National Guard leaves Monroe Community Hospital

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Members of the National Guard who have been deployed at Monroe Community Hospital are going home. They’ve been helping to staff the nursing home at the direction of Governor Kathy Hochul since December amid massive staffing shortages and a COVID19 surge. And while members of the guard have relieved some pressure on our local healthcare system, the staffing shortages are still a long-term problem leaders are working to solve.

“These soldiers answered the call during the greatest health care crisis of the last century,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said at a send-off on Thursday morning. Members of the National Guard have fed and cared for residents, changed linens, worked in the kitchens and in the office at MCH, “this has been a very unique mission,” Technical Sgt. Jesus Gomez tells News10NBC.

In total more than 100 members of the National Guard have served at Monroe Community Hospital.

Adam Bello – By being here, stabilizing the nursing home, allowing us to care for residents, we’ve been able to hire more people and focus on training and that’s been able to help us in the mid and long term.

Jennifer Lewke (News10NBC) – Have you recruited enough people to replace the soldiers behind you who are leaving?

Adam Bello – Yeah so, over the last several months knowing this can’t last forever, we’ve been able to stabilize, bring in additional staff to be able to care for the residents so our residents will be cared for when they (Guard) depart today.

Jennifer Lewke – Will you be able to continue accepting the same number of patients that you have then from the hospitals?

Adam Bello – We’re going to be able to maintain the census that we have now

Monroe Community Hospital’s Executive Director says the road ahead won’t be easy but they are much better positioned for it, “we all recognize if there still is a challenge with capacity in the hospitals, we all understand that there’s capacity challenges with the nursing homes and what we’re looking to do is kind of partner with one another including even community organizations, home care organizations, to look at what we can do collaboratively to try to make sure we continue to function,” says Alyssa Tallo.