Oregon National Guard arrives Thursday in Bend to prepare for hospital assignments

Starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, 150 members of the Oregon National Guard will begin to arrive at the Armory at 875 SW Simpson Ave. to prepare for their assignments at St. Charles’ hospitals.

The Guard members, who are coming from all corners of the state, will support the health system in nonclinical roles including screening patients and visitors at entrances, running and stocking supplies, preparing and serving food and assisting patients in roles that do not require licensure.

“We are tremendously grateful for the Oregon National Guard members who are leaving their jobs and families to answer our hospitals’ call for help,” said Joe Sluka, St. Charles’ president and CEO. “While they will not be providing bedside care to patients, they are going to be bridging gaps in staffing elsewhere in the system that are critical to our operations.”

Members of the Guard—which has initially committed to supporting St. Charles through Sept. 30—will start working throughout the health system on Friday, covering both day and night shifts. 

“It’s an honor to serve in our communities, when needed,” said Stephen Bomar, director of public affairs for the Oregon Military Department. “This wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of employers and loved ones.”

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, La Pine, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,600 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.