JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Green Berets from 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are assisting medical personnel at Madigan Army Medical Center, amid the COVID-19 pandemic April 14, 2020.
For two weeks, Special Forces Medical Sergeants (18D) have been providing rehabilitative and innovative care to patients at Madigan Army Medical Center in an effort to lighten the workload of nurses, paramedics and doctors at the hospital.
On a volunteer basis, five Special Forces medics assisted in protecting the force and JBLM community in both the emergency department and the intensive care unit.
“Currently, the 18D team is primarily assisting our emergency medicine physicians and emergency medicine physician assistants in the acute treatment of our installation's active duty and family member beneficiaries,” said Lt. Col. Allan Boudreaux, Madigan Emergency Department Clinical Nurse Specialist and Deputy Chief of Evidence Based Practice. “This treatment includes respiratory support, disease management, wound care, minor procedures, and the management of Soldiers with behavior health concerns.”
The Special Forces medics reinforce the civilian sector by integrating their unique perspective and the sharpened critical thinking skills they’ve honed throughout years serving as Green Berets. The impact of the Special Forces medics has made a significant difference at JBLM.
“The 18D team has provided invaluable assistance by augmenting the organization's physician and nursing staff,” said Boudreaux. “This included working directly within the clinical teams providing direct care to the critically ill and injured, in addition to specific treatment of patients suspected of COVID-19, he added.
The staff at Madigan is highly skilled and trained, however in these unprecedented times as the environment continues to change it is beneficial to have additional support to lean on.
“Medics, nurses and doctors each have their own job, but for us there’s a lot that overlaps between the three,” said a senior Special Forces Medical Sergeant assigned to 1st SFG (A). “Whenever somebody is having a tough time or someone is a little overwhelmed, we can step in there and provide some help and make things go a bit smoother.”
The resiliency and inventiveness displayed by Special Forces medics gained by operating in austere environments with limited capability, changes what health care looks like during this time.
The experiences and relentless mindset of Green Berets leads to unique dialogue and open exchange on how to exhibit ever-improving care for patients, said a senior Special Forces Medical Sergeant assigned to 1st SFG (A).
As Green Berets continue to assist in the fight against COVID-19, there is a mutual respect, learning and strategizing between the Special Forces Soldiers and Madigan staff.
“This process has laid the foundation for future Corps-level missions of an emergent nature,” said Boudreaux. “The teamwork demonstrated by all is a clear and true demonstration of Soldiering, and has facilitated processes that will allow for future mission accomplishment.”