I was asked by the Governor of Massachusetts to stand up a 1,000 bed field hospital for COVID-19 positive folks in Boston. I was given 7 days for it to be operational. I was asked to lead this effort and was designated “Incident Site Commander” based primarily on my military experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, and training. I retired in 2012 after returning from my last deployed command in AFG, and was asked by the Red Sox owners and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) leadership to lead an organization called Home Base. We have built the largest clinical center of excellence in the US focused solely on treating the invisible wounds (PTSD/TBI/ Mental health) affecting actively-serving, veterans, and their families. We have designated this as the “Boston Hope” site. It will support a 500 bed field hospital and 500 bed COVID shelter for homeless people who are COVID positive. This is a partnership between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, City of Boston, and the private sector. We are drawing clinical staff from MGH and all of the major Boston Hospitals, staffing agencies, mobilizing the medical and nursing schools – and just had a request approved for a USAR Medical team of 85 clinicians.
BG (Ret) John ‘Jack’ Hammond
Army War College Fellow 2007