For the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to wreak havoc on our families, our communities, and our healthcare system. Already facing complete exhaustion due to the first two surges, hospitals and health systems across the state have been fighting a third surge which has created renewed strain on our healthcare providers.
In response, New Hampshire mobilized the National Guard through Operation Winter Surge to strengthen the efforts of hospitals and healthcare providers by ensuring that adequate clinical and administrative resources are available. National Guard members have been helping in non-clinical areas, like clerical, food services and others, which positively impacts the entire hospital by creating additional resources. By replacing the clinical providers who are filling administrative and non-clinical roles, National Guard members are helping hospitals to meet the needs of their patients during this unprecedented surge.
“When New Hampshire hospitals began receiving reinforcements from the National Guard to help address staff shortages, it has been a lifeline for them during the COVID-19 Omicron surge,” said Steve Ahnen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association. “Their efforts have been vital in assisting hospitals as staffing challenges impact their operations at every level, from facilities staff to testing and vaccinations to food services, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support at this most critical time.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the National Guard has provided important support to state and public health officials across the country to assist them in their response to COVID-19 by increasing testing and vaccination capacity, reducing staffing constraints and ensuring that hospitals and healthcare systems are able to meet the needs of their communities.
On behalf of New Hampshire’s hospitals, we want to thank the men and women of the NH National Guard who are serving so ably alongside our hospitals. We greatly appreciate their service and commitment to New Hampshire residents, as together we remain Granite Strong.
Steve Ahnen is the president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association