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UR Medicine implements ‘creative’ solutions to staff shortages

University of Rochester Medical Center

The University of Rochester Medical Center warned Thursday that the public should expect some of the hospital system's care locations to close temporarily or consolidate due to staffing shortages brought on by the pandemic and vaccine mandates.

URMC said in a statement that the hospital system is asking employees from multiple departments to provide administrative support for clinical operations.

Administrative staff from the School of Nursing, for instance, were asked to volunteer at the hospital.

"We will begin to train staff members who volunteered to serve in non-clinical roles in the next few days so we can continue to provide care to our community," the statement read.

Strong Memorial Hospital had already paused all elective and semi-elective surgeries and procedures due to the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, and the lack of beds.

The statement also said that URMC expects all health care systems to be stressed as the omicron surge peaks.

"Our community should expect to see more creative staffing solutions, temporary closures and/or consolidations of care locations -- steps that will help to maintain essential care for patients and non-essential services to the greatest extent possible."

Racquel Stephen is a health and environment reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
David Andreatta is investigations editor. He joined the WXXI family in 2019 after 11 years with the Democrat and Chronicle, where he was a news columnist and investigative reporter known for covering a range of topics, from the deadly serious to the cheeky.