Wayne State University is opening its doors to frontline health care workers who need a safe and comfortable place to rest.
The university recently finalized agreements with Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center to house medical professionals at one of WSU’s six student residence halls, Atchison Hall, which can house more than 200 guests in private accommodations as needed.
The first guests from Henry Ford arrived on April 14. For clinician housing, all guests receive a hospitality snack bag and full linens. In addition, they have access to Atchison Hall’s WiFi, community kitchens and in-building laundry.
Christina Bowen, WSU’s director of summer conferences, has been coordinating the effort to provide the best experience for the guests. “For those medical employees who are not able to go home,” she said, “it’s comforting to know we are able to offer ‘housing that’s home’ for them right on our campus.”
Many of Henry Ford’s employees routinely travel 50 miles or more to work, said Nina Ramsey, SVP and chief human resources officer for Henry Ford Health System. Those working longer shifts during the crisis need a convenient option to get the rest they need.
“Additionally, this will provide a solution for those team members we have recruited from outside our region to help during this crisis,” Ramsey said. “We are grateful to community partners like Wayne State University for providing temporary housing for our team members who are caring for COVID-19 patients.”
HFHS and DMC guests can arrive 24/7 to check into a room, with a laptop set up for walk-up registration. To welcome the health care workers to Atchison Hall, Wayne State staff created a video to provide directions to parking, the building and the “low touch” process that uses a kiosk for guest check-in.
“This is a challenging time for everyone in health care, especially for those on the front lines,” said Detroit Medical Center CEO Audrey Gregory, Ph.D., R.N. “We greatly appreciate the generosity of our longtime partner, Wayne State University. Opening their doors to the members of our care team will go a long way in helping provide them with additional support as they care for the people in our community who depend on us.”
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Wayne State has stepped up in a multitude of ways to answer the urgent calls sounded from the surrounding health care community. From volunteering at coronavirus screening sites around Detroit and using 3D printers to produce face shields for PPE-strapped health care workers, to establishing a crisis hotline for health care professionals and first responders, Wayne State has been committed to helping those on the front line any way it can.
“Our president [Dr. M. Roy Wilson] is a physician and uniquely understands the special challenges facing medical professionals today,” said Tim Michael, associate vice president for Student Auxiliary Services and chief housing officer. “Wayne State is always trying to do its part to support the community. Helping Henry Ford and DMC health care workers find alternate housing during this difficult time is another way the university can be of service.”