Navy medical team to extend stay at Bellin Health

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 10:34 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2022 at 6:04 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Navy medical staff will remain at Bellin Health in Green Bay for an additional 30 days to support the hospital’s COVID-19 response.

The team was set to leave at the end of January--a 30-day stay. The team is now scheduled to be at the hospital through the month of February.

A Bellin Health spokesperson says the hospital continues to need their support.

“The Navy’s assistance during this incredibly busy time has been invaluable, and their support remains critical as we continue to navigate the current COVID-19 surge,” said Bellin Health Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President Laura Hieb. “These highly skilled professionals quickly became valued members of our Bellin team, and we are so grateful for their service to our hospital and region.”

On Dec. 28, members of 23-person Navy medical team started working side-by-side with doctors and nurses at Bellin Health.

The Navy personnel include doctors, critical care nurses and respiratory therapists. They’re coming at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is also deploying teams to Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico.

Bellin Health President and CEO Chris Woleske believes Bellin was chosen for the FEMA help because they have recently constructed areas in the hospital that can be utilized by extra personnel and increase capacity. Woleske says the extra help will allow them to treat more patients and not have to divert those patients to hospitals outside of the area.

“It’s been two years in the pandemic so it’s tiring at times, but you know, we have to take care of people that are in critical conditions,” said Lt. Colin Clark, a critical care nurse with the U.S. Navy.

Lieutenant Clark says the spike in COVID-19 in the ER cases has kept them busy at all times.

“You got to be safe and just treat everyone like they have it at this point, so you keep yourself safe and you keep wearing the proper PP around everyone. So it’s just being more vigilant in what you do, and now it’s just second nature because you’ve been doing this for so long, you just naturally gown up, and you naturally mask and put on your N95,” said Lt. Clark.

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