Media Recap: COVID-19 and Healthcare Workforce Sustainability

MHA Portrait
Gary Roth
MHA Chief Medical Officer Gary Roth, DO.

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Jan. 24 that focused on the status of COVID-19 hospitalizations across Michigan, ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, violence against healthcare workers and the benefits of community colleges offering four-year nursing programs.

Bridge published Jan. 24 an article that looked at insurance reimbursement for ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19. MHA Chief Medical Officer Gary Roth, DO, is quoted in the story discussing the environment clinicians encounter when having to refuse a request for ivermectin to treat COVID-19.

“It has created quite a controversy to the point where it can become a very hostile discussion, where patients and families are demanding a treatment that a physician cannot ethically, morally, or certainly scientifically, provide,” said Roth.

Bridge also published Jan. 26 a story on House Bills 5556 and 5557 that would allow community colleges to offer four-year Bachelor of Nursing programs. The MHA’s support of the bills is mentioned in the article, as the legislation “would increase access to high-quality nurses in areas served by Michigan’s small and rural hospitals where a four-year school does not currently exist.”

Michigan Radio looked Jan. 24 at the status of COVID-19 across the state and if the omicron surge had plateaued. In the story, the MHA Director of Communications John Karasinski shared that the state is “trending in the direction of declining statewide daily COVID-19 hospital admissions and total COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

Two additional stories were published on violence against healthcare workers based on interviews with MHA CEO Brian Peters. WILX News aired Jan. 28 a story that included a focus on House Bills 5084 and 5682 that expand the penalties for assaulting emergency department employees. MiBiz published an article Jan. 30 on how increased rates of violence against healthcare workers increases burnout.

“These are individuals who come to work every single day and put themselves on the line in a difficult environment and they are trying to do their very best,” said Peters to WILX. “To think that there are these acts of violence that could take those caregivers away from that incredibly important duty — it’s absolutely untenable so we’re very supportive of legislation that’s been introduced here in the state that would increase the penalties of those perpetrators of violence.”

Members with questions on COVID-19 efforts and resources should contact Ruthanne Sudderth, and any questions regarding media requests should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.