Mississippi Med-1 trailer
Jackson, MS — Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) unveiled Mississippi Med-1, a 100-bed mobile field hospital which is self-contained, self-sufficient and ready to respond in disasters and emergencies.
Three mobile field hospital units were purchased for Mississippi through $2.4 million in federal funds. Two of the units are combined, will be housed in Jackson, and staffed primarily by UMMC with added volunteers from Mississippi Baptist Hospital, St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital, River Oaks Health System and other hospitals in central and southern Mississippi. One unit is at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford and is staffed by state medical assistance team members from northern Mississippi hospitals.
Volunteers setting up one of the 12 tents
According to State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson, the units will allow for immediate medical response in disaster situations here in Mississippi or anywhere in the country if requested.
"Experience has taught us that in disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, the most critical medical asset is the ability to treat wounds and illnesses when hospitals are unable to function or have limited capabilities," he said. "This first line of defense can keep residents healthy and safe while area hospitals recover."
Mississippi Med-1 fully set up
The UMMC emergency responders have been training for over a year to set up and operate Mississippi Med-1. It takes only six to eight hours to assemble and a team of 40 professionals to operate.
"As the only academic medical center and the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Mississippi, we are pleased to meet our responsibility to the state by helping prepare for disaster," said Dr. Daniel Jones, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of the UMMC. "We're grateful for the state and federal support that enabled us to address this need."
Similar units are currently being used in North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and by all federal disaster medical teams.