Published: March 14, 2021
LANSING, MI – Sparrow caregivers are healthcare heroes and now their work during the pandemic has been recognized on the floor of the U.S. Congress.
Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who represents the Lansing area, recently submitted remarks into the Congressional Record to recognize the heroic work of Sparrow caregivers, along with the Department of Defense medical team that spent a month at Sparrow Hospital. See the remarks below, along with a video message from Congresswoman Slotkin.
Sparrow has been internationally recognized for its innovative work in protecting and caring for the community during the pandemic. We urge the Mid-Michigan region to continue to practice safety measures and to get the COVID vaccine if you haven’t already.
For more information, go to Sparrow.org/CovidCare.
Today, I’d like to honor the heroic caregivers at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, including the Department of Defense medical team which has been providing critical assistance as the hospital has grappled with a surge in COVID patients over the last few months.
In early February 2022, as the Omicron variant drove case levels to new heights, a team of 23 federal medical personnel, including physicians, registered nurses, and respiratory therapists, arrived in Lansing to provide much-needed help to Sparrow’s staff. The team has spent the past month providing invaluable aid to the hospital’s overtaxed Emergency Department, and in other areas of the hospital overwhelmed by extraordinarily high patient volumes. This team has worked alongside Sparrow’s staff with grace, grit and professionalism, and they have been invaluable to the hospital’s service to the Greater Lansing area.
Michigan’s healthcare heroes, including the staff at Sparrow Hospital, have been on the frontlines of this battle for the past two years under the most intense and stressful conditions. But their commitment to the safety and health of our community never wavered.
I’ve heard stories of caregivers who have held the phone to the ear of a dying patient so a family could say goodbye; others who have developed special relationships with patient’s loved ones; and some who have worked with tireless dedication only to break down in their cars at the end of the day from what they’re living through.
Sparrow Specialty Hospital leaders even organized a wedding ceremony – bringing decorations from home and filling in the wedding party – for a COVID patient who realized the shortness of life and decided to marry his longtime love as soon as possible. While the dedication shown by our health workers is remarkable, so too is the emotional and physical strain they’ve been put under.
The brave men and women of the military are called to serve their country, and we are so grateful to this team for the immense relief they have provided in the battle against this invisible enemy. I will never forget the cheers and tears I saw firsthand as the team arrived, in uniform, marching down Sparrow’s hallway. I knew immediately they would feel right at home alongside the mission-driven team at Sparrow, and that this partnership would yield much-needed hope and relief.
We are so grateful to all who have cared for and comforted COVID patients and their families through two years of unrelenting demands, and to this remarkable partnership between the Department of Defense medical team and Sparrow Hospital. On behalf of a grateful community and nation, it is my great honor to record their remarkable service to Mid-Michigan in the permanent record of the People’s House so that their actions may be known to all.
Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia, and St. Johns, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 Caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and Patient experience. For more information, visit Sparrow.org.