On December 29, 2021, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine asked Major General John C. Harris, Jr., Adjutant General, Ohio National Guard (Guard), to mobilize an additional 1,250 members of the Ohio National Guard, bringing the total deployment of Guard members working with Ohio’s healthcare systems to 2,300 members.
“This is not something we take lightly…We are asking them to leave their families, their jobs, and homes. This is a huge sacrifice,” Gov. DeWine said.
Gov. DeWine previously authorized the deployment of 1,050 Guard members on December 17, 2021. Major General Harris said the Guard’s goal is to augment hospitals’ medical staff and wraparound services. Teams including nurses and medics will provide clinical care and non-medical teams will offer support services such as food service, patient transportation within facilities, and administrative support.
Approximately 460 Guard members are deployed in the Cleveland, OH, area; more than 160 in the Toledo, OH, area; about 100 in Columbus, OH, area. Smaller numbers of the Guard members will be deployed in the coming days in Mansfield, Dayton, and Lima, OH, to support hospitals. Guard personnel are also supporting testing sites in Cleveland and Akron, OH.
“The Guard has been indispensable,” said Robert Wyllie, MD, chief medical operations officer at the Cleveland Clinic.
The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Hospital Association are working daily with Ohio hospitals to assess staffing needs to determine the most appropriate support from the Guard.
“Everybody agreed when the decision was made to send the Guard to our hospitals…All the way through this, we are going to be guided by where they are needed most today. It should give people confidence that everybody is on the same page here. Let’s deploy them where they are needed the most,” Gov. DeWine said.