AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Governor Abbott announced today the state will be sending medical resources to the Panhandle and South Plains areas to support hospitals during the pandemic.
The Texas Division of Emergency Management will send medical workers, medical supplies and personal protective equipment to the Panhandle and South Plains area.
BSA along with Northwest Texas Hospital have both requested additional help when it comes to staffing.
“We’ve sent over 150 staff already to both the Panhandle, South Plain areas through the Panhandle RAC (Regional Advisory Council) that sort of coordinates trauma care in the area, and then We’ve got another 100 that are headed that way over the next few days. So, that’s going to be a total of more than 250 health care providers. You know, largely nurses, respiratory therapists, those kinds of folks who can help care for patients who need that kind of support,” said Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The Regional advisory council (RAC) determines how to distribute the resources that have been provided which includes more medical staff, extra medical supplies and additional personal protective equipment to the Panhandle and south plains area.
BSA hospital requested the state for assistance as the COVID-19 numbers increased to help deal with non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 patients.
There is a total of 78 staff members at BSA quarantined at home with 32 of those members being nurses.
They stress it is critical they receive more nurses to fill those positions.
This week the hospital has received 16 nurses and six respiratory therapists and has requested for more nurses on top of that.
The Regional Advisory Council will determine locally how to distribute those resources to the different hospitals in Amarillo and Lubbock.
“We dispatch the, you know, the medical personnel to them and they kind of have them as a resource. So, then they can kind of plug those gaps as the requests come in from the hospitals,” said Mr. Van Deusen.
“We have requested additional RAC nurses beyond the 16 that we’ve received. And I believe we’ll be getting some more based upon the Governor’s decision... But I don’t believe we have received any of those yet,” said Dr. Michael Lamanteer, chief medical officer for BSA health system.
These workers will come from all over the U.S. and are placed where needed.
“There are more than 4,000 contracted staff working in hospitals across the state. So, as we have seen some of, you know, the cases and hospitalizations go down in some parts of the state, that medical staff has been released. So, but they may be pulling from you know, resources in other states to other parts of Texas, as well as you know folks who have kind of been demobilized from earlier assignments to other parts of the state,” said Mr. Van Deusen.
BSA hospital has staff members quarantining requiring extra staff to fill the positions that deal with hospitalized patients.
“I think there’s a point where when we talk about our plan and the number of patients that we’re caring for; we have to remember that we’re caring for non COVID in addition to COVID patients... It’s critical that we’re getting nurses from the RAC,” said Dr. Lamanteer.
The additional medical personnel will be placed where needed in BSA hospital dealing with non COVID-19 patients and COVID-19 patients.