Munson asks for help preserving essential supplies

Health care institutions across the country and around the world are currently experiencing a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other supplies because of a dramatic increase in demand due spread of COVID-19.

Munson Healthcare is taking steps in its processes and protocols but also providing ways the community can help.

The outbreak has both increased demand and at the same time hampered production, impacting  manufacturer’s capacity to meet supply.

“We need to be responsible stewards of our resources as this situation continues to develop,” said Mark Deponio, senior vice president of Munson Healthcare System Services. “Our top priority is to keep our patients, staff and community safe. There are simple ways for the community to partner with us to support this effort.”

The ways in which the community can help include:

  • For anyone with mild- to moderate-symptoms that do not require hospitalization, please stay home, rest, drink fluids and consult your provider over the phone or online. This helps reduce patient volume and preserve PPE for those patients that need emergent or hospital-level care.
  • People should not wear a mask unless they need to visit a health care facility and are also symptomatic. This preserves those masks for those who need them, including health care professionals.
  • For a business or hobbyist who needs personal protective equipment, consider halting those activities as that supply could be used if it becomes necessary.

Visit munsonhealthcare.org for a full list of items people can donate. Infection Prevention is always paramount.

There are certain items the health system cannot accept at its hospitals.

However, the Munson Healthcare Foundation has information on how the community can help, and what items are acceptable.

Munson Healthcare is also designing its processes and protocols in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) to protect patients and staff while efficiently managing its supply of PPE by:

  • Placing patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and those awaiting test results in the same unit. Centralizing resources and designating teams that are trained and practiced in donning and doffing PPE helps preserve supply while also reducing risk of cross-contamination and spread.
  • Creating Regional COVID-19 Centers which include Munson Medical Center, Cadillac Hospital and Grayling Hospital. This helps reduce risk of spread by centralizing patients and allows those facilities to flex resources from the other six hospitals in the Munson Healthcare system.

“Protecting our staff and preventing cross-contamination and spread is our top priority,” said Mark Cannon, M.D., Munson Healthcare Infectious Disease specialist. “But given the limited global supply of personal protective equipment it is imperative we minimize risk and to ensure we are following clinical guidelines and not misusing supplies.”

Frequent hand washing and deliberate, consistent social distancing will be a crucial element in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Munson Healthcare community members are encouraged to do their part in maintaining health and safety during this outbreak.

For more information on COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) visit munsonhealthcare.orgwho.int and CDC.gov.

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