(TN National Guard press release) Tennessee’s Adjutant General and representatives from Tennessee’s Department of Health visited three medical facilities in East Tennessee where Soldiers and Airmen with the Tennessee National Guard are actively helping medical staff in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Sept. 30.
Tennessee Department of Health’s Dr. Morgan McDonald and Diane Dubinski accompanied Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes and visited Johnson City Medical Center, Knoxville’s University of Tennessee Medical Center, and Chattanooga’s Erlander Health System.
“The coordination between the National Guard and the Department of Health has been critical to supporting hospitals during the recent weeks of unprecedented strain on Tennessee hospitals,” said McDonald. “We heard first hand again today that deploying clinical and administrative personnel has been nothing short of life-saving.”
During the tour at each medical center, Holmes met with service members and medical staff while observing their COVID-19 patient care facilities.
“We have some of our top professionals, who not only volunteered in a time of uncertainty to help when the pandemic first began but who are still helping our State and Nation over a year later,” said Holmes. “These men and women left their families, their communities, and their jobs to be in this fight against the virus and help our fellow Tennesseans. I truly am humbled and proud of these Soldiers and Airmen for their service.”
Several of the medical personnel and Guardsmen have been fighting the pandemic since it began in March 2020.
“The pandemic has impacted all of us, one way or another, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to help fight the COVID-19 virus and save lives,” said 1st Lt. Promise Newman, Joint Task Force Medical’s officer in charge for Hamilton, Monroe, and McMinn counties. “Through this experience, I’ve been able to meet and work with some incredible people. I am beyond appreciative to be making an impact in my local community and hometown of Chattanooga.”
Currently, Tennessee Guardsmen are supporting 39 medical facilities across the state, providing administrative support to frontline health care professionals as they fight the virus day in and day out.