Covenant partners up with Shriners to help MI patients - WNEM TV 5

Covenant partners up with Shriners to help MI patients

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Covenant Healthcare and Shriners Hospitals are teaming up to give you new opportunities to see specialists at two pediatric specialty hospitals.

Michael Doyge, 14, will not be making his usual trek to Chicago any time soon.

Every six months he goes there for doctors’ appointments at Shriners Hospital to help him with his cerebral palsy.

“It’s a really long drive. It’s about a nine-hour drive, plus the stops to get gas and breaks and everything,” Michael said.

Shriners helps Michael with the roughly 800-mile round-trip from Barton City in Alcona County.

He wasn’t the only one Shriners was spending more than $100,000 a year to get patients to and from Michigan. Sometimes, kids would get pulled out of school for days at a time.

Now, thanks to their partnership with Covenant and advances in technology, it is a thing of the past.

Michael’s doctors’ appointments in Chicago used to take upwards of nine-hours of travel, but now with the convenient Saginaw location it only takes him about two hours.

For 15 minutes, Michael and his mom get to speak directly with his doctor in Chicago over a telehealth machine that works similar to Skype and Facetime.

“The doctor is going to see the patient through the television and they can move the cameras around. Then, the doctor in Chicago will evaluate the information they get,” said Clarence Meyer, Shriners recorder.

Meyer said saving this kind of money will allow Shriners to spend it on helping more patients like Michael in the future.

Michael is pretty excited about it too.

“This is really convenient. I’m still two hours away from home, but it’s a lot better than nine hours,” he said.

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