HHS Deploys Medical Team to Baptist Memphis


Memphis, Tenn., – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed 15 medical personnel from the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis at the request of the State of Tennessee on Friday, Sept. 24.

The federal team, which will help treat patients in the hospital’s emergency department, includes a physician, pharmacist, respiratory therapist, advanced healthcare practitioners, nurses, paramedics, and safety and administrative support specialists.

“We are so appreciative of the extra support our team is receiving from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Disaster Medical System,” said Brad Parsons, administrator and CEO of Baptist Memphis. "Teamwork has guided us through these challenging times, ensuring our patients receive care when they’ve needed it most.”

NDMS personnel typically deploy for up to 14 days. After 14 days, the state may submit a request for additional support, if needed.

“I want to thank the hospital leadership and their incredible staff for the warm welcome we received when we arrived,” said C. Mark Gray, team commander for NDMS. “It is a privilege to be here to help save lives and protect the Memphis community. It is also an honor to provide our fellow physicians, nurses, and patient care providers some well-deserved support to help end this deadly pandemic.”

While the number of COVID-19 patients at Baptist Memphis has started to decline, Shelby County and Tennessee experienced a record number of COVID-19 cases in September. The COVID-19 delta variant, which has proven to be more transmissible than previous variants of the disease, has surged in the Mid-South and contributed to severe illness and deaths, especially among the unvaccinated.

NDMS is a part of HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). NDMS helps communities respond to and recover from public health emergencies and disasters. Since January 2020, ASPR has deployed thousands of medical, logistical, and command and control personnel from NDMS to help states, territories and jurisdictions respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They work as medical professionals in communities across the country and serve as intermittent federal employees when called into service. For more information about NDMS and each of our specialty teams, go to http://www.phe.gov/ndms.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis was named the Best Hospital in Memphis in the 2021-22 U.S. News & World Report. The 706-bed Baptist Memphis is the flagship of the Baptist Memorial Health Care system and serves as a major referral center for patients from across the Mid-South and offers many diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services. The hospital has added hundreds of beds in the past few years, with the opening of a new patient tower and the Baptist Heart Institute. According to HealthGrades, an independent health care ratings organization, Baptist Memphis’ cardiac surgery, stroke, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and critical care programs were among the top 5 percent in the nation in 2009, resulting in the facility receiving Specialty Excellence Awards.