193 MI HEARTSafe Schools recognized

193 MI HEARTSafe Schools recognized

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Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 9, 2022

CONTACT: Chelsea Wuth, 517-241-2112, WuthC@michigan.gov

193 MI HEARTSafe Schools recognized for cardiac emergency preparedness efforts
713 schools receive designation in nine-year history

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Michigan Department of Education (MDE), American Heart Association, Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Michigan Alliance for Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death of the Young (MAP-SCDY) will return in-person to celebrate 193 schools receiving the MI HEARTSafe School designation for the 2021-2022 school year on Nov. 10. Since the program began in 2013, 713 schools have earned this honor and 461 schools are actively designated.

With schools ramping up medical emergency efforts, preparation for cardiac emergencies has never been more important. This year, 193 schools are being recognized for efforts to orchestrate preparedness activities during the 2021-2022 school year. There are 63 schools receiving the award for the first time.

To receive a MI HEARTSafe School designation, schools must have:

  • A written medical emergency response plan and team that can respond to an emergency during school hours and after-school activities and sports.
  • Current CPR/AED certification of at least 10% of staff and 50% of coaches, including 100% of head varsity coaches and physical education staff.
  • Accessible, properly maintained and inspected AEDs with signs identifying locations.
  • Annual cardiac emergency response drills.
  • Pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes using the current physical and history form endorsed by MHSAA.

“Sudden cardiac death claims the lives of more than 300 Michigan children and young adults every year,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Having schools prepared for cardiac emergencies can help decrease the number of these tragedies and prepare school employees to have the training necessary to respond in a timely manner and avert what could be a life-threatening situation. We encourage all schools to apply for a HEARTSafe certification.”

Keeping up with the MI HEARTSafe School criteria is vital for maintaining a safe environment for schools. Resources to help meet the criteria are available on the MI HEARTSafe School website. MAP-SCDY will also be hosting a virtual workshop in January to educate schools on how to become a MI HEARTSafe School.

“We are proud to recognize and support Michigan’s HEARTSafe schools,” said state superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Ensuring schools are prepared for sudden cardiac emergencies through planning, training and life-saving AEDs is an important part of having safer learning environments for students, staff and the community.”

This is MI HEARTSafe Schools program’s ninth year. A HEARTSafe designation lasts for three years, and 50 schools received their third MI HEARTSafe award this year. It is encouraging and commendable to have schools continue to renew the designation every three years.

A list of participating schools is available online.

For more information about the MI HEARTSafe Schools program, visit Migrc.org/miheartsafe or email.

Residents with Cold Symptoms Limit Interaction with kids

Residents with Cold Symptoms Limit Interaction with kids

Oakland County Health Division Urges Residents Who Have Cold Symptoms to Limit Interaction with Children at High Risk for Severe RSV Illness

  • Children 4-years-old and younger are the largest group of patients visiting emergency rooms.
  • Children at high risk for severe RSV disease include premature infants, children younger than 2 years old who have chronic lung or heart conditions, and children with weakened immune systems.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if a child or anyone at risk of severe RSV infection has difficulty breathing, a high fever, or a blue color to the skin, particularly on the lips and in the nail beds.

Pontiac, Michigan – A sharp increase in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases within the last month is prompting Oakland County Health Division to urge residents to protect themselves against the illness. Children 4-years-old and younger are the largest group of patients visiting emergency rooms in Southeast Michigan for respiratory illnesses such as RSV and other viruses.

“RSV is affecting our youngest, more vulnerable residents,” Oakland County Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust said. “We are concerned about RSV, flu and COVID-19 all being widespread as we move into the winter. Get your COVID and flu vaccines when eligible and wash your hands often.”

Nationally, RSV cases are peaking early, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveillance. They normally peak in winter.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can be particularly serious for infants and older adults. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year old in the United States.

To help prevent the spread of RSV and other viruses, the Health Division recommends the following best practices:

  • Get vaccinated/boosted for influenza and COVID-19
  • Stay home if sick, even when testing negative for COVID-19
  • Wear a mask if sick and being around others is unavoidable
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups and eating utensils with others
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and mobile devices
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, not your hands

People with cold-like symptoms should limit interaction with children at high risk for severe RSV disease, including premature infants, children younger than 2 years old who have chronic lung or heart conditions, and children with weakened immune systems. If this is not possible, carefully follow the prevention steps mentioned above.

