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HHS Sends Disaster Medical Assistance Team to St. Claire HealthCare

HHS Sends Disaster Medical Assistance Team to St. Claire HealthCare

At the request of the state of Kentucky, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed a team of medical professionals from its National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to St. Claire HealthCare to safely care for the surge of COVID patients at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead.

“We are so thankful for the overwhelming support we’ve received from Governor Andy Beshear throughout the pandemic,” said Donald H. Lloyd, II, SCH President/CEO. "The leadership of Gov. Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack has guided us through these challenging times, ensuring St. Claire’s doors have remained open to care for our patients when they’ve needed us most.”

The Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), which helps communities respond to and recover from public health emergencies and disasters. 

The NDMS team of 15 includes a physician, advanced healthcare practitioners, nurses, other clinical specialists, and administrative support specialists who will collaborate with local staff to provide short-term surge support and provide expertise to help SCH better manage the current surge in COVID-positive patients.

“We have a great team at SCH, but everyone is tired. While we know this assistance will be temporary, it’s going to give our clinical staff some much-needed, and well-deserved relief,” said Lloyd. “We are so grateful to HHS for granting Gov. Beshear’s request on our behalf.”

NDMS personnel normally deploy for up to 14 days. After 14 days, the state may submit a request for additional support, if needed.

St. Claire HealthCare’s service region, like most all of Kentucky, is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases, driven by transmission of the Delta variant predominately amongst the unvaccinated. Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated. From July 1 – Sept. 3, 2021, more than 80% of COVID-19 patients admitted to St. Claire Regional Medical Center were unvaccinated. Of the 15 COVID-related deaths reported during this time, only one was fully vaccinated.

As of today, SCH is currently treating 72 COVID patients. Thirty-four are receiving inpatient care while 38 are being treated through the acute COVID Care at Home program.

“We’ve seen over the past months just how effective vaccines are in fighting COVID-19,” Lloyd added. “It’s important that everyone in our community who is eligible for a vaccine gets vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and those who are most vulnerable to serious complications or death related to COVID.”

To schedule a vaccine appointment for you or your child (age 12 or older), call 606.783.7539. Schedulers are available to take your call Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM.