Biden’s COVID-19 plans send emergency medical teams to Michigan

In President Joe Biden’s Tuesday announcement on new COVID-19 actions, he included plans to send emergency response teams of over 100 clinical professionals and paramedics immediately to Michigan and five other states. 

Ruthanne Sudderth, senior vice president of public affairs and communications at the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, says she expects these professionals to help at the bedside in hospitals, at monoclonal antibody treatment centers, and in vaccination centers. The details of when and where these emergency professionals will be allocated is unknown. 

 

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) also announced that the federal government granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request for additional staffing at a fourth Michigan hospital, Mercy Health Muskegon. 

Part of Whitmer’s statement on Biden’s announcement says:

“As the Omicron variant quickly becomes the dominant strain of COVID-19 across the United States, I am grateful to our federal partners for surging critical resources and personnel that we need to save lives. Our hospitals and health care workers have been working tirelessly for nearly two years and they are at a breaking point. 

Michigan welcomes the federal emergency response team that will help keep people safe and ensure our health care system remains operational. In January, the federal government will also set up a website where you can request free, at-home rapid tests to be mailed to you. We are in for a tough four to six weeks, but I know we can get through it if we all do our part and effectively utilize the resources being sent to us by the federal government.”

Sudderth says there have been three federal teams deployed into Michigan in the last month to assist the increasing number of record-breaking hospitalizations in the state. From their experience with these teams, she expects to see nurses, physicians, and technicians to assist in any way they can, including on the frontlines and at the bedside. 

She also says that all previously deployed federal teams will receive extensions on their deployment to further assist hospitals. She says: 

“We don’t have the details of [the federal deployment] yet, but those can definitely play a part in helping reduce some of the burden that hospitals are experiencing right now.”

The 17-person medical team heading to Mercy Health Muskegon will begin treating patients on Dec. 30 and provide 30 days of support. Gary Allore, president of Mercy Health Muskegon, says:

“We are very grateful for the additional support from the state and federal levels to provide essential support for our care staff as they are in the midst of this fourth surge in Michigan. COVID-19 has put our frontline staff under the most extreme conditions, but their unwavering commitment to the safety and health of all members of our community holds true. We need everyone’s collective help to emerge out of this pandemic together.”