Federal health care partners are on Saipan to aid the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. with its COVID-19 response.
A team that includes two nurses, one paramedic, two physicians, and W-1 DMAT commander Lisa Hass-Peters are currently at CHCC’s Alternate Care Site at Kanoa Resort Saipan to take care of patients brought in to the ACS to receive monoclonal antibody treatment.
In a news briefing with Hass-Peters yesterday, she said that she and the team arrived on Saipan on Dec. 3 and will be leaving on Dec. 14 “with the potential of extending.” Hass-Peters also briefly explained what is the process of identifying patients for monoclonal antibody treatment, transporting these individuals to the ACS, and transporting these individuals back to the quarantine site they are staying.
Hass-Peters said she and the team receive a list of patients that are then contacted. Depending on their symptoms, they are then placed on a schedule to be brought to the ACS to receive treatment via the CNMI’s emergency medical services system, are met by nurses, brought to the ACS treatment area, and evaluated.
After that, pharmacists bring the medication, the patients are administered four injections, are evaluated for a short period after receiving these injections, and then discharged back to the CNMI’s EMS system who will bring these patients back to the respective site they are quarantining in.
Hass-Peters made clear that the federal partners’ role at the ACS is supplemental to CHCC’s efforts, and that personnel who have already been working at the ACS are already trained in administering monoclonal antibody treatment.
“The nurses and health care workers here [are trained in administering the treatment]. We are here to help augment and help support. We’re not here to take over. …We’re here to help, and they have been fantastic,” she said.
Speaking briefly on the working relationship with ACS personnel thus far, Hass-Peters said she “cannot speak any higher” of their colleagues so far.
“I cannot speak any higher of all the people that we have been working [with] here. They have been gracious, kind, and very understanding in helping us to become better to help you. We have had such a fantastic working relationship with them. They’ve been very patient with our questions, and seriously I could not have expected it to go any better,” she said.
According to its website, the W-1 DMAT is part of the National Disaster Medical System, a federally-coordinated system that provides medical capabilities in the event of a large-scale emergency that overwhelms normal local medical resources.
Hass-Peters explained that she and all W-1 DMAT members are professional medical health care providers and are considered intermittent federal employees. As such, W-1 DMAT is available to go as needed, she said.
Hass-Peters said that, outside of being W-1 DMAT commander, she is a registered nurse.