Samaritan’s Purse Accepts First Patient at Western North Carolina Emergency Field Hospital

BOONE, N.C., Jan. 7, 2021—Today, Samaritan’s Purse opened its 30-bed Emergency Field Hospital in Lenoir, North Carolina. The coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed the region’s medical infrastructure and hospitals are over capacity. The field hospital, specialized as a respiratory care unit, will help relieve the burden from five local healthcare systems.

Samaritan’s Purse transported the Emergency Field Hospital from its warehouse in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina on Friday. It is adjacent to Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir, North Carolina. Now, a team of more than 46 disaster response specialists, including 24 medical professionals, are hard at work.

“These hospitals have come to us for help because they are full, and case numbers continue to rise,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. “This is our home state, and we appreciate the frontline workers battling COVID day in and day out. We are glad that we can be there to help lift the load. Our medical team is going to help provide professional, compassionate, and quality care to every patient who is sent to us.”

The Boone-based international Christian relief organization is joining five western North Carolina health care systems in the fight against COVID-19— helping meet the critical needs of neighboring communities. The partner hospitals will determine which patients are transported to the field hospital.

“This battle against COVID is really a community-wide and region-wide effort. Now, with the arrival of Samaritan’s Purse and the personnel that they are bringing, it is a national effort. It takes all of us working together,” said Laura Easton, president and CEO of Caldwell UNC Health Care. “My hope is that we get through this surge and have taken outstanding care of every citizen who has a need.”

In 2020, Samaritan’s Purse deployed three Emergency Field Hospitals to Italy, New York City, and the Bahamas in response to the coronavirus pandemic—treating more than 680 patients at similar respiratory care units. This is only the second time the mobile hospital has been deployed domestically, ready to provide critical aid to coronavirus patients.

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Based in Boone, North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Led by President and CEO Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.org.

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