By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Scott Bigley,
NEW YORK (NNS) — The hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) began admitting patients from hospitals in New Jersey April 17 in an effort to expand its support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.
New Jersey state hospitals coordinated with Comfort doctors to ensure patients could be effectively transferred across state lines and aboard the ship to receive care.
“Every one of those that we pull from the community or from the city hospitals is one more open bed for New Jersey hospitals to refill,” said Capt. Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the medical treatment facility aboard Comfort. “I’m very proud of the crew, our medical providers, nurses, support staff that are providing outstanding care to the people of New York City and New Jersey. We look at it as one patient at a time.”
Moored in New York, the ship serves as a referral hospital for critical and non-critical patients without regard to their COVID-19 status. Comfort is working with Javits New York Medical Station, federal and state officials as an integrated system to relieve the medical systems for both New York City, as well as nearby New Jersey, in support of U.S. Northern Command’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comfort is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has more than 1,200 personnel embarked for the New York mission including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over civil service mariners.