Topeka hospital takes steps to ensure staffing as COVID, other medical cases increase

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 8:37 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - One Topeka hospital is taking steps to improve staffing as demand increases due to both COVID-19 and other medical patients.

Stormont Vail was caring for 26 COVID-positive in-patients Monday morning. Half of those patients are in intensive care. The number is down from 30 Friday, but still way up from July 6, when they had just four COVID-positive patients in the hospital.

“We are working to get more team members to support our acute care hospital, as we are seeing greater demand for patients ill with COVID-19, along with our usual medical and surgical patients. This is stretching our staffing capabilities,” Dr. Robert Kenagy, Stormont’s President & CEO, said in his message Monday.

Stormont has re-convened its centralized staffing model, which directs more RNs to acute care areas. The health system also is developing a team of Advanced Practice Providers who are voluntarily signing up to provide support to acute care, and recruiting other APPs and RNs through jobs posted at

In addition, they hope to redirect staff assigned solely to their mass vaccine center to acute care areas, now that the vaccine center has closed.

Last week, Stormont re-implemented stricter precautionary measures, including requiring all patients, visitors, team members, volunteers, and vendors entering Stormont facilities to wear medical grade facemasks. People had been allowed to wear their own facemasks for the past several weeks. In addition, no visitors under the age of 12 will be allowed, and all meetings should be conducted virtually.

The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus also reports increases in COVID-positive inpatients. An update on their numbers was not available Monday.

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