Fort Bragg hospital provides medical supplies to effort in Haiti
January 22, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - When units from the 82nd Airborne Division were given orders to provide humanitarian relief to the people of Haiti last week, logisticians at Womack Army Medical Center increased their operational tempo to support the effort.
The massive 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 left thousands of people dead and many more severely injured. The United States, along with other countries and humanitarian relief organizations, has sent military members and much needed supplies into the devastated country.
More than $1.8 million in medical supplies entering Haiti has come from WAMC. Spearheading this effort is Lt. Col. Anthony J. Lopiccolo Jr., the director of logistics at the hospital. The supplies are delivered daily to WAMC from several prime vendors. Then Lopiccolo's staff organizes and readies the equipment to be shipped to Haiti. Once the supplies are ready, they are sent to Green Ramp at Pope Air Force Base and loaded onto awaiting aircraft headed for the small country.
"It's a matter of life and death for the people of Haiti," Lopiccolo explained. "When the 2nd Brigade Combat Team got their orders to go provide relief, they sent us requisition orders for medical supplies. It's our job to make sure they have the items they need to complete their mission."
According to Lopiccolo, between 40 and 50 pallets of desperately needed medical supplies have already been shipped to Fort Bragg units currently in Haiti. These items include antibiotics, hand sanitizer, surgical masks, gloves, water purification tablets and other items that will help prevent the spread of infections.
In order to make sure these items arrive to Haiti, some of the Soldiers and civilians working for Lopiccolo have been required to work round-the-clock schedules.
"Some of these guys have been pulling 20-hour days for the past week and have worked through the weekend to get medical supplies ready to be shipped," said Lopiccolo.
"At the same time, we provide medical equipment to every unit on this base and to the entire hospital, so we have had to maintain that, as well."
Spc. Olasunkanmi Adelana, a medical supply specialist from Nigeria, said that although he had to work over the weekend and at an almost nonstop pace, he is happy to be a part of the effort.
"I feel really good about being able to help the people of Haiti," Adelana stated.
"It's part of the reason I joined the Army and became a medical supply person. Our mission is to help Soldiers and people around the world."