HARRISBURG, Pa. - As the world continues on in the fight against an invisible enemy, the Pennsylvania Department of State said Wednesday that it is looking to bring back retired healthcare workers to fight COVID-19.
The announcement applies to medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine, registered nurses, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse practitioners and pharmacists.
"Certainly, there are retired physicians, nurses, caregivers that have a tremendous amount of experience and skills," said Dr. Peter Dillon, executive vice president of Penn State Health, which owns and operates St. Joseph Medical Center in Bern Township.
Dillon said Penn State Health has been an advocate for this measure, and it's already seeing interest.
"We're starting to get some phone calls from physicians that I'm familiar with who've called and said they would like to volunteer to come back," said Dillon.
Of course, there's the concern that many of the retired health care workers are in the high-risk category. Many are over the age of 70 and have since developed new health problems. Dillon said anyone who steps forward should think long and hard about the decision to come back.
"This in no way is a demand or a draft," said Dillon. "It's one where those who are calling us saying they want to volunteer to come back, we'll say, 'Great, let's talk about it.'"