GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH) – Even though COVID-19 numbers are improving, central Ohio hospitals are still dealing with staffing challenges.

One central Ohio hospital group is now getting help from some familiar faces.

At the peak of the pandemic earlier this winter, Ohio National Guard members were deployed to hospitals around the state to help out.

About 200 guardsmen helped the Mount Carmel Health System.

One of those guard members, Michael Essilfi, worked in supplies, making sure Mount Carmel Grove City’s hospital rooms were stocked with everything they needed.

“I was looking at the bigger picture of, ‘Hey, I’m here to, like, help people, so whatever you guys need me to do to help, I’ll do it,'” Essilfi said. “So that’s what kept me moving.”

And while the guard’s deployment is over, Essilfi is still working at the hospital.

Because of his desire to help, how much he enjoyed the work, and the connections he felt with patients, Essilfi applied to keep working at the hospital.

This is his first week on the job as a multi-skilled technician supporting nurses and patients.

“So, like, just helping people when the need arises, yeah, something on my heart, so it wasn’t, like, a hard choice for me, like, just step out of my comfort zone and do it,” Essilfi said.

In order to take his new position, Essilfi, who eventually wants to become a nurse, left his moving company job and applied at Mount Carmel. His new position comes as hospitals continue to deal with staffing shortages.

“It just clicked that, like, oh, these patients just want somebody to talk to so I just feel like I can be that person,” Essilfi said.

Essilfi is one of five guardsmen who have been hired in the Mount Carmel system, with more going through the application process.