Hackley Campus RNs Raise Child Safety Concerns at Mercy Health Partners

Contact: Andrew Baker; 517-488-1707

Hospital’s plan to merge services raises objections from nurses

(Muskegon, MI) Hospital administrators at Mercy Health Partners are considering a potentially dangerous plan to merge infant and pediatric units, as well as send some kids to adult units for care. RNs on the affected units urge the hospital to put the needs of patients over their concerns for profit.

“New babies are especially susceptible to infection. Why take additional risks by exposing them to the flu and other illnesses carried by older children?” asked Jana Baustert, Mother and Baby RN. “We have a responsibility to fully protect the defenseless, and that is why nurses are speaking out.”

“Just because a child is twelve years old or weighs 100 pounds, that doesn’t mean that adult equipment will fit them properly or that adult doses of drugs are appropriate,” said Stephanie Riner, Med/Surg RN.

“Not every family will be able to afford to move their kid to Grand Rapids to get the most suitable care. We need to keep adequate pediatric services in our community,” said Kirstin Michalak, Pediatric RN.

Nurses are concerned that administrators may try to quietly implement their movement and merger plans over the holidays to avoid questions from the public and concerned caregivers. While low census and cost concerns may exist, nurses believe that there are better solutions.

“Unfortunately, in a rush to merge our pediatrics unit with the mother baby and special nursery unit on N5, management seems willing to disregard the concerns of the bedside nurses who have the most direct experience caring for infants and children,” said Justin Howe, RN and president of the Mercy Health Partners RN Staff Council, which is an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association. “We call on the hospital reconsider its plan. Nurses have already suggested other changes that would ensure both fiscal responsibility and quality care for our most vulnerable young patients.”


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