INDIANAPOLIS (August 24, 2022) —The Indiana Hospital Association (IHA) has honored the Indiana National Guard for their unwavering support during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
During one of the most trying times in health care history, more than 1,500 Indiana National Guard members spent nearly three months assisting health care workers in hospitals and nursing homes across the state.
“Hospitalizations were at an all-time high during the months the National Guard stepped in to assist," said IHA President Brian Tabor. “Health care workers were physically and mentally exhausted and the Guard's arrival was like watching the cavalry come around the corner. Their hard work and willingness to help provided much needed relief to our frontline caregivers."
By the end of Jan. 2022, the Indiana National Guard had provided over 52,000 total support hours at 58 hospitals across the state, from rural facilities to urban safety net hospitals.
IHA presented the Indiana National Guard with a board resolution thanking them for their service to hospitals, along with a $50,000 donation from member hospitals and the Hahn Foundation to the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund (INGRF), which supports Hoosier guard families during deployment.
“The Indiana National Guard Relief Fund has served our active guard members since 2003 thanks to the generous donors in our amazing state," said Marla Miller, INGRF coordinator. “Because of organizations like IHA and its member hospitals, we are able to protect our service members from financial hardships and build programming to assist them in suicide prevention, sexual assault awareness, youth and children programming, and survivor outreach."
IHA Board Chairman Brad Smith, president and CEO of Rush Memorial Hospital, said he is thankful for the Indiana National Guard's steadfast commitment that brought much needed relief to Indiana hospitals during a very critical time.
“Words cannot express the overwhelming sense of joy and gratefulness the staff experienced seeing the National Guard walk through our doors ready to help," Smith said. “I want to commend the National Guard for everything they did during the pandemic. They stepped in to aid those who typically do the healing and this allowed us to provide the best care to our patients and our communities—they were all angels on earth."