Email sent May 22, 2020
Dear Friends of Michigan Medicine,
This Memorial Day weekend will look very different for most of you than those in years past as we continue to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19. There still is no cure or vaccine for the disease, and I encourage you to continue following public health guidelines. Our COVID-19 patient count has dropped from a high of 229 on one day in mid-April to just 51 on Wednesday of this week. To date, we have discharged more than 500 COVID-19 patients in all.
We are gradually increasing access to Michigan Medicine, following state recommendations and the high standards that always guide our research and health care.
We have determined that it is safe to reopen for appointments and procedures on a tiered basis.
We are in the midst of Tier 2, during which we have brought back patients with significant medical needs. Some non-urgent surgeries, medical procedures, and diagnostic tests are also being performed.
Tier 3 begins next week, when patients with the next level of medical needs are being scheduled.
Tier 4 will begin on June 15, when we start our transition into the new normal state, in which we will emphasize virtual care as the default for most visits while allowing for more in-person appointments. We also will remain prepared for a second wave of COVID-19.
We can serve more patients with non-COVID-19-related conditions while keeping them safe from the spread of the virus, as highlighted in this video.
Today, you are among the first to learn that Michigan Medicine has been selected as a participant and beneficiary in a nationwide movement that will honor and support health care providers who have worked tirelessly to save lives. #FitfortheFrontLine is a national fitness challenge beginning Tuesday, May 26, and culminating on Sunday, June 14, but you can get a jumpstart on participating today. Learn more here.
Information and Inspiration
Going forward, I will send these updates less frequently, but will continue to email you when we have significant information to share. I will leave you for now with two videos, the first of which includes great advice from our Dr. Preeti Malani, the chief health officer for the University of Michigan and a professor of internal medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. In this appearance on CNN, she answers the questions that many of us have as we head into summer: Is it safe to attend concerts or amusement parks? Can your children safely throw a ball back and forth with friends? Will chlorine in a pool kill this coronavirus?
The second video, created by the music therapists at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, provides inspiration to get us through these challenging days. It begins with one of our pediatric patients saying, “Thank you for saving my life.” I share the sentiments expressed in this video and thank all of our faculty and staff who have worked so hard to slow the spread of this pandemic, and to protect our patients and community.
Be safe, and be well.
Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, University of Michigan Medical School
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, U‑M
CEO, Michigan Medicine