2015 New Lawmakers Reception February 18 in East Lansing

The Michigan State Medical Society will kick off the new legislative year with a New Lawmakers Reception on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 from 5-7 p.m. at MSMS Headquarters located at 120 West Saginaw Street in East Lansing. This event is a premier networking event for all member physicians.

All MSMS/WCMS members are welcome to attend; and Michigan government officials, as well as the members of the Michigan Legislature, have been invited to attend.

The event will follow Graduate Medical Education Advocacy Day where GME advocates will visit Lansing to educate legislators on the vital role of teaching hospitals and the benefits of GME funding. GME directors, program administrators and physician residents are encouraged to attend this important event to urge full funding of GME.

To RSVP please contact Anne’ka Marzette, Government Relations Coordinator, at amarzette@msms.org or 517-336-5736. Should you have any questions, please contact Colin J. Ford, Senior Director, State and Federal Government Affairs, at 517-336-5737.

March 4, 2015 General Session – Incoming AMA President Steven Stack, MD

March 2015 Session Flyer(1)

Dr. Steven Stack is an emergency physician practicing in Lexington, Kentucky. He has served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 2006, and was elected President-Elect in 2014. He will begin his term as President in June of 2015.

Dr. Stack is the first board certified emergency physician to serve on the AMA Board of Trustees, and the first emergency physician to serve as President. He has served with distinction in a number of positions with the AMA and has made significant contributions to health IT, licensing, regulation and health policy.

Please join us to welcome Dr. Stack to Washtenaw County.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ann Arbor City Club
1830 Washtenaw Avenue

5:30 p.m. Social Hour

6:15 p.m. Dinner

7:00 p.m. Program

Open to the general public. There is no charge for dinner for active WCMS members.
Dinner for retired members, non-members, and guests is $35.

For reservations call the Society Office at 734-668-6241, or register via e-mail at wcms@msms.org.

Half-Price Radon Test Kits During Radon Action Month

January is National Radon Action Month. Half-priced radon test kits are available at Washtenaw County Public Health’s Environmental Health Division and the Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s Office through January 30, 2015.

Brenda Stumbo, Ypsilanti Township Supervisor, says, “We are happy to offer radon kits at our Ypsilanti Township Civic Center. Selling them at more than one location makes it more accessible to residents on this side of town.”

Radon home test kits can be purchased for $5.00 at the following locations:

Western County Service Center between the hours of 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please note the office will be closed on Monday, Jan 19. The Service Center is located at 705 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103. To purchase a test kit by mail for an additional $2.00, email parsonsa@ewashtenaw.org or call (734) 222-3869.

Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s Office between the hours of 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday (closed for lunch 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm daily). Please note the office will be closed on Monday, Jan 19. The Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s Office is located in the Civic Center at 7200 S. Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Call Carly Willis at (734) 544-3512 with questions.

“Our goal is for every home in Washtenaw County to be tested for radon, and to be fixed if high levels are found,” says Kristen Schweighoefer, MPH, RS, environmental health director. “Winter is the best time to test because homes are closed up tight and people are spending more time indoors. This gives us the worst-case scenario and the best indication of risk.”

Radon is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless radioactive gas. It is found in nearly all types of soil and rock. Radon can enter homes through cracks in the foundation, dirt floors, hollow-block walls, and openings around floor drains and sump pumps. Current estimates show that as many as 45% of homes in Washtenaw County have elevated levels of radon. Any home could have high levels of radon. Whether a home is new or old, with or without a basement – it could still have radon. The only way to know for sure is to test.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the United States. Research shows that radon is associated with 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in this country.

Although no level of radon is considered absolutely safe, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking action when levels are above 4.0 pCi/L inside a home. For comparison, the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L, and the average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L in the United States.

If a home is found to have elevated levels of radon, the radon can be reduced by installing a mitigation system. Depending on the home and contractor, a typical radon mitigation system costs $800 – $1000 in Washtenaw County.

The radon test kits will remain available for purchase at the Western County Service Center and Ypsilanti Township offices after Jan 30 at the regular price of $10.00.

For more information, contact the Environmental Health Division at (734) 222-3869 or visit http://www.ewashtenaw.org/radon.

Washtenaw County Influenza Surveillance – 1/2/15

Lab-confirmed Cases: Reports of confirmed influenza in Washtenaw County residents are extremely high, with almost 300 new cases reported in the week ending December 27. The predominant strain being reported locally is A/H3N2, with a few cases of influenza B reported as well. The age range of confirmed flu cases is 1 month to 100 years old. Please see the local flu curve:


Hospitalizations and Deaths: Flu-related hospitalizations in Washtenaw residents reached a new weekly high, with 78 admissions last week. This is almost the same number of local flu-related hospitalizations reported during the entire second wave of the 2009 pandemic (84 hospitalizations from Sept 2009 – Jan 2010). The majority of local hospitalizations (74%) this flu season continue to be in individuals 65 yrs and older, with 30% of hospitalizations in those 85 yrs and older.

Unfortunately, the first flu-related deaths in Washtenaw residents for the 2014-15 season were reported this week. All four individuals were confirmed with influenza A. They were aged 55 years and older.

Hospitalizations and Deaths in Washtenaw Residents with Confirmed Influenza

Total Hospitalizations (*starting September 28, 2014)

Hospitalizations Week of 12/21 – 12/27/14

Child Deaths*
(0 – 17 years)

Adult Deaths*
(18 years and older)

Facility outbreaks: In the past several weeks, 6 long-term care and/or senior living centers have reported flu outbreaks. All outbreaks have been due to influenza A.

Providers should continue to promote vaccination. Washtenaw County Public Health still has flu vaccine available for all ages. Please call (734) 544-6700 for an appointment.