Capt. Michael J. Wiewiorski, a physician assistant from Mint Hill, North Carolina, is one of the dedicated military medical providers providing care for patients in areas heavily-affected by COVID-19.
“It is an honor to serve in this capacity, and we will do our best to serve the American people,” stated Wiewiorski. He is now serving at the Boston Hope Hospital, a temporary COVID-19 facility set up at the Boston Convention and Event Center in Massachusetts.
He is one of more than 1,200 medical professionals of America's Army Reserve mobilizing to form Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces assisting local communities in this time of national emergency. UAMTFs are part of the Department of Defense response to COVID-19, which is being led by U.S. Northern Command.
"This call up is needed to support our fellow citizens,” shared Wiewiorski. “We are ready and willing to answer that call and do all we can for this country, and to save as many American lives as possible.”
Specifically created to respond in this time of crisis, each UAMTF can augment the civilian medical community by delivering a wide range of critical medical capabilities, including medical providers, nurses, respiratory therapists, and an infectious disease specialist. Each 85-Soldier team is capable of supporting 250 low-acuity patients or breaking into smaller units to meet mission requirements.
U.S. Army North, as U.S Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command, continues the rapid integration of medical capabilities in several locations around the country, while remaining flexible to rapidly respond to emerging needs as part of the Department of Defense’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The JFLCC has currently employed UAMTFs in six U.S. cities.
Wiewiorski transitioned, with very little notice, from his civilian positions at Novant Health center and StarMed Urgent Care center in Charlotte, North Carolina, to join the mission.
“We are very fortunate to be able to grow up in a country where you have so many rights and opportunities for success,” expanded Wiewiorski. “The military prepared me for success; it teaches you perseverance, respect, honor, and the ability to overcome any obstacle life throws at you.”
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Wiewiorski joined the Army right after graduating high school. He later served with the Navy before returning to the Army Reserve in 2010. He studied at Erie Community College and D'Youville College.
"This is what I wanted to do, and I will serve until I am unable to serve my country," commented Wiewiorski, who has also mobilized to Kuwait in 2019.
"My family supports my decision to serve our country, and they know this is a tremendous sacrifice that we all make for the benefit of our great country,” says Wiewiorski. “Without my family's support, I wouldn't be half the man I am. Keeping them safe in our country is all I could ever hope for.”