SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio National Guard has arrived at yet another Miami Valley medical center.
According to Bon Secours Mercy Health, members of the National Guard recently arrived at Mercy Health – Springfield Regional Medical Center.
The site is currently hosting approximately 23 clinical and nonclinical National Guard members as they support health care teams and providers through the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, Mercy Health said the Guard members had gone through orientation and will begin work as needed.
“All the clinical guard members have been deployed to the emergency room area. They’re assisting with clinical duties beyond their scope or as well as their licenser will allow. Then our nonclinical is out deployed to the floor, and they’re doing jobs that we call tasking to help offset the inpatient units,” said Heather Cramblett, director of surgical services at Springfield Regional Medical Center.
Cramblett said the nonclinical duties also vary throughout the day. “Cleaning restocking, offering assistance, delivery of food trays, assisting if a patient needs to get ahold of a nurse. Anything they can do to check in if the patients are good.”
Front-line workers are also exhausting themselves working to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19. “Everybody has experienced this across bigger markets. The biggest thing that I think that we can talk about or really say is teamwork. Our coworkers and our leaders have really worked with each other to develop teamwork to alleviate some of that stress,” said Cramblett. “The gratitude is there. Without them we would be in a deeper hurt. So, we’re really excited that they’re here.”
These 23 Guard members are only the latest of several groups sent to Miami Valley medical centers.
This addition comes as Clark County is seeing its highest ever COVID-19 case rates. “Cases are exploding here. We are looking at over 3000 cases over the last week, and over 2,200 cases per 100 thousand,” said Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson.
Patterson said he and his public health team are also in talks to get aid from Ohio National Guard members as well to help out at testing sites. “Originally one of these teams was scheduled to help us, and they got diverted to the hospital. It was a very easy thing to say ‘oh no the hospital needs it more than us.'”
On December 30, 80 members began work at Miami Valley Hospital, and 10 at the hospital’s main COVID-19 testing site. In early January, members were sent to Clark County to assist with testing efforts.
“All of us depend on our hospitals to protect us, and now our National Guard is involved in protecting our hospitals and enabling them to continue to protect all of us,” Gov. DeWine said.