Harrys Methodist Hospitals get portable surge hospital

The first non-military inflatable surge hospital privately owned by a hospital system made its debut in North Texas Friday.

Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital and Harris Methodist Northwest Hospital received a $441,929 federal grant to buy the unit, which will be used to supplement an existing hospital in the case of a widespread emergency.

Texas Health Resources 13 hospitals also pitched in an extra $235,580 from their federal Health Resources and Services Administration grant money to help pay for the surge unit, THR said Friday. All the hospitals receive federal money annually for emergency preparedness.

The surge hospital is 2,700 square feet and is equipped with 26 medical or surgical beds, 10 triage beds and four intensive care unit beds. The surge hospital also has negative air pressure flow, which allows an isolation wards for patients with infectious diseases, self-sustained generators for inflation and electrical capacity for medical equipment.

“Disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Rita taught us a tremendous amount about having contingency plans to care for large numbers of patients from neighboring states as well as how to treat those in our own back yard,” said Barclay E. Berdan, president of Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital and executive vice president of THR. “We hope we will never have to use the portable surge capacity unit, but we can take comfort knowing it is here if it is needed.”

The surge hospital is being kept at a trailer at Harris Methodist Fort Worth, THR spokeswoman Whitney Jodry told the Dallas Business Journal.

The surge hospital will be deployed to any of THR’s 13 hospitals or anywhere the federal government needs the unit to go if a disaster or emergency occurred.

Arlington-based Texas Health Resources is a nonprofit health care delivery systems. Its system includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System.

Web site: www.texashealth.org