As Michigan’s healthcare system faces tremendous strains due to the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are calling on medical professionals and everyday Michiganders to volunteer their talents and time to save lives.
Whitmer and MDHHS have launched a new website, www.michigan.gov/fightcovid19, where trained medical professionals can register to serve their fellow Michiganders by assisting hospitals in fighting COVID-19. Other state residents also can use the site to find out how they can help in their local communities, give blood, donate money or needed medical supplies or assist public health officials in tracking infections.
“We’ve seen an incredible amount of strength and courage of Michiganders during this time of uncertainty, whether it’s from communities donating food, money and resources to those that need it or from businesses using their technology to manufacture personal protective equipment,” said Whitmer. “To bend the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state, we must all work together as Michiganders. Whether you’re a medical professional looking to volunteer, or someone who can give blood or donate to your local food bank, everyone can help out. We will get through this together.”
This website will serve as a single clearinghouse for Michiganders to join the fight against COVID-19. The state will work with hospitals and health systems that are short-staffed to fill gaps if and when necessary.
Residents with a background in public health, healthcare fields or community organizing may assist with contact tracing. Contact tracing involves speaking with COVID-19-positive patients to determine the people they interacted with and locations they visited in the days prior to becoming infected.
“The time is now to save lives,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “Doctors, nurses, medical assistants – please volunteer where we need you most. You can save lives. Michiganders in good health who want to serve seniors who are alone – safely, from a distance – please volunteer. You can save lives, too. If you’re ready to use your cell phone to trace infections to their source, please volunteer. You can save lives, too. Visit www.michigan.gov/fightcovid19.”
Easy-to-use-buttons on the website allow users to link to volunteer opportunities in their community, donate or give blood. The Michigan Community Service Commission within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is a partner in the new website as the state’s expert at using service as a strategy to address Michigan’s most pressing issues and empowering volunteers to strengthen communities.
The American Red Cross is also partnering with the state on the new site. As the demand for blood remains high during the pandemic, Whitmer and the Red Cross encourage eligible, healthy Michigan donors to go to RedCrossBlood.org and schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead. The Red Cross has implemented COVID-19 mitigation measures at blood drives.