Boone Memorial Hospital Welcomes Support from West Virginia National Guard
Boone Memorial Hospital (BMH) is one of several West Virginia hospitals to welcome assistance from the West Virginia National Guard. Four Soldiers and one Airman from the West Virginia National Guard began working at BMH last week as part of the Guard’s COVID-19 response mission to healthcare facilities across the state.
Maj. Gen. William “Bill” Crane, West Virginia National Guard adjutant general, committed up to 350 Airmen and Soldiers to provide hospital assistance in response to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s Jan. 12, 2022 directive. Members of the West Virginia National Guard are currently serving at 39 healthcare facilities in West Virginia.
"We have the utmost respect and appreciation for the West Virginia National Guard for providing this support to healthcare facilities and to the Soldiers and Airman who are serving at BMH," said BMH Chief Executive Officer Virgil Underwood. "Medical personnel across the country have been challenged over the last couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While they remain resilient, they are tired. The help provided by the West Virginia National Guard gives our hospital employees a morale boost and much-needed reprieve," Underwood said. "We thank them for their service to our hospital, patients, and our country."
"Between the strain the COVID-19 pandemic has generally placed on our workforce and the increased number of staff quarantined since the rise of the Omicron variant, this assistance comes at a much-needed time,” said BMH Chief Nursing Officer Terri Castle, RN, BSN.
"These Soldiers and Airman are handling a range of tasks," said Castle. "Some activities include screening and transporting patients, assisting with COVID-19 testing, patient registration, and working in specific departments. They are willing to fill any immediate need we may have which is within the scope of their training. Even though their time here is limited, they are now part of the Boone Memorial Hospital family," Castle concluded.
On Jan. 31, West Virginia Air National Guard Maj. Tammy Khounlavong made a site-visit to BMH to evaluate the Soldiers' and Airman's work areas. Members of the BMH leadership team held a Meet & Greet to welcome Maj. Khounlavong and facilitate tours of the facilities.
"The West Virginia National Guard is excited to assist Boone Memorial Hospital in providing support for their team of healthcare workers as the COVID-19 response efforts continue throughout the State,” said Khounlavong. “The motto of the West Virginia Air National Guard, 'Always Ready, Always There,' once again rings true as members of the Guard step up to support the community at Boone Memorial Hospital."
Photo 1 (Left to Right): Ray Harrell, Boone Memorial Hospital General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer; Virgil Underwood, Boone Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer; Maj. Tammy Khounlavong, West Virginia Air National Guard; TSgt (Technical Sergeant) Erik Lilly, West Virginia Air National Guard, and Terri Castle, RN, Boone Memorial Hospital Chief Nursing Officer.
Photo 4 (Left to Right): Ray Harrell, Boone Memorial Hospital General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer; SPC (Specialist) Caleb White, West Virginia Air National Guard; Kimberly M. Lowe, MT (ASCP), Boone Memorial Hospital Laboratory Manager; Maj. Tammy Khounlavong, West Virginia Air National Guard; TSgt (Technical Sergeant) Erik Lilly, West Virginia Air National Guard; Terri Castle, RN, Boone Memorial Hospital Chief Nursing Officer, and Kevin Musilli, Boone Memorial Hospital Chief Clinical Services Officer.