How Michigan families can benefit from these 20 state health programs this summer

How Michigan families can benefit from these 20 state health programs this summer

Max Harlynking/Unsplash

By Lucas Henkel

June 26, 2024

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is hosting two free virtual baby fairs in July for new or expecting families—here’s what you need to know.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. That’s why MDHHS is helping parents get connected with local state programs to make their lives easier through their virtual baby fairs. 

The free events—which will take place Wednesday, July 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. and Tuesday, July 23 from 6 to 8 p.m.—allow families to learn about available resources, health and safety information, and directly ask questions to experts from 20 state-funded programs in Michigan.

Michiganders interested in participating are encouraged to register online and visit for more information.  

Here’s a breakdown of the MDHHS programs and resources available during each event:

Care for MiWell: Michigan has over one million private residential wells that serve nearly 30% of residents. This program helps Michiganders understand how their private residential well works and how they can best take care of their water.

Newborn Screening: Each year, more than 250 babies—one in every 400 to 500 births—are found to have a disorder detected by newborn screening. This public health program finds these babies with rare but serious disorders and connects families with early treatment. 

Michigan BioTrust for Health: Did you know that five to six blood spots are collected from almost every newborn shortly after birth for newborn screening? The BioTrust is a program that oversees Michigan’s stored blood spots and their use in health research. 

Infant Safe Sleep: In Michigan, a baby dies every 2 to 3 days due to sleep-related causes. This safety and injury prevention program teaches simple steps on how to help your baby stay safe and sound from nap time to night time. 

Women, Infants, & Children (WIC): A health and nutrition program for women, infants, and children up to the age of five who are at nutritional risk due to their socioeconomic status. The federally funded program has been shown to have a positive effect on pregnancy outcomes, child growth, and development. 

Immunizations: Learn about the vaccines you and your family members may need to stay healthy and even how to get a copy of your own or your child’s immunization records through the Michigan Immunization Portal

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention: Through early hearing screening, appropriate audiological diagnosis, and intervention, this state program aims to better the outcomes for Michigan newborns and young children with hearing loss and their families. 

Birth Defects Education and Outreach: Provides referrals for services and support, information for families and healthcare providers, and tracks birth defect data. 

Breastfeeding Support: Through advocacy and education, the Michigan Breastfeeding Network builds community alongside families and organizations to advance an equitable, just, and breastfeeding-supportive culture. 

Childhood Lead Prevention Education: Established in 1998, the Michigan Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program works towards a future where Michigan children are not suffering from lead poisoning through surveillance, health services, and outreach. 

Vital Records: The Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics registers, preserves, and issues certified copies of vital records—including birth, death, fetal death, marriage, and divorce certificates for all events that occur in Michigan. Vital statistics are compiled from these registries—as well as the Birth Defects Registry—to support public health, policy, and biomedical research. 

Michigan Home Visiting Initiative: The goal of home visiting is to ensure birthing parents have a healthy pregnancy and that both parents are supported to help their children grow and develop in a safe and stimulating environment. 

Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP): This state program partners families with caring, trusted, and knowledgeable home visitors who serve the goals and needs of each family. MIHP aims to reduce rates of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality by promoting healthy pregnancies, positive birth outcomes, and healthy growth and development for infants. 

Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS): A state program dedicated to serving children—as well as some adults—with special health care needs. 

Eat Safe Fish: In addition to having the longest freshwater coastline in the country, Michigan is home to more than 11,000 inland lakes, rivers, and streams—which means that Michiganders have a variety of fish to choose from to consume. This state program offers ways to properly clean and cook fish so families stay healthy. 

Unintentional Injury Prevention: As part of Safe Kids Worldwide—a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury, the leading cause of death and injury for children—this program offers multiple resources on how to keep Michiganders safe. 

Oral Health Program: The state of Michigan offers multiple programs to make sure residents and children have teeth as bright as their future. Michigan’s Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment Program, for example, provides free dental screenings to children entering kindergarten. 

PFAS Education: Otherwise known as “forever chemicals”, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals that are widely used in various household and industrial products. The Michigan PFAS Exposure and Health Study is a large, longitudinal study designed to examine the health of Michiganders with past exposure to PFAS in their drinking water. 

Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance (MMMS): Dozens of Michiganders die each year from pregnancy-related complications up to one year after giving birth. The MMMS program identifies all maternal deaths that take place in our state. When a maternal death occurs, a team of doctors, nurses, public health professionals, universities, and nonprofit organizations analyze the cause of death and provide recommendations to prevent future ones. 

The Hear Her Michigan Campaign focuses on empowering women and their support networks to know the urgent maternal mortality warning signs and speak up when they have concerns. 

Doula Initiative: A doula is a trained birth professional who helps families have safe, healthy, and positive birth experiences. They provide non-clinical emotional, physical, and informational support to pregnant people and their families before, during, and after birth. 

The MDHHS Doula Initiative seeks to reduce infant and maternal mortality and address birth inequities by increasing and supporting the doula network in Michigan, providing technical assistance for Medicaid doula providers, and engaging with doulas, families, and partners to prioritize and expand doula service access. 


  • Lucas Henkel

    Lucas Henkel is a multimedia reporter who strives to inform and inspire local communities. Before joining The 'Gander, Lucas served as a journalist for the Lansing City Pulse.

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