Children’s Hospitals Issue Plea to Reduce Respiratory Illnesses

The following letter is published on behalf of the Michigan Children’s Hospital Clinical Leadership Collaborative.

As pediatric physician leaders who treat children and adolescents in our hospitals and clinics, we need your help. The number of children in Michigan infected and ill with COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses in Michigan is increasing. Our clinics, emergency departments and hospitals are reaching capacity.

Every day, 300 children under 10 years of age are infected with COVID-19 in Michigan. With more confirmed cases, we are seeing more children seeking care for COVID-19 symptoms, more children being hospitalized, and higher rates of children admitted to intensive care units since last month. When combined with extremely high rates of RSV among children for this time of year and more children seeking care in the emergency department with mental and behavioral health issues, the number of children needing care is surpassing our state’s staffing and resource capacity and straining our healthcare workforce at unprecedented levels.

We ask everyone in Michigan to do their part to reduce the incidence of COVID-19 and respiratory illness in our schools and communities and to protect our children by using the best tools we have.

  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible if you are eligible and make sure your family is up to date on all other vaccinations, including the yearly flu shot.
  • Please wear a mask and encourage your children to do so, especially while at school and when attending large gatherings.
  • Please adhere to proven safe health practices of physical distancing and hand washing.

Together we can keep our children safer and maintain our ability to provide the highest level of care when they need it. They need each of us to do our part. They need us now.

With Appreciation,

Michigan Children’s Hospital Clinical Leadership Collaborative

Marcus DeGraw, MD
Chairman, Department of Pediatrics
Ascension St. John Children’s Hospital

Jeffery DeVries, MD
VP Graduate Medical Education
Beaumont Children’s Hospital

Gregory Tiongson, MD
Medical Director
Bronson Children’s Hospital

Rudolph Valentini, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Children’s Hospital of Michigan

Chris Dickinson, MD
Chief Clinical Officer
University of Michigan CS Mott Children’s Hospital

Matthew Denenberg, MD
VP Medical Affairs
Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Michael Jaggi, DO
Chief Medical Officer
Hurley Children’s Hospital

Francis Darr, MD, FAAP
Chair of the Department of Pediatrics
Marquette General Hospital

Christine Nefcy, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Munson Medical Center

Aditi Sharangpani, MD
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Sparrow Health System