Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital serving as east region inpatient care center for COVID-19
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:20am caleb
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital is serving as a hub for patients in northeast Michigan for those with suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 results.
While each hospital in Munson Healthcare’s nine-hospital system is equipped to handle patients with coronavirus, it has been deemed that it is best practice and safest for its entire workforce and the communities that affected patients are managed together, Munson Healthcare officials said.
“Regionalizing our assets provides the best approach to care and is a sound method of containing or limiting the spread of this disease,” said Dianne Michalek, the vice president of marketing and corporate communications for Munson Healthcare. “Our plan was developed in cooperation with clinical leadership, including infectious disease physicians, medical staff leadership, nursing, and other critical representatives of our patient care teams.”
The Munson Healthcare East Region COVID-19 Care Site is the Grayling Hospital and includes patients from Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital and Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital.
Currently patients that present in Gaylord that are Person Under Investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19 are transferred to Grayling if they require inpatient care.
The Munson Healthcare Central Region COVID-19 Care Site is Munson Medical Center in Traverse City and includes patients from Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, Munson Medical Center, and Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital.
The Munson Healthcare South Region COVID-19 Care Site is Cadillac Hospital and includes patients from Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital and Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital.
Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital, due to the proximity to both the East and Central regions, will remain flexible with patient transport based on the situation, according to Munson Healthcare officials.
As of Monday, March 30, there were 50 patients tested for COVID-19 at the Grayling Hospital. There were 34 that came back negative for the virus, 14 were pending results, two have tested positive for COVD-19 and one patient who has tested positive for the disease and is currently in the hospital.
Kirsten Korth-White, the president and CEO for Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital, said the hospital in Grayling is gearing up for what’s to come.
“It is relatively quiet here now while we continue to prepare for the types of patients we are expecting in the next few weeks,” she said. “There is concern and fear and anxiety for what may come and those that may be impacted. However, the team of professionals here has been phenomenal in working together to get the work done.”
The hospital remains fully staffed with some employees staying home due to illness or a lack of demand for particular services.
“Only those employees showing flu-like symptoms are asked to stay home until cleared by employee health,” said Korth-White, who is serving as the leader for incident command for the hospital. “Also we have diminished volumes in other areas so we are asking those employees to stay home as well until there is other work for them.”
Korth-White said the hospital has the supplies it needs for the foreseeable future.
“While we currently have adequate supplies, depending on the volume of patients we receive, that could change,” she said. “We are accepting donations at our Crawford Conference Room Monday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. where we will have staff members to receive and catalog the supplies.”
Visitors are prohibited from entering Munson Healthcare hospitals and facilities, with exceptions on the nature of the condition the patient is in, their relationship to the patients hospitalized, or for the functions they are there to complete.
In addition, bariatric surgery educational seminars have been cancelled through April.
Patient Financial Services and the Central Billing Office are no longer accepting patient payments in person. Make payments online or via phone at 844-467-5545.
Changes to Location Hours: The Grayling Community Health Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and form 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for walk-in.
The Milltown Primary Care is temporarily closed. Patients of Dr. Korneli, Dr. Tipparthy, and Amanda Scott will be seen at Grayling Community Health Center, 1250 E. Michigan Ave, Grayling, MI 49738.