Guam’s COVID-19 battle gets assistance from military medical team

Twenty-two military medical professionals from the Army and Air Force arrived on Guam in early September to prepare to assist local medical professionals in the fight against COVID-19.

They integrated with staff at the Guam Memorial Hospital to supplement COVID-18 care and response, according to a release from Joint Region Marianas. The team arrived Sept. 2 and started work at GMH the next day.

“We have been working closely with the government of Guam since COVID’s arrival on Guam in March, and we are proud to be able to provide additional medical assistance to the community in which we live and work,” said Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander, Joint Region Marianas.

Update: 43 new cases of COVID-19; Guam total at 2,117

“In the spirit of collaboration, (Joint Region Marianas) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have executed a Defense Support for Civil Authorities agreement with GovGuam, and through this avenue, we are able to augment the island’s available health care staff with a specialized medical team for COVID-19 patients.”

Army Maj. Michael Switzer, a pulmonary critical care physician, checks a patient’s charts on Sept. 18 in the intensive care unit of Guam Memorial Hospital. He's one of 22 military medical professionals integrated with GMH staff to supplement COVID-19 medical care on the island.

The team includes members assigned to the 47th Combat Support hospital at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and a medical support squadron from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.

Both units offer a team of critical nurses, respiratory technicians, internists and intensivists to assist GMH staff with the rise in hospitalized COVDI-19 patients.

The team has provided critical care and rehabilitation to approximately 70 patients so far.

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