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National Guard Supported Hospitals During COVID-19 Pandemic feature image Ohio National Guard, Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Hospital Association collaborating to support Ohio hospitals.

National Guard Supported Hospitals During COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted Ohio hospitals significantly in Dec. 2021 through Feb. 2022 resulting in record hospitalizations and increased community spread of Delta and Omicron variants in the state. Nearly 2,000 Guard members assisted at 18 COVID testing centers and 62 hospitals across the state as part of clinical and general support teams. The first teams began on-site support Dec. 22, 2021 and the last teams completed the mission Feb. 22, 2022. OHA worked with our member hospitals to determine needs and coordinated with the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio National Guard to deploy Guard members to hospitals. Ohio hospitals appreciate this important support at a critical time where caregivers are working aggressively to meet the health care needs of our communities. 

Boots on the Ground - Supporting Hospitals With the Most Critical Needs

Aultman Hospital

Mount Carmel
Mercy Health St. Rita (Lima)
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
University Hospitals Parma Hospital
University Hospitals Southwest General
Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital

Supporting Ohio's Critical Infrastructure

Ohio National Guard activations are designed specifically to provide staffing support – both clinical and nonclinical – to Ohio hospitals that are seeing record hospitalizations at the same time that staffing challenges are making the situation even more severe. OHA is working closely with its members and the Guard, Ohio Department of Health and Ohio's COVID-19 Hospital Zone Leaders to identify where these important scarce resources can have the most impact for the overall statewide hospital infrastructure. 

A portion of the mobilized guard members are highly-trained medical professionals and are deployed to help meet critical needs at hospitals and testing locations. The majority of guard members are helping with patient transport, housekeeping, and food services. Guard members first arrived on Dec. 21 in Cleveland to support a new testing location in the city to relieve hospitals' emergency departments. Since that time more guard members have arrived at hospitals across Ohio providing support. 

The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Hospital Association are evaluating the situation in Ohio’s hospitals daily to assess and maximize staffing to ensure Guard members are assisting in locations with the most critical needs. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients change every day, and staffing adjustments will be made accordingly.

Ohio Guard at Ohio Hospitals

Ohio National Guard teams include nurses and medics providing clinical care and non-medical teams offering services such as patient transportation within facilities, food service, and environmental services. Members of the Guard are also offering support at testing locations, run in partnership with hospitals and health care networks. The goal is to divert testing traffic from hospital emergency rooms as the demand for testing is high and hospitals EDs are already seeing high demand.

At this time, the Ohio National Guard has either been deployed or will soon be deployed to the following hospital systems in Ohio either in clinical or non-clinical roles. Keep in mind that we will continue to monitor and adjust these efforts, as our workforce and program is agile.

Click here to view the current deployment of Guard members at Ohio hospitals. 

Gov. Mike DeWine's Announcements of Ohio National Guard Mobilization
Dec. 17: release and video
Dec. 29: release and video

Stories Featuring Guard Members

Ohio hospitals are proud to welcome and work with Ohio National Guard members to overcome this pandemic and ensure health care services can be provided to all patients during this challenging time. Here are photos and videos of guard members at Ohio hospitals as well as media coverage of this historic response. 

Hospital Photos and Videos:

Mount Carmel - video
Mount Carmel - photos
OhioHealth - videos and photos
Summa Health - video
ProMedica and Mercy Health Toledo Press Conference (Jan. 6) - video

OHA Member Stories

Feb. 8: "Jared’s Experience Helping and Serving with Our Ministry" by Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center

News Media Coverage:

Cleveland.com: "Ohio National Guard members assisting at UH Parma Medical Center"

CNN: "Overwhelmed hospitals gets help from National Guard"

Dayton Daily News: "1,050 Ohio National Guard members to help with hospital staffing shortages"

Lima News: "National Guard deployed to St. Rita’s"

Sandusky Register: "Fisher-Titus receiving assistance from Ohio National Guard"

The Columbus Dispatch: "Ohio sets two big COVID-19 records; Mike DeWine mobilizes more Ohio Guard members"

The Marion Star: "Ohio National Guard to help with surge of COVID-19 at Marion General Hospital"

WBNS 10TV (Columbus): "Ohio National Guard deployed to Mount Carmel East to combat rising COVID hospitalizations"

WEWS News 5 (Cleveland): "National Guard to deploy 1,250 more members to Ohio hospitals to expand capacity"

Fox 8 (Cleveland): "National Guard deployed to support medical teams at Northeast Ohio hospitals"