Flooding from Florence has not only forced many from their homes, it’s also forced hospitals to close, including Pender Memorial Hospital in Pender County, North Carolina.
“The local facility Pender Memorial has been flooded and evacuated, and we will be the closest facility within a 50 miles radius for that community,” said Kristy Haynes, Manager of MED-1 for Atrium Health.
To provide medical care to those affected, Atrium Health deployed MED-1, a one-of-a-kind mobile hospital, complete with emergency room doctors, nurses and for the first time, a behavioral health specialist.
Once on location, the team can be operational within 30 minutes. The 1,000-square-foot hospital is capable of handling anything from minor injuries to severe emergency medical conditions, including trauma surgery and intensive medical care, according to Atrium Health.
“From trauma surgeons to ED physicians to CRNAs for the anesthesia, a whole group of nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists, neonatal specialists, so we can handle all aspects of care,” says Haynes.
And for the first time, Atrium said this team will also include a chaplain and behavioral health peer support specialist.
“If you think about it, people are devastated with losing everything, or having their homes being flooded, or being displaced, so it’s very important to have both behavioral health and pastoral care services available for counseling and services such as that for our patients that we’re going to see,” said Haynes.
Together, all of them teaming up to lend a hand to many who have lost everything.
“It makes you want to help and it makes you willing to leave your family behind and be able to use the skills you have to help others in their time of need,” said Greg Miller, Director of Clinical Services, Mobile Medicine, Atrium Health.
Atrium said the mobile hospital is prepared to be on site in Pender County for two weeks if needed.