KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – As hospitalizations level off and death rates increase in Northeast Tennessee, National Guard troops have been called on to fill key positions in healthcare systems in the region.
According to Lt. Colonel Keith Evans, deputy commander for National Guard Clinical Services, nearly every eligible service member has been mobilized to support providers in their fight against the pandemic.
Evans said National Guard troops have been in use since March of 2020, but are being called up statewide due to a lack of critical hospital staff.
To combat shortages locally, 10 additional personnel were routed to Holston Valley Medical Center alongside the 20 currently serving at Johnson City Medical Center.
Outside of the Ballad Healthcare system, Evans said over 150 service members are spread throughout East Tennessee.