Kentucky National Guard gets to work at Louisville, Elizabethtown hospitals

The Guard members arrived Tuesday and said their mission is the same as always: to help others.
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 1:12 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 3:28 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky National Guard is being deployed to two dozens hospitals across Kentucky, including two hospitals in Louisville and one in Elizabethtown.

The Guard members arrived Tuesday to Baptist Health Hardin, Baptist Health Louisville and UofL Health.

Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Keating is leading the Louisville group and said the mission is the same as always: to help others.

“I’m from Kentucky. This is just Kentuckians helping Kentuckians.” Keating said.

Keating was among 45 members of the Kentucky Air National Guard that arrived at Baptist Health Louisville Tuesday. They will be assisting with non-clinical functions like door screening, food delivery, security and transportation.

Fifteen Guardsmen and women were deployed to UofL Hospital and Baptist Health Hardin each.

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Fifteen Guardsmen and women were deployed to UofL Hospital and Baptist Health Hardin each.

“Obviously we’ve deployed over seas multiple times, all over the world,” said Keating, “but when it hits closer to home, it really feels good to help out brothers and sisters.”

According to Gov. Andy Beshear’s office, nearly two of every three hospitals in Kentucky (60 out of 96) are experiencing critical staffing shortages, and fewer than 100 ICU beds are available statewide. That’s where the Guard comes in, trying to do whatever they can to lift burdens and lift spirits.

“This really breaks down to service before self,” Chief Master Sgt. Steven Best said. “We’re committed to not only helping our nation, and other nations, but our home state.”

More than 400 Guardsmen and women have been deployed to 25 hospitals statewide.

“I’ve never have so many people thank me as soon as I came in the door in my life,” First Lt. Bradley Domers said. “But, throughout this entire process they’ve been helping us get along, making sure we get settled and make sure this process is as facilitating for us as it is for themselves.”

Baptist Health Hardin officials told WAVE 3 News the expectation is to have guard members present at the hospitals for two weeks.

Here is a full list of hospitals getting assistance from the National Guard:

  • T.J. 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;
  • Middlesboro ARH Hospital;
  • Harlan ARH Hospital;
  • Mercy Health - Lourdes Hospital, Paducah;
  • UofL Hospital, Louisville;
  • TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital, Bowling Green;
  • Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mount Vernon;
  • Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, Somerset;
  • Kentucky River Medical Center, Jackson; and
  • St. Elizabeth Covington Hospital.
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