Hospital Gears for COVID-19 – A Recap of UPMW’s COVID Response in Baraga County

A woman in scrubs stands next to a medical bed in our mobile unit.

Content in this post has been created and distributed by the L’Anse Sentinel.

Early in the pandemic, Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! (UPMW) was positioned to help frontline staff in the U.P. prepare for the looming threat of COVID-19. When Baraga County Memorial Hospital needed a safe, secure area to isolate well patients who needed routine services, we offered assistance.

Baraga County Memorial Hospital staff is equipping a mobile clinic for use during the Coronavirus threat. The one-bed clinic will be used to see healthy patients who need routine services. Hospital staff borrowed the clinic vehicle from Michigan Works in Delta County. It is set up behind the hospital in the parking lot. Physicians Clinic Nursing Supervisor and Case Manager Sue Ingram said, “We will utilize it for healthy people, for well-child exams, vaccinations…”

Our mobile unit, typically used for recruiting events, onboarding, and testing services, was converted to a mobile medical unit. Computers and desks were replaced with a bed and medical supplies. Where we once helped people get ready to win, healthcare staff were now treating patients.

A woman stands in the doorway of our mobile unit in a parking lot.

Baraga County Memorial Hospital, with the help of UPMW, adapted and overcame obstacles that presented themselves during the pandemic. Thomas Van Ess, Director of Provider Services, echoed the flexibility of the hospital and expressed his gratitude to UPMW.

This pandemic has made a lot of businesses think outside of the box and this is a perfect example of making that happen. We have nothing but gratitude on behalf of our patients and staff.

Our mission is to help grow the economy of the U.P. through workforce development programs and services, but in a time of need, we pivoted to help our neighbors. That’s what we do: we help those in need however we can.

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