CHRT research cited in Michigan Radio story about the effects of long COVID on women

Michigan Radio cites CHRT’s study on the impact of long COVID on Michiganders in “Women may be experiencing more long COVID than men. We don’t know why.” The article by Kate Wells focuses on why women are more vulnerable to long COVID, and other diseases that disproportionately affect women, and how Michigan-based health systems are supporting individuals with long COVID. 

“We could possibly approach a million, and even higher than a million, long COVID cases in Michigan,” says Jonathan Tsao, lead author of CHRT’s brief in the story, going on to explain that “long haulers are more likely to be in a worse financial situation than a year ago compared to those who recovered from COVID and those who never got COVID.”

“[With] all these long term chronic conditions, it is very debilitating for individuals to function at their full working capacity,” says Tsao. “Those who’ve experienced these symptoms, they were more likely to either work reduced hours, or decide to voluntarily quit, or even get laid off from their jobs due to the demands of their jobs as well.”

Tsao is hoping employers are paying attention, and make accommodations just “like any other disability that might happen in the workplace.” But women will likely be most impacted — not just because they experience more long COVID, but because they already were more likely to work in sectors that saw COVID-related job cuts, or have to take on caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic.“What we want them to take away from this … is basically that they’re not alone,” Tsao said. “There’s a lot of people who are going through what they’re going through.”


  • One in three Michiganders with COVID-19 are “long haulers” or someone experiencing long COVID.
  • 15% of men and 55% of women identified as long haulers.
  • Michiganders with diabetes were two times more likely to report long COVID.



CHRT cited in State of Reform: long COVID’s effect on physical, mental, and financial health of Michiganders

Decorative representation of viruses

State of Reform features CHRT’s research on the impact of long COVID in Michigan.

“Long COVID is still all so new and it’s all new territory. We’re still learning and understanding what the effects of the virus are on physical health, mental health well-being, and financial and economic well-being,” said Melissa Riba, Research and Evaluation Director of CHRT.  “We are seeing the intersection of long COVID, income disparities, and gender disparities.”

Main findings are:

  •  1 in 3 Michiganders with COVID-19 are “long haulers” or someone experiencing long COVID.
  • 15% of men and 55% of women identified as long haulers.
  • Michiganders with diabetes were 2 times more likely to report long COVID.

“Depending on how many future cases of COVID exist, it likely could creep to a million or even exceed a million in the long term,” said Jonathan Tsao, a CHRT data analyst, lead author of this brief.




CHRT moves to Arbor Lakes, joining many other University of Michigan centers and institutes

This spring, CHRT packed up and moved just a couple of miles down the street, still on Plymouth Road, to Arbor Lakes near the University of Michigan North Campus Research Complex (NCRC), a hub for translational research.

At Arbor Lakes, CHRT is joining many other University of Michigan centers and institutes in a warm and welcoming complex of brick buildings with abundant natural light and landscaping.

While staff will miss CHRT’s old home in the Plymouth Building, they’re pleased with the new facilities, which are, in the words of CHRT’s director, Terrisca Des Jardins, “bright, light, and crisp.”

CHRT’s new suite, and shared facilities throughout the Arbor Lakes complex, are well designed for public gatherings. One shared conference room, in fact, seats close to 150 people in a domed room with terrific A/V technology.

CHRT hopes to host you at our new facility soon. In the meantime, please make a note of our new address:

4251 Plymouth road
Arbor Lakes 1, Suite 2000
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-3640


UM sign to the building


Map showing the new location in respect to former office address

What is accessibility and why does it matter?

Braille keyboard

Braille keyboard

At CHRT, we value equity and information access for all. To further align our practice with these values, our communication team recently increased its expertise in accessibility through WebAIM training, a robust online course offered by Utah State University. Here’s just some of what we learned. 

Over 25 million people in the U.S. have a disability (visual, auditory, or cognitive) that impacts their use of computers and the internet. Technologies, such as special screen readers, can alleviate some of these barriers. But to be effective, CHRT’s digital content must also be “accessible.” 

