Health – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Sun, 25 Nov 2018 14:29:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Your Daily Detroit Podcast For October 3, 2018 Thu, 04 Oct 2018 01:40:11 +0000
On the Daily Detroit podcast:

A signage box at the State Fair Transit Center in Detroit.

– The rollout of Detroit’s new ConnecTen bus program has hit some bumps in the road. Signage held up with masking tape, confused riders, and the state of the State Fair Transit Center signage was a mess. After talking to the city, they now promise action.

– In a piece of late-breaking news as we record this podcast, the Detroit News reports that a campaign staffer for City Councilman Gabe Leland was charged in federal court Wednesday with joining a conspiracy to bribe an unnamed politician with thousands of dollars in cash and other valuable items.

– Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer is proposing to set up a state-run reinsurance program and raise the age to buy tobacco to 21 as part of her newly released health care plan.

– The current Enbridge Line 5 pipeline that runs, in part, under the Straits of Mackinac, will be shut down and the petroleum pipeline re-routed into a new protective, multi-use tunnel.

– Buddy’s Pizza… one of the pantheon of Detroit pizza parlors… is opening a location in the Detroit Zoo.

– Pop music star Alessia Cara is coming to town, but this event is for the musicians and those interested in the music industry. On Friday the Detroit Institute of Music Education will be hosting a discussion called “The Pains of Growing: A Discussion With Grammy Award-winning “Best New Artist” Alessia Cara.”

The show was recorded on October 3, 2018.

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Bike Ride Fundraiser This Weekend For Joe Louis Greenway Rail-To-Trail Loop Wed, 20 Jun 2018 14:36:28 +0000

The Detroit Greenways Coalition will hold a group bike ride Sunday to create awareness and raise money to build a 26-mile rail-to-trail greenway loop in the city.

The Joe Louis Greenway is a proposed pedestrian loop through Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park.

Previously known as the Inner Circle, it’s currently a network of abandoned rail lines and local streets. But the Joe Louis Greenway would also incorporate the Dequindre Cut, Detroit RiverWalk, and other existing greenways.

The Detroit Greenways Coalition has been working with the city of Detroit to acquire an 8-mile section of abandoned rail line as one of the final pieces. It’s hoped that design work can begin next year, with construction starting in 2020.

Sunday’s inaugural fundraiser ride will go for 28 miles with a stop at the Oloman Cafe in Hamtramck and SAG support from Wheelhouse Detroit.

Registration is $30. You can find more information at the Detroit Greenways Coalition website.

Hours: 8:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m.

The ride will begin at 2826 Bagley Street in Detroit.

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The DMC and Wayne State University Sign A 6 Month Extension Mon, 07 May 2018 20:45:43 +0000

The Detroit Medical Center and the Wayne State University Physician Group have signed a six-month extension contract to keep clinical and administrative services going.

The two sides announced last week that they were cutting ties effective May 15 and not renewing their contract after at least a hundred years.

They’ve been at odds in recent years over financial terms and other issues, including Wayne State’s ability to seek outside partnerships with other medical systems.

During the extension, a joint advisory committee will work on developing a new model for physicians to deliver clinical and administrative services to the DMC. They’ll also collaborate on the strategic development of hospital and clinical services.

In a statement, the two sides say the extension will allow time for an orderly transition to a new clinical partner for DMC with no disruption in patient care if  they can’t come to agreement on a new model.

The contract covers about 300 doctors who work at the DMC’s facilities and are affiliated with Wayne State’s School of Medicine, where many of them teach.

A version of this story originally appeared in the Daily Detroit News Byte podcast.

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Detroit Is One Of The Most Sinful Cities In America, Says Data Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:19:40 +0000 Here’s an interesting topic to try to describe with data. Can you quantify sinfulness? Well, someone tried.

According to some data shared by, Detroit is America’s 7th most sinful city.

Wallethub tried to quantify (one can debate how well) the seven deadly sins: Anger & Hatred, Jealousy, Excesses & Vices, Greed, Lust, Vanity and Laziness.

Each of the sins were given 14.3 points each, and broken into sub-categories. We’re sharing them in their entirety because it’s interesting for discussion.

