Community, COVID-19

Spectrum Health Continues to Provide Wide Range of Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

Reassures patients that clinics and hospitals are safe

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 23, 2020 – While COVID-19 has become the focal point of everyone’s life in recent weeks, there are many patients suffering from other health conditions that require immediate attention. Spectrum Health continues to provide care for a multitude of health concerns and wants the community to know its hospitals safely and effectively serve all patients every day.

“We have seen an increase in the number of patients who are not seeking medical attention as quickly as they should for serious conditions such as chest pain, stroke symptoms or gastrointestinal issues to name a few,” said Joshua Kooistra, DO, chief medical officer, Spectrum Health. “When they finally come in, their condition has worsened significantly and can be life-threatening. We want to reassure people that we are here for them, no matter what the health concern. The hospitals and our team are prepared and ready to care for them.”

Kooistra encourages patients experiencing a medical emergency to call 911 or visit the emergency department.  

 To increase safety and limit unnecessary exposure to COVID-19, Spectrum Health has implemented several measures:

  • Extra cleaning throughout all facilities and frequent cleaning of high touch areas while adhering to rigorous quality and safety practices and infection prevention guidelines.
  • Team members wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure patients and colleagues are safe.
  • All employees and patients are screened before they enter the building and a very limited number of visitors are allowed.
  • Everyone is required to use hand sanitizer and put on a mask upon entry. In hospital and clinic settings, face masks are required in hallways, common areas and clinical spaces.
  • Social distancing floor signage to maintain CDC guidelines.

To ensure the safety of all patients as well as physicians and team members, patients being treated for COVID-19 are isolated in the hospitals. Spectrum Health team members have been trained on safe practices to prevent the spread of infection and are prepared to screen and test patients as needed. The ongoing preparation for serious diseases has prepared the Spectrum Health team for this public health situation.

“One of the hidden dangers of a pandemic is that necessary care unrelated to the pandemic is delayed, and patients suffer as a result,” said Kooistra. “We want patients to know we are here for them and our clinics and hospitals are safe environments to receive care.”

At this time, it appears social distancing has factored into a slower surge of patients in West Michigan than has occurred in the Detroit area. This means the COVID-19 surge will likely come later and last longer. As a result, Spectrum Health is working with providers to review deferred surgeries, procedures and radiology studies to determine if any are essential to a patient’s health, safety or welfare given this longer time frame for rescheduling. They will determine which patients should not be deferred to a later date given their health status.




People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our long and continuing legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Our award-winning team improves health, inspires hope and saves lives across 13 counties in West Michigan. We bring together 11 hospitals—including Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, with expert care from 350+ pediatric specialists in 70+ specialties and programs—three rehabilitation and nursing centers, 120 outpatient sites and telehealth services. We are proud to work with 4,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, including Spectrum Health Medical Group, one of the largest and most comprehensive multispecialty physician groups in West Michigan.

Andrea Finnigan
Media Relations and Newsroom Web Manager
Office: 616.486.2535
Mobile: 616.293.6050

Ellen Bristol
Media Relations Manager
Office: 616.391.4399
Mobile: 616.581.6474