Nurses urge Sparrow to explain, fix water safety problem

Contact: Dawn Kettinger, 517-721-9688

Nurses urge Sparrow to explain, fix water safety problem

Sparrow Hospital should explain why patients at the St. Lawrence campus are being warned not to consume the water and why the problem hasn’t been fixed, Sparrow healthcare professionals said today.

A sign has been posted since Friday in the emergency department telling patients and employees not to drink the water or consume ice. There are also signs on the cafeteria water machine and a drinking fountain that say simply “out of order.” Yet employees still have not received any information about why the water is unsafe for consumption.

“Considering what Flint went through, it makes you wonder what’s wrong,” said Rachelle Priese, RN, a Registered Nurse at the St. Lawrence Emergency Department. “They came to us Friday and said, ‘Don’t drink it, but it’s not contaminated.’ We were all led to assume it would be a quick fix.”

The Professional Employee Council of Sparrow Hospital/MNA, which represents the nurses and other healthcare professionals at both the St. Lawrence and main campuses, has received no communication from Sparrow administration regarding the safety situation.

“It’s alarming that we’re on the sixth day of having undrinkable water at a community hospital and no one knows why,” said Jeff Breslin, RN and President of the Professional Employee Council of Sparrow Hospital (PECSH). “Sparrow needs to fix this water safety issue soon, because it’s their responsibility to make sure all patients and employees have a safe environment.”

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