COVID-19HospitalsRegulatory

As coronavirus patients surge, medical students rushed into practice to fight pandemic

April 1, 2020 / By Kelly Cannon

The United States health care system is mobilizing to triage a public health emergency that is rapidly taking members of its workforce out of the ranks.

Grim projections from the country’s leading health officials over the weekend emphasized the toll the novel coronavirus could have on the U.S. healthcare workforce, one that is buckling under a surge in demand and an inadequate supply of protective gear that is endangering the lives of front-line responders.

At a White House coronavirus task force press briefing Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is possible that 100,000 to 200,000 people in the U.S. will die from the novel coronavirus.

Amid an alarming rise in cases in California where hospitalizations have doubled and ICU admissions have tripled in recent days, Gov. Gavin Newsom launched an initiative Monday aimed at increasing the ranks of the state’s health care workforce in advance of an expected surge in coronavirus patients.

“If you’re a nursing school student, a medical school student, we need you,” Gov. Newsom said at a press conference Monday.

The newly created California Health Corps will recruit health care providers, including medical students nearing completion of their studies, to address what the governor called the “human capital surge” that the state will need to ensure an adequate workforce is available to assist in the state’s pandemic response.

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Chris J. Stewart

Chris currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Surgio Health as well as Chief Operating Officer at Ortho Spine Partners. Prior to that, he was the assistant vice president and business unit leader of Medical Device Management for HealthTrust Purchasing Group (HPG).

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