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Samaritan’s Purse Completes Work at California Field Hospital


When Dr. Ed Carns arrived in Lancaster, California, he knew he was about to walk into many situations requiring prayer, wisdom, and medical skill.

Now, more than a month later, Dr. Carns, the Samaritan’s Purse team lead for our California COVID response, is glad to recount how he saw God work through skilled doctors and nurses at our Emergency Field Hospital. As our medical teams depart the Lancaster community and the campus of Los Angeles County’s Antelope Valley Hospital in the coming days, Dr. Carns says the experiences and memories will go with him.

“I will leave with incredible memories of having seen the result of thousands of prayers,” he said. “And the incredible sacrifice and dedication of hundreds and hundreds of professionals of all stripes along with volunteers, private citizens, small businesses, civic groups, churches, schools, and government officials working together against a common enemy.”

On 18 February, the Samaritan’s Purse team and our partners from the leadership of Antelope Valley Hospital, local government officials, and area church leadership celebrated all that has been accomplished in the past 31 days. Over the course of our response, our teams helped care for 167 patients in the Emergency Field Hospital.

The field hospital’s team was composed of 96 medical professionals, an additional 55 disaster response specialists, and dozens of health professionals from Antelope Valley Hospital.

In honour of this partnership, Dr. Carns presented the Good Samaritan Award to Ed Mirzabegian, CEO of Antelope Valley Hospital; and Stephanie Herider, chief nursing officer of Antelope Valley Hospital.

Samaritan’s Purse Board Member Dr. Felix Martin del Campo Jr. presented the Good Samaritan Award to R. Rex Parris, Lancaster city mayor; and Paul Chappell, pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church.

“This program was successful because God used us, and he also used so many people in this community,” Del Campo said. “We want to make sure that everybody knows how grateful we are for all the help from people throughout this community.”

As coronavirus cases spiked in Los Angeles County early this year, Mayor Parris and Ed Mirzabegian requested that Samaritan’s Purse deploy an Emergency Field Hospital to bring relief to the northern part of Los Angeles county. On 16 January, after a cross-country airlift using our DC-8 aircraft, Samaritan’s Purse opened a 54-bed mobile unit in Lancaster to care for patients affected by the deadly virus.

“To be a part of what we’ve experienced here [at the field hospital] is something that should make us all very thankful and proud,” said Pastor Chappell. “As a citizen of this community for 35 years and as the pastor of Lancaster Baptist, thank you so much. And to Franklin Graham and to Samaritan’s Purse, everything has been done with such grace and excellence. It’s just been amazing.”

We praise God that coronavirus case numbers are now declining in Los Angeles County.

“We are leaving in the next few days, certain that you, the hospital and you the community will move forward determined and united,” Dr. Carns said. “And you will ultimately be victorious over this silent killer.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Samaritan’s Purse has responded to the coronavirus outbreak in 30 countries through 148 projects. The Los Angeles County response marks the fifth Emergency Field Hospital deployment since the beginning of the global pandemic early last year. Through these five hospitals we have treated more than 900 COVID-19 patients.

Please pray for medical workers on the frontlines who continue to boldly face the deadly virus. Please also pray for those struggling with COVID-19 and for their families.