Diversity in health care coming too slowly for some

By AMELIA HAVANEC
Capital News Service

LANSING – Health experts urging more diversity in Michigan’s health care workforce may see graduation statistics from local universities as good news.

In the 2013-2014 academic year, more than a quarter of medical school graduates from Wayne State University and the University of Michigan – 27 percent and 36 percent respectively – were minorities, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Set.

In that same year, according to the data, minority students constituted 37 percent of the graduating class at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry, up 68 percent from its preceding graduating class.
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Push underway to expand telehealth services

By YUEHAN LIU
Capital News Service

LANSING—A new federal proposal co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters would expand access to health care, especially in rural areas.

The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act would require Medicare to work with local providers to expand their telehealth services.

“Telehealth has revolutionized health care, helping more patients receive life-saving treatment, and we must ensure that people living in rural areas have equal access to the care they need,” Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said in an announcement.
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More funding ahead for jail mental health projects

By STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ McGAVIN

Capital News Service

LANSING — Health and law enforcement professionals are increasingly recognizing the importance of innovative mental health jail diversion programs, working to implement them in their own counties with state and locally funds.

The Department of Health and Human Services will fund expansion of jail diversion efforts in January 2016 through Gov. Rick Snyder’s Mental Health Diversion Council. The program will award about $1.2 million in total to two new agency projects and current pilot projects.

Steven Mays, the diversion administrator at the department said, said this year’s program will be a little different from previous years’.
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New federal map pinpoints major Michigan health risk

ARTERIES

By AMELIA HAVANEC

Capital News Service

LANSING – Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 610,000 people every year – one in every four deaths – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Cardiovascular disease is a common term. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACD) is not, however, and Michigan residents are dying of this malady at a significantly higher rate than the national average.

Earlier this year, the CDC issued a map reporting the cause of death most distinct to each state.
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Sexual Transmitted Disease still a concern among seniors

By ZHAO PENG
Capital News Service

LANSING — Sexuality is a sensitive word, especially when it’s brought up with the word aging.

Surveys shows that people over 65 still have sex, and their rate of them contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is increasing nationally, according to a 2013 survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The survey shows that 892,200 Americans older than 65 had chlamydia, 216,100 had gonorrhea and 12,000 had syphilis.
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ADHD contributes to higher ed learning problems

By MICHAEL KRANSZ
Capital News Service

LANSING — Nearly 12.8 percent of all Michigan residents ages 4 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics.

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, is marked by inattention, lack of focus and sometimes hyperactivity, and that can present problems for young learners as they move into higher education, said Adelle Cadieux, a pediatric psychologist at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

That population of ADHD youths has increased by 39 percent since 2003, according to the latest CDC figures.
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Rural areas lack mental health professionals

By ZHAO PENG

Capital News Service

LANSING — Amid a national shortage of psychiatrists, and Michigan is among the states that lack enough mental health professionals and facilities, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“There is a shortage of service providers, psychiatrists and physicians that are able to work with people that have mental illness and prescribe medications,” said Kathleen Gross, executive director of the Michigan Psychiatric Society. “There is shortage of funding in the state for community mental health centers to provide a great deal of service to the citizens.”

The U.P. and Northeast Michigan face the most serious shortages, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Among 15 U.P. counties, 13 are designated as shortage areas. Ten of the 11 Northeast Michigan counties have the same designation.
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Number of uninsured Michigan residents drops

By SIERRA RESOVSKY
Capital News Service

LANSING— Although Michigan isn’t one of the top five states to see a decrease in the number of residents without health insurance, the number without insurance continued to decline last year, according to data released by the Census Bureau.

In 2013, 11 percent of residents were uninsured, especially those living in rural areas, compared to 2014 when only 8.5 percent lacked coverage.

Of the top five counties with the most significant decline, Van Buren County showed the biggest difference. 15.6 percent of its residents were uninsured in 2013, compared to 8.9 percent in 2014.
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Finally, obesity rates take hike downward

By AMELIA HAVANEC

Capital News Service

LANSING – New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the high rate of obese adults nationally is finally steadying from an upward climb since the 1990s, and Michigan is no exception.

The portion of Michigan adults estimated to be obese in 2014 was 30.7 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2010.

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Sanilac, Saginaw and Chippewa counties are the most obese, while Ottawa, Washtenaw and Oakland are the least, according to the CDC.
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Fines for tobacco sales to minors could increase

By YUEHAN LIU
Capital News Service

LANSING—The penalties for selling or furnishing tobacco products to minors would increase if the House passes a bill approved by the Senate.

Under the bill introduced by Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, violators would face a fine of up to $100 for a first offense and up to $500 for a second offense.

Currently, the fine is only up to $50 each time.

Bieda said the main concern is people who sell or furnish tobacco products to minors repeatedly.
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