Augusta, Ga., Army Reserve physician shares COVID-19 patient care experience

By Lt. Col. Meritt Phillips | Army Reserve Medical Command | May 14, 2020

NEWARK, N.J. —

“I have never felt so proud to be Soldier,” shared Lt. Col. Wanda D. Jirau-Rosaly, an Army Reserve physician from Augusta, Georgia.

“Everywhere we go, people are thanking us for coming here to help them,” continued Jirau-Rosaly. “Even though we feel like we are just doing our job, we are doing so much more in terms of morale and support.”

Jirau-Rosaly is one of more than 1,200 Army Reserve medical professionals that have mobilized in Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces as part of the Department of Defense 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.

Jirau-Rosaly, a family physician, is augmenting the staff at the Rutgers University Hospital in New Jersey as part of the inpatient team and dental extension clinic for COVID-19 infected patients.

“It is a lot of moving quickly; being called to be ready in 24 hours,” shared Jirau- Rosaly, who was about to start a new position in inpatient medicine before she received the call to mobilize in April. “It has been stressful but also encouraging to know that the Army can move so quickly to respond to the United States’ needs.”

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Jirau-Rosaly joined the Army through the Health Professions Scholarship Program while attending the Universidad Central Del Caribe School of Medicine in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. She completed her residency at Darnell Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas and served in assignments at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Lewis, Washington, and Fort Gordon, Georgia before transitioning to the Army Reserve.

Jirau-Rosaly, traditionally serves with the Army Reserve Medical Command, South East Medical Area Readiness Support Group, 7201st Medical Support Unit in Gainesville, Florida.

When asked about the support of her family regarding her mission, the wife and mother of three shared her family was supportive but naturally have concerns.

They are “proud but also concerned about my health,” she stated. She emphasized she is also proud to serve. “I enjoy caring for Soldiers and in moments like this, making a difference and serving my country. I feel blessed to be given this opportunity to serve our nation in this time of need.”

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