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Billings Clinic received a semi load of patient care supplies from the Montana Department of Disaster and Emergency Services to help address rising numbers of patients hospitalized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The supplies include 20 patient beds and hospital room equipment, along with a 30 day of supplies including PPE. Members of the National Guard assisted with unloading the supplies and set up the new capacity unit.

The additional hospital beds are being set up in an area used for physician on-call sleep rooms and surgical staff offices. Fortunately, this area was formerly the pre-operative patient care area, so the rooms all have medical gasses and other infrastructure needs. Physicians will be given rooms at nearby hotels for rest and the staff offices are being relocated to the Mary Alice Fortin Health Conference Center in the hospital, since no gatherings are being held there due to the pandemic.

Bed space in the new overflow unit will be used for non COVID-positive patients, allowing other areas of the hospital to handle the increasing numbers. Billings Clinic has already added hospital rooms in its former endoscopy unit, in a rehab gym, at St. John’s United and is using double occupancy in many areas. The hospital’s 24-bed ICU has four additional rooms under construction and the Cardiovascular Unit is serving as a backup ICU.

“By expanding our capacity, we can continue to care for the patients of our community and the region we serve,” said Dr. Toni Green-Cheatwood, Billings Clinic Chief Medical Officer. “We are truly grateful for the incredible support of our state and local partners.”

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