GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Kent Riddle never thought he'd be running a healthcare system during a worldwide pandemic.
"I've never experienced anything like this, this is unprecedented," says Riddle who serves as President of Mary Free Bed.
Mary Free Bed's Hospital in Grand Rapids is now offering new services to help people suffering from the coronavirus.
"What we didn't anticipate is that many people who have been through this in an ICU on a ventilator for a few weeks are coming out of it with cognitive issues," says Riddle.
To help those patients Mary Free Bed has turned part of their 3rd floor into a recovery unit just for COVID patients. The layout includes 18 private rooms.
"It has outside entrances so we were able to create with fire doors and outside entrances, it's as if it was a separate building that is super safe," says Riddle.
Eight patients have already been admitted with five more on the way and Riddle believes they will need to expand. He says a major reason for expansion is because there is nothing else like it in the nation.
"It's the first that we know of in the country, certainly a lot of COVID patients are being taken care of in the country but this is a multi-disciplinary team that is really becoming overnight specialized in COVID-19," says Riddle.
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