Back to Top Skip to main content

General’s visit punctuates engineering efforts converting arena to alternate care site

Image of a contractor and a soldier looking at a blueprint Matt Johnson, program manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Alaska District, briefs Brig. Gen. Thomas Tickner, commanding general of the Corps' Pacific Ocean Division, on the construction plan for the alternate care facility at the Alaska Airlines Center on April 21 in Anchorage. (Photo by John Budnick, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON – Brig. Gen. Thomas Tickner, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) – Pacific Ocean Division, toured the Alaska Airlines Center on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus on Tuesday. A portion of the arena was converted into an alternate care site capable of treating coronavirus patients.

Last week, the Corps’ Alaska District, which falls under the Pacific Ocean Division, transformed the auxiliary gym of the arena into a temporary care facility that can accommodate 51 people should the medical demand exist. The design included a pipe and drape configuration for each patient pod; nursing and hand washing stations; and a conversion system to maintain a negative air pressure environment. In all, the project cost $1.26 million and was completed in one week with health officials receiving the facility on April 17.

“I commend our contractors, State of Alaska, Municipality of Anchorage, and the health community for this whole-of-government response to lower risk in the battle against COVID-19,” Tickner said. “Our hope is that the curve will flatten through social distancing measures, and that the temporary care facilities will not be needed. But if they are needed, Alaska's health community will now have alternate care facilities that enable critical care delivery. Even beyond COVID-19, these sites can increase disaster response capabilities for the state in other disasters, such as earthquakes.”

If the Anchorage-area hospitals reach capacity, then the alternate care site will be used to treat patients not infected with coronavirus. However, if coronavirus-positive patients become too many for the hospitals, then the new alternate care site is equipped to handle them, said Ella Goss, CEO of Providence Alaska Medical Center and overseeing the alternate care site.

“I am incredibly proud to be an Alaskan right now,” Goss said. “I think we have come together in a way no other state has to make sure we are caring for our people. We can’t do that without each other and without incredible partnerships and trust.”

Denise Smith, Continuum of Care director for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and chief nursing officer for the alternate care site, echoed those sentiments stating that the health community has a responsibility and obligation to be prepared for anything.

“The alternate care site would not exist without the partnerships,” Smith said. “So many organizations made it possible and when we collaborate we can move mountains.”

On March 27, the district received its first mission assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and conducted a facility assessment of the arena to determine its viability as an alternate care site. In Alaska, the Corps formed two assessment teams – one each in Anchorage and Fairbanks – as well as a design team. The assessment teams evaluate sites selected by the state of Alaska. Meanwhile, the design team applies the USACE standard design templates for expedient construction at the selected locations.

On April 7, the district received the FEMA mission to move forward with the conversion. Two days later, the contract was awarded to Neeser Paug-Vik Joint Venture, LLC of Anchorage and work began the same day. In the event that more patient space is required, the gymnastics practice area and main performance gym can be converted as well to increase capacity to 163 beds amongst the three areas. The main performance gym would require a little more engineering and configuration, however.

“Each patient pod would need to be its own self-contained isolation unit with dedicated exhaust and utilities,” said Matt Johnson, Alaska District’s COVID-19 alternate care site program manager. “It would be a little more difficult, but we can do it.”

Across the country, USACE has awarded 32 contracts for the construction of alternate care sites in 16 states, one territory and Washington, D.C; completed 1,125 site assessments; and executed 48 mission assignments worth $1.7 billion. More than 15,000 Corps personnel are engaged across the enterprise to provide support both on site and virtually.

Information pertaining to specifications and implementation of the alternate care facilities is available at https://www.usace.army.mil/Coronavirus/Alternate-Care-Sites/.

During emergencies, USACE is the federal government’s lead public works and engineering support agency, and given its extensive work building medical facilities for its military stakeholders is uniquely qualified to meet this engineering challenge.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

 

You also may be interested in...

BAMC nurses: “It’s us against COVID”

Article
8/6/2020
Group of nurses at a hospital

With safety on the line, mistakes aren’t an option when it comes to PPE.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Madigan collects CCP in fight against COVID-19

Article
8/6/2020
Four people in a hospital room wearing masks

Convalescent plasma has been used for nearly a century to transfer antibodies from a recovered person to help protect another from an infection.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

DHA to recognize COVID-19 front-line innovators and leaders

Article
8/5/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a COVID-19 test to service member aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

Who are the COVID-19 change makers?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Patient Safety | Patient Safety Champion Recognition Program

Indiana National Guard continues to train in the COVID-19 environment

Article
8/5/2020
Soldiers in the field, wearing masks and testing equipment

Training in a time of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

MHS asks COVID-19 recovered to donate plasma for seriously ill

Article
8/4/2020
Woman wearing mask and PPE holding a bag of plasma

Plasma donations needed in the fight against COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

MTFs plan and prepare to face any emergency or disaster

Article
8/4/2020
Hospital personnel surrounding a patient

Military hospitals make emergency plans and conduct practice drills long before a natural disaster strikes.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Emergency Preparedness and Response

Air Force mental health team provides for deployed troops

Article
8/4/2020
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathan Davis, conducts a weekly Disaster Mental Health battlefield circulation walk around Quarantine Town.

The Disaster Mental Health team helps combat the stressors of the novel coronavirus and improves the overall well-being of service members of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Coronavirus

DoD leadership updates Pentagon on COVID-19 testing capabilities

Article
8/3/2020
Image of Air Force Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Lee Payne speaking, with Pentagon sign behind him

How COVID-19 testing helps prevent spread of the virus

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army Medicine leaders visit BACH’s COVID-19 frontlines

Article
8/3/2020
Soldier in mask speaking to other soldiers

The commander shared both successes and challenges in the face of a global pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Air Force medical technician drawn to caring for others

Article
7/31/2020
Woman in white chemical suit

"As a medic, my job is to test people for the virus to help make sure they’re safe."

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

In this Together: Military Couple Recovers from COVID-19, Donates Convalescent Plasma

Article
7/30/2020
Couple wearing masks, holding bags of plasma

There is information that suggests CCP might help some patients recover from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Military Health System experts discuss COVID-19 innovations

Article
7/30/2020
Four men wearing masks, holding COVID-19 Airway Management Isolation Chamber

How quick thinking and new approaches are saving lives in the pandemic fight.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | July Toolkit

DoD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Version 5

Technical Document
7/30/2020

This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DoD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

McCaffery offers HA perspective to COVID-19

Article
7/29/2020
Man in mask presents military coin to female soldier

How a whole-government effort aided in pandemic response

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Marines donate plasma in fight against COVID-19

Article
7/29/2020
Man in hospital donating blood

All of the Marines volunteered to donate their plasma with the hope that their antibodies will help others.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 37

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.