Canadian Staff Thanked by Detroit Medical Centre

The Detroit Medical Centre is offering thanks to the Canadian workforce within its hospitals.

Close to 600 staff work at DMC, travelling every day across the border from Windsor. Most are nurses but there is also a number of other medical professionals.

An appreciation event was held Thursday for the Canadian staff, attended by DMC CEO Dr. Anthony Tedeschi and Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.

Dr. Ali Betar is the Chief Medical Officer in the DMC Rehab Group and loves his Canadian staff.

"We have many nurses and therapists, mainly nursing staff who are well respected, well educated, they are well trained and we really love them and we're happy to have them with us," he says.

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DMC Rehab Group Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alir Betar interviewed by AM800's Peter Langille, DMC Heart Hospital, November 29, 2018 (courtesy DMC)

Mary Ellen Zalev has worked in Michigan hospitals for 25 years with the last 11 years at DMC.

She says getting through the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel every day is a major challenge.

"It has a lot of trials and tribulations, that's for sure," says Zalev. You always have to leave extra early because you never know what you're going to face, U.S. Immigration really has no concept what Canadian nurses do over here, they often think we're stealing American jobs."

Zalev says there are significant benefits to working at the Michigan facilities.

"In the United States you have full-time days and in Canada you're only offered part-time," she says. "I used to work at Met {Campus in Windsor} in the ICU and I was only ever offered part time, never full-time. You can never get full-time until you put 30 years in."

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DMC RN Mary Ellen Zalev, DMC Heart Hospital, November 29, 2018 (by AM800's Peter Langille)

Reagan Deschamps has worked at DMC for about a year as a Cardiac Technologist and says she chose Detroit for the faster pace and bigger challenge.

Dr. Tedeschi says if the Canadian staff were unable to come to work, it would be very difficult for the hospital to function.

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DMC Cardio Technician Reagan Deschamps, DMC Heart Hospital, November 29, 2018 (by AM800's Peter Langille)