There are four guidelines for developing, presenting, and formatting web content for accessibility: 

  • Content must be perceivable, which is concerned with the sensory ability of a user. Font size, color contrast, and alternative text for photos and figures are some of the main ways to make content more easily perceivable.
  • Content must be operable, which means that the technology and navigation must be adapted to make it easier for readers to physically navigate the document. 
  • Content must be understandable, which refers to the structure of the information in a document. For example, using consistent formatting for headers and subheaders in a linear format helps readers understand content more easily. 
  • Finally, content must be robust, which means that the document remains accessible across a wide range of web platforms and assistive technologies. 

Following these principles, accessibility is a continuum with the goal to be as inclusive as possible. CHRT’s communications team is making substantive efforts to boost the accessibility of content across its reports, infographs, and websites. 

For more information about the W3C, see Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Terrisca Des Jardins, CHRT’s executive director, joins the advisory board of the University of Michigan Griffith Leadership Center 

CHRT and the University of Michigan Griffith Leadership Center (GLC) share many interests. While CHRT improves public health by providing health and health care research, data analyses, and backbone support to government agencies, community decision leaders, and nonprofits, GLC does so by promoting and supporting future health management and policy leaders.

Terrisca Des Jardins, CHRT’s executive director, has been tapped to join GLC’s Advisory Board. Des Jardins says she looks forward to strengthening collaborations and synergies between the two centers.

“There are very interesting opportunities for enhanced connection and partnership with GLC across many of CHRT’s active projects and work portfolios,” says Des Jardins, “including CHRT’s learning forums, networks, and policy and public health fellowships.”

At GLC, Des Jardins will also contribute her experience and vision for training and supporting health care leaders.

“As I have participated across research, teaching, and practice, I understand and appreciate the need to connect these areas to prepare great leaders, particularly in these quickly changing and challenging times in health care,” she says.

The GLC recognizes that it achieves its mission through the shared energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm of its advisory board, whose members are recognized health management and policy leaders. Des Jardins is thrilled to join this distinguished board and looks forward to “digging in and contributing creative energy and time to the work.”

GLC is located at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and housed within the Department of Health Management and Policy (HMP).

CHRT Rebecca Copeland Internship 

Holly Quivera Teague, MPH, a health behavior and health education graduate from the University of Michigan (UM) School of Public Health (spring ’22), is the 2022 CHRT Rebecca Copeland Memorial Intern. She will join CHRT’s health policy team on June 1st, supporting a number of projects that address social needs to improve health and reduce health inequities.

“Our approach to health and health care is anything but equitable and I hope to contribute toward work that questions why that is and how to improve it,” says Quivera Teague. “I’m especially passionate about reducing health disparities and moving upstream to target the root causes of these disparities.”

With this internship, Quivera Teague also seeks to address the gap between academic training and practice in the field: 

“I’m really looking forward to working toward tangible outcomes. In school everything can be so theoretical and research-based that it can feel overwhelming to enter the field of public health… There is only so much that mock work can do to [help students] prepare for working through complex problems, and I think an internship is a great way to dive into the web of policy-related work and to still have some structured support and guidance.”

About the CHRT Rebecca Copeland Memorial Internship

Rebecca Copeland was a dual degree student in public health and public policy at the University of Michigan, and graduated with an MPP and an MPH in the spring of 2021. Because of her deep interest in working to improve population health by addressing social needs, she sought out mentorship from Terrisca Des Jardins who, at the time, was chief operating officer of the Physician Organization of Michigan Accountable Care Organization (POM ACO), and is now CHRT’s executive director.

“Rebecca was deeply committed to improving health, health care and social justice,” says Des Jardins. “She brought enthusiasm and excellence to analysis of important health policy issues and inspired those alongside whom she worked.”

Des Jardins describes Copeland as “a wonderful human being who brought excellence and critical thinking to everything she did. She was demanding of herself and others, and society and health care delivery. She was thoughtful, kind and caring. She also had a wicked sense of humor.”

At CHRT, Copeland did an internship with Nancy Baum, CHRT’s health policy director. She worked mainly on projects related to improving the public mental health system. “Her energy was amazing,” says Baum. “Rebecca showed us just how valuable interns can be in an organization like ours. When an intern is both smart and dedicated to making systems better to improve health, as Rebecca was, they are a real asset,” says Baum.

Rebecca Copeland passed away in July 2021, and CHRT honors her memory by offering the Rebecca Copeland Internship to students at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Welcome to CHRT, Lisa Jeun and Poonam Yadav

We are pleased to introduce our newest team members, Lisa Jeun and Poonam Yadav.