Signs and symptoms of severe RSV infection in infants include:

  • Short, shallow, and rapid breathing
  • Struggling to breathe — chest muscles and skin pull inward with each breath
  • Cough
  • Poor feeding
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Irritability

Seek immediate medical attention if a child or anyone at risk of severe RSV infection has difficulty breathing, a high fever, or a blue color to the skin, particularly on the lips and in the nail beds.

For more information about RSV, go to the Health Division’s website at www.oakgov.com/health or by contacting Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 or noc@oakgov.com. Nurse on Call is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.

For media inquiries only please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048.

MDHHS issues RFP for recovery support services

MDHHS issues RFP for recovery support services

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Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 4, 2022

CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112, sutfinl1@michigan.gov

MDHHS issues RFP for recovery support services

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to expand recovery support center services or recovery community center services for individuals seeking long-term recovery from substance-use disorders.

Eligible applicants must be registered as a Recovery Community Organization with the Association of Recovery Community Organizations at Faces and Voices of Recovery. A total of $1.2 million is available in this RFP with a maximum award of $150,000. MDHHS anticipates issuing up to eight awards.

Grant applications for the Recovery Support Services Competitive RFP must be submitted electronically through the EGrAMS program by 3 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2022. The program period begins Jan. 1, 2023 and ends Sept. 30, 2023.

A pre-application conference will be held to discuss this funding opportunity and provide instruction on using the EGrAMS system.  The pre-application conference will be held on Oct. 10, 2022, beginning at 11 a.m. and will last approximately 90 minutes. The conference can be accessed at https://bit.ly/3QViLSI

For more information or to apply, visit the EGrAMS website and select “About EGrAMS” link in the left panel to access the “Competitive Application Instructions” training manual. The complete RFP can be accessed under the ‘Current Grants’ section under the “Behavioral Hlth and Dev Dis Adm Standard” link and selecting the “RSSC-2023” grant program.

New hotline during October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month

New hotline during October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 4, 2022

CONTACT: Chelsea Wuth, 517-241-2112, WuthC@michigan.gov

MDHHS highlights new hotline during October’s
Domestic Violence Awareness Month

LANSING, Mich. – As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is highlighting Michigan’s new, 24/7 hotline providing live, one-on-one crisis support for all victims, survivors, support people and professionals who serve them. The hotline number is available by calling 866-864-2338 or texting 877-861-0222.

“MDHHS is joining national efforts to educate communities about the lasting trauma domestic violence has on individuals and families,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “It is incredibly important to provide support services for those experiencing abuse, and we encourage anyone in need to seek assistance.”

The hotline is free and provides local support that is tailored to each unique situation through trained advocates.

Hotline services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year via phone, chat, text or TTY, for those who are deaf or hard of hearing:

  • Call: 866-864-2338
  • Text: 877-861-0222 (standard text messaging rates apply)
  • ChatMCEDSV.org/chat
  • TTY: 517-898-5533

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control in a relationship. Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate and impacts all races, genders, education and economic statuses. Often, multiple forms of abuse are present. It is important to know behaviors to look for to seek support for self or others.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, Michigan’s Domestic Violence Hotline is a free, confidential, and anonymous resource available 24/7/365. Call 866-864-2338, text 877-861-0222, or chat online by visiting this link.

Drugs covered by Medicaid topic of October meeting 

Drugs covered by Medicaid topic of October meeting 

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Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 22, 2022

CONTACT: Chelsea Wuth, 517-241-2112, WuthC@michigan.gov

Prescription drugs covered by Medicaid health plans topic of October meeting 

LANSING, Mich. – The public is invited to attend a virtual meeting hosted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on Tuesday, Oct. 3, regarding the list of prescription drugs covered under Michigan’s Medicaid health plans known as the Medicaid Health Plan Common Formulary. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an annual forum for the public, stakeholders and interested parties to comment on the prescription list. This forum is in addition to the quarterly written public comment periods.

The annual Michigan Medicaid Health Plan common formulary stakeholder meeting will be held virtually from 9:30 a.m. to noon via Zoom. The Zoom can be accessed by clicking this link and the password is: s1GJxM. Participants may also access the meeting by phone by dialing 636-651-3128 and entering access code 287658.

