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FEMA approved emergency assistance due to staffing shortages at NC hospitals

Western North Carolina Counties receiving FEMA assistance are Macon, Cherokee, Graham, and Haywood. 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today announced the approval of its staffing support request, in partnership with Atrium Health, to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. North Carolina is also receiving an additional 25 Advanced Life Support Ambulances.

The 16-person National Disaster Medical System team deployed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will arrive at Atrium Health Pineville Wednesday and remain on-site until Feb. 13, 2022, to support the medical surge in the emergency department. The team consists of five oversight and support personnel and 11 clinicians — one physician, two advanced practice providers, four registered nurses and four paramedics.

“We’re extremely grateful for the support of our state and federal governments, specifically Governor Cooper, NCDHHS and HHS, to share this team of medical professionals for our Atrium Health Pineville emergency department,” said Dr. James Hunter, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Atrium Health. “Our dedicated health care heroes at Atrium Health have worked very hard throughout the pandemic, and like many others across the country, are feeling the effects of this latest surge. Knowing their work is being recognized and supplemented by this team to lend a hand is very meaningful for them.”

“We continue to find and deploy every available resource to deal with this surge of COVID-19 from the Omicron variant,” said Susan Kansagra, Senior Deputy Director for the Division of Public Health. “Our hospitals continue to deal with near-record levels of patients, and this federal support is one of many levers we are using to meet demand.”

Statewide COVID-19 response is also receiving support for patient transfer. The 25 ambulances will arrive in North Carolina on Thursday and are in addition to the 25 ambulances previously deployed to North Carolina on Jan. 4, 2022.

The ambulances will be distributed to following counties: Brunswick (2), Chatham (3), Cherokee (1), Durham (2), Forsyth (4), Franklin (1), Graham (1), Guilford (4), Haywood (1), Hertford (1), Lee, (1), Lenoir (1), Macon (1), Mecklenburg (7), Nash (3), New Hanover (2) Onslow (2), Pasquotank and Camden (1), Pender (1), Randolph (3), Rowan (2), Rutherford (1), Wake (4) and Wilson (1).

The ambulances also include the needed staffing for each.

NCDHHS is in close contact with hospitals across the state and our federal partners and will continue assessing needs as they arise.

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