Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D) activates the State National Guard to train trained nurse “response teams” who will provide support to facilities facing labor shortage. It also proposes to provide $ 50 million in federal funding to facilities to help with the hiring and retention of staff.
Walz is implementing a statement made last month, when he said he expected a “sizeable contingent” of the National Guard to be enlisted to help deal with the labor shortage. work at the state level. Initially, 400 members of the National Guard will begin training as certified nursing assistants and temporary nursing aides over the next week, according to the governor’s office.
âOur force is highly adaptive and with training it will help the Minnesota healthcare community respond to healthcare worker shortages,â Walz said. âThe financial support will help our skilled nursing facilities hire and retain talented staff to care for patients, and the Minnesota National Guard is preparing to fill any staffing shortages. “
SNFs facing severe staffing shortages may seek assistance from the Minnesota Department of Health, and selected facilities will receive a National Guard team to provide on-site personnel support for up to three weeks at a time.
“A crisis of this magnitude requires bold solutions, and we know we cannot solve this problem alone,” said Gayle Kvenvold, president and CEO of LeadingAge Minnesota, the state partner of the LeadingAge national association, in a statement. . âWe are grateful for these emergency actions and the collaborative efforts they represent. They provide essential support to the tired caregivers and the elderly they serve and provide a gateway to more permanent solutions to address staff shortages.
“The actions the Governor is taking today will provide emergency personnel assistance to exhausted professional caregivers who have been on the front line for over 20 months, and we are very grateful for this much needed good news,” Patti Cullen, President and CEO of Care Providers of Minnesota, the state affiliate of the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living, said in a statement.
The governor’s announcement only mentioned SNFs, although more than 12,000 positions in Minnesota’s assisted living communities go unfilled, according to the results of a survey conducted Sept. 7-13 by Long-Term Care Imperative, a collaboration of LeadingAge Minnesota and Care Providers of Minnesota. .