FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Soldiers and civilians of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell continue to serve the community daily during the COVID-19 pandemic.Because every individual plays an important role whether on the frontlines or working in support, this week the Fort Campbell Courier highlights three Blanchfield Army Community Hospital medical professionals and their contributions to the Surgery Super Clinic in response to COVID-19.Creating the Surgery Super ClinicAs BACH’s medical services were condensed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, surgical services for urgent and emergency procedures were relocated to the Orthopedic and Podiatry Clinic, which temporarily became the Surgery Super Clinic.“My normal role is surgeon and chief of the Orthopedic and Podiatry Department at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital,” said Lt. Col. Roxanne Wallace. “My job during COVID-19 is officer-in-charge for the Surgery Super Clinic. That basically means, we helped consolidate all of the urgent and emergency care into one location that was non-COVID.”Wallace said the biggest challenge was making sure everyone in the Surgery Super Clinic had specialized protective equipment for their roles.“My main goal was traffic control and minimizing risk of exposure for our healthy patients,” Wallace said. “We were able to take care of everyone, anyone who had an urgent or emergency need, or care that just couldn’t wait. I think that has been a big success for us. I don’t think we’ve had a huge disruption to care.”Wallace said the overall response of her clinic and BACH has exceeded her expectations so far.“Looking back, I hope we would see that we did more than what was necessary,” Wallace said. “In my book, this would mean we were successful by flattening the curve and controlling the chaos of spread throughout the community.”Collaboration and teamwork have been huge for how her clinic and team have responded to the COVID-19 threat so far.“We had to communicate to all of the departments, so coordination was paramount,” Wallace said. “It’s been a job well done. Our staff worked very hard at writing protocols, thinking through problems, their effort has been huge. We are looking forward to continuing the success of containing the spread of disease and resuming elective care. We are going detail through detail of risk mitigation to bring all of our patients back in to take care of.”Protecting the teamNot only was the staff at Surgery Super Clinic working hard to transition services and adapt to changes, they also needed to make sure everyone was protected while providing care.“I’m responsible for the overall management of the team,” said Micki D. Cavender, clinical nurse officer-in-charge for the Orthopedic and Podiatry Clinic. “I wanted to make sure we were prepared in case we did have a COVID-19 positive patient, or a suspected COVID-19 patient. We needed to set up a room in case we did need to screen [patients], and we also needed to be able to work closely with the COVID-19 clinic to make sure our processes follow CDC guidance.”With additional services and procedures coming through the clinic, Cavender ensured her team was protected as they continued their daily operations.“With any new process, you modify the steps you need to take and make sure everyone has the same communication throughout the team, so everyone understands what they need to do,” she said. “We’ve been encouraging everyone to wear masks when meeting with patients or even standing together and talking for periods of time and maintaining social distancing as much as possible.”Cavender said the biggest challenge her team faced was wearing personal protective equipment and maintaining social distancing while caring for patients.“It’s a new experience wearing PPE constantly,” she said. “For us, we are hands-on with patients every day.”Cavender said her team has been extremely successful in continuing their mission while also adapting to COVID-19 safety protocols.“We are still delivering a high-level of patient care despite all of the changes,” she said. “I think there are some processes we will continue to use, such as telehealth visits. I think the changes we have made in how we deliver patient care has been a benefit to our procedures. I think our collaboration and teamwork have been a great success for our team, to be able to step in and learn the new processes and apply them as a whole has been great.”Staying safe in the operating room“I oversee all of the operating room technicians and nurses and help with the overall daily case load and all surgeries,” said Maj. Kristine D. Lee, officer-in-charge of the operating room. “Typically, our OR facilitates any surgical service available here at BACH, but during the COVID-19 operations we’ve decreased our capacity to only care for emergency and urgent cases.”Lee helped develop procedures for caring for non-COVID-19 as well as COVID-19 positive patients while keeping the health care team safe.“This was something completely new, this was not something we’ve encountered before,” Lee said. “It took a lot of hard work and research for everyone to stay up-to-date on all of the recent guidelines and procedures. Some of the things we did right off the bat were identifying special operating rooms we wanted to set aside for just COVID-19 cases, once we did that, we were able to erect physical barriers and walls around those ORs to protect the rest of the staff and patients from potentially being exposed to the virus.”Lee and her team also marked off specific routes patients and staff moving through the OR needed to follow to minimize exposure. They also worked with BACH facilities teams to develop a way for operating rooms to have negative pressure so that the virus, if present, would be contained inside those operating rooms.“We also introduced new PPE measures in the OR, one of them is the powered air purifying respirator, which is a hood someone wears that is connected to a hose and a belt which circulates air throughout the hood and provides a high level of protection,” Lee said. “Our anesthesia providers implemented an airway management isolation chamber device, which is a plexiglass box placed over a patient that prevents the aerosolization of any potential virus spread while allowing them to still see and touch the patient.”Lee said it took a lot of education for her staff, but they have been successful in implementing COVID-19 safety measures while continuing their mission.