2017 News Coverage

December 7, 2017

Doctor: Senate funding delay risks Flint lead recovery

Detroit News | December 6
Funding for the $14 billion Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) ran out on Sept. 30. And while the U.S. House of Representatives in early November approved a five-year extension of the program, a proposed extension has stalled in the Senate. “It’s embarrassing and tells our kids that Congress values tax cuts for the wealthy over children’s actual lives,” Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at Hurley Medical Center Pediatrician, said Wednesday. “This should be our priority.”

After the water crisis, Thanksgiving in Flint is about healing

Earther | November 23
Already, research has shown that this new farmers market location drew more residents from “the most distressed neighborhoods,” as a study published last year put it. Now that people like Hanna-Attisha and Saxe-Custack are working together to make this food more affordable, they expect even more low-income and residents of color to buy their groceries at the farmers market.

After Flint, helping doctors recognize chemical exposure

New York Times | November 21
Before doctors in Flint, Mich., knew they were dealing with a crisis of lead poisoning, there were warning signs of a problem with the water supply. The doctors just didn’t know what to do with them — including Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician credited with uncovering the widespread lead poisoning afflicting that city. She said Flint was exposed to a “toxic soup” for 18 months — with drinking water violations for nine of those months — but no one knew exactly what was in the soup, or more important, what the soup was doing to the health of the people drinking it.

Hurley Foundation receives $240K in grants to support Video Interaction Project

Grand Blanc View | October 26
Hurley Medical Center, in partnership with NYU Langone Health and Michigan State University’s Pediatric Public Health Initiative, has launched the Video Interaction Project, or VIP, at Hurley Children’s Clinic in Flint. VIP is an evidence-based parenting program that uses pediatric health care, videotaping and developmentally appropriate toys, books and resources to help parents engage in activities such as pretend play, shared reading and daily routines as opportunities for strengthening early development and literacy in their children.

Mona Hanna-Attisha honored with 22nd Heinz Award

MSUToday | September 14
Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, or PPHI, is the recipient of the 22nd Heinz Award in Public Policy from the Heinz Family Foundation. Hanna-Attisha is recognized by the foundation for stepping forward to expose the presence of elevated lead levels in children residing in Flint, Michigan; for her work establishing a system of comprehensive care and support for children and families affected by lead exposure; and for her efforts to ignite a renewed nationwide conversation about lead exposure and drinking water safety.
READ MORE | Related: New York Times, Detroit Free PressCBS Detroit, NBC Dallas, Fox 47, Philadelphia Tribune, The Root, American Academy of Pediatrics, Associated Press, Seattle Times, Houston Chronicle, Arizona Daily Star

Report touts policies to prevent child lead exposure

Detroit News | August 31
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative who’s credited with uncovering the Flint water crisis, served on the advisory committee for the report. “What was happening in Flint for 18 months really threatened the tomorrows of an entire generation of children,” she said.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awards $14.4M to fund Flint registry

MSU Today | August 1
Flint residents will soon be able to participate in a voluntary registry that will help connect them to programs designed to minimize the effects of lead on their health. Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, will receive approximately $3.2 million this year to begin establishing a registry of residents who were exposed to lead-contaminated water from the Flint Water System during 2014-2015. The funds are the first installment of a four-year, $14.4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help build and maintain the Flint Lead Exposure Registry. Funding for the project was included in December 2016 legislation championed by Michigan's congressional leaders.
READ MORE | Related: New York TimesGCN, American Security News, Health Data Management, ABC NewsThe American Prospect, GoverningSustainable City Network, Michigan Radio, WJRT TV 12, Crain's Business Detroit, Phys.org, Detroit Free Press, EurekAlert, MLive, Healthcare Industry Today, US Department of Health and Human Services, Breast Cancer News, Detroit News, WZZM TV 13, Michigan Ag Connection, WNEM TV 5, WEYI NBC 25, MIRS

Disobedience Awards

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | July 20
Both Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha and Professor Marc Edwards are scientists who became activists, using rigorous research to investigate the concerns of citizens in Flint, Michigan to unravel a mystery that many in positions of power would have preferred to keep under wraps. Both faced harassment and ridicule for their work and risked academic sanctions for defying conventions of peer review as they sought to bring attention to Flint's water crisis before more people were affected. Their work shows that science and scholarship are as powerful tools for social change as art and protest, and it challenges those of us in academia to use our powers for good.

