Infants receiving care in the pediatric unit could bump 12-year-olds into adult care units, under a potential consolidation plan by Mercy Health's Hackley Campus.

News of the plan came from a press release from the Michigan Nurses Association , which quoted several RN's claiming the merger could endanger both infants and children. Infants are at greater risk to contract viruses from older children, according to the nurses, and children who end up in the adult care units would be treated with doses and equipment not meant for children.

The release cites a 'low census' and financial needs as reasons for the consolidation.

But according to a representative for the Hackley Campus that plan is not set in stone, and the nurses have been included on discussions from the beginning.

Mercy Health's Hackley Campus were not able to provide an interview, but issued the following statement:

“At Mercy Health Muskegon, patient safety is of the utmost importance. Due to market forces, Mercy Health Muskegon is exploring various options for revising the current model of care in order to ensure that we are able to continue to deliver the highest quality pediatric service to the community. As part of this process, we are actively engaging in discussions with union leadership in order to come up with an agreement that is beneficial for everyone involved. Any decision will include patient safety as top priority.”

It's worth noting that a new Mercy Health medical center opening is set to open in Muskegon. The focal point of Mercy Health Muskegon will eventually, given all aspects of the plan are approved, become a ten-story, $220 million facility near the General Campus, which is also being completely remodeled.

Current plans include closing the General Campus and transforming the emergency room on the Hackley Campus into a high-functioning urgent care facility. Other Hackley Campus facilities – such as Mercy Health Behavioral Health, the Hackley Professional Center and various diagnostic and primary care facilities – will all remain.

So, we can verify that discussions of a way to consolidate Hackley's pediatric services is underway, but they have not made a final decision on how this will happen.

We will be following the issue closely and provide updates regarding their decision.

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