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National Guard arrives at Maine health care facilities

Over 160 Maine National Guard members arrived at facilities across the state on Thursday morning.

MAINE, USA — More members of the Maine National Guard are now working at hospitals and other health care facilities across the state. 

Late last week, Gov. Janet Mills deployed 169 members of the Guard to 16 health care facilities. That includes Central Maine Medical Center, where 15 members of the Guard will be joining the others who are already making an impact and five guardsmen will be working in Central Maine Healthcare's long-term care facilities.

"When they first get here, it's kind of a little overwhelming in the beginning. But once they get their feet wet, they're ready to jump right in and help out the hospital staff," Capt. Joseph White, overseeing the health care mission for the Maine Air National Guard, said.

He added that a lot of his team is enjoying the work.

"Being a part of the Guard, you don't get missions a lot that require you to go out in the community and help out your fellow Mainers. So this has just been a big eye-opener to everyone who is on this mission," he said.

Thirty guardsmen are also joining the team at Maine Medical Center.

"They're going to be supporting us in non-clinical roles to ensure that our care team has the tools that they need to best take care of our patients," Marilyn Flanders, a registered nurse at Maine Medical Center, said. 

Some of those non-clinical roles include cleaning rooms and offering companionship and other support to non-COVID patients.

Stephens would like to extend a warm and grateful welcome to the National Guard troops who arrived on campus this...

Posted by Stephens Memorial Hospital (Maine) on Thursday, January 20, 2022

In a press release last week, Gov. Janet Mills said she is thankful for the Maine National Guard and urged Mainers to do their part and get vaccinated and boosted, writing in part, "Doing so may save your life, or it may save a child too young to be vaccinated. And it will certainly spare our health care workers and National Guard members."

In addition to assisting at hospitals, some members of the Guard will also be helping at nursing homes, which will allow these care facilities to add more beds and serve more patients.

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