Lexington Hospital To Receive National Guard Help, As Reserve Force Expands To 25 Facilities

Sep 9, 2021

Kentucky is readying a major expansion of its National Guard presence in hospitals, as the COVID-19 surge wears healthcare staff dangerously thin.

Brigadier General Bryan Howay addresses the governor's Thursday briefing on September 9, 2021.

"I think in a healthcare crisis, this is the most significant deployment that we've ever seen," Gov. Andy Beshear said, describing the deployment during his Thursday briefing.

Guard teams have been helping out with administrative duties at four struggling hospitals in the state, with the goal of freeing up more staff to work with patients. But Brigadier General Bryan Howay says the Guard's footprint will soon be much larger.

"We'll be sending in 310 additional Army and Air folks to 21 additional hospitals, taking us over 400 guardsmen total," he detailed.

And the extra help will be headed to at least one local hospital, Baptist Health Lexington.

As for future deployments, the governor says he anticipates the state will be able to move the hundreds of Guard members already called up to areas of greatest need.