Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jordan Rasmusson (R)

Back to profile

National Guard deployed to Fergus Falls’ PioneerCare

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

ST. PAUL – PioneerCare in Fergus Falls is among the state’s first three long-term care facilities receiving deployments of Minnesota National Guard skilled-nursing response teams to mitigate long-term staffing shortages.

State Rep. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls, said he has been communicating with the Minnesota Department of Health and local long-term care providers over past months in search of solutions to ease the strain caregivers are suffering amid COVID-19.

“I appreciate the National Guard stepping up to support us and commend members of the Guard and the Department of Health for coordinating this relief effort,” Rasmusson said. “Our long-term care workers have been strained for nearly two years. Improvements to help mitigate the shortage of caregivers in our state should be a top priority for the Legislature when we reconvene. We need to make sure this vital industry is able to deliver the care our loved ones need, while also providing support caregivers need to do their important jobs.”

Rasmusson said PioneerCare, along with facilities in Onamia and New Hope, are serving as pilot projects to get National Guard response teams up and running on two-week deployments. Others sites around the state are expected to soon follow, Rasmusson indicated. 

State officials report approximately 400 National Guard members have been trained as certified nursing assistants and temporary nursing aides and will deploy as response teams to qualifying Minnesota long-term care facilities. The National Guard has nearly 600 service members supporting COVID-19 operations across the state. In addition to the support at long-term care facilities, they are providing testing support at six COVID-19 community-based testing sites.

In addition, Rasmusson said a new state initiative is planned to add 1,000 new certified nursing assistants for Minnesota long-term care facilities experiencing staffing shortages by the end of January.