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Admissions remain on hold at Catawba Hospital as leaders urgently look to fill positions

Other hospitals have been helping fill coverage gaps in the meantime

A crisis in mental health care is forcing Virginia to stop accepting new patients at five state institutions.
A crisis in mental health care is forcing Virginia to stop accepting new patients at five state institutions.

CATAWBA, Va. – It’s been two weeks since staff at Catawba Hospital were able to take in a new patient.

“Yesterday, with five of our hospitals closed, we only had six people in the Commonwealth on a waiting list,” said Catawba Hospital Director Charles Law.

Catawba Hospital is one of five institutions across the state that is currently unable to take new patients because of staffing issues.

“We just can’t get people to come to the door,” Law said.

Right now, the hospital is down about 30 positions and is having a hard time getting people interested in applying.

“We, like I think every other business sector, whether it be restaurants or hospitality services and certainly hospitals across America, aren’t seeing the same worker come in the door and look for a job,” Law said.

In the meantime, public safety leaders are working with other hospitals to make up for the lack of coverage.

“I really want to pray is Carilion LewisGale Blue Ridge behavioral health, all our regional partners, law enforcement, everybody is working together, extremely well,” Law said.

The hospital is slated to have several job fairs in the future, one of which is next month, in hopes of hiring more employees. It also plans on contracting workers to help temporarily cover unfilled positions.

But until new staff arrives, it will continue to serve those who need urgent medical attention.

“We do wonderful work with people who really need that service they need people’s care, loving hands, loving hearts,” Law said.


About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.