National Guard members support medical facilities as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach pandemic peak | Article - Market News
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National Guard members support medical facilities as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach pandemic peak | Article

National Guard members support medical facilities as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach pandemic peak |  Article













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BROCKTON, Massachusetts – Pvt. Aduyel Kusi (right) and Spc. Jake Casucci practices loading a wheeled stretcher into the back of an ambulance here, Dec. 28, 2021. Massachusetts National Guard members activated to assist during a COVID-19 wave will provide non-clinical assistance in the whole Commonwealth.
(Photo Credit: Sergeant Cody Kilduff)

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National Guard members support medical facilities as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach pandemic peak








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From left to right: Connie Gregoire of Exeter Hospital’s Food and Nutrition Services and Master Sgt. Chad Logan of the 157th Maintenance Group prepares a patient’s food package at Exeter Hospital, New Hampshire, on January 6, 2022. Logan, assigned to the NHNG’s COVID-19 relief mission, Operation Winter Surge, has been working in the hospital’s food and nutrition department for over a month. (Photo of the US Air National Guard by Staff Sgt. Taylor Queen)
(Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Taylor Queen)

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National Guard members support medical facilities as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach pandemic peak








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Sgt. Michael Melendez Lopez, 248th Engineer Company heavy equipment operator, directs traffic at a state-sponsored COVID-19 test site in Middletown, Connecticut, on Jan. 6, 2022. The Connecticut National Guard supported 24 test sites in the state in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases. (Photo of the US Air National Guard by 2nd Lt. Steven Tucker)
(Photo Credit: 2nd Lieutenant Steven Tucker)

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NaNational Guard members support medical facilities as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach pandemic peak








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Members of the Ohio National Guard enlisted for duty at the Defense Supply Center Columbus on Jan. 6 to assist state hospitals during the current wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has authorized the activation of 2,300 members as of mid-December to provide clinical and non-clinical medical support across the state. In Central Ohio, guards will assist at several local hospitals and COVID-19 testing sites.
(Photo Credit: Shannon Mormon)

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ARLINGTON, Va. – As COVID-19 infections escalate nationwide, more than 15,600 members of the National Guard support state and local officials across the country.

Of those who responded, more than 6,000 Guard members provide direct support to hospitals, care centers and other medical facilities.

“From the start of the pandemic, National Guard men and women in each of the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia have been on the front lines,” said Army General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We continue to work closely with the states to ensure our soldiers and pilots meet their needs.”

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, COVID hospitals hit a pandemic peak in early January, putting pressure on healthcare facilities.

Guards are working to ease that tension.

“We’ve worked tirelessly across the states to find a solution to fill the health care provider shortage,” said Major General Jill Faris, director of the National Guard Bureau’s Office of the Joint Surgeon General. “Working with our local communities to determine the best solutions to help with increased demands has been what we’ve been doing since the onset of COVID.”

There are currently 49 states and territories that have asked the National Guard to assist in the COVID response efforts.

In Ohio, approximately 2,500 members of the Ohio National Guard support COVID response efforts, with the majority assisting at test sites and hospitals.

“Our primary focus is to ensure we can help these hospitals meet capacity as they are inundated by the perfect storm of the [COVID] variants and personnel challenges,” said Major General John Harris, Ohio’s adjutant general.

Harris said about 150 of these Guard members are trained medical professionals and will help meet the critical needs of hospitals. The other members of the Ohio Guard will assist with patient transportation, housekeeping and food supplies.

The Colorado National Guard is working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to support long-term care facilities affected by COVID-related staff shortages.

“Our soldiers and pilots are working their necks out,” said Army Major Matthew Bickel, the senior physician assistant with the Colorado Army National Guard’s 928th Medical Company (Area Support). “This is a very dynamic mission in terms of staffing. It’s a daily shuffle to position our members in the facilities with the greatest need. We truly serve the people of Colorado and our most vulnerable citizens in times of need.”

Colorado Guard members administer medications according to written instructions from the physician and provide daily patient care, Bickel said, adding that approximately 260 Colorado Guard members are currently being mobilized to support the COVID response efforts.

Members of the Maryland National Guard support the Maryland Department of Health and other government agencies by providing support to COVID testing sites, local hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, and assisting with patient transportation.

“This is our third calendar year fighting this virus and we are very willing to take on these missions,” Army Brigade said. Gene. Adam Flasch, director of the joint staff of the Maryland National Guard. “Our soldiers and pilots will help create some extra bandwidth for the frontline medical responders, who are doing an amazing job supporting Marylanders.”

The New Hampshire National Guard has 95 pilots and soldiers serving administrative and food service roles at 13 hospitals across the state.

“They have really been a lifesaver,” said Connie Gregoire, part of the food and nutrition staff at Exeter Hospital in Exeter, New Hampshire. “They came in and started doing a lot of the things that we don’t have time for because of the manpower.”

In Connecticut, approximately 250 members of the Connecticut National Guard have been deployed to assist at 24 test sites and to distribute test kits and masks at five regional distribution points across the state. In addition, Connecticut Guard members support logistics operations at the state goods warehouse in New Britain, the hub for the distribution of testing supplies and personal protective equipment statewide.

“I volunteered for this mission so I can help provide access to medical services that are so critical today,” Pfc said. Stefanie Charpentier, a combat medic assigned to the Connecticut Army National Guard’s 141st Medical Company. “The Watch is standing by to help and we will continue to do everything we can to support our neighbors here in Connecticut.”

Faris said she is proud of the compassion and dedication shown by members of the National Guard during the ongoing COVID response.

“Wearing the Uniform”[as a National Guard member]means an obligation to support our state and nation at all times and everywhere,” said Faris. “The National Guard will continue to support our communities in the fight against COVID wherever and whenever we are needed.”

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