Therefore, the risk for diseases these insects carry has increased, as well.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County Health Department environmental health director Kristen Schweighoefer about a new initiative to fight these illnesses.


Pixabay / pixabay.com

A recent report says improvements are needed to the state’s system that protects children from abuse and neglect. 


Do Not Eat Fish
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Spring recreation season is upon us and one of the most popular destinations is the Huron River.  But, you'll see an increasing number of signs along the waterway warning you not to eat the fish.  That's because of PFAS contamination.  In WEMU's 'Issues of the Environment,' get the latest on the health of the river, and how it affects you for the spring and summer ahead from Huron River Watershed Council executive director, Laura Rubin.   


Detectable levels of PFAS and PFOS chemicals are in the Ann Arbor municipal drinking water.  Progress was made in 2018, and more is expected in the new year.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discusses next steps with Brian Steglitz, manager of the City of Ann Arbor's Water Treatment Services unit.


Wildfire
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The recent wildfires in California captured the world's attention, including those researching climate change.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to one such researcher. Dr. Jonathon Overpeck is the Samuel A. Graham Dean of the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. They discuss the connection between wildfires and climate change and why there is increased risk in Michigan. 


Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Michigan DEQ / flickr.com

The governor wants to make sure state departments and local agencies can respond to areas contaminated with PFAS chemicals as quickly as possible.  The industrial chemicals have been found in more than 30 locations across the state.  Governor Rick Snyder has issued a directive calling on state departments and agencies to create a readiness and response plan.


Handcuffs
houstondwiPhotos mp / flickr.com

A package of bills in the state House would classify 17 year-olds as juveniles, rather than automatically treating them as adults.


Water
Public Domain Pictures / publicdomainpictures.net

Michigan’s Democratic lawmakers are demanding the state Legislature take action on contaminated groundwater found across the state.  The Legislature is back from its summer break this week with its first day of voting today.


  

The impacts of exposure to lead are costly to both public health and Michigan's bottom line.  While the Flint Water Crisis brought greater awareness of lead exposure hazards, lead-based paints continue to damage children throughout the state.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Rebecca Meuninck, Deputy Director of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, to discuss new EPA standards for the amount of lead permitted in household paint, dust, and soil.  


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