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NEWS | Nov. 23, 2021

Minnesota National Guard to support health care facilities

By Sgt. Bob Brown, Minnesota National Guard

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Gov. Tim Walz has activated the Minnesota National Guard to serve as skilled-nursing “rapid response teams” to support health care facilities experiencing severe staffing shortages.

“Our force is highly adaptive and with training will assist Minnesota’s health care community in responding to health care staffing shortages,” said Army Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, the Minnesota National Guard’s adjutant general.

Over seven days, 400 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen will train as certified nursing assistants and temporary nursing aides to support this activation. The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota National Guard medical staff will provide the training.

“One of the Minnesota National Guard’s pillars is people as they are our most valuable resource,” said Manke. “We acknowledge that we share this resource with employers, and we know these activations can disrupt their businesses and organizations. We appreciate the employers of our Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen, as we could not conduct our federal, state and community missions without their support.”

“We thank our military families for their service, too, as we know they have to adjust their lives when activations occur,” said Manke.

Since mid-October, more than 70 service members have supported COVID-19 community-based testing in Stillwater, Crookston, Hutchinson, Inver Grove Heights, Wadena and Hibbing. Since the beginning of November, nearly 50 Guard members have supported transition care units in Shakopee, Brainerd and St. Paul.