The cavalry is coming. The U.S. Air force 60th Air Wing, 60th Medical Group from Travis Air Force Base is on its way to help Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage to deal with the surge of COVID patients.
“From a staff bed standpoint we are really pushing up to essentially 100 percent capacity,” says Dr. Alan Williamson, Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs of Eisenhower Health.
An advance team already toured the hospital on Wednesday morning to help better prepare the team of doctors, physicians assistants, critical care nurses and respiratory therapists that are expected to arrive on Thursday.
The mission name is “COVID Theater Hospital One”, but their real mission is to relieve the weary staff who have been going non stop since the pandemic began.
“It really has become difficult for everyone here, their heart is in it but have to be sure that we really take care of our ourselves, we take care of our staff as well as meet the increasing needs of the community and we were getting into a situation where that was becoming very, very difficult, to really try to juggle … without some outside help I’m not sure how we could have done that,” says Williamson.
Similar military teams were deployed to New York at the height of its crisis.
Now these military medical professionals are deployed throughout Texas and California.
“Our nurses are overworked, they’re extremely exhausted, this is a breath of fresh air for all of us,” says Dr. Joseph Varon, a pulmonologist at UMMC in Houston.
Thanks to this team of heroes coming to the rescue of our heroes, more lives can be saved.
“We’re so grateful to them for what they’re doing,” says Williamson.
This is a dynamic situation and things can change but if all goes as planned, a federal source says the team is expected to arrive on Thursday and be treating patients by Saturday.