Anger & Hatred – Total Points: 14.3

  • Violent Crimes per Capita: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Sex Offenders per Capita: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Bullying Rate*: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Hate-Crime Incidents per Capita: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Hate Groups per Capita: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)

Jealousy – Total Points: 14.3

  • Thefts per Capita: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)
  • Identity-Theft Complaints per Capita: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)
  • Fraud & Other Complaints per Capita: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)

Excesses & Vices – Total Points: 14.3

  • Share of Obese Adults: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)
  • Fast-Food Establishments per Capita**: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)
  • Excessive Drinking: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the age-adjusted prevalence of binge and heavy drinking among the adult population.
  • Share of Adult Smokers: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)
  • Share of Adult Coffee Drinkers: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults who drank ready-to-drink coffee in the past six months.
  • Share of Population Using Marijuana: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the percentage of residents aged 12 and older who used marijuana in the past month.
  • Retail Opioid Prescriptions Dispensed per 100 Persons: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)
  • Drug Overdose Deaths: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of deaths due to drug poisoning per 100,000 residents.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio: Full Weight (~1.59 Points)

Greed – Total Points: 14.3

  • Casinos per Capita**: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)
  • Charitable Donations as Share of Income: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)
  • Share of Population with Gambling Disorders*: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)

Lust – Total Points: 14.3

  • Potential Cheaters: Double Weight (~5.72 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of Ashley Madison users per capita.
  • Adult Entertainment Establishments per Capita**: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Teen Birth Rate: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of births per 1,000 female residents aged 15 to 19.
  • “Most Active Tinder Users” Ranking: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)

Vanity – Total Points: 14.3

  • Beauty Salons per Capita**: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)
  • Tanning Salons per Capita**: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)
  • Google Search Interest Index for “Top 5 Plastic Surgeries”: Full Weight (~4.77 Points)
    Note: This metric measures search interest for the five most common plastic surgery procedures (breast augmentation, liposuction, rhynoplasty, eyelid surgery and facelift) as a share of the national average.

Laziness – Total Points: 14.3

  • Share of Adults Not Exercising: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Average Weekly Hours Worked: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Volunteer Rate: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • Average Daily Time Spent Watching TV*: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
  • High School Dropout Rate: Full Weight (~2.86 Points)
    Note: This metric was adjusted by the poverty rate.

So how did the city of Detroit rank so high among 180 municipalities? Here’s how we did among the sins:

  • 6th – Anger & Hatred (we ranked #1 in the sub-category of most violent crimes per capita)
  • 13th – Jealousy
  • 5th – Excesses & Vices
  • 31st – Greed
  • 95th – Lust
  • 14th – Laziness

The only other city from Michigan on the is Grand Rapids. They came in at 56th.

Top of the list, of course, was Las Vegas and in the top 10 were three close by Nevada cities. Also in the top ten were Orlando, FL; Miami, FL; St. Louis, MO; Baton Rouge, LA; Tampa, FL; and New Orleans, LA. The complete list is here.

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HAP Leaving Health Insurance Marketplace, More Than 9,000 People Affected Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:14:47 +0000 The gridlock in Washington D.C. around the topic of healthcare is having real world implications.

Detroit-based Health Alliance Plan announced today that they’re withdrawing from the Health Insurance Marketplace, often referred to as Obamacare.

Specifically called out was the uncertainty the federal government will continue offering subsidies to fund reduced prices for those who currently qualify.

The decision to reduce HAP’s 2018 individual plan offerings was based on a variety of factors, including the many uncertainties related to premium stabilization programs, enforcement of the individual mandate and not knowing whether the federal government will continue to fund cost-sharing reductions (CSRs).

According to the company, individual members will have the option to purchase off-exchange plans directly from HAP.

9,100 Health Alliance Plan members, or about 1.4 percent of HAP’s current membership of 650,000, will be impacted.

“Market volatility and uncertainties have made it difficult for insurers to effectively plan for and provide affordable individual health plans,” said Terri Kline, HAP president and CEO. “We believe our decision is in the best interest of all of our members. As a nonprofit health plan with the mission of enhancing the health and well-being of the lives we touch, we need to be responsible with our members’ health care dollars. We owe it to them to offer products that are sustainable and that create value for them.”

These changes do not affect those who have employer-based (small and large group) insurance or those who are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or self-funded plans.

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An Amazing Piece Of Motown Musical History Will Be Up For Auction Sun, 21 May 2017 23:02:45 +0000 One of the must-do movies to see for any Detroiter – or Detroiter at heart – is to watch the movie “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.”

