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.
“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.”
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.
“This is a historic time for the territory of Guam when the Department of Defense can bring in some of its most highly trained medical professionals and work alongside the best medical professionals in Guam,” said Jeffrey Barone, deputy defense coordinating officer for the West. “Guam is home to all of the services, to include the U.S. Coast Guard, and we all claim Guam as our home and have a desire to see this COVID pandemic come to an end — and it will — with all of us working together.”
The military team will assist GMH for the duration of the FEMA mission. The team is scheduled to end its services in line with the FEMA mission at the end of the month.