High rate of Michigan nursing home deaths should trigger robust response - Udow-Phillips

May 29, 2020

One in four deaths due to COVID-19 in Michigan have been linked to long-term care residents at nursing homes, new data has indicated.

Marianne Udow-Phillips, executive director of the Center for Health Research and Transformation at the University of Michigan and Ford School lecturer, was quoted in an article in Bridge on May 27 that the disclosure of death counts by nursing homes should be a trigger for further action.

She said the state could leverage that information to form nursing home “strike teams,” as states including Maryland have done. Since early April, Maryland has sent teams composed of hospital health care workers, National Guard members and state and local health care workers to nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks. The teams assist with testing and provide on-site medical support.

“The state could be deploying these teams to help with infection control. It’s something the state could be working with the nursing home, to have these traveling teams to be available,” she said.

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Since 2007, Marianne Udow-Phillips has served as founding executive director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation (CHRT) at the University of Michigan. CHRT works to advance health care delivery, the health of the population, and access to care by transforming research and evidence into actionable policy approaches.

Prior to her leadership role at CHRT, Marianne served as director of the State of Michigan’s Department of Human Services (2004-2007) and senior vice president of health care products and provider services at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (1999-2004). Over the years, she has held many leadership roles at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (1988-2004, 1978-1985), and Mercy Alternative (1986-1988).

Marianne currently serves as a board member for the Grameen Foundation, University of Michigan Health System, Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, U-M Depression Center National Advisory Board, Greater Detroit Area Health Council, and Michigan Women's Foundation Emeritus Board. She has received numerous awards and honors over the years, including the Anti-Defamation League's "Women of Achievement Award"; Crain’s Detroit Business’s top 100 "Most Influential Women Award" (2002, 2007, 2016); and the Michigan Women's Foundation's "Women of Achievement and Courage Award."

Marianne holds a master’s degree in health services administration from the U-M School of Public Health. She is a lecturer at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the School of Public Health--both at the University of Michigan.