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Sen. Hansen applauds Senate passage of bills to increase access to health care

Sen. Hansen applauds Senate passage of bills to increase access to health care

LANSING—The state Senate unanimously approved measures Tuesday that would boost a statewide program that recruits medical providers to serve in underserved areas, said one of the bills’ co-sponsors, Sen. Goeff Hansen.

Hansen said Senate Bills 648 and 649 will improve access to health care in certain areas of the 34th Senate District.

“This is a tool to help employers recruit and retain primary medical, dental and mental health care providers by providing loan repayment to those entering into the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program service obligations,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “These bills serve a critical need.”

The Michigan State Loan Repayment Program service obligations require participants to provide full-time, primary health care services at an eligible nonprofit practice site located in a Health Professional Shortage Area for two years.

African American Men’s Health Fair

African American Men’s Health Fair

Mercy Health and affiliates are sponsoring screenings in support of men’s health.

Underage drinking and health resource app among grant winners

Underage drinking and health resource app among grant winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.---  More than $1 million in state funding will go to health care providers looking to improve service and patient outcomes.

The Michigan Department of Community Health announced the winners of the Health Innovation Grant this week.  MDCH will fund 42 projects statewide including:

Mercy Health Muskegon names new president

Mercy Health Muskegon names new president

MUSKEGON, Mich.—  Mercy Health Muskegon has a new president.

Greg Loomis will take on the role permanently, effective Jan. 1, 2014.  Loomis has served as Mercy Health Muskegon’s interim president since November 2012.

“I am delighted that Greg has accepted the position,” said Mike Gluhanich, Chair of Mercy Health Muskegon Board of Trustees. “Greg has shown he is an outstanding leader. He is a trusted and experienced health care executive who has the knowledge and skill to ensure Mercy Health Muskegon, which is nationally and regionally recognized for high quality care, will continue to be a first-class organization. His thoughtful and decisive leadership is what this position will demand and we are fortunate to have him.”

Higher cigarette taxes can bring complications, but also new opportunities

Higher cigarette taxes can bring complications, but also new opportunities

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products is often considered a way to reduce smoking and improve public health, but according to a new study in part from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, evidence of effectiveness is sparse.

As stated in the abstract, "the association between cigarette taxes and either smoking participation or smoking intensity is negative, small, and not usually statistically significant," and that large tax increases would be needed -- as much as 100 percent -- to reduce smoking by a mere 5 percent.

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—They aren’t all on the big screen.

Michigan Blood is getting ready to reward life-saving superheroes right here in the Grand Rapids community. The organization is teaming up with Celebration Cinema to offer a free movie pass and a bag of popcorn to each to person who attempts to donate blood during the holidays.

Michigan Blood needs to collect more than 2,200 units of blood every week to supply patients and hospitals around the state.  Donations traditionally drop around the holidays as people travel.

Days and times for the “Be a Star” donation deal vary around the state.  To find the location near you, visit the Michigan Blood website here.  In Grand Rapids, the following donation drives will take place in Michigan Blood’s Main Donor Center at 1036 Fuller Ave. NE:

How to stay healthy during the holiday season

How to stay healthy during the holiday season

MUSKEGON, Mich.-- The holiday season is here-- a time for shopping, gift exchanges and sumptuous holiday treats and meals.

But when the holidays are over, it's endless lines at the return counter and anxiety over all that weight gain. So why wait to lose the weight?  Did you know that most traditional holiday fare can be healthy? How can we enjoy those traditional holiday meals and yet avoid gaining all the weight and stay healthy?

“Actually, our traditional holiday meals – such as turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie - can be very healthy and have less total calories than the meals eaten any other day of the week,” said Jeanette Waite, registered dietitian at the H.E.A.R.T.