ST. CLOUD -- Several members of the National Guard were given care baskets as a thank you for their unexpected service and care.

St. Cloud Technical and Community College handed out holiday care baskets to 13 members of the National Guard Sunday. The group had been taking courses at SCTCC to become a Nursing Assistants to provide additional aid at area hospitals.

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The idea surfaced after a Paynesville couple (who wanted to remain anonymous) wanted to show their appreciation for the care they had received while at St. Cloud Hospital from the guard members.

They provided excellent care. We saw firsthand the shortages of staff and the experience of families not able to follow their loved ones into acute settings. We realize the National Guard are being called to serve in ways they likely never imagined.

Through the couples donation, and partnership with the SCTCC Foundation and Coborns, the care package were handed out as the guard members left SCTCC to prepare for their new assignment.

SCTCC President Annesa Cheek says it was an honor to thank the men and women who are stepping up to serve under-staffed health care centers.

Right now, our country is in desperate need of individuals who possess the skills they have recently acquired through our Nursing Assistant program and during this season of giving, when they will be away from their families, we couldn't imagine sending them off empty handed.

The Guard members became qualified Nursing Assistants through and intensive 9-day course, normally completed over eight weeks.

A pair of guard members were sent to help at Onamia and Fergus Falls health care facilities. The remaining members are expected to received their assignments soon.

SCTCC was chosen to begin training 20 more National Guard members to be CNAs for emergency deployment by December 17th.


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