Media Recap: Implicit Bias Training & Medicaid Maternal Health Coverage

Brian Peters

The MHA received media coverage the week of May 9 on the upcoming Public Health Code Rules requiring implicit bias training for all professions licensed or registered under the Public Health Code and the recently approved extension by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of Michigan Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage for 12 months after pregnancy.

Bridge published May 11 a story on the healthcare industry’s reaction to the June 1 implementation date of the implicit bias training requirement. MHA CEO Brian Peters is quoted in the article expressing the positive reaction from hospitals on the requirement and their commitment to eliminate health disparities.

“There’s been no push back,” said Peters. “Everyone realizes this is the right thing to do.”

State of Reform also published May 10 an article on the increase in coverage for postpartum mothers from 60 days after birth to a full year in Michigan. Laura Appel, executive vice president of government relations and public policy, MHA, spoke with State of Reform on the importance of this coverage extension towards addressing maternal mortality and racial disparities.

“It feels counterintuitive to why healthcare coverage for women would end 60 days after they gave birth,” said Appel. “You would in no way expect coverage to end so quickly.”

Media Recap: Hospital Mergers and COVID-19

Brian Peters

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Jan. 31 that focused on the history of hospital mergers and acquisitions in Michigan and the current outlook for hospitals regarding COVID-19.

Bridge published Feb. 1 an article that looked at the impact of hospital mergers on consumers in light of the merger between Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health. MHA CEO Brian Peters is quoted in the story discussing the reasons between hospital mergers.

“The real watchword is ‘value,’” said Peters. “We want to create value and that equation of course, is cost and quality and appropriateness,” he said, adding “higher quality care costs less in the long run.”

The Detroit News published Feb. 2 a story that focuses on the future outlook for hospitals now that the COVID-19 surge driven by the omicron variant is declining. MHA Director of Communications John Karasinski discussed the statewide trends for hospitals.

“It’s clear that we’re on the downside of this omicron surge as the numbers this week are better than the prior week, but the status of hospitals does vary depending on region, bed capacity and staffing,” said Karasinski.

Members with questions on COVID-19 efforts and resources should contact Ruthanne Sudderth, and any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.

Appel Featured in Bridge Series on Michigan’s Mental Health Services for Children & Teens


MHA Senior Vice President Laura AppelBridge Michigan published a series of articles the week of June 28 that examine Michigan’s mental health system for children and teens.

Shared in three installments, the pieces look at the strain on families, the boarding of children in the emergency department as they await treatment, and potential solutions.

The series includes Laura Appel, senior vice president, health policy & innovation, MHA, discussing the challenges that hospitals and health systems experience when providing behavioral health treatment to children and teens. Specifically, Appel discusses the constantly changing state pediatric psychiatric bed census, and legislation that would provide transformational funding to increase child inpatient psychiatric beds and to update emergency department facilities to mirror environmental features found in psychiatric facilities.

Part 1: Mental health crisis: Children at breaking point during COVID

Part 2: Emergency rooms confront ‘tidal wave of sadness’ among young patients

Part 3: A child mental-health fix takes early action, more help. Here are 7 ideas.

Bridge: Five ways Michigan could change under President Joe Biden, from taxes to autos

Chris Mitchell

MHA Executive Vice President Chris MitchellBridge published a story Dec. 6 on five ways Michigan could change under president-elect Joe Biden.

Interviewed for the story was Chris Mitchell, executive vice president, advocacy & public affairs, MHA. Mitchell discussed the implications for Michigan hospitals and health systems, including president-elect Biden’s support of the Affordable Care Act and expanding access to care.

Expanded access means “people can get preventative care, meaning it’s less costly when people show up, their health isn’t deteriorated to a level where they’re in the emergency department,” said Mitchell.

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Headline Roundup: Week of Nov. 9 for COVID-19 in Michigan

covid cell

As Michigan hospitals address a second surge of COVID-19 patients, the MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to responding to the pandemic.

MHA CEO Brian Peters joined CEOs of Michigan hospitals Nov. 12 during a virtual press conference organized by the Michigan Economic Recovery Council (MERC). Other participants included Henry Ford Health System President and CEO Wright Lassiter III, UP Health System Market President Gar Atchinson, Spectrum Health President & CEO Tina Freese Decker, Munson Health Care President & CEO Ed Ness and Beaumont Health President & CEO John Fox.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include interviews or statements from the MHA, including coverage of the MERC Press Conference:

Sunday, November 15

Friday, November 13

Thursday, November 12

Tuesday, November 10

Members with questions on COVID-19 efforts and resources should contact Ruthanne Sudderth, and any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.

Bridge: Michigan passes 200,000 COVID cases. What we’ve learned, and haven’t.

MHA Portrait

MHA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary RothBridge published a story Nov. 6 on the COVID-19 situation in Michigan after Michigan passed 200,000 total positive cases since the pandemic began.

The article compares the environment that Michigan now finds itself in with what occurred in the spring during the first surge of COVID-19 patients.

Included in the article is a quote from MHA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Roth addressing staff burnout and the concerns regarding staffing while Michigan experiences a second surge of COVID-19.

“Many of them had just barely begun to recover from the effects of the stresses of COVID-19 early on,” said Roth.

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Bridge: Michigan hospitals turn to $15 minimum wage to fill job openings

MHA CEO Brian Peters

Bridge published a story Oct. 26 on wage increases that hospitals are providing to entry-level and low-wage workers.

The story reviews wage increases recently announced by MHA members Henry Ford Health System, Trinity Health and Spectrum Health.

Interviewed for the story was MHA CEO Brian Peters, who provided information on the healthcare labor market in Michigan and challenges facing hospitals and their staff, including COVID-19 and food insecurity.

“Even those that work in hospitals are not immune from food insecurity,” said Peters. “We have hospital workers in some instances who don’t necessarily know where their food is going to come from for their family dinner table tomorrow. Some of our health care leaders are very cognizant of that and [want] to make sure they have a living wage that they are able to alleviate that concern as much as possible.”

The MHA’s COVID-19 Impact Report and the Michigan Harvest Gathering also appear in the story.

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