SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, CoxHealth is creating new, temporary support positions for college students in healthcare programs.

Temporary opportunities are now available to health care students at all levels. Vice President of Human Resources, Andy Hedgpeth, says this is a great opportunity for students.

“This is a great way to expose people to the health system and healthcare industry and what they are going to be doing on a daily basis,” said Hedgpeth

There is a healthcare worker shortage not only in Missouri but across the country. Hedgpeth says this is not only a unique opportunity for students but also helps with staffing shortages.

“If we look nationally and even in our state there are a number of healthcare institutions that are struggling to keep up with capacity right now,” said Hedgpeth. “There are also sick healthcare workers.”

Hedgpeth says there is no better time to come together and support one another. COVID-19 is entering its third year and healthcare workers have been fighting and protecting the community since day one.

“We rally as a team for our communities and that’s part of our culture,” said Hedgpeth.

However, with another COVID-19 surge in the midst, healthcare workers are tired.

“Obviously, our workers are tired,” said Hedgpeth. “They have been going really strong and really hard for two solid years. We all hoped we wouldn’t be here at this point. What I know about our employees is that they are as strong as they come.”

CoxHealth President and CEO, Steve Edwards tweeted the following statement Thursday as COVID-19 numbers rise:

Missouri’s state of emergency ended on December 31. Governor Parson said, in a press release, “Thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccine, widespread efforts to mitigate the virus, and our committed health care professionals, past needs to continue the state of emergency are no longer present.”

“We are putting out our best effort that we are here for our community,” said Hedgpeth.