Don't Delay, Seek Safe Care

WMH Urges Residents to Seek Critical, Non COVID

Medical Care as Needed 

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. — War Memorial Hospital, with support from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) and Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB), is supporting a statewide TV and social media campaign urging residents not to delay medical care needed to save lives, or detect, treat and prevent potentially serious health emergencies.

Across the state and nation, hospitals and other medical providers are seeing patients delay care out of fear of contracting COVID-19 at the hospital or other health facilities. Hospitals across the state are working to ensure patient safety for all visits. In addition, the State of Michigan recently issued additional guidance providing flexibility around Executive Order 2020-17 to support healthcare providers’ ability to care for a board spectrum of health needs during the pandemic response.

“Please seek care immediately at your local hospital or health care provider if you need it,” said MHA CEO Brian Peters. “If you are having a medical emergency or need a diagnostic test, surgery, medical procedure or vaccination that can relieve pain or prevent you from getting sick or sicker, please don’t delay. Get the care you need as soon as possible. Staying safe means staying home, and it also means seeking care for important or urgent medical care.”

“Early detection and treatment is crucial for comprehensive, effective care” said David Jahn, WMH President & CEO. “Our providers and caregivers have created dedicated areas for suspected COVID-19 positive patients. This maintains a safe separation for patients in all our physician clinics, emergency department, diagnostic services, inpatient areas and rehabilitation center. We are following the guidance and direction of our public health experts and closely monitoring the situation. To ensure the safety of our patients, we continue to screen all staff and patients entering the building, we have instituted social distancing in waiting rooms and increased our already robust cleaning and sanitizing processes.

Peters said Michigan hospitals are taking “all levels of precaution to safely accommodate all patients in addition to those presenting with COVID-19.” He continued: “Unfortunately, hospitals in Michigan and across the nation are reporting instances of people choosing not to come to the hospital out of concern around COVID-19. We’re seeing instances of people opting to not go to the hospital even when they are having medical emergencies, need a test or a treatment that is part of their care plan or that can relieve their pain, or to prevent a medical issue from becoming a serious threat to their health. A test, a scheduled treatment for a medical condition, surgery that might relieve pain or improve health status, a vaccination to protect against a serious disease are all examples of the medical care we urge residents to get as soon as possible.”

WMH Chief Medical Officer, Dr Paula Rechner is part of the multidisciplinary team working to address all COVID-19 related issues. She explains the timeline to resume non-emergent services, “Serving our community is our top priority. The hospital and all our outpatient locations are already working to provide access to needed health care services. We are implementing a phased approach to return to pre-COVID access to care, based on best practices of health systems across the country. Please don’t delay care, I encourage to reach out to your health care provider.”

The State of Michigan has a COVID Hotline available Monday-Friday from 8:00-5:00 pm 1-888-535-6136. The Chippewa County Health Department has updated information on their website 

For the most current information on COVID-19 and available services, community members can visit or follow the WMH Facebook page.