TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – As hospitals in Topeka are increasingly overwhelmed, United States leaders are looking for ways to help them. On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan) visited Stormont Vail Health to see what problems it is facing, and how the federal government can help.
“Thank you. You’ve done a tremendous job helping lead the country through this and, in particular, have been a great support early on and continuing as we face the big challenges,” said Stormont Vail’s CEO and President Dr. Robert Kenagy to Moran.
With the hospital beds almost full and hundreds of their staff out because of the coronavirus, there are not enough healthcare workers to take care of all the coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients.
A potential plan the federal government is looking into is taking healthcare workers from military and Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals to help in Topeka and other struggling hospitals.
“It needs to be a thoughtful decision. Is there a capability to share doctors and nurses and other healthcare providers?” Moran said. “It is not going to be the solution to our problem, but it may be able to help.”
These military and VA hospitals are also seeing an increase in patients, so leadership is still deciding if this would be possible, said Moran, who is the chair of the United States Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
As for now, Moran encouraged every one to follow the health guidelines.
“If you want to have a hospital like Stormont Vail available, with the personnel to meet your needs, to treat you and care for you, it is so important that you do everything that you can to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Moran said.
Including spending Thanksgiving safely and only with members of your home to reduce the spread, he said.