Building an Emergency Field Hospital: Combating COVID-19 in North Carolina

– Visit our website for more updates and stories of how God is working in our North Carolina Emergency Field Hospital.

– Pray for the Samaritan’s Purse DART as they assemble an Emergency Field Hospital in Los Angeles County in response to COVID-19.

– Go back and listen to our episode “Inside the Hot Zone: Fighting COVID-19 in the Bahamas,” to hear patient and medical personnel share stories from our field hospital in the Bahamas.

Kristy Graham interviews members of the disaster assistance response team to learn more about the logistics and teamwork required to build an Emergency Field Hospital in western North Carolina.
Kristy Graham interviews members of the disaster assistance response team to learn more about the logistics and teamwork required to build an Emergency Field Hospital in western North Carolina.

Show Notes

On New Year’s Day, Samaritan’s Purse transported a 30-bed Emergency Field Hospital from our warehouse to Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir, North Carolina to help with the surge of COVID-19. Samaritan’s Purse is supporting five hospital systems in North Carolina that are overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.

For a closer look at the work on the ground, Kristy Graham drove to the field hospital while the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) was still building the unit. She witnessed the teamwork necessary to assemble the fully-functioning, respiratory care unit in just a few days.

To learn more about how each hospital is uniquely constructed, Kristy first sits down with Eric Timmens, the operations manager of the international health unit. He dives deeper into the necessary logistics to assess a site, construct a field hospital, and operate the 30-bed specialized unit.

The first team members on-site work together to prepare the field hospital for patients. Even the doctors and nurses help build the hospital, including nurse manager Regina Randolph. Regina explains to Kristy how, amidst challenges, DART members work as the body of Christ.

“Every DART I’ve ever been on, the challenges are completely different. The people that are working together to do this are in a spirit of unity and have one common goal. People don’t have the limitations that they put on themselves in a normal situation—they just let go of all that and say they’re willing to serve the Lord.” —Regina Randolph

Each DART member has a specific task, yet all are flexible to help in any capacity to ensure the hospital is able to run effectively. Kristy learned about the role of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) from Kate Holmberg, a WASH engineer on site. Each detail of the plumbing infrastructure is vital for proper infection prevention and control.

“Because of their hard work and servant hearts, God’s love will be shown to each patient who is brought to the field hospital. Their goal is to act as Jesus’ hands and feet. As they continue to exhaust themselves, God is still renewing them day by day.” – Kristy Graham

By relying on God’s strength, it took Samaritan’s Purse five days to build the Emergency Field Hospital in Lenoir, North Carolina, and they are now accepting patients for treatment. The episode wraps with specific prayer requests from team members on the ground for God’s provision and focus.

Please continue to pray for communities impacted by COVID-19, and for our DART staff as they serve in Jesus’ Name through the western North Carolina field hospital.

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