April 8, 2020
By Jessica Mathews/News@whmi.com
In what was referred to as a historic move, the Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System began accepting non-Veteran patient transfers from strained area hospitals this week.
Officials said it’s a first in the healthcare system’s 67-year history. Joined by John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit, the two health care systems activated their response to VA’s “Fourth Mission” which is to improve the Nation’s preparedness for response to national emergencies and to support local critical needs to non-Veterans in times of crisis. A press release states the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System has been in COVID-19 preparations for months, reallocating resources and personnel and converting inpatient and intensive care units to accept patients who have contracted the disease. Ann Arbor Medical Center Director Dr. Ginny Creasman said they’re well-positioned to deliver humanitarian assistance to the community. She says their colleagues at other health care systems are in desperate need of relief and they’re able to help, while still preserving a vast majority of their inpatient beds for Veterans.
Officials say they continue to closely track the occurrence of COVID-19 and are committed to keeping communities, Veterans, and staff members safe, healthy, and informed.