If you’ve watched that 2002 documentary, you’ll know it wasn’t just the voices you may have heard – Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson -but it was also the band that made that iconic Motown sound a reality. When they swap modern day artists for sets, you realize the Motown sound is much like the city itself, powered not just by the stars, but a sound impossible without the work of everyone.

One of the key parts to that sound is the bass line – and that was often by James Jamerson. He transformed the instrument, taking a typical bass line from a simple and basic pattern to complex, something that mirrored the song itself.

So up for auction starting May 29 is one of Jamerson’s legendary bass guitars, with almost everything original save for one “G” string that was replaced.

Where did it come from? One Detroit bassist named Billy Hayes. Here’s some of the story:

“For my day job, I was an executive chef at the Lafayette Clinic. That’s where I met and befriended a co-worker and fellow bass player, Horace “Chili” Ruth. He, in turn, introduced me to his dear friend, James Jamerson. We all became very close friends, spending countless hours together eating, drinking, playing cards, jamming and checking out music all over Detroit. We shared a special bond because of the instrument we all played and were supportive of one another. On occasion, we would borrow one another’s instrument.

Somewhere around 1967 or 1968, I don’t recall specifically, I had a gig but no instrument. Occasionally, I found myself in that situation. I mentioned it to James and he offered to help. He said he had a bass I could borrow. It was a 1962 Fender Precision Bass with a sunburst finish. He never asked for it back and I continued to use it for years with his blessing. James and his family left Detroit for California when Motown Records moved to Los Angeles and we never saw each other again.”

Here’s to hoping this piece of history finds a home in Detroit after auction – or even better, also ends up somewhere where we all can enjoy it. Here’s the auction page.

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Children’s Hospital Of Michigan Researchers Create First 3D/4D “Whole-Brain Map” To Help Those With Epilepsy, Brain Tumors Mon, 01 May 2017 19:49:11 +0000 Having epilepsy or a brain tumor is scary enough but that fear is compounded when patients face the possibility of speech and language deficits after corrective surgery.

Now they can rest a little easier thanks to the work of a DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) research team. After 10 years of continuous work they have developed a set of electronic tools that can draw 3D and 4D “space- and time-based” maps of the neuron-signaling across speech and language centers of the human brain.

Yup, that sounds complicated, and it is, but here’s the bottom line.

“Our 4D map will ultimately improve the quality of life in patients undergoing surgery designed to reduce epileptic seizures or remove brain tumors,” says Dr. Eishi Asano, director of neurodiagnostics at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and WSUSOM pediatric neurology researcher. Asano led the study, which was published in Brain, a leading international scientific journal based in the UK.

It is believed this is the first time neurology researchers have been able to look at the origin and propagation of electro-signaling related to speech and language centers at the whole-brain level at a temporal resolution of 1/100 seconds.

During the last decade, others have generated 3D maps of speech and language using functional imaging techniques measuring blood flow changes. However, Asano says these conventional techniques are unable to delineate the rapid dynamics of brain activation and deactivation taking place in the order of tens of milliseconds.

Dr. Eishi Asano, director of neurodiagnostics at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and WSUSOM pediatric neurology researcher

“Our study successfully added a timing dimension to the 3D brain surface image by measuring high-frequency electrographic activity directly from the brain surface during the surgical evaluation,” he says. “Our 4D whole-brain level map is a breakthrough discovery with the potential to improve outcomes for epilepsy and tumor patients, both pediatric and adult.”

The 10-year study examined electro-signaling activity in 100 patients whose brain-based speech and language centers were “mapped” with the newly developed high-tech tool. This technique is child-friendly and readily applicable to young children who may not be too cooperative to undergo conventional mapping examinations.

The 4D brain mapping technique can also help doctors understand how the section of the brain responsible for speech and language processing develop from infancy to adulthood.

Asano’s collaborators on the team included pediatric neurosurgeon Sandeep Sood, MD, and neuropsychologist Robert Rothermel, PhD, at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

“These new brain mapping tools offer a great deal of promise to pediatric patients who struggle with epilepsy and brain tumors,” says Dr. Lalitha Sivaswamy, Children’s Hospital of Michigan chief of pediatric neurology. “Dr. Asano and his colleagues are certainly to be congratulated for the immense amount of work and energy that has gone into this research. Making life easier – and healthier – for patients who receive surgical therapy is a vitally important goal for all of us in pediatric medicine.”

