Rural Michigan hospital COO asks governor to lift elective surgery ban

Citing the financial effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, the COO of a rural Michigan hospital is asking Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to "get Michigan hospitals working again" by allowing them to perform elective surgeries.

Jeremiah J. Hodshire, vice president and COO of Hillsdale (Mich.) Hospital, made the ask in a letter April 28 in response to executive orders signed by the governor. One such order required hospitals to stop nonessential medical and dental procedures amid the public health crisis. The ban is effective until May 15, according to, and the state Senate adopted two resolutions April 28, which called for the governor to reconsider the ban.

In his letter, Mr. Hodshire said the challenges rural hospitals face put lives at stake and the hospital's future.

"Without opening up hospitals to appropriately perform elective surgeries within the next week and better government support to help make up for lost revenue, hospitals like ours (and, I would submit, others throughout Michigan) will be forced to close their doors—forever," he wrote.

He asked the governor to allow elective surgeries in communities with a low number of COVID-19 cases and where there is no in-hospital transmission of the coronavirus.

"The lives of our community members depend on it," said Mr. Hodshire.

As of April 28, Hillsdale County, where Hillsdale Hospital is located, had 118 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths, most linked to an outbreak at a county nursing facility, according to 


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