“It is important for Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries to have the opportunity to comment on whether prescription drugs on the list will meet their health needs,” said Farah Hanley, MDHHS chief deputy for health. “We welcome their participation in this public meeting and look forward to hearing their input – as well as feedback from providers and other stakeholders.”

MDHHS created the common formulary in 2016 to streamline drug coverage policies for Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries and providers. The common formulary is required in state law and in the Medicaid health plan contract to ensure that prescription drugs are common across all contracted plans.

Medicaid health plans may be less restrictive – but not more restrictive – than the coverage in the common formulary for products not on the Michigan Preferred Drug List, which is a subset of the drugs listed on the common formulary.

As of Oct. 1, 2020, the common formulary coverage for products began aligning with the Michigan Preferred Drug List – including any prior authorization and step therapy requirements.

Anyone who plans to attend should notify krepsd@michigan.gov no later than Monday, Sept. 29, and should request special accommodations if needed to join the meeting. Find more information about the common formulary including the list of covered prescription drugs at Michigan.gov/MCOpharmacy.

Those unable to attend can submit questions or comments to the Common Formulary mailbox at MDHHSCommonFormulary@michigan.gov.

Guanidinoacetate Methyltransferase Deficiency added to newborn screening

Guanidinoacetate Methyltransferase Deficiency added to newborn screening

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Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 19, 2022ACD logo

MDHHS CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112, SutfinL1@michigan.gov

ACD CONTACT: Erin Coller619-977-3500, erin@creatineinfo.org

MDHHS adds Guanidinoacetate Methyltransferase
Deficiency
 to newborn screening panel

LANSING, Mich. – September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month, and starting this month Michigan babies with guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT) deficiency will now be diagnosed early thanks to the addition of a new screening to the state’s newborn screening panel. GAMT is an inherited disorder that primarily affects the brain and muscles.

Newborn screening is a public health program required by Michigan law to identify babies with rare but serious disorders, like GAMT deficiency. All babies need to be screened in order to find the small number who look healthy but have a rare medical condition. Michigan’s newborn screening system provides testing and follow-up for more than 50 conditions. Michigan is the third state in the United States to screen for GAMT deficiency.

“By being one of the first states to implement GAMT deficiency screening, Michigan continues to display its dedication to providing newborns the opportunity to achieve the best possible health outcomes,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive.

GAMT deficiency is an inherited condition that affects the body’s ability to produce creatine. Without an adequate supply of creatine, the body is unable to use and store energy properly. This can cause developmental delay, speech problems, seizures and behavior issues such as autism and hyperactivity. Lack of early treatment can lead to lifelong cognitive impairments which can be severe. Starting the dietary and medical treatment early in life before symptoms arise is most effective.

Heidi Wallis, executive director of the Association for Creatine Deficiencies (ACD), personally knows the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. ACD is committed to providing patient, family and public education to advocate for early intervention through newborn screening, and to promote and fund medical research for treatments and cures for Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes.

“I have two children with GAMT, and the difference a diagnosis at birth makes is nothing short of life-changing,” Wallis said. “My daughter, who was diagnosed at 5-years-old, has recurrent seizures that cause her to sustain serious injuries. She is intellectually disabled and will need constant care the rest of her life. My son, diagnosed and treated at birth, is a neurotypical 10-year-old and will no doubt become an independent and contributing member of society.”

In May, ACD announced that after six years of advocacy efforts, the United States Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children voted unanimously to advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to add GAMT to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP). The RUSP provides state newborn screening programs with a carefully curated list of disorders that meet the committee’s criteria for inclusion. GAMT is expected to be added to the RUSP upon HHS Secretary Becerra’s approval in November.

“We are grateful for Michigan’s addition of GAMT deficiency to their state newborn screening panel, and the momentum this will bring towards universal screening for GAMT,” said Wallis.

To learn more about GAMT deficiency, visit babysfirsttest.org and creatineinfo.org.

To learn more about newborn screening in Michigan, contact the MDHHS Newborn Screening Program at 866-673-9939, via email at newbornscreening@michigan.gov or visit Michigan.gov/newbornscreening.