LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Staffing shortages continue to impact hospitals across the nation including at Henry Ford Health Systems. 77 beds are temporarily unavailable because hundreds of staff members are still out with COVID. 

But today, President of Healthcare Operations at HFHS, Bob Riney, said they’re hopeful those numbers are going down. 

“We currently have 473 team members off work again putting a substantial burden and pressure point on our organization out down from 593 a week ago,” said Riney. 

Health officials said staffing shortages are from COVID-related illnesses as well as team members exiting the health care workforce during the pandemic leaving a lot of job openings. 

“Henry Ford has about 1,000 RN vacancies across our system,” said Chief Nursing Officer at HFHS, Eric Wallis. 

One way Henry Ford is addressing the shortage is through partnering with Michigan State University. 

“Currently we have some Michigan State nursing students who are doing clinical rotations within our hospitals,” Wallis said. 

Henry Ford health officials said there are a record number of people enrolling in nursing schools, which they find helpful during a time when so many are leaving. 

“I know that we’ve got some tough challenges in front of us but it’s encouraging to see that people still want to be involved in this and this profession that really is a sacred privilege,” Wallis said. 

Henry Ford is also looking outside of the United States for staffing help. Wallis said they’re particularly recruiting nurses in the Phillippines. The plan is for 20-50 nurses to join each hospital, as early as this summer.