FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The Kentucky National Guard has expanded its hospital support mission by activating 310 additional guard members in non-clinical logistical roles to 21 more hospitals across the state amid the COVID-19 surge, starting Monday.
"I believe this is the largest deployment of the guard in the crisis health care situation in our history," said Gov. Andy Beshear, during a Thursday press conference where he announced the activation would take place. "Every time we've asked, they've stepped up and served us so proudly."
Kentucky Guard members assigned to the hospital support mission assume non-medical logistical and administrative tasks in coordination with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, to alleviate the pandemic's stress on Kentucky's healthcare infrastructure.
"We've now mobilized more than 400 soldiers and airmen to help provide logistical and administrative support to 25 hospitals across the Commonwealth," said Brig. Gen. Bryan Howay, director of the joint staff, Kentucky National Guard. "Supporting this critical mission impacts our service members as well since we're part of the same communities we're assisting. While our mission is temporary, it serves to highlight the importance of wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and, most importantly, getting vaccinated."
Soldiers will assist at the following Kentucky hospitals: TJ Sampson, Glasgow; Taylor Regional, Campbellsville; Ohio County, Hartford; Manchester, Manchester; Saint Joseph's, London; Baptist Louisville; Baptist Hardin, Elizabethtown; Baptist Corbin, Corbin; Baptist Paducah; Baptist Lexington; Highlands ARH, Prestonsburg; Tugvalley ARH, South Williamson; Middlesboro ARH, Middlesboro; Harlan ARH, Harlan; Mercy Health Lourdes, Paducah; UofL Main Hospital, Louisville; Greenview, Bowling Green; Rockcastle Regional, Mount Vernon; Lake Cumberland, Somerset; Kentucky River Medical Center, Jackson; St. Elizabeth, Covington.
More than 100 Kentucky Guard members previously activated to support at Bowling Green Medical Center, Hazard ARH, Pikeville Medical Center and St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead will continue their efforts at those locations.