Avalon Health Care​The state-by-state deployment of National Guard troops to skilled nursing care centers underscores the severity of the national staffing shortage facing the long term care sector.

This week, Utah deployed 50 National Guard troops from the COVID-19 Joint Task Force to support centers whose staffing issues have been exacerbated by the spread of the coronavirus.

“Utah, like so many states, is experiencing a significant staffing crisis,” said Allie Spangler, CEO & President of the Utah Health Care Association. “Our organization reached out to the Utah Department of Health to let them know about the pressing need for support, and we worked with the Lieutenant Governor to get non-clinical guards deployed.”

Avalon Health CareAvalon Health Care used its Salt Lake City training facility to deliver a two-day Temporary Nurse Aide (TNA) training, available through the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, to ensure all troops received the required training to provide a specific set of support services.

“We wanted to step up as quickly as we could to offer our training resources to the National Guard,” said Brian Gross, Regional Vice President of Avalon Health Care Management, Inc. “Our organization wanted to work in service of all providers in Utah to get more support to the centers who need it most.”

Utah joins a list of states that have deployed the National Guard to address the staffing crisis. Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania have also activated servicemembers to help at skilled nursing centers in their states.

“It’s unfortunate that so many centers are facing this crisis,” said Spangler. “We’re so grateful to have the much-needed support of the National Guard.”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Health Care