© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Department of Defense sending medical personnel to Sparrow Hospital

Sparrow Health System
Up to 25 military medical professionals will be in place at Sparrow Health System by February 8.

Sparrow Health System will soon get some help from the Department of Defense to deal with staffing shortages. This comes as hospitals tend to an unprecedented number of COVID patients due to the omicron variant.

Starting next month, up to 25 Armed Forces medical personnel will be temporarily assigned to Sparrow for at least 30 days.

Sparrow becomes the sixth Michigan health care system to receive such assistance.

The team will mainly work in intensive care and the emergency department.

Sparrow President and CEO James Dover says their call for extra help spotlights the urgency of their situation.

“Today we have 180 inpatient COVID patients across our health system,” said Dover. “I have 140 staff out sick with COVID. We have an absolute state of emergency in this state when it comes to health care staffing.”

“On any given day we might have 50 people in the emergency room waiting for a bed upstairs that we don’t have a bed for them,” he continued. “So, they (military teams) will have an immediate impact in the emergency room because it will enable us to open up an overflow unit to alleve the impact and the congestion in the emergency room.”

The military team will be in place by Feb. 8.

Dover says they’ll give a much needed break to his regular staff who’ve been stretched thin for nearly two years.

Sparrow plans to ask for an extension at the end of the 30-day mission.

Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!