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As COVID-19 Patients Take the Big Step of Discharge at Henry Ford Hospital, A Song of Encouragement Plays

April 14, 2020

Multiple times a day at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, with each COVID-19 patient that reaches the much-awaited milestone of leaving the hospital, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " is playing as a send-off song of encouragement.

"The song is sign of hope, a reminder to patients to never give and a motivational thank-you to tired, never-stop-trying team members,” said Veronica Hall, RN, and president of Henry Ford Hospital.

COVID-patients will receive the same musically-motivated discharge at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. At Henry Ford Allegiance Health System in Jackson, patients make an emotional and upbeat departure to "Walking On Sunshine" by Katrina & the Waves.

"Don't Stop Believin' " was chosen, Hall said, “knowing that the days can be long and hard and come with many losses and unprecedented stress.”

The 80’s anthem beloved by many Detroit-area and Michigan residents for its reference to “South Detroit” is a new and meaningful way to mark the victories and the happy moments when patients improve.

In past weeks, as patients have come off of ventilators, are discharged or improve in others way, the progress is normally celebrated with smiles, cheers, a recording of successes on whiteboards. Often, too, tears of relief come to the critical care teams and staff connected to the emergency room and COVID-19 ICUs whenever there is progress in patient improvements.

In the last 30 days, as of 9 a.m. April 13, 1,151 patients have been discharged across Henry Ford Health System, 247 lives have been lost and 639 COVD-19 patients are currently admitted.

Henry Ford Health System is looking forward to playing the song many more times as patients are discharged - be it to reunite with families, to move on to recovery or to get back to their lives, their pets, their hobbies, whatever they love - and we hope to one day celebrate being a COVID-19 survivor.

"The song's message,” Hall said, “is a reminder that this patient's discharge is just as possible for the next patient and the next."

The song is the latest effort to instill hope inside Henry Ford and outside in the community:

  • The White Ribbon Campaign promotes the white ribbon as a much-needed sign of support for and thank-you to healthcare workers, first responders and all essential workers.
  • The Well Wishes Campaign invites anyone to send notes to patients recovering without loved ones due to visitor restrictions during COVID-19.
  • CovidCare Kits provide a way for COVID-19-positive patients to self-monitor and receive support and comfort while recuperating at home.

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MEDIA CONTACT / Kim North Shine / knorth1@hfhs.org / 313-549-4995