BCFS Health and Human Services EMD is a nonprofit partner of federal, state, and local government agencies as well as private industry. It specializes in a range of capabilities including mass care, medical sheltering for vulnerable populations, incident management, and public health management. During the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which produced storms including Dolly, Gustav, and Ike, the organization leveraged its expertise to assist residents of the hard-hit Galveston, Texas area. The entire season was one of the most destructive on record and caused more than $50 billion in damages across multiple southern states.
To help the evacuees and responders in the Galveston area, EMD operated on-demand medical shelters. These are built to help thousands of people a day and were vital for ensuring the wellbeing of the more than 17,000 evacuees and responders that needed EMD’s assistance. In addition to medical care services, EMD also managed the relocation of evacuees from Galveston to nearby Galveston Island, and continued to provide this population with transportation services and medical care throughout the process.
As part of the disaster response, EMD also built and managed Federal Medical Stations (FMS) to provide surge beds to support the local healthcare system. These FMS’s offered emergency medical care and needed supplies and could treat up to 250 people at a time. Every FMS offers full care services, encompassing beds and supplies as well as a pharmacy, laboratory, and base support consisting of administrative supplies and infrastructure management.
During the 2008 hurricane season, three FMS were constructed. EMD managed two of these, with the third operated by federal government staff. Each FMS provided people with prescription distribution and management, bed services, and vital sign monitoring, among other capabilities. The federally managed FMS needed assistance from EMD to improve the station’s work with local organizations and to reduce supply chain issues.
The FMS nursing teams treated non-acute issues including common respiratory problems and managed transporting guests for offsite care such as dialysis treatments as needed