Cal Guard assisting skilled nursing facilities in LA County

By Capt. Jason Sanchez | California National GuardApril 30, 2020

Cal Guard assisting skilled nursing facilities in LA County
U.S. Army Spc. Makayla Montz and Pfc. Marc Jules Ocampo, California National Guard medical support team members, don PPE and prepare to work at a skilled nursing facility in Southern California to fulfill humanitarian support missions at the direction of the Governor, April 29, 2020. The medical support team is supporting staff at the facility, sharing best practices, and providing patient care for non-COVID-19 positive patients at the facility. (Photo Credit: Capt. Jason Sanchez) VIEW ORIGINAL

LONG BEACH, Calif. – California National Guard regional medical support teams are assisting skilled nursing facilities at 10 sites in Los Angeles County.

“We’re augmenting staff at those sites, and our teams are working under the authority of the administrators for each site,” said U.S. Army Maj. Christopher Scott, Joint Task Force 224 Medical Command officer in charge.

Each eight-person medical support team includes a physician’s assistant or registered nurse, medical technicians and one medical administrator. An additional site in Orange County has a two-person team. The Soldiers and Airmen on the teams are performing a variety of missions at each facility.

“The regional medical support teams are working with non-COVID-19-positive residents,” said Scott. “They are providing general ADL (activities of daily living) services, sharing best practices, assessing care needs of patients and staff, and performing CNA-type (certificate nursing assistant) duties.”

The JTF 224 Medical Command has been working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to serve the health care needs at skilled nursing facilities in the county. As medical teams’ missions conclude at some facilities, they are medically screened and reassigned to other sites as needs arise.

The California National Guard’s COVID-19 missions in Southern California also include supporting food banks, homeless shelters, testing sites, and medical supply warehouses.

Almost 2,000 Soldiers and Airmen from the Army and Air components of the California National Guard have been activated to support humanitarian missions throughout the state, with a total force capability of up to 19,000 people. The California National Guard supports emergency operations and civilian agencies at the direction of the governor.

“There is a sense of pride among all of us who are able to provide support to those in need,” said Scott. “We’re here to serve the citizens of California.”

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