09.13.06

Burr Hosts Carolinas MED-1 Mobile Hospital Demonstration at U.S. Capitol

Event focused on capabilities of North Carolina mobile hospital during a public health or medical emergency

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Richard Burr today hosted a demonstration of Carolinas MED-1 mobile hospital capabilities on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt and Congresswoman Sue Myrick joined Senator Burr at the demonstration. The event highlighted the capabilities of mobile medical assets during a public health or medical emergency. Carolinas MED-1 mobile hospital is based in Charlotte and is part of Carolinas Medical Center.

"One of the most critical issues our country is faced with during a disaster is the ability of patients to get medical care," Burr said. "Mobile medical units, like Carolinas MED-1, provide on-site, comprehensive medical care during a public health or medical emergency."

MED-1 was developed to provide the necessary level of care when disasters or mass casualty incidents occur. The mobile unit has a two bed operating room, a four bed intensive care unit, an eight bed emergency department, X-ray, lab and pharmacy capabilities and an integrated awning system supporting an additional 150 beds.

In response to Hurricane Katrina, MED-1 was deployed to Waveland, Mississippi and treated more than 7,500 patients during the seven weeks the local hospital was closed to patients. MED-1 was mobilized to New Orleans last winter to help accommodate the medical surge capacity needs in the aftermath of Katrina.

MED-1 is an example of the kind of mobile medical treatment facility the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (S. 3678) will support. This bipartisan legislation aims to improve our public health and medical preparedness and responses during emergencies and disasters.

"I am pleased communities in North Carolina, like Charlotte, have made sure citizens can receive medical care in the event of a disaster by using mobile medical hospitals," Burr added.

"This mobile hospital reminds us that seconds count during emergency situations," Secretary Leavitt said. "It is reassuring to know that in those instances when time is critical, health care can continue to be delivered."

Senator Burr is the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness and introduced the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act in July. This bill was approved unanimously by the Senate HELP Committee in July and is pending full Senate consideration.

For more information go to https://www.burr.senate.gov

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