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Department of Defense to Sparrow Hospital: Help is on the way

New York City Health + Hospitals

Sparrow Health System will soon get some help from the Department of Defense to deal with staffing shortages.

This comes as hospitals tend to an unprecedented number of COVID patients due to the omicron variant.

personnel will be temporarily assigned to Sparrow for at least 30 days. Sparrow becomes the sixth Michigan health care system to receive such assistance. The team will mainly work in intensive care and the emergency department. Sparrow President and CEO James Dover says their call for extra help spotlights the urgency of their situation.

“Today we have 180 inpatient COVID patients across our health system. I have 140 staff out sick with COVID. We have an absolute state of emergency in this state when it comes to health care staffing.”

The military team will be in place by February 8. Dover says they’ll give a much-needed break to his regular staff who’ve been stretched thin for nearly two years. Sparrow plans to ask for an extension at the end of the 30-day mission.

Kevin Lavery has been news director at WKAR since September 2006.