As part of its global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, International Medical Corps has deployed emergency medical field units, personal protective equipment (PPE) and volunteer clinicians to Flushing Hospital Medical Center and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. The hospitals, both part of the MediSys Health Network, are not-for-profit teaching hospitals that each have served the community of Queens for more than a century. Both now find themselves in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Medical Corps field units enable hospitals to expand the available triage and treatment space at existing facilities, improve patient flow and keep COVID-19 patients separated from other patients. Depending on the configuration chosen, hospitals can potentially treat hundreds of extra patients per day with the field units, which can include patient beds, medical examination supplies, portable sinks, power, lighting and HVAC units. The field units can be constructed in approximately six to 12 hours, be operational within 24 hours and withstand sustained winds of up to 80 mph. Each hospital determines specifically how it intends to use the additional space and resources.
Both hospitals will use the emergency medical field units to expand the capacity of their emergency departments and improve patient management and flow. The clinical volunteers that International Medical Corps is sending to the hospitals will help to augment a staff roster that is under strain due to the increased demands and patient numbers caused by COVID-19. Flushing Hospital Medical Center was the first hospital in New York City to be provided with the field units by International Medical Corps; Jamaica Hospital Medical Center was the second.
The field units, equipment and supplies are funded by AbbVie, and will help increase capacity at overburdened hospitals throughout the US, where International Medical Corps plans a total of 20 deployments. Emergency medical field units already are in Los Angeles, New York and Puerto Rico; further deployments of equipment, staff and supplies are planned in New York, Detroit, New Orleans, Boston and Chicago. FedEx provides related logistical and shipping support to the nationwide effort.
In addition, International Medical Corps has activated its volunteer roster of nearly 300 medical professionals to provide medical surge capacity to hospitals around the country, to fill critical gaps in patient care, nursing, and infection prevention and control. It also is training existing hospital staff on preparedness, response and mental health needs as needed, and providing online training through its COVID-19 Learning Series.
During the builds, International Medical Corps emergency team members were joined by volunteers from New York Task Force 1—an urban search-and-rescue team that is made up of elite members of the city’s police and fire departments—as they set up the field units outside the hospitals on Wednesday, April 8. Experts from both International Medical Corps and MediSys are available to answer questions from the media about the deployments, and about how the organizations are confronting the challenges posed by COVID-19.
ABOUT THIS RESPONSE
AbbVie, a partner of International Medical Corps since the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, is helping meet the need for expanded healthcare capacity for hospitals on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is funding the procurement of the tents, equipment, supplies and all operating expenses for deployments at 20 US hospitals through the end of 2020, as part of an overall $35 million commitment to support COVID-19 relief efforts around the world.
FedEx, as part of its long-time collaboration with International Medical Corps, is providing extensive logistical support, delivering the shelters and supplies as part of its FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative. The company uses its global network and logistics expertise to help organizations with mission-critical needs in times of disaster and for special shipments.
International Medical Corps is working globally with international health bodies, local and national governments, ministries of health, local health facilities and community-based organizations to provide expertise, equipment, training, and triage and treatment services in response to the pandemic. Its response prioritizes areas where the disease has already spread or where healthcare systems—and, thus, populations—are particularly vulnerable.
For more information about International Medical Corps’ global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/covid19.
For more information about Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please visit:
For more information about Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please visit:
For questions about the emergency medical field units or any other aspects of International Medical Corps’ response, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.