Trinity Health’s Nurses Leave Home to Serve Hardest-hit Areas of U.S.

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With COVID-19 cases surging at different times in different regions of the country, nearly 200 Trinity Health nurses are answering the call by temporarily leaving their homes and families to work alongside nurses in some of the hardest-hit communities.

Devan Hromcik traveled from her home in Boise, Idaho, where she works for Saint Alphonsus Regional Hospital, to Metro Detroit where she is serving on the front line at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland.

“We are grateful for all these nurses for volunteering to join colleagues in other places to meet the needs of this public health crisis and provide the most personal of services – caring for our members in body, mind and spirit.”

With COVID-19 cases surging at different times in different regions of the country, nearly 200 Trinity Health nurses are answering the call by temporarily leaving their homes and families to work alongside nurses in some of the hardest-hit communities.

Throughout Trinity Health, registered nurses specializing in critical care and other crucial areas are voluntarily being reassigned to work in hospitals and senior living centers at the nation’s COVID-19 “hot spots.” Through the system’s FirstChoice program, nurses transfer on a temporary basis to quickly fill gaps from one health care organization to another, wherever the need may arise due to patient surges.

“We are all here to serve together as a compassionate and healing presence within our communities,” Michael A. Slubowski, FACHE, FACMPE, president and chief executive officer, Trinity Health. “We are grateful for all these nurses for volunteering to join colleagues in other places to meet the needs of this public health crisis and provide the most personal of services – caring for our members in body, mind and spirit. They have many choices of where to share their gifts and talents, and we are fortunate that they choose to serve as a member of the Trinity Health family.”

Over the past few weeks, registered nurses have been redeployed to Trinity Health hospitals in Southeast Michigan; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Silver Spring, Maryland and the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.

The nurses hail from Trinity Health regions that have yet to see patient surges, such as St. Joseph’s Health in Syracuse, New York; St. Mary’s Health Care System, Athens, Georgia and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, in Boise, Idaho. They work alongside fellow Trinity Health registered nurses and clinicians within their ICUs and COVID units.

Boise registered nurse Devan Hromcik, who is now working nights at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Michigan, feels called to perform this work: “It was definitely a vocational calling for me to help out. The surge of patients hasn’t hit Boise, so I thought it would be helpful to utilize the gifts I have to come and help here, because I could.”

Even nurses who work in administrative roles are once again donning scrubs and protective gear to help patients across Trinity Health, like husband and wife, Kyle and Scotti McDaniel. Working as a director of System Care Management for Trinity Health, Kyle volunteered to be redeployed within acute care settings without being prompted. Scotti, who works in clinical documentation at St. Joseph Mercy, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, answered the call to serve alongside the frontline staff of her hospital when asked by leadership. Scotti now serves on a COVID unit at St. Joe’s.

“Our direct care givers are critical to the successful outcomes of our patients, communities and ministries,” said Kyle, who since early April has been redeployed within two different hospitals in Southeast Michigan. “It is truly my pleasure and blessing to have the ability to serve alongside them and to support these great team members however I can.”

To further support the colleagues who are voluntarily serving around the country’s COVID-19 hot spots, Trinity Health is providing for all the nurses’ travel, lodging and food expenses through the its FirstChoice program. Although FirstChoice Travel Program typically only deploys registered nurses who serve specifically as traveling nurses throughout Trinity Health, the program has stepped up to help facilitate the redeployment of any Trinity Health nurse who works at a local hospital who feels called to serve during this pandemic.

“By handling the travel plans and expenses at the administrative level, we can relieve the nurses from a few extra worries and ensure that they are safe when they stay in hotels, use rental car companies and whatever else they may need,” said Nicole Roberson, director, FirstChoice, Trinity Health. FirstChoice also assists Trinity Health nurses with the required paperwork for licensure across state lines, should they be redeployed out-of-state.

Local hospitals in the hardest hit communities are expressing their gratitude to these nurses who are called to serve.

“As we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic here in Michigan, we have received an outpouring of support from across our Trinity Health family,” said Nickolas Nickolopoulos, vice president, Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, St. Mary Mercy Livonia, Michigan. “Our staff welcomes the arrival of Trinity Health colleagues, and we look forward to the contributions they will make to the health and wellbeing of our community.”

For more information on how Trinity Health is helping our communities through COVID-19, please visit http://www.trinity-health.org/coronavirus. For any nurse interested in learning more about FirstChoice, please text “Choice” to 40458 or visit http://www.trinity-health.org/firstchoice.

About Trinity Health
Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 106 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Michigan, and with annual operating revenues of $19.3 billion and assets of $27 billion, the organization returns $1.2 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 125,000 colleagues, including about 7,500 employed physicians and clinicians. For more information, visit http://www.trinity-health.org. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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