By: Joey Oliver | Patch Staff | Apr 9, 2020 10:35 am ET
“Local health systems are working together at the former convention center, which will be able to house up to 1,000 coronavirus patients.”
DETROIT, MI — An alternate care facility at the former Cobo Hall convention center in downtown Detroit will accept its first patients of the new coronavirus Friday.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday announced a partnership of health care providers that will be providing support, staffing and resources at the TCF Regional Care Center, which will be accepting its 25 patients Friday. The partnership includes Henry Ford Health System, McLaren Health Care, Beaumont Health and the Detroit Medical Center.
“Fighting this virus is going to take all of us working together as Michiganders, and we are proud to be partnering with these Michigan health care systems to help save lives and ensure those with the most serious cases of COVID-19 get the care they need,” Whitmer said. “Our hospitals and medical professionals are serving on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, and they are proving that once again by stepping up to support the TCF Regional Care Center.”
Lynn Torossian will lead overall management of TCF Regional Care Center. Torossian most recently served as President and CEO of CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
Daniel Medrano will lead day-to-day operations at the TCF Regional Care Center. Medrano is currently serving as Corporate Vice President of Facilities Management of McLaren Health Care.
Jenny Atas will lead medical services at TCF Regional Care Center. Dr. Atas is the regional care coordinator for Region 2 South Trauma Network (RTN), serving Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit. Region 2 South is served by 35 hospitals, 92 EMS agencies, four EMS Medical Control Authorities and four Health Departments.
Michigan, which reported more than 20,000 coronavirus cases as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, has been taking measures to combat the spread of the virus as well as to help those who have already contracted it. Members of the Michigan National Guard have been assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with establishing the alternative care facility at TCF. The facility will eventually have up to 1,000 beds and will receive patients from other southeast Michigan acute-care hospitals.
The TCF Regional Care Center will not accept patients by ambulance or walk-up, and it will not have an intensive care unit area or provide care to patients who need ventilation.
Each of the health care systems participating are bringing critical resources to the effort. Henry Ford Health System will be supporting pharmaceutical purchasing and patient tracking services at the TCF Regional Care Center. Henry Ford Health System will also have members serving in key roles at TCF Regional Care Center, including the on-site clinical liaison.
“As a health system caring for a large majority of our region’s COVID-19 patients, we are uniquely positioned to provide the expertise needed to optimize this field hospital,” said Wright Lassiter, III, President and CEO, Henry Ford Health System. “We are confident that with the help of our partners, this facility will help ease the collective burden we share as we continue to fight this pandemic.”
Medrano will continue at TCF Regional Care Center after serving as part of the team to get the alternative care facility operational over the past week. Additional staff from McLaren Health Care will also support the efforts on site.
“We value the opportunity to join with our colleague health systems here in southeast Michigan to bring this 1,000-bed field hospital on line and help relieve the volume pressures associated with caring for those affected by the coronavirus,” said Greg Lane, EVP and Chief Administrative Officer for McLaren. “Dan Medrano, a field-tested Marine who oversees all capital construction projects for McLaren, and his team will bring a no-nonsense approach to collaboration and execution of this mammoth undertaking.”
Beaumont Health is supporting certain procurement efforts vital to TCF Regional Care Center operations, subject to market availability, and Detroit Medical Center is supplying critical equipment on site at the alternate care facility.
“We are all trying to be helpful in a stressful situation that is putting a strain on the entire health care system throughout the country. We hope to have an agreement with TCF on the specifics soon that will enable us to operationalize this,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said.
“The Detroit Medical Center recognizes the importance of this healthcare coalition and what it will mean in the fight against COVID-19 in this region,” said Audrey Gregory, Ph.D., R.N. Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Medical Center. “All health systems in our community are facing serious capacity issues with the growing number of COVID-19 patients. The resources at the TCF Regional Care Center will benefit all of us and help to enhance the care we provide to those in the communities we serve.”
While partner health care systems have volunteered key leadership positions and personnel at the alternative care facility, it will largely be staffed by a Public Health Strike Team, through FEMA. The governor’s office also has launched a coronavirus volunteer website, where training medical professionals can register to serve by assisting hospitals.
Cover Photo: A former convention center in Detroit turned into a care facility for coronavirus patients will see its first patients Friday. (Shutterstock)