WakeMed Supports Pepsi Americas' Sail 2006 With Clinical Staff, Critical Care Transport and Supplies

State Medical Assistance Teams Collaborate to Open 3 Clinics and a Hospital in Carteret County

RALEIGH, N.C. — WakeMed Health & Hospitals will send 29 clinical and logistics staff, a Mobile Critical Care vehicle and medical supplies to support a state-wide effort to ensure adequate health care resources in Carteret County during the Pepsi Americas' Sail 2006. The WakeMed staff includes physicians, nurses, EMTs and public safety employees who will be sent in two shifts from June 28 to July 5, 2006.

Sean Gibson, WakeMed Emergency Services Institute regional disaster planner and coordinator for the Capital Regional Advisory Committee explained, "The need for additional medical support for the Tall Ships visit was realized very early on because the infrastructure of Beaufort and the surrounding area, including health care, restaurants and roads, are only designed to handle 150,000 people. During the Tall Ships visit, the area expects to host 450,000 people."

Gibson continued, "Additionally, for several hours on June 28th and July 5th as the ships arrive and depart, the Beaufort drawbridge will be impassible, isolating a large portion of the population from medical care."

North Carolina is one of the few states whose State Medical Assistance Teams (SMAT) have the capability to mobilize and construct a mobile hospital to assist during large events or during disasters. There are nine SMAT regions in North Carolina. WakeMed is a member of the Capital Regional Advisory Committee (CapRAC). To assist with the influx of visitors to the Beaufort area, the SMAT hospital will be established at the old Beaufort Elementary School. Three clinics will also be established in and around Beaufort.

"These types of events provide a unique training opportunity for SMAT teams to exercise command, logistics and clinical staff," Gibson said. "We are expecting to be very busy during the entire week and are excited to be a part of this terrific event."

Carteret County's only hospital is Carteret General Hospital, a not-for profit 135-bed hospital located in Morehead City, North Carolina. The hospital serves Beaufort, Atlantic Beach and Shackleford Banks. Carteret General's average census during the summer months is 85% with 110 patient visits to the emergency department visits each day. It is anticipated that the number of visitors to Pepsi Americas' Sail requiring medical attention will exceed the capacity and the traffic associated with the event will greatly interfere with normal access to medical care.

Beaufort was selected as the site for this historic 2006 visit because it is the home port of Horatio Sinbad, captain of MEKA II, who was awarded the Americas' Sail Trophy for winning the 2002 tall ship Class B competition. The North Carolina Maritime Museum and the Friends of the Museum helped sponsor Sinbad's sail and are the official state and local sponsors of the Pepsi Americas' Sail 2006. To date 14 ships are slated to participate in the week-long event.

About WakeMed
WakeMed Health & Hospitals, one of the first hospital systems in the country, is a private, not-for-profit health care organization based in Raleigh, N.C. The system comprises a network of health care facilities throughout Wake and Johnston Counties, including a 528-bed tertiary referral hospital, a 114-bed full-service hospital, a 68-bed rehabilitation hospital, two full-service clinics as well as two short-term, skilled-nursing and outpatient facilities. Specialty service areas include cardiac care, women's and children's services, physical rehab, emergency and trauma, orthopaedics, neurosciences and home care. WakeMed's team of 7,000 nurses, technologists and medical support staff and more than 1,000 affiliated physicians serve the residents of North Carolina using the most advanced technologies and facilities to ensure the finest in health care. For more information, visit www.wakemed.org.

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