SHREVEPORT, La – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) deployed a team of 35 medical providers from the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to provide temporary medical surge support to Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport, LA.
“At the request of the state or U.S. territory, ASPR deploys teams of medical professionals from NDMS to help communities respond to and recover from public health emergencies and disasters,” said Dr. Helga Scharf-Bell, NDMS Acting Director. “For the COVID-19 response, NDMS is activated to provide temporary medical assistance to supplement overwhelmed medical facilities in hotspot areas within the United States. Our providers work in collaboration with local health providers to help treat and isolate COVID-19 positive patients.”
The 35 deployed personnel include physicians, physician assistants, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and paramedics who serve as intermittent federal personnel for up to 14 days per deployment. These individuals are part of the NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Team. When they aren’t deployed, these people are the medical professionals and para-professionals in whom we entrust our health on a day-to-day basis.
Since January, ASPR has deployed thousands of medical, logistical, and command and control personnel from NDMS to help states, territories, and jurisdictions respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams have deployed to 13 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and internationally to Japan. They also assisted in evacuating people from cruise ships early in the pandemic. To learn more about HHS’ response to COVID-19, please click here.
As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ASPR’s mission is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. ASPR leads the nation’s medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and public health emergencies. For more information about ASPR and NDMS, click here.