National Guard to work in New York nursing homes under workforce shortages

  • The governor of New York on Wednesday activated 120 National Guard doctors to work in nursing homes.
  • Almost 75% of nursing homes reported a “worsening of their workforce situation” this year.
  • National Guard medics will work in nursing homes across the state.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) on Wednesday activated 120 National Guard medics to work in understaffed nursing homes amid the labor shortage.

The selected doctors are “military medical personnel whose civilian jobs do not involve work in the health field,” Eric Durr, director of public affairs for the New York National Guard, told Insider. “The only difference between them and a civilian EMT is that our medics are trained to do it while someone shoots you,” he added.

Almost 75% of nursing homes reported a “worsening situation for their workforce” this year, according to a survey by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.

“We have 36 residents on my floor. During the day we sometimes only have two helpers. That’s not enough,” said Flip Polizzi, a resident at Monroe Community Hospital – one of the houses. nursing home receiving assistance from the National Guard – at local media 13 WHAM ABC. “They are exhausted from working 12 hours or more.”

The activation is part of the New York National Guard’s COVID-19 mission that began in March 2020, Durr told Insider. A total of 983 people have helped set up vaccination sites, logistics facilities and set up testing kits statewide, he said.

This is not the first time that the National Guard has been deployed to tackle the labor shortage. In September, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (right) sent 250 members to drive school buses amid the nation’s driver shortage.

Under Title 32 of the US Code, federally funded National Guard personnel can “conduct missions under the direction of the state governor,” like these, Durr told Insider.

“We have worked with nursing homes across the state to identify where these medical teams will have the most impact on regional health systems,” said Jeffrey Hammond, spokesperson for the Department of Health of the United States. New York State, in an emailed statement.

“So far, arrangements have been made to deploy teams to Shaker Place Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Albany County; at Monroe Community Hospital; at a Holly Patterson long-term care facility in Nassau County; at the Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center in Onondaga County; MVHS Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Oneida; Clinton County Nursing Home; Willow Point Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Broome; The Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Centers in Cattaraugus County; and Terrace View Long Term Care Facility in Erie County, ”he added.

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