“We need to continue fighting the fight,”: Fort Carson Army Reserve nurse talks COVID-19 relief efforts

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FORT CARSON — 1LT Michelle Kaplan works at Fort Carson’s Evans Army Community Hospital as a civilian, but in July, Kaplan traveled out to Edinburg, Texas to work temporarily with the U.S. Army Reserve Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force. 

“Initially, it was extremely overwhelming. The ICU that I’m a part of and work in was completely full, it’s about a 30 bed ICU,” Kaplan said.  

Kaplan and soldiers from the Army Reserve were sent to DHR Health as part of the DoD support to FEMA for COVID-19 response efforts. 

Hospital officials say their arrival has made a big difference.

“There was so much that we were getting, so many supplies that were necessary. That really required a lot of coordination and actually even a lot of redistribution and recommendations from them,” said Robert D. Martinez, MD, Chief Physician Executive And Chief Medical Officer for DHR Health. 

Kaplan says the days are long, but what they’re doing is important.

“Though we’re tired and we have given our all in some days, we just need to remember that we can’t be complacent and we need to continue fighting the fight,” Kaplan said.  

According to DHR Health, COVID-19 cases have begun to decline, but there is no timeframe for when Kaplan and her team will return home.

The hospital says they are learning a lot from the soldiers; lessons they can use from here on out.

“Some organization skills and some top to bottom discipline that I think we have been able to watch them use and have been helpful to us, especially in times when there’s chaotic situations or unknowns, people doing things that they normally don’t do because there’s so many patients around,” Martinez said 

“This whole pandemic is an ever-evolving situation and you know, in light of business’s opening again and people feeling like they can resume somewhat back to a normal life, you have to be mindful and you have to remember that this might be here for a very long time. There’s no vaccine, we don’t have a fix for it yet,” Kaplan said. 

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