March 16, 2018 by John Fernandez and Tanya Racoobian
Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon Opens Field Hospital (Video)
Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon has reopened as a “mobile disaster hospital” after sustaining damage during Hurricane Irma. Baptist Health South Florida partnered with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to set up the mobile medical unit, which will be a critical component during the recovery period in the Middle Keys. The hospital is staffed by doctors, nurses and other personnel from Fishermen’s Community Hospital.
Through coordination from the office of Florida’s Surgeon General, 13 trailers carrying pieces of the mobile medical unit made their way down from North Carolina to the hospital site. The mobile disaster hospital, which was provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, includes a five-bed emergency department, a six-bed in-patient unit, diagnostic equipment and a laboratory. A team from the Mississippi Department of Health assisted with setup and training.
(Officials from Fishermen’s Community Hospital and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services meet prior to the opening of the field hospital set up in Marathon after the passing of Hurricane Irma. Video by Tony Vivian.)
This mobile disaster hospital was deployed in 2005 to South Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and to Louisville, Miss., in 2014, after a tornado heavily damaged that community’s hospital. It was also used in Kinston, N.C., in 2016, when flooding from Hurricane Matthew prevented highway access for some areas to the local hospital.
A mobile unit from the Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP program, part of Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, will also be on-site, and will house the command center for the field hospital.
Fishermen’s Community Hospital is located at MM 48.7 in Marathon. The mobile field hospital will be open 24 hours a day.