Lisa Jeun is an accountant at CHRT, responsible for managing all accounts payable and accounts receivable. She is also preparing the monthly and year-end financial reports and maintaining records and schedules required for annual external audit and tax reporting. Yeun holds a master’s degree in accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and dual bachelor’s degree in accounting from Eastern Michigan University and Keimyung University, South Korea.

Poonam Yadav is a member of CHRT’s research and evaluation team with responsibilities for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion and Deflection (LEADD) program evaluation, Michigan Physicians Survey development and analysis, and the Promotion of Health Equity project. Yadav earned her master’s in public administration from Wayne State University, and is certified in data science (IBM), survey data collection and analysis (University of Maryland), and opioid crisis prevention, education, and practice for non-prescribing providers (University of Michigan).

Robyn Rontal presents policy solutions to support caregivers of individuals aging with physical disabilities

Robyn Rontal, JD, MHSA, presented at the 2022 NARRTC Conference and Annual Meeting: Resourcefulness, Resilience and Responsiveness: Disability and Rehabilitation Research Following the COVID-19 Pandemic, Arlington, VA, April 27­–28, 2022. Rontal’s presentation focused on ways policymakers and decision leaders can better support unpaid family caregivers of individuals who are aging with physical disabilities.

The current landscape of caregiver policy at the national and state level is disjointed and does not adequately meet the needs of many individuals with disabilities who choose to remain in their homes and communities, explains Rontal. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened public awareness and accelerated government support for services and supports that will enable individuals to remain in home-based settings. And there is an increasing body of research on the key factors impacting family caregivers and their care recipients, as well as the outcomes of caregiver policy initiatives.

Robyn Rontal offers insights and makes policy recommendations in “Evolving policy solutions, informed by evidence-based research, to support family caregivers of individuals aging with physical disabilities.”

Links to related CHRT policy briefs include:

Robyn Rontal is policy analytics director at CHRT. She leads CHRT’s data analytics and consulting projects focused on current health care issues and trends, collaborating with local, state and national organizations on data acquisition and methods. She also has focused expertise in the area of healthy aging.

CHRT’s senior project manager Deana Smith will lead a roundtable discussion at the American Society of Aging Conference, New Orleans, April 11-14, 2022

CHRT’s senior project manager Deana Smith will lead a roundtable discussion at the American Society of Aging Conference, New Orleans, April 11-14, 2022. This conference is the largest multidisciplinary conference on aging in the U.S. This year’s theme is “Advancing Economic Security.”

Smith’s presentation, titled “Translating community-based work to payers for sustainability,” will describe early accomplishments in efforts to form a community integrated health network in Southeast Michigan. Smith will offer insights into the steps to take to be successful at both engaging with a health plan and functioning as a network.

Three lessons (handout) learned will be discussed:

  1. A backbone organization sets up the network for success. 
  2. Establishing a service delivery model is mutually beneficial to health payers and community-based organizations. 
  3. Strong partnerships with funders and health plans result in sustainable collaborations. 

In addition, this session is intended to foster an open dialogue around the challenges to this work, both at the community-based organization level and for payers and network lead entities.

Deana Smith is community initiatives senior project manager at CHRT. She is responsible for providing project management support to community-based collaborative initiatives and provides analytic support with a focus on the intersection between health care and supportive human services, with an emphasis on aging research and policy issues.

Bridge Michigan quotes Samantha Iovan on paramedics and insurance coverage.

Paramedics do much more than taking patients to the ER. However, most medical insurances cover only for trips to the ER. According to CHRT’s analyst Samantha Iovan, the insurance payment model fails to recognize a small, but consistent, slice of 911 calls that can be safely treated in a patient’s home. And because community paramedics spend more time in a patient’s home, they are often able to identify other forms of social assistance that would help patients with health issues, saving even more trips to the ER.

“If the community paramedic is going into a house for someone unable to manage a chronic condition, maybe that’s because they don’t have transportation, lovan said. “If they are food insecure, they can connect them to a food pantry. The paramedic can serve as this connection to community organizations that can help.”—Samantha Iovan, Health policy senior project manager, CHRT