Flint Doctor Who Helped Expose Lead Water Crisis Is Fighting for the Most Vulnerable: ‘We’re Not Giving Up on These Kids

People.com | June 22
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha - Hero of the Week. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha remembers the exact moment she suspected there could be a lead problem for the residents of Flint, Michigan. She was at a dinner party in August 2015 when a friend told her that the city, where Hanna-Attisha has been a pediatrician since 2011, wasn’t using the proper corrosion control in their water-supply source after it switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in April 2014.

Partnership helps Flint families get access to healthier foods for second year

MSUToday | June 6
The Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative has partnered with Tom Gores’ FlintNOW and the National Basketball Players Association, or NBPA, for the second year to provide Flint families access to healthier food through gift certificates totaling $300,000.

103 great healthcare leaders to know in 2017

Becker's Hospital Review | March 24
Healthcare has been moving from volume to value-based care for the past decade with the passage and implementation of the ACA; now healthcare institutions need strong leadership to navigate the changing industry tides as Congress seeks to repeal and replace the ACA while continuing to promote higher quality care at a lower cost. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center, is included as one of the great leaders to know. Hanna-Attisha is the director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children's Hospital Public Health Initiative. Time named Hanna-Attisha among the 100 Influential People of the Year in 2016, and she received the Michigan State Medical Society Public Health Leadership Award last year.

Two MSU faculty appointed to new state commission focused on eliminating child lead exposure

MSUToday | March 17 
Gov. Rick Snyder has announced the creation of the Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission, an effort that will continue Michigan’s fight against lead exposure, and has appointed Michigan State University's Mona Hanna-Attisha and Rebecca Meunick to the 15-member commission.
READ MORE | Related: Crain's Detroit Business, Mlive, Upper Michigan Source

Dr. Mona: Flint children "strong and brave" but will need decades of support to recover and thrive

MLive | March 16
Dr. Mona, as she's known affectionately around the world, is an assistant professor of pediatrics in the MSU College of Human Medicine and director of the Pediatric Residency Program at Hurley Children's Hospital in Flint. She was at MSU on March 16 to give a talk titled "Flint Water Crisis: Background and Next Steps" as part of the Broad College of Business' Business and Bagels Seminar Series. She and her colleagues have received funding from the state - with hopefully more from the federal government on the way - to build a large-scale registry to identify and track the children and to evaluate how they're doing.

Honoring women across the Big Ten

Big Ten Network | March 8
It was Dr. Mona, director of the MSU-Hurley Medical Center’s Pediatric Public Health Initiative, who first documented the rising lead levels in Flint’s children and linked it to a change in the city’s water supply. And, it was Dr. Mona who, with relentless vigor, led the charge to inform residents of the water crisis and to demand action from local and state officials. The energy and passion she brought to her work on behalf of the children of Flint are what her colleague Dr. Aron Sousa refers to as her “superpowers.”

Dr. Mona disapointed Trump didn't mention Flint

WKAR | March 1
President Trump delivered his first address before CongressTuesday.  He touched on themes ranging from immigration reform to counter terrorism to education.  One prominent guest in the audience came to hear Mr. Trump’s plans to resolve a crisis in Michigan that’s resounded around the world. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is the Flint pediatrician who blew the whistle on the city’s water crisis by revealing data about elevated blood lead levels in children.  She was in Washington as a guest of Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint).  “Dr. Mona,” as she’s known, told WKAR’s Kevin Lavery that there was one key word missing from President Trump’s speech.

Flint's water crisis couldn't have happened in whiter, wealthier cities

Rewire | March 1
Flint’s inequity “is rooted in a dysfunctional state department,” Dr. Richard Sadler, an assistant professor doing public health research through the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s Division of Public Health, said in an interview with Rewire. Sadler assisted with the 2015 study undertaken by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha that blew the whistle on the elevated blood lead levels found in children.

