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


New Polling Shows Clear Majority of Michiganders Understand COVID-19 Precautions

covid cell

With COVID-19 cases again spiking across the state and nation, 91% of Michigan voters agree that Michiganders taking responsibility to wear masks, wash their hands and socially distance would help hospitals fight the virus, a new statewide survey has found.

The survey also found that 85% of Michigan voters feel comfortable and safe visiting a healthcare facility for routine checkups, medical screenings and emergency room care. The survey of 600 Michigan voters was conducted Oct. 15-19 by EPIC-MRA for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA). The survey’s margin of error was ±4%.

MHA CEO Brian Peters“Michigan voters clearly understand that wearing masks, physically distancing when necessary and taking other personal safety precautions will help our state’s hospitals and front-line healthcare workers confront this new surge in COVID-19 cases,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “The message from this survey is clear: we need more Michigan residents to take responsibility and exercise the behaviors that will protect their families, friends, colleagues, neighbors and communities from getting the virus. By taking those actions, hospitals and Michigan’s front-line healthcare workers can more effectively manage and care for those who contract COVID-19 and those who need other routine and lifesaving care.”

Chief medical officers and chief clinical officers representing 110 of 137 Michigan hospitals issued Oct. 22 a joint statement also expressing the importance of following COVID-19 safety precautions and concern regarding another hospital capacity crisis if hospitalizations continue to rise.

Similar to the results of other recent public opinion polls, the survey also found that Michigan voters continue to express caution about a new COVID-19 vaccine. Some 37% of voters said they would “definitely” or “probably” get the vaccine as soon as one is available, while 35% said they would wait to see how it works. Another 25% said they would “probably” or “definitely” not get the vaccine.

“The healthcare community is confident that a COVID-19 vaccine will only be approved for mass distribution after medical science, the world’s top doctors and regulators have data that conclusively demonstrate its safety and efficacy,” Peters said. “This is a scientific process that has proven over decades and generations to produce vaccines that have literally saved hundreds of millions of lives across the globe.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 79% of Michigan voters agree – 60% strongly – that their local hospital has played a critical role in their community’s fight against COVID-19.
  • 91% of voters agree – 80% strongly – that hospitals need continued support to keep fighting COVID-19, including the public taking responsibility for washing their hands, social distancing and wearing masks.
  • 78% of voters agree – 58% strongly – that increased state and federal funding is an important way to support Michigan hospitals fighting the virus.
  • 85% of voters agree – 68% strongly – that they feel safe and comfortable visiting healthcare facilities in Michigan for routine and emergency medical care.
  • 75% of voters say they trust COVID-19 information that comes from their local hospital.

MHA Monday Report Aug. 31, 2020

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Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Aug. 24

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


MHA Joins Governor and MDHHS to Encourage Flu Vaccinations

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The Keckley Report

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MHA Joins Governor and MDHHS to Encourage Flu Vaccinations

Brian Flu Presser

MHA CEO Brian Peters speaks at news conference Aug. 25 about importance of immunizations.The MHA participated in a news conference Aug. 25 with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Franny Strong Foundation and the Michigan Primary Care Association at the George W. Romney Building, Lansing, to urge Michigan residents to receive the influenza vaccine this year. As part of the event, the MDHHS launched its Facing the Flu Together statewide public awareness campaign, which seeks to increase flu vaccination rates in Michigan by at least 33% this year.

MHA CEO Brian Peters delivered remarks stressing the need to increase vaccination rates to prevent influenza outbreaks that harm community health and could overwhelm the healthcare system should they coincide with another surge of COVID-19. COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on vaccination rates across the country — and last year, just over 30% of Michiganders got an influenza vaccine.

Peters also mention an Aug. 25 letter that he cosigned with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director. This letter outlines how hospitals can help increase influenza vaccines this year across Michigan. Together, the MHA and the MDHHS are requesting support from healthcare systems in four specific ways to increase access and awareness of the flu vaccine. Both organizations are committed to assisting hospitals in executing these strategies.

In addition to the focus on influenza vaccinations, the governor provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19. Before taking questions from the media, she received an influenza vaccination to demonstrate the simple process.

For more information about vaccination efforts, contact Ruthanne Sudderth at the MHA.

MHA Monday Report Aug. 24, 2020

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Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Aug. 17

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided for a 20% add-on to the inpatient prospective payment system diagnosis-related group rate for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 for the duration of the public health emergency. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid  …


MHA Virtual Member Forum: How Michigan and Healthcare Fit into the 2020 Election

David Wasserman, house editor for The Cook Political Report, will share his observations on the 2020 election and political candidates’ positions on healthcare at a virtual MHA member forum from 11 a.m. to noon EDT Sept. 23. Candidates’ views on healthcare …


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As healthcare facilities encourage their patients and staff to feel comfortable coming back to their facilities, doing so as safely as possible is a primary objective. This will require long-term planning, comprehensive solutions, and consultations with experts …


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“Setting aside partisan brinksmanship and political spin, the healthcare platforms for Donald Trump and Joe Biden offer a stark contrast.”

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MHA in the News

Read recent coverage about the MHA, including an article from Healthcare IT News that featured quotes from Jim Lee, vice president, data policy & analytics, MHA, on the implementation of data reporting requirements to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

National Immunization Awareness Month Promotes On-time Vaccination

National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness MonthNational Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) highlights the efforts of hospitals and healthcare professionals to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. Held throughout August, NIAM is an opportunity for healthcare providers to ensure their patients are up to date on recommended vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides online information for both healthcare providers and those they serve. On-time vaccinations can protect entire communities against many serious diseases.

The MHA works with I Vaccinate, the Alliance for Immunizations in Michigan, the Parent Information Network and others to measure, educate and promote appropriate vaccinations for all Michigan residents. In addition, the association provides online tools and resources to assist hospitals in setting policies to ensure healthcare personnel in their facilities are vaccinated against influenza and pertussis. Contact the MHA to learn more.

MHA Monday Report Aug. 10, 2020

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Combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Week of Aug. 3

The MHA continues to keep members apprised of developments affecting Michigan hospitals during the pandemic through email updates and the MHA Coronavirus webpage. …


Corrected Unemployment Bills to Be Issued to Reimbursing Nonprofit Employers

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CEO Report – Making Progress Against COVID-19

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Changes Proposed for 2021 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System

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2020 Election Focus of MHA Virtual Member Forum

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CMS Releases Final Rules for Medicare Post-acute Care Services in FY 2021

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Webinars Explore COVID-19 Health Inequity and Future Disease Treatments

The MHA webinar series Leadership and Resiliency: Navigating Through and Beyond COVID-19 explores several mission-critical leadership qualities that leaders need to help traverse this difficult time. …


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The city of Lansing recently installed a senior-friendly park that features an exercise bike, stair stepper and handcycle, among other equipment. The FitLot park is near a senior community and market-rate apartments to further support the community’s access to recreational activities. …


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August is National Immunization Awareness Month, which highlights the efforts of hospitals and healthcare professionals to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. …


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The Keckley Report

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Paul Keckley, Aug. 3, 2020