Increasing COVID-19 patients

April 2, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Announcements

Dear Michigan Medicine team members:

We write to you today to outline the challenge that faces Michigan Medicine over the next several months as we work, together, to battle this pandemic and save lives.

We are implementing plans to meet the needs of an exponentially growing number of COVID-19 patients. Yesterday, Vikas Parekh, M.D., presented patient volume projections to leadership. The model predicts that patient need will exceed our ICU and general care capacity between April 10 and April 16. Predictions, of course, can be wrong, but the model has accurately predicted our daily census to date. 

We have to execute plans now to dramatically expand our ICU bed and general care capacity. This will be done by expanding ICUs to general care areas. General care will be expanded by utilizing spaces that can be used as inpatient beds and creating a field hospital (additional 500-1,000 beds) on the south athletic campus over the next 10 days. Staffing the incremental ICU and general care beds will require an “all hands on deck” mandatory deployment approach. Physicians, nurses, house officers and other health care professionals will need to be redeployed to meet the needs of our patients. There are many people working hard to develop and execute these plans, and we are very grateful to all those who will be part of our much-needed increase in capacity. Additional details will be provided by your supervisor regarding redeployment needs. 

We are facing an unprecedented situation that none of us has lived through before. We know this is terrifying for all of us. We want to assure you that we are learning in real time from those hospitals in Europe, New York City and other areas and moving quickly to do what is considered best practice for our staff, patients and community. We will get through this together. We chose our profession to gain the privilege to help people and, united, we deliver on our commitment to care for the sick. 

Tomorrow’s Town Hall will be dedicated to the projections, the ICU and general care capacity expansion, and the planning of the field hospital. Please keep up-to-date on all of the latest information on what we are doing to respond to this pandemic by reading our daily global emails from the Incident Command Center, new policies and important video messages at

We are so appreciative of all you are doing and will do to continue providing the very best care to our patients.

With great pride and gratitude,

Dave, Marschall, Carol

Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D., Dean, University of Michigan Medical School, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, CEO, Michigan Medicine

Carol R. Bradford, M.D., M.S., FACS, Executive Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, U-M Medical School, Chief Academic Officer, Michigan Medicine, Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

David A. Spahlinger, M.D., President, U-M Health System, Executive Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, Medical School