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500+ health care personnel coming to Oregon to aid overwhelmed hospitals

Oregon has finalized contracts with two medical companies to bring personnel to the state to help with the hospital crisis.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Hospitals overwhelmed by a spike in COVID-19 cases will be getting some help soon, according to a press release from Governor Kate Brown sent on Wednesday.

The state has finalized contracts with two different companies, a medical staffing company called Jogan Health Solutions and AMN Healthcare to send workers to health care facilities across the state but particularly in Central and Southern Oregon where the hospitalization rates are nearly outpacing the number of beds available and personnel to staff them.

Jogan Health Solutions will be deploying hospital crisis teams, up to 500 health care personnel to Southern Oregon and long-term care facilities statewide. The personnel will head to Central Oregon to support the St. Charles Health System in Bend and Redmond areas, and to Southern Oregon to support Asante hospitals in Medford, Ashland, and Grants Pass, as well as Providence-Medford Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg. The hospital crisis response teams will be supported by up to 300 registered nurses in medical-surgical, emergency departments, and critical care; 20 paramedics; 61 certified nursing assistants; 34 respiratory therapists; and 5 medical technicians. These teams will also be ready to move to other hospitals if needed.

"We knew that there was going to be a demand for services and resources specific to the COVID response," said Dan Dietrich, president of Jogan Health Solutions. Dietrich said the company has been working with OHA at pop-up vaccine clinics or deploying to areas that needed assistance with vaccine efforts. 

RELATED: Frustration and anger inside an Oregon hospital overwhelmed with COVID patients

AMN Healthcare will send at least 60 additional nurse and clinical workers. Specific positions and locations for deployment are still being determined. The additional personnel will help medical staff manage hospitalizations that have jumped more than 990% since July 9.

“The deployment of crisis response teams should provide some welcome relief to our hospitals, particularly in Central and Southern Oregon, that are overwhelmed given the recent surge in hospitalizations among mostly unvaccinated individuals," said Gov. Brown. “The hospital crisis we are facing isn’t just about beds––it’s about having enough trained health care professionals to treat patients. I am so pleased that we will be able to provide these resources to help our hospitals and long-term care facilities meet increased demand and can continue to provide vital health care to Oregonians.”

The ten long-term care facility crisis response teams will each be made up of three registered nurses and five certified nursing assistants. They will be sent to facilities around the state to help build capacity so patients can be discharged.

RELATED: Frustration and anger inside an Oregon hospital overwhelmed with COVID patients

“This is a much-needed infusion of qualified medical personnel that can help us get through this critical time in the COVID-19 pandemic,” said OHA Director Patrick Allen. “These crisis teams will be completely re-deployable. We will be working with the Regional Resource Hospitals and Incident Management Team to move hospital crisis teams to other hospitals and long-term care crisis teams to other long-term care facilities, where the need is greatest.”

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