Muskegon residents struggle to access quality health care amid shortage of workers

Mercy Health Hospital in Muskegon, now being renamed under the Trinity Health brand, is experiencing short-staffing issues which have resulted in three residents who had waited over seven hours in the emergency room. Some residents believe Musekgon requires another hospital to meet the community’s healthcare needs. 

“We were told that we could expect at least a five to six hour wait time,” said Renae Nuell, a Muskegon resident. “There were patients that were sleeping on the floor because I’m sure they were waiting so long.”

 Nuell went to Mercy Health’s ER on July 19 at 10 p.m. and did not get past the waiting room until over seven hours later, she said. Nuell said the experience was far worse than any other hospital visit she has ever made. 

“There were some really sick people in there that were just throwing up, like they had buckets and they were just throwing up in the buckets, like right in the waiting room,” Nuell said. “There was an officer that came in with a gentleman that was like tweaking out and he was in the waiting room with everybody and he was shackled and handcuffed.” 

The worst story Nuell recalled from the night included an elderly lady in a wheelchair who was visibly unwell.

Trinity Health Grand Haven Hospital workers go on 24-hour strike

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. —  The Coast Guard Festival brings in thousands of people to Grand Haven every year and strains emergency rooms in the area with unexpected patients, but this year, workers at Trinity Health Grand Haven have decided to put their foot down. 

Trinity Health Grand Haven workers were on strike for 24 hours starting at 6 a.m, Aug. 4. The workers stood on the side of the road with signs, cheering while cars honked for them. 

“It’s not for the reasons of not wanting to provide care during this time,” said Meredith Hague, a nuclear medicine technologist at Trinity Health Grand Haven. “We gave the hospital plenty of time to prepare for us not being here and they, for a lot of departments, just chose to shut things down completely and divert things up to Musekgon.”

Hague said during this festival there is more traffic along the roads that can see the workers on strike.