LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Members of the department of defense who’ve been deployed all across the country and around the world now say they’re happy to help medical workers right here in Lansing.
The reinforcements, who are members of the military, arrived Saturday and their first full day of operation was Tuesday.
One of the best lines of the day was when one military member described their reception as they arrived.
They said they truly felt the appreciation, but at the same time, it felt like people singing happy birthday times 100, with all the eyes on them.
But even despite that joke, they said in all sincerity their hope is by the end of the stay, they’ve earned the appreciation they’re receiving.
“This is US soldiers working with and treating US citizens on US soil,” said Major John. McCarthy, a physician for the U.S. Army. “It’s a unique experience and I think we’re all appreciative we get to do it.”
They come from all across the country, including Walter Reed medical center which is in the nation’s capital, Joint Base Lewis McCord in Washington state, and some personnel coming from Tripler Army Medical center in Hawaii
The best of the best the United States has to offer, all with various backgrounds
“Our team consists of 4 physicians, we have 14 registered nurses, we have 2 respiratory technicians as well as the command team element,” said Col. Jill Sanders, who is in charge of the military team.
6 News spoke with nurses yesterday about how much it means, and Tuesday, Sparrow’s president doubled down on the impact it’s already having.
“When they arrived Saturday there were tears of joy literally from the staff watching them walk through the hallways,” said Sparrow President Alan Vierling. “You cannot say enough about the quality of the individual here or what it means to sparrow hospital.”
The community and staff have thanked the federal workers for their assistance.
But gratitude goes both ways.
“The people and the staff of sparrow hospital have undoubtedly been through tremendous difficulty,” McCarthy said. “That appreciation they expressed to us which was overwhelming frankly, was genuine, sincere and just greatly appreciated on our part.”
A nurse who was been deployed to Iraq– twice — says they’re spreading out resources as best they can.
“Between some of the areas of greatest needs so we have some people in step down units some med surge wards as well as covid specific areas,” said Shaina Newton, one of the team’s senior nurses. “At any given time we can adjust fire and float to other areas as needed to make sure we can augment them appropriately.”
Sparrow officials told 6 News the best part about this team is because they have such a diverse background. They’ll be able to help in a number of ways which will allow the Sparrow workers to go back to their original units. This will help with hospital flow for all patients from general, to the ICU, to the emergency department.