Headline Roundup: Michigan Hospital CMOs Urge Action Against COVID-19

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The MHA published a consensus statement Nov. 22 on behalf of chief medical officers of Michigan’s community hospitals urging the public to take action to help slow COVID-19 growth throughout the state.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that reference the statement and focus on the severity of the situation facing Michigan hospitals. Coverage also includes the request the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services made on behalf of Michigan hospitals to the Department of Defense for teams of medical personnel. Included are interviews conducted by MHA CEO Brian Peters and MHA CMO Dr. Gary Roth.

Monday, Nov. 29

Sunday, Nov. 28

Saturday, Nov. 27

Friday, Nov. 26

Thursday, Nov. 25

Wednesday, Nov. 24

Tuesday, Nov. 23

Monday, Nov. 22

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.

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Nov. 15

MHA Covid-19 update

MHA Covid-19 updateMichigan is once again among the states with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the nation, with the New York Times reporting that Michigan and Minnesota lead the country in cases per capita. On Nov. 19, there were 3,424 adults hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, in addition to 50 children. Meanwhile, 60.3% of Michiganders aged 5 and older had been fully vaccinated as of Nov. 19.

The MHA continues to keep members apprised of pandemic-related developments affecting hospitals through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.

FDA Amends EUA to Allow Booster Shots to Fully Vaccinated People Aged 18 and Up

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the COVID-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations (EUAs) Nov. 19 to allow all individuals 18 years of age and older to receive booster shots of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was scheduled to meet later that day to discuss additional clinical recommendations.

In its news release, the FDA said the expanded authorization for the booster doses is based on its analysis of immune response data that supported use in the previously authorized populations for boosters. Groups previously included in the EUAs were fully vaccinated individuals who are 65 years of age and older and who are 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19 and/or experience frequent exposure to the coronavirus through living situations or workplaces.

Prior to the FDA announcement, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer encouraged residents to plan to get the booster doses as soon as they are authorized. The governor noted that more than a million booster doses have been administered within the state and urged everyone to get vaccinated and receive the booster shot.

Booster doses should be administered at least six months after the second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and at least two months following the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Updated information for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available on the FDA website that provide details on the booster shots.

Members with questions on vaccines may contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

MDHHS Announces Face Mask Advisory for Holiday Season

As both COVID-19 and influenza cases rise throughout the state, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will issue a face mask advisory and offer guidance to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases during the holidays.

The department’s news release indicates it recommends everyone over the age of 2 wear a face mask at indoor gatherings regardless of their vaccination status. Establishments are also urged to implement policies to ensure that customers, employees and visitors wear masks. The advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

During a Nov. 19 news conference, MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel, Chief Medical Executive Natasha Bagdasarian, MD, and others also urged Michigan residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu as soon as possible. The two vaccines can be administered simultaneously. Darryl Elmouchi, MD, MBA, president of Spectrum Health West Michigan, shared information about the unprecedented numbers of patients hospitals are seeing. He said Spectrum Health has 370 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 86% of whom are unvaccinated against the disease.

Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic is available to members on the MHA Community Site and the MHA COVID-19 webpageQuestions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the MDHHS Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC).

Headline Roundup: Week of Nov. 15 for COVID-19 in Michigan

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The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the growth in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, hospital capacity and healthcare workforce sustainability.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Sunday, Nov. 21

Thursday, Nov. 18

Wednesday, Nov. 17

Tuesday, Nov. 16

Monday, Nov. 15

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.

Headline Roundup: Week of Nov. 8 for COVID-19 in Michigan

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The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the growth in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, hospital capacity and healthcare workforce sustainability.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Sunday, Nov. 14

Friday, Nov. 12

Thursday, Nov. 11

Wednesday, Nov. 10

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.

Week of Sept. 27 Media Recap

The MHA responded to several media requests the week of Sept. 27 that focused on the signing of the fiscal year 2022 state budget by Gov. Whitmer and the healthcare workforce crisis.

The Center Square published Sept. 29 a story on the signing of the budget that included a portion of a media statement from MHA CEO Brian Peters.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged hospitals throughout the state and, on behalf of our members, we commend Gov. Whitmer for signing today a state budget that continues vital funding sources for our hospitals, increases support for direct care workers and ambulance services, and maintains extended Medicaid coverage for mothers up to 12 months postpartum,” said Peters. “We extend equal appreciation to both the Legislature and Gov. Whitmer and her administration for passing a budget on time that maintains access to care throughout Michigan.”

The MHA contributed to a story published Sept. 27 by Bridge Michigan that looks at the potential of using overseas healthcare personnel to address the existing national healthcare workforce shortage.

