INDIANAPOLIS — There is an urgent call for Hoosiers to help front-line workers in the fight against COVID-19.
Indiana established a healthcare workforce reserve back in March, and now it has started a second callout.
After the state sent out its first survey for reserves, 15,000 Hoosiers stepped forward. Late last week, Indiana sent out a second survey as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reached levels like never before during the pandemic.
“We are happy we had reinforcement, but we need more,” said Hannah Maxey, director of Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy.
The Bowen Center is tasked with collecting information from potential healthcare volunteers. They then share that information with hospitals or long-term care facilities in need of more staff.
As of Tuesday, Maxey said more than 3,800 people have signed up during the second callout.
“Our hospitals were having more patients coming in their doors, and we were hitting our next wave,” said Maxey. “We knew we needed more reserves.”
Since March, Maxey said more than 130 facilities have requested workforce help. She explained roughly 40% of those requests came in just the last week and a half.
“The amount of hard work and long hours that long-term care professionals have put in are taking their toll,” said Zach Cattell, president of the Indiana Health Care Association. IHCA represents long-term care facilities.
Many reservists are helping long-term care centers. Survey responses are matched with a requestor’s specific personnel needs. The Bowen Center will match requestor’s needs with available personnel.
“It speaks to the good, time-tested Hoosier spirit,” said Cattell. “Folks want to help when others are in need, and we are seeing that here.”
The Bowen Center believes they will have a lot of other needs that will continue into the future, such as registering individuals for COVID-19 testing and registration for vaccines.
If you are a licensed healthcare professional, a healthcare student, or a healthcare facility in need, please fill out this form.