Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

LANSING, MI (AP)--   State officials say overdose deaths jumped by 18 percent last year in Michigan with the majority of cases involving opioid abuse. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that nearly 1,700 of the 2,335 overdose deaths in 2016 were opioid-related.

There were 1,275 opioid-related deaths in 2015.

Opioids include heroin, prescription opioids, and nonpharmaceutical fentanyl.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A 3-year-old computer system that is the high-tech backbone of Michigan's child welfare agency is getting some tough reviews from the people who use it.

A state audit released Tuesday says 57 percent of survey respondents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with a computer system known as MiSACWIS.

It's used by more than 7,000 people at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It processed $1 billion in child welfare payments by last fall and helps the state manage a variety of services for children.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Gov. Rick Snyder has authorized the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue a standing order pre-authorizing pharmacists to distribute the overdose reversal drug naloxone to eligible individuals. 

Snyder's office said Thursday that pharmacies that obtain the standing order will be able to dispense naloxone to those at risk of an opioid-related overdose and to family members, friends, or others who might be able to help such individuals.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Officials say they've confirmed the first West Nile virus activity for Michigan in 2017 in three birds. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday the virus was identified in a turkey found in Barry County as well as a crow in Kalamazoo County and a crow in Saginaw County. The birds were found sick or dead in early May and tested positive this week.

People are being warned to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, which can transmit the virus.

MARQUETTE, MI--   State Representative John Kivela has stepped in to address a persistent hostile working environment at the Marquette Department of Health and Human Services office. 

At a press conference at the Marquette Courthouse Thursday Kivela said he’s met with officials and employees in Marquette and Lansing since last summer to address continuing complaints of harassment, bullying, and intimidation of employees by managers.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan has received $3.8 million from the federal government to help improve the state's emergency preparedness in health care. 

The state says the funding will be distributed to hospitals identified in Michigan's Special Pathogen Response Network. The network was established in 2014 to strengthen emergency responses to any new or emerging threats to public health.

Every Michigan hospital with an emergency department has a designated tier in the network.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Health and Human services is confirming the first case of measles in the state this year.

The state announced Wednesday that a person in southeastern Michigan is being hospitalized after recently traveling internationally and getting sick.

There was one confirmed case last year of measles in Michigan. Nationally in 2014 there were 667 cases, including five in Michigan. A majority of those cases involved people who were not vaccinated.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A lawyer says Michigan's top public health official is a target in the criminal investigation of Flint's water crisis.  

Nick Lyon, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, received a letter in early September from investigators indicating he is a focus, his attorney Larry Willey said Tuesday.

Eight current or former state employees and one Flint worker have been charged in Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's probe.

FLINT, MI (AP)--   The federal government has joined Governor Rick Snyder in challenging a court order that bars a Flint hospital from contacting state health authorities on any issue related to the city's water woes.

The Department of Health and Human Services says the order is having a "chilling effect" on relationships between local, state and federal governments.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Organizations may apply for $8.6 million in grants to provide services to crime victims in Michigan.  

The state's Department of Health and Human Services says its Crime Victim Services Commission is seeking proposals for Victims of Crime Act grants. The aim to expand and enhance services to victims of crime, such as helping restore victims' sense of dignity and self-esteem.

The commission will award 3- to 5-year U.S. Department of Justice grants.