Members of the Minnesota National Guard, activated by Gov. Tim Walz Nov. 18, 2021, to support health care facilities experiencing severe staffing shortages, train as certified nursing assistants and temporary nursing aides.
Members of the Minnesota National Guard, activated by Gov. Tim Walz Nov. 18, 2021, to support health care facilities experiencing severe staffing shortages, train as certified nursing assistants and temporary nursing aides. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Bob Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Governor Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard on Nov. 18th to serve as skilled-nursing “rapid response teams” to support healthcare facilities experiencing severe staffing shortages.

“Our force is highly adaptive and with training will assist Minnesota’s healthcare community in responding to healthcare staffing shortages,” said Army Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, the Minnesota National Guard’s Adjutant General.

Over the next seven days, 400 Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen will train as certified nursing assistants and temporary nursing aides to support this activation. The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota National Guard medical staff will provide the training.

“One of the Minnesota National Guard’s pillars is people as they are our most valuable resource,” said Manke. “We acknowledge that we share this resource with employers, and we know these activations can disrupt their businesses and organizations. We appreciate the employers of our Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen, as we could not conduct our federal, state, and community missions without their support.”

“We thank our military families for their service, too, as we know they have to adjust their lives when activations occur,” said Manke. Since mid-October, more than 70 service members have supported COVID-19 community-based testing at locations in Stillwater, Crookston, Hutchinson, Inver Grove Heights, Wadena, and Hibbing. Since the beginning of November, nearly 50 Guard members have supported transition care units at sites in Shakopee, Brainerd, and St. Paul.

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