Pictured Above: PFC Bradley Lantz as he helps Heron resident at the drive-up antigen testing location at CFVH.
On September 23rd, CFVH requested assistance from the Montana National Guard to support hospital operations as we began seeing high volumes of patients needing hospitalization due to Covid-19 and unprecedented use of our drive-up antigen testing service. The numbers of our patients have put stress on our ability to provide routine tasks usually done by our support departments.
The request was granted and four guard members arrived on October 1st to support our care teams for 15 days.
These individuals are assisting us in a variety of departments including: Nutrition Services, Environmental Services, the Laboratory and Long Term Care. Their presence has been greatly appreciated as they are helping with essential services like floor care and working as the intermediary between the antigen testing site and the lab. Our laboratory has completed almost 1,600 antigen tests since August and already over 225 antigen tests in the month of October. It has been a great community service to local residents needing quick insight as to whether their symptoms are covid related or if they can safely return to school or work.
Gregory S. Hanson, MD
Clark Fork Valley Hospital
Special thank you to each of the Montana National Guard members:
SPC Crystal Curry, Thompson Falls resident has been part of the National Guard for 12 years. Recent assignments included this summer’s fire detail and helping in Helena at a warehouse where she helped assemble Covid-19 PPE kits. Curry also worked at the hospital for three years so it was a seamless transition to have her help in the Dietary Department during this current assignment.
PFC Bradley Lantz, Thompson Falls resident has been part of the National Guard for 1 year. He plans on going back to college in the Fall to get a degree in Business Administration. Helping at CFVH is his second assignment after working on a fire detail and the Thorne Creek Fire in Thompson Falls this summer. Lantz is assisting our Laboratory department with the drive-up antigen testing service. He greets community members as they arrive, ensures they complete the necessary registration forms and testing, and then takes the collected sample to the lab where it can be analyzed.
SFC Elijah Hanson, Kalispell resident has been part of the National Guard for 6 years. He has been on other Covid assignments already and says, “We are here to support in any way possible. It instills community pride and we are here to help Montanans.” Hanson works for Applied Materials, a materials engineering firm that provides technology solutions out of Kalispell. Hanson is helping with floor maintenance and our Environmental Services team to ensure CFVH can maintain cleaning protocols that ramped up once Covid hit.
PFC Cameron Stearns, Hot Springs resident has been part of the National Guard for 1.5 years and this is his first assignment. He will most likely be headed to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula next to keep assisting Montana hospitals in need during the pandemic. Stearns joins CFVH from Helena where he is a Federal Technician who works on military vehicles. Stearns is also assisting our Environmental Services team as needed.