GALESBURG, Ill. — A doctor in Galesburg is speaking out after returning from a short-term deployment to Chicago with the 182nd Medical Group for Peoria Air National Guard.
Dr. Josh Carpenter works at OSF Healthcare St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, Illinois. Carpenter and his team were looking for alternative places to care for patients in the coming weeks when the healthcare system is expecting a surge due to COVID-19.
"Honestly this may be the single most important thing that I do to save lives in my life," Carpenter said.
Carpenter and his team inspected plumbing and air supply at facilities like hotels and recently closed hospitals. He says he believes his group found a way to expand care to 12,000 more people.
"I currently work in the hospital that I was born in and my family is still here, Carpenter said.
"So as I was finding rooms and trying to decrease the burden on the healthcare, I knew that should this come downstate I'm going to be a part of this and this very well could affect my family. So I wanted to make sure that we had a viable options for decreasing the burden on the healthcare systems."
McCormick Place in Chicago is the first of five planned facilities across the state that have been identified as alternative care sites.