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    New Army concept proves effective in fight against COVID 19



    Story by Maj. Chad Brink 

    Defense Department Support to FEMA COVID-19       

    HOUSTON – More than 80 Soldiers from Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) are currently providing medical support at United Memorial Medical Care Center as part of the Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force (UAMTF). The UAMTF is a new organizational concept designed to address Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) request for a rapidly-deployable medical element to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Northern Command began deploying UAMTFs in April across the country to assist federal agency partners and state and local governments with the whole-of-America response to COVID-19.

    Unlike traditional Army medical units who work and deploy as a single element, this UAMTF gathered specialists from 27 different military medical facilities across the nation, from Fort Drum, New York to Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii. This team quickly integrated and is now planning and providing effective medical care in South East Texas.

    “It’s amazing how this diverse team from across the country was able to come together on short notice,” said Army Capt. Richard Coulter, a charge nurse responsible for ensuring the quality of care on his shift. “It’s a testament to the quality of our training as medical providers and the Army’s focus on leadership and teambuilding. I love Army medicine.”

    Upon arrival, this Army medical team quickly started treating patients in need. Within a week, they had set up an additional ward with 30 additional hospital beds, and were prepared to treat COVID-19 patients from Southeast Texas.

    “Sure, we miss home, but we’re all glad to be here taking care of patients,” said Army Staff Sgt. Frank Ramanowski,” a senior medic. “It’s frustrating sitting at home watching the pandemic unfold. We all jumped at the opportunity to do something about it.”

    The UAMTF design provides capabilities for emergency care, critical care, intermediate care, and the ancillary services that support them, such as laboratory and pharmacy technicians. The Medical Task Force provides only personnel – they use organic medical equipment already in the local area, in order to focus on rapidly arriving and establishing medical care, rather than extensive logistical planning.

    “Our Army MEDCOM Soldiers are phenomenal,” said Army Maj. Catherine Bessler. “All of these medical providers and support staff showed up here looking for ways to help. Only a few days later, they’ve integrated into a cohesive team, providing the world-class medical care that the Army prides itself on.”

    Active Duty and Reserve Soldiers are deployed in Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces around the United States, augmenting civilian hospitals and providing medical care under the auspices of the Army’s ongoing mission to support civilian emergency management agencies in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    By U.S. Army Maj. Rhiannon Jones



    Date Taken: 08.27.2020
    Date Posted: 08.28.2020 13:51
    Story ID: 376949
    Location: HOUSTON, TX, US 

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