University Hospital welcomes DOD medical team to combat COVID-19 (slideshow)

Anthony Vecchione//April 16, 2020//

University Hospital welcomes DOD medical team to combat COVID-19 (slideshow)

Anthony Vecchione//April 16, 2020//

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University Hospital said Wednesday that a large contingent of U.S. Army medical professionals arrived at the hospital to support clinicians in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Eighty-five DOD professionals, part of the U.S. Army’s Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces, will  collaborate with clinical staff on-site at the hospital to assist with, and support, staffing shortages during response to the outbreak.

This group includes doctors, medics, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, as well as administration and support specialists. They will join the hospital in various areas and levels of care, including critical care units, working alongside the hospital’s existing staff.

Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO, University Hospital

“I want to thank the United States Army and the U.S. Department of Defense for lending their brave and skilled soldiers to University Hospital during this crisis. Our own staff continues to be essential in this crisis, and they will benefit tremendously with the Army medical personnel by their side,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and chief executive officer of University Hospital. “These soldiers are clinicians and staff who normally serve fellow service members’ medical needs, at home and abroad. Now they are joining our war against this virus, side by side with us. It’s a beautiful thing, and a great morale boost for our staff.”

To support the response to the public health emergency, the U.S. Army North has mobilized ten Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces across the country to support COVID-19 relief efforts and curb the spread of disease, senior Army leaders said.

Three task forces were dispatched to New Jersey, four to New York City and one each to Connecticut, Massachusetts and Michigan. To build the Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces, the Army called up medical professionals from Army Reserve units across the country.

Each task force consists of a staff of 85 with the capability of providing the same service as a 250-bed hospital. The task forces first deployed to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, before moving on to hospitals across the region.