Ky. National Guard members assisting at area hospitals amid COVID surge

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 4:44 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Over 300 additional Kentucky National Guard members will be activated this week throughout Kentucky, including right here in southcentral Kentucky.

“I do know that the hospital staff does seem to be very thankful that we’re here,” said 1st Lieutenant Nathaniel Brashear, Kentucky National Guard.

Thirty members of the Kentucky National Guard arrived at the Medical Center in Bowling Green on August 30 and continue on week three offering their assistance.

“Our mission is geared towards assisting the hospitals through this, this surge of this COVID-19 coming back in, make it really difficult on everybody,” said Brashear.

The guard members that are assigned to hospitals assume non-medical logistical and administrative tasks to alleviate the pandemic’s stress on Kentucky’s healthcare infrastructure.

“Some administrative positions and moving some patients from one place to another to allow the medical staff to be free to actually give medical assistance to the patients,” said Brashear.

Guard members will arrive at Greenview Hospital later this week and arrived at T.J. Samson Hospital in Glasgow Monday.

“It’s amazing to just have 10 additional people that we didn’t have even yesterday who can help jump in to help with some things that are very important,” said Stacey Biggs, EVP of Marketing, Planning & Development with T.J. Samson Regional Health.

Both T.J. Samson and Med Center Health have seen a record amount of COVID patients in the past month which has led to nearing or reaching capacity at its facilities.

“I know it’s taxing on the individuals who work at the hospitals. My soldiers have been able to come in with positive attitudes and good, good energy,” expressed Brashear.

“That helps us to free up our staff to provide additional bedside care and so that we’re not spread quite so thin, we do have stuff out right now with COVID or who have been exposed. And so there are areas that we need to backfill.

From vaccine clinics to hospitals, these soldiers have been assisting on the frontlines during the pandemic wherever is needed.

“These are the communities that we live in and work in. So we can come in and help out and actually see some tangible results. It’s definitely, it’s definitely a big task,” said Brashear.

The guard members do not work directly with Covid patients. At the end of the two weeks, each hospital system will assess the need to keep members there or not.

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