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Adventist Health White Memorial hospital, a facility that’s been over-stretched by the COVID-19 virus and deluged with patients is getting some help now from the California National Guard, the state and the Army Corps of Engineers. 

White Memorial, in Boyle Heights, now has two National Guard medical strike teams working side-by-side with the medical staff at the hospital, Certified Nursing and Medical officer Patricia Stone told City News Service.

The teams include one registered nurse, six or seven medics and one non medical officer, Stone said. “They are working 12-hour shifts from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” Stone said. “They are drawing labs, drawing blood, moving patients into beds, basically everything the regular medical staff is doing.”

Stone said the medical staff is “thrilled” to have the strike teams here working alongside them. 

Stone said they arrived on Dec. 29, and she expects them to stay at least until Jan. 7. But hopefully, they will be able to stay longer, she added. 

“I will know more about what is going on and where we stand after we hold a review meeting on Saturday,” Stone told CNS. She said the state did provide about 10 days ago a bulk tank facilitator, which is helping to facilitate the flow of oxygen to patients. 

And the hospital has been promised by the state, some 40 oxygen concentrators, which haven’t arrived yet. The concentrators are small units that patients can borrow and take home to help provide them supplemental oxygen as they need it, she added. 

On Saturday, they expect to receive a visit from the Army Corps of Engineers, Stone said, to do an evaluation on their oxygen delivery systems and to see if their request for a M.A.S.H unit is possible. 

“We don’t know if it’s viable, but we requested it from the county and they passed the request up to the state, and they passed it on,” Stone said. 

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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