Missouri pays for more employees to be hired at understaffed hospitals overwhelmed by pandemic


ST. LOUIS – Missouri has hired Vizient, Incorporated to provide temporary workers and additional beds for hospitals in the state overrun with coronavirus patients. State health officials discovered hundreds of workers may be hired at hospitals across Missouri.

Vizient is a health care service company headquartered in Irving, Texas and some of the workers are from out-of-state. Missouri Governor Mike Parson says the state has contracted with Vizient to provide 196 workers; hundreds more could be on the way. They are doing a variety of jobs including nurses, nursing aids, patient care technicians, and respiratory therapists.

BJC HealthCare says it has 55 Vizient workers. SSM Health says 37 Vizient employees are at its local hospitals. Mercy is not participating in the state plan and has done its own hiring. Numbers of Vizient employees at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield were not immediately available.

The state says the 12-week partnership with Vizient will run through February but could be extended. Governor Parson says the state will use federal funds to help pay for the temporary workers hospitals will pick up some of the costs.

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