Military Team On the Ground at Rancho Mirage Hospital to Help with COVID Surge

Military Team On the Ground at Rancho Mirage Hospital to Help with COVID Surge

Kitty Alvarado

“They’re saying, ‘Yay!’. They are very happy,” says Dr. Alan Williamson, Chief Medical Officer at Eisenhower Health.

Staff at the Rancho Mirage hospital is cheering the arrival of the 60th Air Wing Medical Group on Thursday from Travis Air Force Base to  help with the surge of COVID patients.

Williamson says the group of 21 made up of doctors, physicians assistants, nurses and respiratory therapists will be assigned to the COVID isolation units.

“They’re really getting right into the trenches helping us with the patients that are really needing the most attention right now and have been putting the most strain on our staff because of the highly physical and emotional nature of taking care of these patients,” says Williamson.

The hospital is at 100 percent capacity of staffed beds in ICU, and 80 percent in the rest, they’re not alone in needing help, some of the 17  hospitals in the county are relying on traveling nurses others are also asking for help.

“There is one other hospital that requested staffing and has received that staffing from the state and there are four other hospitals in the county of riverside that currently have resource requests,” says Bruce Barton, Riverside County’s Director of Emergency Management.

To grow hospital capacity you need staff and if the surge continues this will be tougher to find.

“It’s every hospital, in every county, in every, across the state and pretty much every state that is now starting to compete with all of these resources,” says Barton.

So staff here is grateful to county, state and the 60th air wing medical group that answered their call for help.

“Staff member after staff member you know really walked right up to them, right up to us and said thank you so much for coming we’re so happy to see you arrive so, it is a great relief to know that there is help from outside that there is support outside of our valley when we really need it,” says Barton.