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Muskegon's Mercy Health Hackley Campus nurses requesting more proper protective equipment

Hospital sign

Nurses at Muskegon’s Hackley campus of Mercy Health Partners say they’re not being provided the protective resources needed to treat an influx of COVID-19 patients.

There are approximately 450 bedside nurses working at Muskegon’s Mercy Health Hackley Campus. They’ve reached out to hospital leadership asking for proper protective equipment for frontline staff in advance of the spread of COVID-19.

“The protective equipment that is recommended is the N95 mask and another piece of equipment called a PAPR. It’s a purified air respirator system.”

Justin Howe is an ICU RN who is president of the Mercy Health Partners RN Staff Council, the local affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association. He claims those items are in limited supply and the masks that are available need to be fit tested.

The nurses are also asking for more consistent screening of patients, visitors and staff. Also, for staff who become infected with COVID-19 there is no income guarantees for missed time.

Mercy Health says it’s “care standards are consistent with the care standard recommendations of the CDC and prioritize colleague safety and quality care above all. While it is possible that COVID-19 will stretch national resources, Mercy Health continues to monitor the national supply chain and available stockpiles and will provide our colleagues with appropriate PPE to care for patients infected by COVID-19, and will continue to adjust our care standards to ensure they are consistent with CDC standards.”

In its response, the Michigan Nurses Association says it “(We) began requesting to talk about COVID 19 on February 26th and were brushed off. We have been asking the hospital to negotiate with us since March 6th and have been denied every time. After public pressure, management has now said that they are “working” on getting a meeting set up Monday.”

I’m Patrick Center

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.