TEXARKANA, Texas -- The CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System recently received state aid in the form of nurses and respiratory therapists to help fight the ongoing COVID-19 surge.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has sent 30 registered nurses and four respiratory therapists from around the country to the Texarkana hospital system.
Dr. Louise Thornell, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, said most of the nurses are from Florida and a few are from Idaho.
"Governor Abbott has allocated resources for the hospital," Thornell said. "They partnered with a vendor to hire the nurses to assist with the crisis staffing. There's allocations to the different facilities, and these are the allocations that we have."
CHRISTUS had a number of medical professionals sent over last year to assist during the pandemic. The last of that group left in December.
"We expect this to be short-term support as we are dealing with our surge in this community," Thornell said. "The need is driven by different factors. Our team needed support due to a higher number of cases. We also have a number of vacancies, and we have sickness within our own staff. So, multiple factors contribute to this need."
The nurses are being housed at a local hotel.
"I want to thank and acknowledge our staff who are working with this tremendous workload and supporting our patient care in this time of surge," Thornell said.