Jackson County Field Hospital Request Replaced With Additional Staff, For Now

SALEM, Oregon – A request by local authorities for a field hospital in Jackson County will not be met at this time, an Oregon Health Authority spokesperson told NewsWatch 12 on Thursday. Instead, the needs of the overworked Rogue Valley hospitals will be met with additional staff.

Jackson County Public Health and local hospital systems have been asking state and federal agencies for help since at least Aug. 11, which included requests for critical supplies like ventilators, more health workers, and places to go. place patients who are currently crowding hospitals.

The field hospital was one such request, which has since worked its way up to federal agencies like Health & Human Services and FEMA. Jackson County public health officials said requests for ventilators were filled quickly. The rest were harder to find.

According to Jonathan Modie, communications manager for the Oregon Health Authority, the field hospital has been put on hold as the state struggles to meet staffing needs.

“Demand from the field hospital has changed for an increase in medical staff,” Modie said. “Conditions are continually changing as we work with our FEMA and HHS partners, hospital partners and others to best respond. “

Part of that need will be met through new state contracts with medical personnel companies announced by Governor Kate Brown’s office on Wednesday, pledging around 560 people, in addition to National Guard members already deployed to help with logistics. .

“Medical staff would be concentrated primarily in central and southern Oregon, where the need is currently greatest, although they may be redeployed as needs evolve across the state,” Modie continued. .

The staff approach is twofold – while some of the hospital crisis teams will be sent to health centers like Asante and Providence, others will be sent to long-term care facilities where patients who are stable but who are failing. still recover from COVID-19 diseases can go, clean the room in hospitals.

Modie said an HHS team was in Oregon earlier this week to conduct assessments in southern and central Oregon. The OHA hopes this means they will see more federal resources, but those are also stretched because “many states are in trouble.”

In addition to nurses and other health workers hired to help in the hardest-hit areas of the state, Modie said the state will receive 24 EMT paramedics as part of the FEMA National Ambulance Contract to support seven hospital emergency departments as “extenders”. They arrived in the state on Sunday and are now at work in state hospitals.

There are currently five paramedics in this group at Asante Rogue Regional, five at Asante Three Rivers, and four at Providence Medford Medical Center. They are expected to stay in these hospitals until September 20, with the possibility of an extension.

Modie said paramedics come from all over the United States and primarily serve in the emergency services as technicians or to support technicians on other floors as needed.

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