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04/15/20

UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL WELCOMES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) MEDICAL TEAM; FEDERAL PROVIDERS TO AUGMENT HOSPITAL’S CLINICAL AND SUPPORT STAFF DURING PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

University Hospital announced today that a large contingent of United States Army medical professionals have arrived at University Hospital to support hospital clinicians in response to this public health emergency. Eighty-five DOD professionals, part of the United States Army’s Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces, will be collaborating with clinical staff on-site at the hospital, to assist with and support staffing shortages during the hospital’s COVID-19 coronavirus response.

This group of providers includes doctors, medics, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, as well as administration and support specialists. They will join the hospital
in various areas and levels of care, including critical care units, working alongside the hospital’s existing dedicated and hard-working staff.

To support the response to the public health emergency, the U.S. Army North has mobilized ten Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces across the country to support the coronavirus relief
efforts and curb the spread of disease, senior Army leaders said. Four task forces were dispatched to New York City, three to New Jersey, one to Connecticut, one to Massachusetts, and one to
Michigan. To build the Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces, the Army called up medical professionals from Army Reserve units across the country. These volunteers were vetted to ensure they were not already engaged in the battle against coronavirus in their own communities.

Each task force consists of a staff of 85 with the capability of providing the same service as a 250-bed hospital. The task forces first deployed to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, here in New
Jersey, before moving on to hospitals across the region.

The unit supporting University Hospital, elements of the U.S. Army Reserve 332nd Medical Brigade based out of Nashville, Tennessee, provides 85 healthcare professionals, including 13 doctors, five physician assistants, 13 nurses, four respiratory therapists, 16 medics, eight pharmacists, 18 medical support specialists, and eight administration and supply specialists. University Hospital will be providing personal protective equipment to these personnel. The task forces are designed to perform low-acuity care, but can also test for COVID-19.

“I want to thank the United States Army and the US Department of Defense for lending their brave and skilled soldiers to University Hospital during this crisis. Our own staff continue to be essential in this crisis, and they will benefit tremendously with the Army medical personnel by their side,” said Shereef Elnahal, MD, MBA, President and CEO of University Hospital. “These soldiers are clinicians and staff who normally serve fellow service members’ medical needs, at home and abroad. Now they are joining our war against this virus, side by side with us. It’s a beautiful thing, and a great morale boost for our staff.”

“Our team is honored to support our fellow Americans during this time, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the outstanding medical professionals at Newark University Hospital,” said U.S. Army Maj. Erin Velazquez, commander of the 332-1 Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force, of the 332nd Medical Brigade out of Nashville.

U.S. Army North is headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. ARNORTH is U.S. Northern Command’s theater Army and serves as the Joint Force Land Component Command for all federal ground forces in the United States operating as part of the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 response. The command is also designated as the lead component to work with FEMA to align federal military support to validated requests for assistance.

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