Oregon takes step to strengthen healthcare workforce

SOUTHERN OREGON, —State health officials are working to strengthen the healthcare workforce, which has been strained during this pandemic. Oregon has extended the contracts of around 1,000 crisis response and other medical personnel.

This applies to understaffed hospitals statewide. Employment contracts that were originally set to expire Monday, have now been extended through mid-January.

The OHA says the state has spent more than $140 million to support healthcare workers. Governor Brown’s contract extension covers a wide range of healthcare services.

Jackson County Public Health says it has used the extra help it received, for distributing COVID-19 vaccines.

“To see that contract has been extended is a sigh of relief because we can finish vaccination sites that are in place, we can continue to provide vaccinations for home-bound individuals,” Tanya Phillips with Jackson County Public Health.

Jogan Staffing is one of the staffing agencies that employ medical professionals whose contracts are being extended.

A local Providence spokeswoman tells us it has five health care workers from Jogan.  We haven’t heard back yet from Asante, to see if they’re affected.

Providence says the deployment of the National Guard members at its Medford location was also extended. It says it’s grateful for the extra help.

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Jenna King is the 6pm anchor and our Feature Reporter at 10pm and 11pm for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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