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Two Emergency Field Hospitals Open in the United States

Samaritan’s Purse is responding to critical needs in the United States with a 30-bed emergency unit open in Western North Carolina and more than 50-beds being set up in Los Angeles.

Lenoir, North Carolina

Updated 12 January: The Emergency Field Hospital has opened in Lenoir, North Carolina, and our medical team is already treating patients from surrounding communities. We expect a steady influx of patients to arrive over the next several days as we help five regional healthcare systems respond to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“These hospitals have come to us for help because they are full, and case numbers continue to rise,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “This is our home state, and we appreciate the frontline workers battling COVID day in and day out. We are glad that we can be there to help lift the load. Our medical team is going to help provide professional, compassionate, and quality care to every patient who is sent to us.”

The mobile unit is staffed by our team of disaster relief personnel, including doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists. Patients receiving treatment at our site will be limited to those who are COVID-positive but do not need the support of a ventilator.

“Our medical team is going to help provide professional, compassionate, and quality care to every patient who is sent to us.”

The field hospital was transported on New Year’s Day from our warehouse in North Wilkesboro via Samaritan’s Purse semi-trailers. It sits on the grounds of Caldwell UNC Health Care, a site chosen for its central location.

This marks the fourth time we have operated a field hospital in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (New York City; Italy; the Bahamas).

Please continue to pray for all those suffering with COVID-19 and for our medical teams providing critical care.

Note: The international headquarters of Samaritan’s Purse is located in Boone, North Carolina. 

Lancaster, California

Updated 16 January: Our Emergency Field Hospital has opened in Lancaster and our medical team is treating patients. We expect a steady influx of patients to arrive over the next several days.

Our DC-8 cargo jet airlifted much of the equipment needed for the hospital, while the tents were transported by a Samaritan’s Purse semi-trailer from our warehouse in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Patients treated at our site will be limited to those who are sick with the novel coronavirus but do not need the support of a ventilator.

Our team of highly trained medical personnel stand ready to provide quality, compassionate care to every patient who is admitted to our facility.

“The coordination from the initial call to where we are today, has been swift and amazing. There has been remarkable synergy between the groups involved, and we couldn’t be more thankful,” said Ed Mirzabegian, Antelope Valley Hospital CEO. “The Samaritan’s Purse team has been working diligently to get the Field Hospital fully functional; and I’m sure they are eager, as are we, to start treating COVID patients. I know this will relieve enormous pressure from within our main hospital.”

Kelly Sites, medical director for our response in Los Angeles County, said our mobile unit will help lessen the tremendous pressure that has continued to build for the Antelope Valley staff. Kelly is among more than 60 Disaster Assistance Response Team members on the ground.

Like many of our nurses and doctors in California, Kelly has extensive experience on the frontlines fighting infectious diseases. She served with our team in Cremona, Italy, early last year when we set up an Emergency Field Hospital during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in that country, as well as in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo during Ebola outbreaks.

“Jesus tells us to count the costs and that’s what I do, and my family counts it, too, when they let me go,” Kelly said. “Saying no wasn’t an option, knowing the need is here and our team needs people to say yes.”

Kelly asked for prayer for both the staff at Antelope Valley as well as the people who desperately need medical care. “The hospital staff are so tired — overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and a very high death toll in this area.”

More than 12,000 coronavirus patients have died so far in Los Angeles County alone. And, every minute, 10 more people throughout the county are testing positive for the coronavirus.

Please pray for our teams as we prepare to accept COVID-19 patients this week. Pray that these patients will be comforted by the peace and love of Jesus Christ.