VA is collaborating with William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC) to open a 16-bed mobile intensive care unit (ICU) on the campus of WBAMC and the El Paso VA Health Care System.

“VA’s mobile ICU hospital offers unique capabilities and affords Veterans the same high standard of care in a state-of-the-art environment. It also allows the William Beaumont Army Medical Center to free up bed space,” said Paul D. Kim. Kim is the VA Office of Emergency Management executive director.

VA transported the mobile ICU from Florida to El Paso for El Paso VA and the Army to use in response to the recent increase in the area’s coronavirus cases.

Beds await their first patients.

The units arrive on tractor trailers and then open and extend on two sides. Then each unit can join the next. The mobile ICU is assembled in the parking lot.

“El Paso is very fortunate to have this type of deployable resource to assist during this unprecedented time,” said Jamie Park. Park is the El Paso VA associate director. “The arrival of the mobile ICU is the result of proactive, strategic planning. We want to ensure we are able to serve Veterans in the midst of any situation or circumstance.”

Strong partnership ensures world class heath care

The El Paso VA is coordinating the set-up and deployment of the mobile ICU as an extension of the Army’s medical center’s inpatient capabilities.

“The strong partnership we have with the El Paso VA is demonstrated in the deployment of the mobile ICU,” said Col. Michael S. Oshiki. Oshiki is commander, WBAMC. “We are extremely thankful to VA for this incredible resource.

“Their assistance helps ensure that we can continue to provide world class health care for all of our eligible beneficiaries. It’s another step in our efforts to respond to the current surge in hospitalized patients in El Paso during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Take precautions against COVID-19, flu, common cold

The El Paso VA strongly encourage Veterans, staff members and their families to take everyday precautions to protect against respiratory illnesses caused by COVID-19, the flu and the common cold. They urge everyone to follow all guidance from local and state health care and emergency management officials.

The main facility for the El Paso VA Health Care System is in the same building. The VA system focuses on outpatient care, while the Army’s facility is an in-patient hospital. Eligibility to use the facility is based on Veterans’ military service. More than 40,000 Veterans in the El Paso area qualify to receive services at the Army hospital.

Ginette Bocanegra is a public affairs officer at the El Paso VA Health Care System. Photos by Vincent Boyd, public affairs specialist, William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

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Published on Nov. 24, 2020

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