LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The Kentucky National Guard is deployed to two dozen Kentucky hospitals, including two in Louisville and one in Elizabethtown.
Members of the guard arrived at Baptist Health Hardin, Baptist Health Louisville and UofL Health on Tuesday.
Lt. Col. Bryan Keating leads the Louisville group and said the mission is the same as always: to help others.
“I am from Kentucky. It’s only Kentuckians helping Kentuckians. Keating said.
Keating was one of 45 members of the Kentucky Air National Guard who arrived at Baptist Health Louisville on Tuesday. They will participate in non-clinical functions such as gate control, food delivery, security and transportation.
Fifteen guards and women were deployed to UofL Hospital and Baptist Health Hardin each.
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“Obviously we’ve deployed a number of times at sea, all over the world,” said Keating, “but when it hits closer to home it really feels good to help our brothers and sisters. “
According to Governor Andy Beshear’s office, nearly two out of three hospitals in Kentucky (60 of 96) are experiencing a critical staff shortage, and fewer than 100 intensive care beds are available statewide. This is where the Guard comes in, trying to do all they can to lighten the burdens and boost morale.
“It really comes down to service before you,” said the Chief Master Sgt. Steven Best said. “We are committed not only to helping our nation and other nations, but also our home state.”
More than 400 guards and women have been deployed to 25 state hospitals.
“I have never had so many people thanking me as soon as I walked into my life,” said First Lieutenant Bradley Domers. “But, throughout this process, they helped us get along, making sure we settled down and making sure this process was as easy for us as it was for themselves.”
Baptist Health Hardin officials told WAVE 3 News members of the guard are expected to be in hospitals for two weeks.
Here is a full list of hospitals receiving National Guard assistance:
- TJ Samson Community Hospital, Glasgow;
- Taylor Regional Hospital, Campbellsville;
- Ohio County Hospital, Hartford;
- Manchester Hospital, Manchester;
- CHI Saint Joseph Health, London;
- Baptist Health Hospital, Corbin;
- Baptist Health Hospital, Elizabethtown;
- Baptist Health Hospital, Lexington;
- Baptist Health Hospital, Louisville;
- Baptist Health Hospital, Paducah;
- Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center, Prestonsburg;
- Tugvalley ARH Regional Medical Center, South Williamson;
- ARH Middlesboro Hospital;
- Harlan ARH Hospital;
- Mercy Health – Lourdes Hospital, Paducah;
- UofL Hospital, Louisville;
- TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital, Bowling Green;
- Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mount Vernon;
- Cumberland Lake Regional Hospital, Somerset;
- Kentucky River Medical Center, Jackson; and
- St. Elizabeth Covington Hospital.
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