DEARBORN — On Saturday afternoon, the state of Michigan once again revealed its latest tallies of coronavirus infections. As of 2 p.m., the state has announced a total of 787 confirmed cases and five total deaths. With the expansion of testing capabilities, health experts are now beginning to understand the scope of the outbreak in Michigan.
Local health care providers are now looking for help to curb the shortage of much needed medical supplies so that staff can protect themselves while providing essential care to patients. On Saturday, Henry Ford Health Systems identified two drop-off locations for businesses and organizations looking to donate new and unused medical supplies.
These are shipping and receiving docks at:
- Henry Ford’s corporate offices, located at One Place Drive, between Second and Third streets, three and a half blocks south of West Grand Boulevard in Detroit.
- Henry Ford Allegiance Health, 205 N. East Avenue, Jackson.
“We are extremely grateful to our partners in the medical community and business community who are coming forward with their donations,” said Bob Riney, president of Healthcare Operations and chief operating officer. “The unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges unseen before in health care.
“As we prepare for an expected surge of patients, these donations, whether large or small, will help keep our patients and our team members safe.”
Because of unique safety regulations in health care, donations are limited to new and unused medical supplies. Key items are: Disposable face masks; N95 respirators; eye protection, including face shields and safety goggles; disposable gowns: disposable gloves (especially non latex): disposable surgical caps: disposable foot covers; bleach and/or antimicrobial wipes and hand sanitizer. More specialized items are PAPRs (powered air-purifying respirators) and PAPR hoods, nasal testing swabs and viral testing kits.
New and unused supplies accepted:
- Disposable face masks
- N95 masks, sometimes called respirators
- Eye protection, including face shields and safety goggles
- Disposable gowns
- Disposable gloves, especially non-latex
- Disposable surgical caps
- Disposable foot covers
- Wipes: bleach or antimicrobial
- Hand sanitizer
Items NOT being accepted:
- Homemade sewed masks
- 3D ventilator parts
- Medications, food and blankets
- Medical equipment
Donations are being accepted from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sundays, beginning March 22, and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Healthcare workers at other hospitals, including Beaumont Health, need supplies, too. A representative from Beaumont told The Arab American News that while the health system is working on creating a central donation location, residents and organizations are welcome and encouraged to donate relevant supplies to any nearby Beaumont hospital or medical site.
Beaumont CEO John Fox warned this week of a looming financial crisis for U.S. hospital systems, as they rapidly shift their operations to screen, test and treat patients infected with the virus, instead of higher revenue procedures like surgery and imaging.
“So what needs to be done now?” Fox asked in an article on Beaumont’s site. “America needs to establish a Hospital System Super Fund immediately of $300-$600 billion.
“The purpose of the fund would be to allow hospital systems and other providers to draw down periodic interim payments (PIP) to offset the revenue implosion as we shift to medical patients. Over decades, American hospital systems have become dependent on higher margin surgical, imaging and other procedures cross subsidizing low or negative margin complex medical patients often with many chronic diseases.”
While creating such a financial solution may not be in the purview of average Americans, ensuring the safety of health-care workers in our communities is a collective action many can be a part of.