OAHHS Hospital Voice Fall/Winter 2021-22

24 » A magazine for and about Oregon Community Hospitals. ALL HANDS ON DECK Hospitals show gratitude to staff, use creativity to survive worker shortage. By Dave Northfield For everyone working in a hospital during the darkest days of the Delta surge, one thing was clear. The capacity crisis was about staff, not stuff. While access to care during the first COVID surge was affected by the supply shortage, especially PPE, access issues during the summer heading into the fall were driven by the workforce shortage. “Our system was at the breaking point,” said Becky Hultberg, OAHHS President and CEO. Fortunately for Oregonians, the system did not break, thanks to incredibly hardworking employees and leadership at the facility and HR level. “We have gotten pretty creative, I have to say,” said Ginny Williams, CEO of Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach. “We have not stood on the corner and said woe is us, the sky is falling, and we’re never going to make it out, but we have really focused on recognition, retention, and recruitment.” As November began, Curry General, a critical access hospital in