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Doctors swarm to their patients while nurses scramble in every direction to other patients who are struggling just to catch their breath. Bed after hospital bed is filled with patients showing symptoms of COVID-19. Paramedics rush to their ambulances to assist what sounds like another coronavirus case. Somewhere, in another part of the city, organized alternative healthcare facilities have been built and are waiting to be filled with doctors and patients. 

Missouri’s response to filling these alternative healthcare facilities is asking medical students and anyone with a medical background to consider applying for various healthcare positions through the state to help combat the coronavirus. On April 13, the University sent out an email from the State of Missouri asking for anyone with a background in healthcare to apply for a healthcare position and to contact Human Resources at Northwest for more information.

Krista Barcus, director of Human Resources, said the call for healthcare workers is done entirely through the state, including payment. Northwest has no part in helping find healthcare workers aside from sending out the email for the state and providing information to applicants.

“A lot of times, when there are crises like this … we do see that in certain cases, depending on industry or what the crisis, is that the State of Missouri will do a … call for help for a certain position or certain job that they may need,” Barcus said.

Barcus said the way the process works is individuals can apply for positions listed on the Missouri One Start website that is linked to the email sent out by the University. After they apply and the state deems that they have met all of the requirements, the individual’s name is put into a pool for the local area. When or if the state needs someone to fill a certain position, the state will pull names from that pool to be sent to the closest alternative healthcare facility.

“As the employer, we’re not involved at all other than just sending that information out,” Barcus said. 

As of April 16, Barcus said in an email to The Missourian, no one has reached out to Human Resources with interest in applying. 

Barcus said employees and students are welcome to contact Human Resources with any questions they may have about applying or the process of being hired by the state.

On the Missouri One Start website, there is a condensed job application that individuals can fill out directly on the website. As mentioned in the Northwest email, applicants may not be contacted right away, but their help may be needed at a later date. 

Executive Medical Director of Wellness Services Gerald Wilmes said as of April 17, none of the workers at the Wellness Center had expressed any interest in applying. 

Wilmes said students who wish to apply for one of the positions offered by Missouri to help out in the alternative healthcare facilities would have to speak to their professors and advisers about what their schedules would look like.

Wilmes also said the Wellness Center is keeping in contact with the city and with Mosaic in case they need any help.

“We want to be able to partner — whether it is with the city, with the local healthcare community, with the State. … We stay in regular contact with the public health department here in Nodaway County,” Wilmes said.


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