Friday, November 5, 2021
Disaster Medical Assistance Team Assisting with COVID-19 Surge at San Juan Regional Medical Center
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has deployed a Disaster Medical Assistance Team to San Juan Regional Medical Center. The team, a part of the National Disaster Medical System, is collaborating with the hospital to care for patients as we continue to experience extremely high inpatient census.
The federal team of 29 includes physicians, advanced healthcare practitioners, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, and safety, logistics, and administrative support specialists. They will provide short-term support in the hospital’s emergency department and Med/Surg unit, delivering much needed relief to our caregivers.
“The healthcare providers at San Juan Regional Medical Center are working around the clock to care for the people of this community. They are exhausted yet continue to push themselves to save lives,” explains Norm Wrona, DMAT team commander. “Today, they are not alone in this fight anymore. Healthcare colleagues from around the country are here to help treat patients and provide much needed respite for the hospital’s staff. All of us are honored to be here to provide the best support possible.”
The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) helps communities respond to and recover from public health emergencies and disasters. Since January 2020, thousands of NDMS team members have been deployed across the country to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This assistance comes at the request from the State of New Mexico, following San Juan Regional Medical Center’s declaration of Crisis Standards of Care earlier this week. The hospital made the decision to enact crisis standards due to the extremely high demand for patient care.
San Juan Regional Medical Center’s 289 COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past month consisted of 81% not fully vaccinated, 19% vaccinated patients. Of the COVID ICU hospitalizations, 91% of patients were not fully vaccinated. Of the 17 hospitalized patients who died from COVID-19, 16 were not fully vaccinated.
“We all have the opportunity to protect ourselves and those around you by getting the vaccine. Please do so,” urged Jeff Bourgeois, President and CEO of San Juan Regional Medical Center.
The team deployed to Farmington is committed to assisting the hospital for two weeks. After 14 days, the state may submit a request if additional support is needed. In addition, the New Mexico Department of Health facilitated the deployment of 34 caregivers with various backgrounds, training, and specialties to San Juan Regional Medical Center this week.
“Working as a team we are going to get through the surge,” said Dr. Brad Greenberg, Emergency Medicine Physician and Director of Emergency Preparedness. “We are efficiently using our resources to do the greatest good for the greatest number. With these additional resources, we are able to do the important work of healing the members of our community.”