New Babies and Heart Attacks Don't Stop in a Snow Storm
Snow storms don’t stop babies from being born, people from being hospitalized and they don’t stop heart attacks.
That means that the maternity staff, hospital physicians, cardiologists and other doctors and nurses at MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland need to plow through snow drifts or even put on skis to get to work.
Internal Medicine Physician Otto Leiti, M.D., who is with MidMichigan Physicians Group in Midland skied to MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland today to see his patients. The trip took him 40 minutes.
Internal Medicine Physician Otto Leiti, M.D., of MidMichigan Physicians Group needed to get to the Medical Center in Midland to see his patients who were hospitalized so he strapped on his skis and made a 40-minute ski trip to get in. “It was fun. I had to be careful with cars, but cross country skis were designed for survival. I should do this every day,” Dr. Leiti said.
When Maternity Manager and Nurse Tonia Van Wieren, RN, learned that the storm was coming, she decided that it would be better just to sleep over in the Medical Center. And when some staff could not get out to come to work, starting at 3 a.m., VanWieren was there to fill in with newly scheduled staff. “There have been four babies delivered in the snow storm and eight were in labor yesterday,” she said. “The Medical Center’s Obstetric unit is full and overflowing on to another floor. We’re making it work,” Van Weiren said.
If staff members cannot make it in, Vice President Mike Erickson, who is in charge of the Medical Center’s maintenance and facility services areas, has a team prepared to drive out and pick up nurses, physicians and others who are needed. By 11:15 this morning, the SUVs driven by security supervisor Marty Hayes and his staff had picked up seven nurses and physicians.
One of the physicians was Interventional Cardiologist Maged Rizk, M.D. Dr. Rizk was on-call in the cardiac catheter lab where procedures are performed to save people who have had heart attacks. “I have had six add-ons since yesterday and treated one woman who was having a heart attack,” Dr. Rizk said. Dr. Rizk, who lives in Midland said it was great to have a safe ride to work. He said that his day will probably end by 7 p.m. tonight, when he’s hoping he can get a ride home.
The snowstorm didn’t stop Physical Therapy receptionist Joelle Beebe from getting to work today either. Beebe knew that she was the only staff member who lived close to the hospital, so she started walking. A snow plow picked her up and brought her the rest of the way.
“Every single Emergency Department staff member made it to work this morning,” said ED Manager Stephanie Petras. “Things were pretty slow here this morning, but we’re prepared with full staffing.”
The snow didn’t stop Family Medicine Physician Hallie Wilson, M.D., from making it to her office in Freeland from her home in Midland. The petite doctor put on her mittens and snow pants and shoveled her own driveway. She is at work at MidMichigan Medical Offices-Freeland seeing patients today.
For some, even a snow day could not postpone the inevitable. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Richard Bartling, D.D.S., who is on the Medical Center’s medical staff, was performing oral surgery at his practice in Mt. Pleasant as usual. No surgeries were cancelled and Dr. Bartling extracted teeth as usual.