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Health, Science, Environment

Additional Hospital Staff To Begin Working Monday In Missouri

Nurse Ben Ojie was among the first in the St. Louis region to receive a coronavirus vaccination. Ojie works works in the COVID-19 unit at Mercy South Hospital in south St. Louis County. Monday, December 14, 2020.
File photo / Theo R. Welling
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Special to St. Louis Public Radio
Health care workers are among the first to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Nurse Ben Ojie, who works in the COVID-19 unit at Mercy South Hospital in St. Louis County, got the vaccine Dec. 14.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said additional hospital staff will begin working at six hospital groups on Monday.

This comes after the state recently announced a 12-week contract with health care consultant Vizient, as staffing at hospitals continues to be a struggle due to an influx of coronavirus cases.

There are more than 2,500 patients in the hospital with the coronavirus. More than 600 are in intensive care units, and just over half of them are on ventilators.

“We currently have 117 contracted staff, from ICU registered nurses to respiratory therapists,” said Parson of the employees on the way. “The first group of staff is scheduled to begin on Monday.”

There are six hospital operators that have requested the help: SSM Health, St. Luke's Hospital, MOSAIC Life Care, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, BJC Healthcare and CoxHealth.

“It’s open to anybody that needs it,” Parson said.

According to a press release from the governor's office, the staff includes intensive care unit registered nurses, medical-surgical registered nurses, telemetry registered nurses, respiratory therapists and certified nurse’s aides or patient care technicians.

There are an additional 42 offers pending with staffing agencies and contract employees arriving in Missouri soon, the governor said. The program is being paid for with federal coronavirus funds the state received. The total cost has not yet been disclosed.

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