The Imperial County Public Health Department has started the process to establish a Federal Medical Station (FMS) at the Imperial Valley College gym. This is an effort to respond to a surge of patients requiring hospitalization. The opening of a Federal Medical Station is the result of coordination efforts between federal, state, and local agencies. The FMS will have 80 beds and staffing will be provided by the California National Guard and the California Medical Assistance Team (CAL-MAT). Both are State-run programs.
Patients who will be seen at the facility will be low-acuity patients who will be close to discharge and will be transferred directly from local hospitals. Members of the public will not be able to access care directly at the FMS.
Stephen Munday, County Health Officer, stated, “I am happy to see how quickly our staff was able to coordinate the efforts to bring the FMS to our community and make use of this asset. This is another important step to ensure that local residents have access to the care that they need. We are grateful to Dr. Garcia and the staff at IVC for working with the County in such a quick and efficient manner.”
The County started discussions for the establishment of an FMS in April as the number of COVID-19 cases started increasing. A group of engineers visited various locations to conduct assessments this month and the Imperial Valley College gym was ultimately selected for establishing the FMS. The campus was chosen as the site for the FMS because it met the requirements for the type of facility that is being set up and the campus has good access for logistical support.
“IVC is the community’s college and as long as we are able to contribute to providing an opportunity to access local medical care to those directly impacted by COVID-19, we will. I express tremendous gratitude to the Imperial County leadership team and to our local hospitals and health professionals for their hard work and dedication,” stated Dr. Martha Garcia, Superintendent/President of Imperial Valley College.
Imperial Valley College will be responsible for loaning the gymnasium for use as the FMS. The facility will be operated jointly by the State of California and County of Imperial. The campus will continue to remain closed to the public and perimeters will be set around the proximity of the gymnasium. The initial plans are to have the FMS set up for a month and the duration will be frequently revisited. Additional information related to the Federal Medical Station will be shared as it becomes available.