Updates & Alerts

International Medical Corps, Hospital Damas and Hospital Universitario de Dr. Ramón Ruiz Arnau Partner to Respond to COVID-19 Surge

As part of its global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, International Medical Corps is deploying emergency medical field units, personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical gear to Hospital Damas in Ponce, which serves the southern part of the island—still recovering from a series of earthquakes that occurred in January—and Hospital Universitario de Dr. Ramón Ruiz Arnau (HURRA) in Bayamón, which serves the island’s northern and central areas.

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, the units enable a hospital to potentially treat hundreds of extra patients per day, and could include patient beds, medical examination supplies, portable sinks, power, lighting and HVAC units. The field units can be constructed in approximately six 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.

Hospital Damas plans to use the emergency medical field units to expand the capacity of its emergency department and improve patient management and flow. HURRA will use the fields units to expand its overall capacity, as it has been designated as the area hospital to provide care to patients with COVID-19 who develop severe health complications and require hospital treatment.

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 are already in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and Puerto Rico, with additional deployments planned in Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and Boston. FedEx has provided related logistical and shipping support to the nationwide effort.

In addition, International Medical Corps also 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.

International Medical Corps emergency team members set up the field units outside Hospital Damas on April 7, and are setting up the units outside HURRA on April 15. Experts from International Medical Corps will be available to answer questions from the media.

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 HURRA and the Puerto Rico Department of Health’s response, please visit: http://www.salud.gov.pr/Dept-de-Salud/Pages/Nuestros-Hospitales.aspx.

For questions about the emergency medical field units or other aspects of our response, please write media@internationalmedicalcorps.org.