CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Samaritan’s Purse joined several North Carolina hospitals in providing a new emergency COVID-19 field hospital in Lenoir.
The 30-bed campus constructed in the parking lot of the Caldwell Memorial Hospital was built in just seven days and will provide regional COVID-19 care support for those living in western North Carolina.
Edward Graham spoke on behalf of Samaritan’s at the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday morning.
“With Samaritans Purse, I feel like God has entrusted us with, really, with our volunteers and the people that come to work with us, our talent,” said Graham. “And God expects us to go out and use that.”
The temporary campus will service five health systems:
- Caldwell UNC Health Care (Lenior)
- Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (Boone)
- Catawba Valley Health System (Hickory)
- Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge (Morganton)
- Frye Regional Medical Center (Hickory)
Caldwell UNC was specifically selected because of its central location to the above healthcare systems.
President and CEO of Caldwell UNC Healthcare Laura Easton says they hope to serve those affected in more rural areas of the state, which have been particularly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Health leaders say the region’s medical systems have been recently overwhelmed and over-capacity.
“We celebrate hope and I think this is what this field hospital brings to our region,” said Easton. “It brings a hope that we will definitely be able to provide access to compassionate and expert care to every citizen that arrives to the doors of these five hospitals.”
The first patients were accepted in the hospital for care on Thursday morning. Patients receiving treatment at the field hospital will be limited to those who are COVID-positive but who do not need the support of a ventilator.
The hospital will consist of a team of 46 disaster response specialists, including 24 medical professionals. It is expected to provide relief in the area for at least the next six weeks.
“What I’ve observed about the technology, the expertise and the compassion of these wonderful caregivers, there is no need for apprehension,” said Easton. “You will be embraced and will receive excellent care in this facility.”