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Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital opens Monday as part of COVID-19 patient surge plan

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Posted at 3:40 PM, Apr 26, 2020

BALTIMORE — The University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine announced the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital (BCCFH) will open Monday.

The BCCFH is a 250 bed Field Medical Station set up in the exhibit hall of the Baltimore Convention Center as a state licensed hospital operated jointly by Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center to support the city’s hospitals and health care systems in caring for increasing numbers of patients with COVID-19. All patients in the facility will be recovering from COVID-19, transferred from nearby hospitals.

“Opening this field hospital is a major victory in the fight against COVID-19 and one of our administration’s top priorities since day one of this crisis,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I want to thank all the frontline health care workers and our partners at the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine for making this pivotal health care facility a reality for Baltimore City and area hospitals. We are in this together and will get through this together.”

On March 16, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order directing MDH to work with health care facilities and providers to temporarily reopen closed facilities across the state and to take other measures necessary to immediately increase statewide hospital capacity.

“The opening of the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital represents months of hard work and intense collaboration between the state, the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of University of Maryland Medical System. “Its ultimate goal is simple – expand total city hospital capacity by hundreds of beds and hundreds of health care workers – all in response to the volume surge due to COVID-19. I want to thank Governor Hogan and JHHS President Kevin Sowers for their tremendous leadership and for their willingness to partner on this important project. We are all in this together and together we will get through this.”
“Now more than ever, we need to set aside competitive differences to put the health and well-being of the people of Maryland first,” Johns Hopkins Health System President Kevin Sowers said. “Partnering on this endeavor strengthens our collective ability to care for COVID-19-positive patients in Maryland while simultaneously ensuring our capacity to continue to care for the broader health care needs of our community.”

Over 1,000 external medical professionals / health care workers hired by UMMS and JHM will staff the BCCFH to ensure that the combined crisis response will not reduce staff at local health care facilities.

Patients from predominantly Baltimore City hospitals will be transported to the field hospital through either emergency department or inter-facility referrals.

  • All patients who will be admitted to the BCCFH are anticipated to be received as a transfer from Baltimore City hospitals and not as direct admissions.
  • The field hospital is not a community testing clinic and cannot be accessed by general referrals from primary care physicians.
  • The field hospital is not an intensive care unit (ICU).

Within UMMS and JHM, there has been an increase in patients with COVID-19 symptoms and the systems have been actively planning for this increase and are refining detailed surge plans for each facility - including staff planning and implementing innovative models of care such as telehealth capabilities.