FOLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley hosted a job fair Wednesday. It’s something they do every year but this year may be more important than ever.

“Get those licenses out, dust em off and come back to work,” said retired radiologist Tony Adams. He was just one of the hundreds looking to either return to the medical profession or start a new career.

“I interviewed with HR,” said Sabrina Terrell. “I come back tomorrow for a drug screen, they offered a rate of pay and I accepted it.”

South Baldwin Regional Medical Center is not unlike other hospitals across the country. After two years of COVID-19, finding and keeping employees has become another challenge for healthcare professionals.

“I think COVID has taken its toll on healthcare providers and we like everybody else has experienced that exodus in healthcare providers across the spectrum,” said CEO Margaret Roley.

This annual job fair, always around the time of nursing school graduation, hopes to fill positions now and in the months ahead as the footprint of the hospital expands. The hospital is adding a new five-story patient tower and renovations in and outside.

“The growth in Baldwin County just the access to healthcare needs right now are tremendous and we are responding to our community by hiring and absolutely we will be ramping up over the next 18 months,” said Roley.

For those looking for a place to land in the medical profession, the timing couldn’t be better. “You can take care of patients and you can work in healthcare anywhere but who you work with and the team you work with makes it worthwhile,” said nurse Kristy Jones.

If you missed the job fair, positions available at the hospital are listed online and constantly updated.