McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Public Health

State Announces New EMS Protocols

Update: Oct 31-Nov 11, 2022

On November 2, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that emergency responders will now be permitted to carry emergency contraception and sexually transmitted infection treatment (post-exposure prophylaxis). These new protocols serve as another measure to improve Michigan’s sexual assault response to ensure survivors have access to appropriate medical care.

The Quality Assurance Task Force recently voted unanimously to approve new Medical Control Authority protocols proposed by the Whitmer Administration for critical follow-up care for sexual assault patients. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) also adopted the new protocols, advocating for more prevention and response tactics.

MDHHS will be providing training to all EMS agencies to better aid survivors. The protocols align with research that indicates there has been an increase in sexual assault survivors seeking medical care. Additionally, emergency department visits for sexual assault have been 15 times higher in the past decade.

This development comes after Governor Whitmer signed an executive directive 2022-05, for all state departments to identify opportunities to increase protections for reproductive healthcare.

MDHHS Updates Blood Lead Reference Value Data

Update: Oct 17-28, 2022

On October 20, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced a change in blood lead data available for Michigan children. In May 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their blood lead reference value (BLRV) from 5 ug/dL to 3.5 ug/dL. In response, MDHHS changed its definition to match the CDC.

In 2021, more than 3,400 Michigan children had an elevated blood level of 3.5 ug/dL or higher. More than half of those children had a blood level of 5 ug/dL or higher. Detection at a lower reference level will help identify more children who need public health services and further medical evaluation. It is also helpful for identifying communities that need prioritized interventions to reduce lead exposure.

Elevated blood lead level tracking is available online through Michigan Environmental Public Health Tracking (MiTracking) for those with a blood lead of 3.5 ug/dL or higher. Data is available at the state, county, and local health department, and zip code levels.

MDHHS Begins Test to Treat Program

Update: Oct 3-14, 2022

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is launching a Test to Treat program at thirteen locations across the state. These sites will offer no-cost COVID-19 testing and oral medications in an effort to reduce hospitalizations and support faster recoveries, as well as on-site telehealth services for those that are positive for COVID-19.

Specific criteria were used in selecting communities offering telehealth services. Communities with a High Social Vulnerability Index, a high percentage of people over the age of fifty having tested at the site, limited access to health care sites outside of emergency departments, and high testing rates were considered when identifying the neighborhood sites.

Michigan is the first state nationwide to implement this federal initiative at neighborhood testing sites. Locations can be found here.