oregon state hospital
The money is earmarked to pay for 30 members of the National Guard to serve meals and care for patients at its Salem campus this summer.
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Lawmakers have dedicated extra money to cover a demand for Medicaid and there's new money for behavioral health care, an area that's been neglected for years.
The board, which makes recommendations on patient safety and care, says it has questions about staffing levels and the role of the National Guard.
Critics say the administration has failed to address long-term problems and listen to what staff have to say.
A spokeswoman said this was the first time since January that employees didn't have to work overtime to staff all shifts because 24 managers and employees volunteered to work.
Oregon State Hospital leaders have still received no response on deploying the National Guard to aid with a staffing crisis, but the Oregon Office of Emergency Management is seeking civilians to help.
Activating the National Guard was the final step in a five-stage crisis staffing plan hospital administrators developed last fall after a COVID outbreak on the hospital campus left more employees unable to work.
“I think morale is very low,” said recent retiree Roberta O’Dell. “I’ve seen a lot of changes at that hospital, and these are not good.”