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State of Washington requests federal resources to support hospital surge efforts

Washington hospitals and health care workers are under tremendous strain as a result of staffing shortages and increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients. On Monday, September 20th, Washington Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah requested medical staff and other resources to support hospitals and long-term care facilities statewide.

From a September 21, 2021, Washington State Department of Health press release.

Like most health care systems nationwide, Washington hospitals and health care workers are under tremendous strain as a result of staffing shortages and increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.

In alignment with Governor Jay Inslee, Secretary of Health Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, submitted to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra a request for medical staff and other resources to support hospitals and long-term care facilities statewide.

These resources would be in addition to contracted staffing resources that may become available through a General Services Administration (GSA) contracting process, initiated by the Department of Health (DOH) earlier this month.

“At the state level, we have taken aggressive steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to support our healthcare system,” said Dr. Shah.

He went on to say, “We know that COVID-19 patients, those seeking care for other medical reasons, along with staff shortages, have all put stress on our current hospital system. DOH is seeking additional federal resources to support our healthcare providers and remains hopeful that the federal government will support our community through this difficult time.”

The Department of Health has also sent out notice seeking licensed healthcare practitioners and retired medical professionals to consider volunteering to support hospital surge and COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Licensed healthcare practitioners, from either in or out-of-state, can register in Washington as emergency volunteers

Retired medical professionals can volunteer to administer COVID-19 vaccines under the PREP Act.

The Department of Health is currently working to fill more than 900 requests for volunteers in 15 counties.

Please visit the the Department of Health emergency volunteer page to learn more and register as a volunteer.

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