MidMichigan Medical Centers staff on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19 have a place to stay between shifts, saving their families from exposure to the virus, thanks to an agreement with Alma College.
Beginning in April, the college started allowing physicians, nurses and other employees of the healthcare system to stay in college residence halls, at no cost to the employee, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The residence halls where healthcare workers are housed were vacated by students in late March as a precautionary measure.
“Alma College has always been closely intertwined with our community, and now we’re doing everything we can to support each other during this challenging time,” Alma College President Jeff Abernathy said. “This is an important opportunity to show healthcare providers in the Alma community how much we appreciate them.”
Sixteen workers from hospitals within the MidMichigan system have chosen to stay on campus in between their shifts.
The healthcare workers are able to utilize all building amenities, but do not go elsewhere on campus, keeping exposure as low as possible for students who remain at Alma College, as well as faculty members and employees who are essential to college operations.
The college has taken unprecedented measures to ensure the residence halls, and other areas of Alma College, are as safe as they possibly can be to fight the spread of the virus, said Alan Gatlin, senior vice president and chief operating officer.
“I am incredibly grateful to all of the people who have worked tirelessly to reach that standard,” Gatlin said. “Our associate director of facilities, Ryan Stoudt, has led a massive and sustained effort to keep all campus spaces clean and safe.”
The college will provide this service for as long as needed or until the time that students return to campus for fall classes.
“Everyone I talk to has been grateful for this opportunity,” Gatlin said. “Just like anyone else, they miss their families and can’t wait until it’s over, but they feel fortunate to have this option.”