Four metro Detroit healthcare systems are teaming up to provide staffing, support and supplies for the launch of a field hospital for COVID-19 patients inside Detroit's riverfront convention center.
And Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration is giving the 1,000-bed quarantine space inside the former Cobo Center a name: the TCF Regional Care Center.
Beaumont Health, the Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Health System and McLaren Health Care are all contributing toward the operation of the field hospital, which will be ready to accept its first 25 patients Friday, the governor's office said Thursday.
Whitmer's office announced key management positions for the TCF Regional Care Center on Thursday:
- Lynn Torossian, president and CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, will lead overall management of the field hospital at TCF Center.
- Daniel Medrano, corporate vice president of facilities management for McLaren Health Care, will lead day-to-day operations. In a statement, McLaren's chief administrative officer Greg Lane described Medrano as "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."
- Jenny Atas, regional care coordinator for Region 2 South Trauma Network in Wayne, Washtenaw and Monroe counties, will be the chief of medical services at the field hospital.
Beaumont Health is assisting in providing procurement support for supplies and the DMC is supplying critical medical equipment, according to the governor's office.
State health officials have said the 1,000-bed field hospital will only be used to treat COVID-19 patients who do not require a ventilator to breathe or an intensive care unit.
"All health systems in our community are facing serious capacity issues with the growing number of COVID-19 patients," DMC CEO Audrey Gregory, Ph.D., R.N., said in a statement. "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."
The three-county Region 2 South Trauma Network, which includes 35 hospitals, has one-third of Michigan's more than 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, state data shows.
"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," Henry Ford Health System CEO Wright Lassiter III said in a statement.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is building a second relief hospital inside Novi's Suburban Collection Showplace. Ascension Michigan is partnering with the state on that field hospital, the governor's office said Tuesday.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Wednesday that operations at the field hospital inside TCF Center will gradually ramp up over several days to relieve area hospitals that are at or over capacity.
"The plan is, now, to add 25 beds on Friday, 25 beds on Saturday and ramp up the first 200 or 250 beds and see what happens," said Duggan, a former CEO of the DMC. "There was a time when it looked like we might have had to ramp up 100 or 200 beds at a time. It's early to tell, but if we do this right, we might not have to have 1,000 beds at the TCF Center."
Duggan said the "curve" of infections seems to be showing signs of flattening.
But, he added later, the pandemic is still "getting worse every day" and he's concerned a good sign, combined with nice weather, could prompt people to go outside and gather.
"We are making progress, but I get up every morning afraid people are going to get complacent and start to gather again and this virus is going to take off on us again," he said.
A regional commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has previously said the corps and TCF Center employees and construction contractors should have the field hospital complete by today.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has set up a website for medical professionals to volunteer work at the field hospital at TCF Center. For more information about volunteering, click here.
This article was originally published in Crain's Detroit Business.