Trenton – Governor Phil Murphy today announced the deployment of a mobile hospital to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to support a hospital that was severely damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The mobile unit was requested by the Virgin Islands Department of Health (VIDOH) to support the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center. The request was made through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a multi-state and U.S. territory mutual aid pact authorized by Congress and enacted by statute in New Jersey.
“New Jersey is committed to doing everything possible to help the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from this disaster—including helping this devastated hospital that is struggling to care for its patients,” Governor Murphy said. “We are fortunate to have the unit, and it’s the right thing to do.”
The state-of-the-art modular mobile hospital unit is owned and operated by AMERCO, a nonprofit consortium of New Jersey hospitals, in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH)’s Mobile Satellite Emergency Department (MSED).
The MSED, which is headquartered in Ewing, was shipped yesterday from the Pennsauken Port Terminal and is expected to arrive in the U.S. Virgin Islands in approximately two weeks.
The MSED is a system of modules: an emergency department/intensive care unit/post-operative care unit module, an operating room suite module, and many support resources. Expandable tractor trailers house each module, which can be connected to each other, or directly to a building.
USVI officials said they are grateful that New Jersey continues to be a major player in their recovery.
“I’m encouraged by and extremely pleased with the support the U.S. Virgin Islands are receiving from the state of New Jersey. Assistance from the New Jersey Mobile Satellite Emergency Department will be instrumental in getting our hospitals operational so they can serve the USVI community,” USVI Health Officer Michele Davis said.
Since October 1, DOH has deployed almost 100 emergency medical service professionals, nurses, disaster mental health counselors, and New Jersey State Police to support public health and medical operations on Saint Thomas and St. John.
The MSED also was used during Hurricane Sandy, both in New Jersey and in New York City.
The New Jersey resources will be linking up with additional resources from North Carolina to provide Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center the needed capacity to serve the residents of and visitors to St. Croix, until the existing hospital can be repaired or rebuilt.
DOH and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management have been working with VIDOH to arrange for deployment of the resource.
“On behalf of AMERCO’s members, we are so pleased to help the residents of U.S. Virgin Islands while they rebuild their damaged hospitals, and we thank Governor Murphy for his leadership,” said AMERCO President Adam Beder.