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The Flint Water Crisis Could Have Been Prevented For Just $100 A Day Fri, 15 Jan 2016 17:42:21 +0000 The Flint water crisis is perfect fodder for the Daily Show as this story just keeps getting weirder and weirder – and unfortunately, sadder and sadder.

Daily Show host Trevor Noah in a three minute segment we embedded below (linked here in case it doesn’t play) calls on his native continent of Africa to save a city in the United States.. for just $100 a day. Why? Because treatment to prevent the horrific problems happening in Flint would have cost about $100 a day.

The $100 number explanation is here, per NBC News:

Marc Edwards, a professor at Virginia Tech who has been testing Flint water, says treatment could have corrected much of the problem early on — for as little as $100 a day — but officials in the city of 100,000 people didn’t take action.

By the way, Professor Edwards has a GoFundMe page because he ended up paying for a lot of the testing out of his own and research team pocket and volunteering their time to the tune of $147,174.

We provided the scientific expertise, labor and funding, that allowed Flint residents to help themselves. Wateryoufighting4ACLU-Michigan and others stepped up to do the difficult work of actually coordinating and collecting the critical samples.  They did so and demonstrated that their water was unsafe by any reasonable standard.

Because America: Where our government (both the state and feds have failed here) can’t be bothered with paying for properly testing something that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

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I Hopped In A Cryotherapy Chamber Today. Here’s What It Was Like. Wed, 04 Nov 2015 01:02:48 +0000 It was an unseasonably warm fall day today. And in the name of new experiences, I willingly hopped into what would become a minus 264 degree Fahrenheit chamber.

It’s called Cryotherapy. Strange as it may sound, the practice has actually been around for some time. It began in Japan in the 1970s but has gained momentum in recent years due to its popularity with professional athletes, who utilize the treatment to speed up recovery time after an injury.

I visited the newly opened Cryobalance therapy center, located at 211 Hamilton Row in Birmingham, to see what it’s all about.


“Cryotherapy can really be for anyone, but we target three clients.” Lacey Savaya, managing director of Cryobalance told me.

“First, there is the professional athlete who can regularly use it as a modern day ice bath. The second use is for general health and wellness – it kickstarts metabolism, increases energy, burns calories, helps with sleep, and it can even promote collagen production resulting in a more even skin tone. The third is for athletes or anyone who may be treating injuries – it can reduce inflammation, repair damaged tissue, and promotes faster healing.”

So how cold is it? Well, as staff members pump liquid nitrogen into the booth, the temperature drops to a mind numbing minus -264°F in a matter of seconds.

From a technical perspective, I’m told your body responds to the cold by constricting the blood vessels in order to limit blood flow in order to try and keep your core temperature up. Once out of the chamber, your blood vessels dilate three to four times their normal size, which increases blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, flushing toxins and releasing a rush of endorphins, which creates an analgesic effect and serious energy boost.


“So you’re basically tricking your body into all these reactions. Your core temperature doesn’t really drop that much because your brain is telling your body to protect your organs, so blood is flowing to your core and pumping through your heart. The blood is being cleansed, there’s a lot more oxygen, then when you get out your brain releases endorphins, which is like the runners high. Then all that clean blood flows everywhere, and you get the benefits like tissue repair, energy boost and all of that.”

When I was asked if I wanted to try it, I was immediately apprehensive, thinking of all the worst case scenarios. However, I managed to swallow my initial fear and decided to give it a shot.


After a serious pre-check (you can put yourself at risk of injury if you do the treatment and have health issues like hypertension or high blood pressure), I stood there looking absolutely ridiculous in the requisite gear, including nothing more than underwear, socks, mittens and a surgical mask.

I then stepped into the chamber as it billowed liquid nitrogen like a smoke stack.

The first 30 seconds were a breeze, but as the temperature rapidly dropped it became more of a challenge. I would liken the sensation to jumping into a lake a little too early or too late in the summer, when the water is still too cold to fully enjoy, and the swim becomes more a test of will than a leisure activity.

After another minute or so I began to shiver and my breath became short, but that was really the worst of it.