Flint fades from spotlight, but water crisis won't fade for years

Journal Gazette | February 17
Hanna-Attisha or Dr. Mona – as she’s known around Flint – directs the MSU and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an effort to research, monitor and mitigate the effects of lead in the city’s drinking water. Hanna-Attisha says the manmade disaster is a generational one that will require years of intervention. And though tragic, positives are arising from the situation. For one, Flint got the nation talking about water purity and other citizens around the country are now playing watchdog for their neighborhoods. Hanna-Attisha calls it part of “an awesome ripple effect.”

Will we lose the doctor who would stop the next Flint?

New York Times Opinion | February 11
Mona Hanna-Attisha was the doctor and first-generation Iraqi immigrant who discovered the dangerous levels of lead in water in Flint, Michigan. Now she worries about what the country stands to lose.

Can behavioral science help in Flint?

The New Yorker | January 23
Kent Key, the director of the Office of Community Scholars and Partnerships at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, said, “What the narrative has been about Flint is that we were this little poor, docile black community that didn’t have a voice, and needed someone to come and fix it for them.” On the contrary, he stressed, locals had been fighting the switch in the water source long before it happened. “When a community does everything right by the book,” he went on, “and your voice is still disregarded? To me, that speaks to a larger historical, systemic issue of the disregard for communities, particularly communities of color.”
READ MORE | Related: The Nonprofit Quarterly

Michigan State's Dr. Mona continues her fight for the health of Flint

BTN LiveBIG | January 21
Michigan State University pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha wants you to know the Flint Water Crisis isn’t over. Yes, the quality of the city’s water has vastly improved, with lead levels below federal limits, but residents are still advised to use filters. It was Dr. Mona, director of the MSU-Hurley Medical Center’s Pediatric Public Health Initiative, who first documented the rising lead levels in Flint’s children and linked it to a change in the city’s water supply. And, it was Dr. Mona who, with relentless vigor, led the charge to inform residents of the water crisis and to demand action from local and state officials. 

MDHHS awards $500,000 planning grant to MSU College of Human Medicine for Flint registry planning

MSUToday | January 13
One of the Flint Water Advisory Task Force recommendations included the creation of Registry for the long-term tracking of residents exposed to Flint water from April 2014 to present. Through this planning grant, MSU College of Human Medicine and the MSU-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, led by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, will continue working with many community partners including the Greater Flint Health Coalition to build upon approximately one year of registry planning, building, convening and advocacy in order to develop the foundation for the registry. The intent of the registry will be to that identify, track and support Flint Water Crisis victims.
READ MORE | Related: ABC 12, Fox 47, WILX TV 10, Upper Michigan Source, Crain's Detroit Business, MLive, WNEM TV 5, Michigan Radio

Looking back on how state-supported suburban flight laid foundation for Flint water crisis

Michigan Radio's Stateside | January 9
Michigan State University public health expert and urban geographer Rick Sadler argues the true cause of Flint's water disaster goes back decades. Sadler and co-author Andrew Highsmith have published a study laying out their case in the journal Environmental Justice. Sadler joined Stateside to talk about the findings from the study and how, according to him, the public is missing the bigger picture by focusing on the emergency manager or the decision to switch the drinking water source.

Newsmakers of the Year: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Crain's Detroit Business | January 6
Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., the pediatrician who blew the public whistle on the lead poisoning of children and adults in Flint in one of the nation's biggest preventable environmental disasters, continues to advocate for clean and safe drinking and bathing water. "To this day our water is still not safe," said Hanna-Attisha, who practices at Hurley Medical Center in Flint and is the director of the MSU-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative. "I am more hopeful than I have been because Congress passed federal funding for Flint that brings significant money ($170 million) for infrastructure to finally replace the plumbing."

Speaking out on lead, Flint pediatrician fulfills calling

American Medical Association Wire | January 3
When the children of Flint, Mich., were in danger and the people of Flint were ignored, pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, raised her voice in protest. That is because sometimes, with an activist spirit and the help of scientific evidence, a physician is in the perfect position to give a voice to those who are the most vulnerable.

Take One Apple, Twice A Day - Better Nutrition for Flint Kids

My City Magazine | January 2
Most Flint kids are eating one or fewer fruits or veggies a day. One of many results of this is a high obesity rate for children in the Flint area; as of 2011, 71 percent of Genesee County residents are either obese or overweight. With a grant, Hurley Children’s Center has been operating a new program that provides integrated nutritional education services and resources for at-risk children.