NC DHHS Press Release: Mobile Hospital Becomes Temporary Medical Center
The National Mobile Disaster Hospital that deployed from North Carolina on May 1 to tornado-ravaged Louisville, Miss., opened Monday to patients. The opening was greeted by fanfare and a walk-through by Gov. Philip Bryant and federal, state and local dignitaries.
The site has become the temporary medical care center for the community of 19,000. It is expected to be in operation for 12 to 18 months while reconstruction is under way for the Winston County 41-bed hospital and the eight of the community's nine medical offices that were damaged or destroyed in the EF4 tornado that struck on April 28.
"We are proud that the Mobile Hospital maintained by DHHS has opened its doors and is meeting the critical medical needs of the Lousville community while recovery efforts continue," said DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos. "North Carolina is happy that we are able to lend a hand to our neighbors in Mississippi during their time of need."
A dozen 10x90-foot buildings were moved onto the site of the MDH at a former silk flower distributor to form the administrative office and out-patient clinics. They join the emergency department and wards, pharmacy, central supply and X-ray unit and other equipment brought onto the site by 18 FEMA tractor-trailers from a storage facility in Mocksville, N.C., earlier this month.
The deployment was coordinated by Dr. Lew Stringer, MDH project manager, and a team from the N.C. Office of Emergency Medical Services, along with set-up partners from the North Carolina Baptist Men.
Stringer said he hopes to return to North Carolina later this month with trailers and equipment that are no longer needed at the site so he can prepare the MDH for its next deployment. "With hurricane season about to start, we need to have our rapid response and surgical capabilities in place," he said.