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National Disaster Medical System Sets Up Mobile Hospital In Brevard

Courtesy Jeni Hatter/Health First
The Florida Channel
20-year-old Cristina Aubrey, a Florida Institute of Technology soccer player, came to the hospital to get staples removed.

The National Disaster Medical System has been activated in Brevard County due to Hurricane Matthew.

Cape Canaveral Hospital in Merritt Island is still closed, although officials expect it to open by Wednesday. So Health First and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services activated the National Disaster Medical System.

On Monday, a team of 46 doctors, nurses and paramedics began seeing patients at a tent hospital at Holmes Regional Medical Center.

“Our goal is to take some of the patients and treat them that normally would have probably been sitting in the emergency department for hours and hours until they actually got seen because of the patients the ED handles on an every day basis,” said Knox Walk, the team commander for the National Disaster Medical System crew at Holmes Regional Medical Center.

Matthew Gerrell, a spokesman for Health First, said the evacuated Cape Canaveral Hospital has to be cleaned because the air conditioning was turned off during the hurricane.

“We are completing what’s called a thermal clean of the building. Every single part of the building is going to be cleaned so we can return to standard operations. We are on track to have that cleaning done and be open to the public again by Wednesday of this week.”

Florida Hospital New Smyrna Beach is also expected to re-open Wednesday.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.