Public Health

Jimena Loveluck
United Way of Washtenaw County /

Lauded for her "exemplary leadership during a pandemic and going above and beyond" in keeping the community healthy, Washtenaw County public health officer Jimena Loveluck has been chosen as the 2022 "Woman of the Year" by United Way of Washtenaw County. WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Loveluck about the honor and how the events of the past nearly two years have brought to light the importance of public health efforts.

Ann Arbor Chapter of The Links Incorporated / Facebook

The Ann Arbor chapter of The Links Incorporated, an organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the Washtenaw County community, is planning an online event Sunday, November 7, 2021 to talk about COVID and kids as the third installment of its "State of Black Health" series.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the president of the local chapter, Lisa Bradley-Kern, about the event and information they are hoping to share.

UPSC Medico /

The message to get vaccinated in order to deal with the COVID-19 virus has been loud and clear. But not everyone hears it or wants to get one.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with a Washtenaw County Health Department employee, Nivean Farha, who was initially hesitant, but finally did get vaccinated and shares her "vaccination hesitation journey."

Roxane Raffin Chan
United Way of Washtenaw County /

Many communities, including Washtenaw County, have declared racism a public health crisis. There are no simple cures for such a crisis, but holistic nursing consultant Dr. Roxane Raffin Chan has been providing services to help people cope with the racially-charged incidents in their lives. Dr. Chan explains how she and her company, Chan Body Energy, have responded to the United Way's 2021 21-Day Equity Challenge in a chat with WEMU's David Fair.

Jeff Gearhart
The Ecology Center /

Gardening season is in full swing, and folks are ready to buy the essentials, such as natural fertilizers. Yet, buyers should beware. A national study conducted by the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center and the Sierra Club found a number of top-selling fertilizers contain the "forever chemicals" known as PFAS. Jeff Gearhart is research director for at the Ecology Center. He joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the findings and the measures needed to protect us from these harmful chemicals.  

University of Michigan's Center for the History of Medicine /

Over a hundred years since the pandemic of 1918, our current public health crisis is happening in a very similar manner to what happened then... killing hundreds of thousands of people.

Lisa Barry talks with the Assistant Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, Dr. Alex Navarro, about how what's happening now compares to what happened back then.

Donele Wilkins
Greendoor Initative /

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.  

Washtenaw County Democratic Party /

"The Racial Roots of Vaccine Skepticism" is what an upcoming virtual roundtable discussion involving several state and local lawmakers is being called.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with State Senator Jeff Irwin and Charles Wilson from the Washtenaw County Health Department about the planned community conversation on the racial roots of vaccine skepticism as part of Black History Month.

OSR Weight Management

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.  So every February, we observe "American Heart Month" to bring attention and potential healing to the problem of heart disease.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Kim Eagle, cardiologist, director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan Health System, and professor of Health Management and Policy at the U-M School of Public Health.  They go beyond the usual conversation about heart health and into how to take stock and get started on a healthy heart future.

PxHere /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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.