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NEWS | June 8, 2020

Hendersonville, N.C., physician assistant serves with military COVID-19 response

By Lt. Col. Meritt Phillips Army Reserve Medical Command

“Working face to face with the American people on this mission is the proudest I have been in my career,” said Capt. Jeremy Moses. “I am glad that we were called upon to help in this way.”

Moses, a physician assistant, recently mobilized with an Army Reserve Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force. He is one of more than 1,200 Army Reserve medical professionals that were activated as part of the Department of Defense response to COVID-19, led by U.S. Northern Command.

Specifically created to respond to the pandemic, 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. Moses served with UAMTF 801-1, assigned to Boston Hope, a temporary medical facility located at the Boston Convention Center in Massachusetts. The task forces’ mission was to support the local healthcare system by caring for lower acuity COVID positive patients and freeing up room in hospitals.

“Although the facility was constructed when we arrived, a lot of the details had yet to be determined,” said Moses. “We quickly established workflow and improved existing processes and within a few days. Everyone was flexible and effortlessly adjusted to the almost daily changes.”

“Working with a variety of medical specialists with an astoundingly broad base of experiences was very helpful. For each issue that arose, we seemed to have someone well versed with a solution. Our command team did a fantastic job allowing us room to be flexible, which was essential for our success.”

Boston Hope, designated as an acute long term care facility by the state of Massachusetts, was set up for COVID-19 positive patients that required rehabilitation and services like physical and occupational therapy after discharge from a hospital and before they were deemed safe to return home.

“I was struck by how grateful the patients were to be there. Nearly every patient thanked me for taking care of them,” recounted Moses. “I had a patient whose wife was in the hospital and about to be transferred to Boston Hope the day he was being discharged. He was disappointed he would not be able to see her, but he said that if she was coming here, he knew she would be well cared for and I could tell he meant it. That exchange might be one of the high points of my career so far.”

Originally from Ocala, Florida, Moses reflected on his military experience. “I have been a member of the Army Reserve my entire adult life. It has become part of who I am. It has helped me find direction in my life and provided me with almost all the opportunities I have had.”

“I joined the Army Reserve after high school to help pay for college and to find a career,” he continued. “I did not have any specific plans for my life yet and enlisted as a combat medic almost at random. This became my spring board into medicine.”

Moses was first assigned to the 7201st Medical Support Unit in Gainesville, Florida, and deployed twice as an enlisted Soldier. He served in Kosovo in 2007-2008 as the assistant non-commissioned officer in charge of an emergency room and mobilized again in 2011 to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas as the noncommissioned officer in charge of an audiology clinic at the Soldier Readiness Processing site.

“I have received all of my medical training from the Army. I was first trained as a combat medic and served about 10 years as an enlisted Soldier in the Reserve."

Moses went on to completed his undergraduate education at the University of Florida where he majored in Biology. He was accepted to the Department of Defense Interservice Physician Assistant Program at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas and completed his clinical rotations at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

“I could serve every day for the rest of my life and not repay the Army for everything the service has provided me. I am proud to serve in the armed forces of what is still the greatest nation our world has ever known.”

Moses now serves with the Army Reserve Medical Command, Central Medical Area Readiness Support Group, 7244th Medical Support Unit in Mount Caramel, Tennessee and resides with his family in Hendersonville, North Carolina. When not in uniform, he is employed by Pardee Adult and Family Medicine.

“My family is very supportive of my service in the Army Reserve. My wife is also a former Soldier and understands what it means to serve. I am very grateful to have such a supportive family at home.”

Reflecting upon his return back home to North Carolina, Moses stated, “The social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing was very helpful in limiting the magnitude of this outbreak. As we start to reopen businesses, everyone should please try to maintain those good habits. It is now on every person to do their part.”