Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Aaron Gopp

Nurse anesthetist mobilized to NYC to assist in COVID-19 response

By Maj. Michael Meyer | Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System | 5-12-2020

As the nation celebrated National Nurses Week in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis has magnified the critical role nurses, both civilian and military, play in the battle against the virus.

Lt. Col. Aaron Gopp, a Citizen-Soldier from Fruitland, Idaho is one of more than 1,200 Army Reserve medical professionals that have been mobilized in Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces as part of the Department of Defense’s response to COVID-19 led by U.S. Northern Command.

Specifically created to respond in this time of crisis, UAMTFs augment the civilian medical community by delivering a wide range of critical medical capabilities. Each 85-person UAMTF consists of doctors, nurses, combat medics, respiratory therapists, and ancillary personnel. The Reserve medical professionals work alongside active duty medical specialists representing all services of the military.

Gopp received the call to mobilize April 5, and within days was working in an intensive care unit at the Javits Center in New York City. His responsibilities included providing critical care management that at times required intubating or inserting a breathing tube into the patient’s airway to connect them to a ventilator.

"Overall, the combined teams that worked at Javits took care of 1,095 patients," said Gopp.

Gopp, a graduate of the University of Iowa, has a master’s degree in nursing and is a certified registered nurse anesthetist who in his civilian career provides anesthesia services at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario, Oregon.

Gopp also serves as a medical exercise trainer with the 7305th Medical Training Support Battalion in Sacramento, California, a supporting unit of the Medical Readiness and Training Command. MRTC provides advanced medical training by leading several annual field exercises, such as Global Medic, for more than 2,000 troops across all branches of the U.S. military alongside multi-national allies including Canada, Germany, and Britain.

"I've been in medicine for 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this," said Gopp. "It's not like the flu, this is nasty stuff—it’s just a crazy disease."

Click here to read the full article as it was published by DVIDS

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