In the end, I lasted about two of the planned three minute session before I stopped, though I probably could have toughed it out until the end. It wasn’t so much the physical reaction to the cold that got to me, though it was certainly a powerful sensation – but rather the challenge of convincing my mind that I wasn’t actually in any danger.


The mental and physical feeling was similar to any challenging work out or athletic activity – like holding a tough yoga posture for an uncomfortable length of time, or pushing yourself to finish that last set at the gym. Your body and mind will do everything possible to convince you to stop, but deep down you know that pushing yourself a bit further will get you the results you desire.

According to the folks at Cryobalance, the first session is the most uncomfortable because your body is completely unfamiliar with the sensation. Once you’re more familiar with the feeling, it’s easier to calm your mind and settle into the experience she says, which certainly makes sense.

So did it work?

Well, in order to maximize the healing benefits, they recommend two or three treatments across a 48-72 hour period, especially if you’re treating an injury. I only did one round.

However, I can say that I felt pretty amazing after getting out. I felt better throughout the rest of the day and in a particularly good mood, which was likely due to the blast of endorphins, and physically I felt fantastic. It was similar to the way I feel after a great workout but far more intense.

The treatment is relatively affordable, at least for a one-off experience. Your first session will cost about $45, so consider skipping the bar or a meal out for a night and give this a shot. There are also package deals that gets you 10 sessions for $450. You can also opt for the $300 monthly membership which earns you unlimited access to treatment. You can find out more at their website.

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RecoveryPark Leverages Urban Agriculture To Combat Blight And Change Lives Mon, 26 Oct 2015 22:33:51 +0000 One of the most common and persistent narratives heard in Detroit’s revitalization efforts, is the focus on the Downtown Business District, Midtown, and the soon to be District area near Cass park, has turned a blind eye to the significant challenges of the surrounding neighborhoods.

However, it seems that the powers that be are beginning to look beyond those borders and into the neighborhoods.

On Monday, Mayor Mike Duggan and Councilwoman Mary Sheffield joined with RecoveryPark CEO Gary Wozniak to announce an agreement that seeks to transform a blighted 22-block area on the city’s lower east side into a center of urban agriculture, and a place of hope for those with criminal history, recovering addicts and others with significant barriers to employment.

The RecoveryPark project – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, whose mission is to put individuals to work while revitalizing blighted neighborhoods by repurposing vacant land – has a 60-acre footprint, which includes more than 35 acres (406 parcels) of city land. The area of the park extends from I-94 to the North, Chene Street to the East, St. Aubin Street to the West, and Forest Ave.

The project will help replace blighted, vacant lots with dozens of large greenhouses and hoop houses to grow produce to be sold to local restaurants, retailers and wholesalers. Some of the participating local businesses include Cuisine and Wright & Co. in Detroit, Bacco Restaurant in Southfield, and Streetside Seafood and The Stand in Birmingham.

In addition to building a high function urban agriculture operation, RecoveryPark will also employ 128 individuals within three years, 60 percent of who will be Detroit residents.  Consistent with its mission, most of RecoveryPark’s workers will be ex-offenders, veterans and recovering addicts, who have had trouble securing work due to their circumstances.

“RecoveryPark isn’t just about transforming this land.  It’s about transforming lives,” Mayor Duggan said.  “The City of Detroit is proud to support the work Gary Wozniak and his team are doing to put this vacant land back to productive use and to help ex-offenders and others with barriers to employment rebuild their lives.”

The deal between the city and Recovery park is a lease for $105 per acre per year.  In exchange for the low rate, RecoveryPark must secure or demolish all vacant, blighted structures within its boundaries within the first year.

The $15 million project, which is expected to take five years to bring to fruition, will be presented for consideration to City Council within the next two weeks.  The property, currently a residential zone, must also receive city council approval to be re-zoned as Planned Development.

The deal also includes specific performance benchmarks, for example – within 12 months of a signed term sheet, 51% of employees must be Detroit based for the first 36 months. After 36 months, Detroit employment must increase to 60%.

If RecoveryPark fails to meet the outlined criteria they must return the land to The City of Detroit.

Wozniak, a former addict himself, has had the vision for the project for nearly a decade and is excited to see it coming to fruition.

“Commercial agriculture in Detroit is an important addition to Detroit’s expanding business portfolio,” Wozniak said. “Mayor Duggan’s economic development team has move boldly and swiftly to align city resources with our company’s expansion needs.”

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