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NC National Guard sets up COVID-19 medical support shelter

Medical technicians with the North Carolina Army and Air National Guard prepare to practice sticking IV needles in preparation for the possible arrival  of patients at the North Carolina National Guard medical support shelter in central North Carolina, April 30, 2020.

Medical technicians with the North Carolina Army and Air National Guard prepare to practice sticking IV needles in preparation for the possible arrival of patients at the North Carolina National Guard medical support shelter in central North Carolina, April 30, 2020.

HAMLET, N.C. – Soldiers and Airmen from the North Carolina National Guard worked with the state Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Emergency Management to create a medical support shelter April 29.

The is designed to ease pressure on the health care system by supporting patients who are not at risk of COVID-19 infection but still need medical care.

“Medical support shelters like this one are to take on low acuity patients to help relieve hospitals in the event that they become overrun with COVID-19,” said Col. Greg Hawkesworth, commander, 145th Medical Group.

The shelter is run by the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services, the 145th Airlift Wing Medical Group and the 156th Aero-Medical Evacuation Squadron and staffed with North Carolina Army and Air Guard doctors, physicians assistants, nurses, medics and administrative personnel.

“We have touched up our training to make sure we are providing the best quality care that we can,” said Airmen 1st Class Savannah Bartlett, 145th Medical Group nurse.

Before accepting patients, the NCNG medical team trained on health and wellness testing equipment and took inventories of medical supplies while also conducting medical drills.

“This has been a great opportunity to share clinical knowledge, even on the fly to a deployed location. I am honored and eager to help,” said Bartlett.

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