The Montana National Guard’s mission to help Benefis Health System in Great Falls combat COVID-19 ended Sunday.
The Guard members proved to be an invaluable resource in more ways than one. "I think our staff are really grateful for the help,” said Benefis spokesperson Kaci Husted.
Guard members may not have been at Benefis for a long time, but their efforts will not soon be forgotten; Husted said, "They've been great. they've had such positive attitudes. they want to provide value while they're here. They're here to help in anyway that they can."
That help included a variety of tasks, from filling out forms to helping check blood pressures to sanitizing equipment.
"The theme that we're working off of is, this is Montanans helping Montanans,” said Major Dan Bushnell of the Montana National Guard.
Bushnell said he's heard good things about the Guard's work at the hospital: "I do know in talking to their officer in charge, their NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge), they were very pleased with the work they were doing there, very happy to be up there providing assistance to the people of Great Falls and really the state of Montana.”
While the Guard members may be gone for now, they can come back if the hospital feels there is a need again in the future.
Eight Guard members worked at the hospital during the mission.
As of Tuesday, two Guard members were still working at Benefis’ critical access hospital in Choteau.