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North Carolina Army and Air National Guard Medical Technicians Set Up COVID-19 Medical Support Shelter

  • Published
  • By by Maj. Mathew Boyle and Master Sgt. Nathan Clark
  • 145th Airlift Wing

Soldiers and Airmen from the North Carolina National Guard work with the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Department of Emergency Management to create a Medical Support Shelter in Hamlet, North Carolina on April 29, 2020.

The purpose of a Medical Support Shelter is to provide a sheltering capability for at-risk individuals with medical needs for 24 hour operation periods. During the COVID19 pandemic response this medical shelter would provide relief to the health care system by supporting patients who were not at risk of infection but still needed medical care. This is the first time that Army and Air Guard medical teams have activated to work in together with this type of situation and location.

“Medical Support Shelters like this one are to take on low acuity patients to help relieve hospitals in the event that they become overrun with COVID19,” stated Col. Greg Hawkesworth, Commander, 145th Medical Group.

The Medical Support Shelter is led by the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services and the 145th Airlift Wing Medical Group and 156th Aero-Medical Evacuation Squadron and is staffed with NC Army and Air Guard doctors, physicians assistants, nurses, medics and administrative personnel.

 Airmen 1st Class Savannah Bartlett, 145th Medical Group Nurse, said “We have touched up our training to make sure we are providing the best quality care that we can.”

The NCNG medical team practiced for the arrival of patients, trained on health and wellness testing equipment and conducted inventories of medical supplies while also conducting medical drills prior to accepting live patients.

“This has been a great opportunity to share clinical knowledge, even on the fly to a deployed location, I am honored and eager to help,” said Bartlett.