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.

Headline Roundup: Week of Sept. 20 for COVID-19 in Michigan

Mackinac Policy Conference Peters and Mitchell

MHA CEO Brian Peters and MHA EVP Chris Mitchell speak with Crain's Detroit Business at the Mackinac Policy Conference.The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the growth in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as statewide healthcare workforce shortage. Also included is coverage of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM)'s $5 million commitment through 2024 to expand the MHA Keystone Center’s quality and safety improvement programs.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Sunday, Sept. 26

Friday, Sept. 24

Wednesday, Sept. 22

Tuesday, Sept. 21

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.

Headline Roundup: Week of Sept. 13 for COVID-19 in Michigan

Brian Peters

MHA CEO Brian Peters speaks with WWMT-TV. The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the growth in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as statewide healthcare workforce shortage.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Monday, Sept. 13

Tuesday, Sept. 14

Wednesday, Sept. 15

 

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.

Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Weeks of Aug. 30 and Sept. 6

MHA Covid-19 update

The MHA and its member hospitals continue to urge residents to get vaccinated to guard against the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19. As of Sept. 8, more than 66% of Michiganders 16 and older had received at least one dose of the lifesaving vaccine, and 56.5% of all eligible residents aged 12 and older were fully vaccinated as of Sept. 10.

The MHA continues to keep members apprised of pandemic-related developments affecting hospitals through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. Important updates are outlined below.

President Biden Announces New Vaccination Mandates

President Joe Biden announced Sept. 9 new steps to combat COVID-19, including several vaccination mandates for workers across the nation. Among them are several of particular interest to healthcare providers:

  1. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will require vaccinations for most healthcare settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid payment, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings and home health agencies, in addition to the nursing facilities for which the mandate was recently announced. The requirement will include clinical staff, contractors, volunteers and staff who are not involved in direct patient care.

  2. Through an Emergency Temporary Standard issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), all employers with 100 or more employees will be required to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 infection weekly.

  3. Additional support will be provided for hospitals facing capacity issues by doubling the number of Department of Defense clinician teams deployed to assist overburdened local healthcare workers.

  4. The Biden administration will increase by 50% its weekly shipments of monoclonal antibody treatment to states and allow more providers, including pharmacists, to administer it.

In a Sept. 9 statement, American Hospital Association (AHA) President and CEO Rick Pollack noted the concerted efforts of the nation’s healthcare providers to encourage vaccination for both their workforce and the broader community. Both the AHA and MHA will be reviewing details of the new policies regarding implementation, timing and the need for appropriate exceptions to accommodate medical and religious concerns. Members should look for additional updates on these announcements soon.

Pollack also stressed the potential for the mandates to worsen the already severe workforce shortages in healthcare facilities and called on the administration to partner with providers in developing strategies to address the problem to ensure hospitals and health systems have the necessary human resources to battle the pandemic and maintain essential health services.

Members with questions on COVID-19 vaccines may contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

Additional information on the COVID-19 pandemic is available to members on the MHA Community Site and the MHA COVID-19 webpage. Questions on COVID-19 and infectious disease response strategies may be directed to the MDHHS Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC).

News Reporters Join “Healthy Communities, Healthy Economies” Press Event

The MHA conducted Sept. 9 a virtual press conference in partnership with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) featuring Michigan hospital and business leaders calling upon residents to support “Healthy Communities, Healthy Economies” by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Hospital leaders emphasized the added stress on the healthcare system due to staffing shortages and high overall patient volumes that have many hospitals operating at or near capacity. In particular, clinical speakers shared heart wrenching stories about the real-life impact this virus has on their teams and their patients and families.

Speakers included:

  • MHA CEO Brian Peters.

  • SBAM CEO Rob Fowler.

  • Geneva Tatum, MD, associate division head of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Henry Ford Health System.

  • Nicole Linder, MD, chief hospitalist at OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group.

  • Bill Kimble, president of C2AE and chair of the SBAM Board of Directors.

A dozen media outlets from across the state joined the call, including The Associated Press, The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, MLive, Bridge and WDIV Click on Detroit. Stories from these publications and more were widely syndicated both nationwide and throughout Michigan.

Following the press conference, a press release was distributed to statewide media echoing the remarks made during the event and stressing that the MHA and SBAM collectively encourage individuals to get vaccinated due to its positive impact on public health, small business and the healthcare system.

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.

Headline Roundup: Week of Aug. 23 for COVID-19 in Michigan

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The MHA has been actively fielding and responding to media requests related to the growth in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as COVID-19 vaccines.

Below is a collection of headlines from around the state that include statements from the MHA.

Thursday, August 26

Monday, August 23

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.