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Officials eye firehouse as satellite facility

St. Mary’s health officials have scoped out the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department as a potential satellite facility for MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in the case of an overreaching increase of demand for hospital beds.

A satellite facility would care for those who have “less acute issues, but still need some observation,” Dr. Stephen Michaels, chief operating and medical operator of MedStar St. Mary’s, said on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re being extremely proactive in preparing for whatever comes our way in St. Mary’s County, and we want to be prepared for that,” Michaels said, noting at present, the use of a satellite location is still in the early planning stages, and no timeline has been set.

Health officials met with firehouse operators on Tuesday morning to discuss plans, and the Hollywood VFD was “willing to put anything out there,” according to Michaels.

Although the hospital has no estimate as to a number of beds a satellite facility could hold, Michaels said the hospital has “submitted its plans for what we think we can surge to,” also noting “a lot of coordination” has gone into a plan for staffing such a surge.

“We’re hoping that we can have just a mild outbreak here in St. Mary’s County, but we need to be prepared for anything,” Michaels said.

Through a health department spokesperson, Dr. Meena Brewster of the health department said the department has met with other officials to “plan for a local surge in demand on our healthcare system and resources,” including “expansion plans for hospital care … as well as possible alternate care sites where less severe illness could be managed outside a hospital setting.”

Twitter: @DanEntNews

Twitter: @DanEntNews

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