Medical staff aboard the Mercy.
Sailors assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) admit a patient from Los Angeles medical facilities March 29. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciano.

The hospital ship USNS Mercy, which was deployed Monday from Naval Station San Diego to provide coronavirus relief in Los Angeles, began to accept patients Sunday.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our crew for all the hard work they did to get us here and ready in such a short time,” said Capt. John Rotruck, Mercy’s Military Treatment Facility commanding officer.  “Being able to accept our first patients is a true testament of the teamwork between Mercy, the Navy, the State of California, the county of Los Angeles, and the City and Port of L.A.”

While in Los Angeles, the ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals, and will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults.  This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients.

“The men and women embarked on board Mercy are energized, eager, and ready to provide relief to those in need,” said Rotruck.

Personnel onboard include Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners.

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