89.1 WEMU

Public Health

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.

Mr. B
Mark Braun / Facebook

Ann Arbor area jazz and blues pianist "Mr. B" Mark Braun has adapted to pandemic life playing music safely distanced outside every Friday night for the past few months.  As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Washtenaw County and around the state, he has decided to stop performing outside for now out of consideration for community health.

Lisa Barry talks to Mark about his decision and the impact of the global health crisis on his musical career.

University of MIchigan
Wally TrueLove Jr. / Pinterest

With Halloween happening and a big football game rivalry being played that same day, as well as Election Day approaching, the desire to socialize and get together is going to be strong.

A number of Washtenaw County health and government leaders signed an open letter to the community reminding them of ways to avoid spreading the coronavirus during these busy times.  Lisa Barry spoke to Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia about the letter and its intent.


Wiki Commons

At least two flu shot pop-up clinics will be held this weekend in Washtenaw County.  

Wiki Commons

The Washtenaw County Health Department will use social media to target teens who may be addicted to or are considering using vaping products.  

EMU Is Now Offering A Master of Public Health Program

Sep 23, 2020

Eastern Michigan University has launched a new Master of Public Health program that will address issues related to COVID-19.  

City Of Ann Arbor Decriminalizes Psychedelic Plants

Sep 22, 2020
City of Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor’s city council approved a resolution that decriminalizes psychedelic plants.  

Ann Arbor
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Usually, the return of thousands of University of Michigan students to the Ann Arbor area adds an exciting and anticipatory energy to the community.  But this year, because we are in a pandemic, that excitement is tempered by concerns for public health and safety.  Will students adhere to recommended restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19?  What impact will their added presence have on the Ann Arbor community during this global health crisis?  Those are some of the questions WEMU’s Lisa Barry discussed with Ann Arbor mayor Christopher Taylor and Ann Arbor police chief Michael Cox.

Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County voters will not see a public health and seniors millage proposal on the November ballot.  

Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners is considering adding a public health and seniors millage proposal on the November ballot.  

Air Pollution
PxFuel / pxfuel.com

The COVID-19 shutdown took most people off the road for a couple of months.  That did allow for some air quality improvement in Southeast Michigan.  However, it wasn't enough to offset the generations of pollution that have resulted in terrible health conditions and outcomes.  For this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about this situation with Mary Ann Dolehanty, the director of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy's Air Quality Division.

Rob McCurdy
LinkedIn / linkedin.com

During the coronavirus pandemic, people experiencing serious health issues have been avoiding going to the doctor or the local emergency room, thinking there is not room for them or it is not safe to seek care.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Rob McCurdy, an emergency physician at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, who wants people to know it is advisable to seek treatment, even if they are not sure it is a life threatening emergency, and local hospitals are prepared to handle any kind of health emergency safely, even though they are dealing with a pandemic.

Kenneth Rosenman
Michigan State University Department of Medicine / medicine.chm.msu.edu

Slowly, the economy is beginning to reopen.  All businesses will be required to conduct more stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocols to protect works and the public from COVID-19.  And, we will continue to use more of these products in our homes.  That means far more chemical exposure for all.  That, too, is a threat to public health.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Dr. Kenneth Rosenman, chief of Michigan State University's Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, about the dangers, and measures we can take to mitigate health impacts.

Howard Markel
Writers' Representatives / writersreps.com

Dr. Howard Markel is an American physician, author, editor, professor, and medical historian.  Markel is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan and Director of the University of Michigan's Center for the History of Medicine.  He spoke to WEMU's Lisa Barry and shared his thoughts about the current pandemic and how it might end and we can move forward in our lives.

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.

#StayHome / stayhomesavelives.us

Washtenaw County health officials have been working around the clock tracking the coronavirus in our community.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with county health officer Jimena Loveluck, who shares the latest information impacting residents.

Dana Nessel
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office will guard against profiteers who use the coronavirus outbreak to gouge consumers on the costs of health and hygiene supplies.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The official count of people infected with the new coronavirus in Michigan is up to 53.  As we hear from Rick Pluta, state officials are looking for more ways to discourage large public gatherings and slow the spread of the virus.

Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says gatherings of 100 or more people should be cancelled or postponed.  She says businesses should relax their sick leave policies.  As we hear from Rick Pluta, these recommendations are part of her response to the first reported cases of COVID-19 in the state.


Several universities in Michigan, including the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, are cancelling in-person classes due to concerns about the Coronavirus with plans to teach them online beginning Monday, March 16th.

Michigan Medicine

One of the two people from Michigan who tested positive for the coronavirus is an inpatient at the University of Michigan Health System and is in stable condition.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan has the story.

Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University are cancelling all classes for Thursday, March 12, and Friday, March 13 over concerns about the Coronavirus.

Wikimedia Commons

Concerns over the Coronavirus are prompting a growing number of local organizations to cancel, postpone, or issue advisories about upcoming events.

The Ann Arbor District Library is cancelling all library events and programs, effective immediately, and until further notice, although the libraries themselves will remain open to the public.

WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Library Director Josie Parker about their decision made in the interest of public health.

David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

89.1 WEMU has teamed with the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development to bring you a series of monthly reports on the issues surrounding the upcoming census in 2020.  In this edition, we explore how the census will impact essential services in Washtenaw County. 

Car Seat
Ciukes / flickr.com

Car seats are designed to keep children safe inside moving vehicles, but toxic chemicals are used to keep them flame-retardant in the manufacturing process.  That is a danger in and of itself.  The Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center has been working with car seat companies to have the chemicals removed and is noting some progress as we head into 2020.  WEMU's David Fair gets the details in a conversation with the Ecology Center's green living resources director, Melissa Cooper Sargent.

Roger Rayle
Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

The 1,4 dioxane plume emanating from the old Gelman Sciences Facility on Wagner Road in Scio Township has caused environmental damage and remains a threat to public health.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation with Roger Rayle, who is both chair of the Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) and Scio Residents for Safe Water (SRSW), about the ongoing efforts to remediate the dioxane plume.

The Green Room: PFAS Part IV-Prevention

Oct 25, 2019
Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

The chemical bonds of PFAS substances are virtually indestructible.  That makes their complete disposal hard, if not impossible.  Meanwhile, their usefulness to industry makes them hard to give up.  This is a growing problem, because PFAS are associated with serious health issues.  In the fourth of this five-part “Green Room” series on PFAS, we look at the challenges and opportunities inherent in preventing further spread of PFAS chemicals. 

Ankoor Soni
Packard Health / packardhealth.org

Opioid addiction is ravaging all parts of the country, and Washtenaw County is no exception.  Packard Health has launched a new Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program to help the addicted.  On "Washtenaw United" this week, WEMU’s David Fair will talk with Packard Health medical director, Dr. Ankoor Soni, about the shift in perspective, from addiction as a crime issue to one of public health.

Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Health Department / washtenaw.org

In this segment of our bi-weekly conversation with the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor area, WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with outgoing health department officer Ellen Rabinowitz and her replacement Jimena Loveluck.

Natural Resources Defense Council / nrdc.org

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a new report regarding how climate change may affect the health of Michiganders.  Juanita Constible, Senior Advocate for the NRDC's Climate and Health, Climate & Clean Energy Program, presents details on this report with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Issues of the Environment."