Updates & Alerts

International Medical Corps and UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Partner to Respond to COVID-19 Surge

As part of its global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, International Medical Corps has deployed emergency medical field units, personal protective equipment (PPE) and volunteer clinicians to UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial. The not-for-profit hospital has served the community for nearly a century, and now finds itself confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Medical Corps field units enable hospitals to expand the available triage and treatment space at existing facilities, improve patient flow and keep COVID-19 patients separated from other patients. Depending on the configuration chosen, hospitals can potentially treat hundreds of extra patients per day with the field units, which can include patient beds, medical examination supplies, portable sinks, power, lighting and HVAC units. The field units can be constructed in approximately six to 12 hours, be operational within 24 hours and withstand sustained winds of up to 80 mph. Each hospital determines specifically how it intends to use the additional space and resources.

UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial will use its emergency medical field units to further support expanded COVID-19 community testing. The clinical volunteers that International Medical Corps is sending to the hospital will help to augment a staff roster that is under strain due to the increased demands and patient numbers caused by COVID-19. UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial is the second hospital in the Chicago area to be provided with the field units by International Medical Corps.

The field units, equipment and supplies are funded by AbbVie, and will help increase capacity at overburdened hospitals throughout the US, where International Medical Corps plans a total of 20 deployments. Emergency medical field units are now in greater Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Detroit and two cities in Puerto Rico; further deployments of equipment, staff and supplies are planned in New York, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and Boston. FedEx provides related logistical and shipping support to the nationwide effort.

International Medical Corps also has activated its volunteer roster of nearly 300 medical professionals to provide medical surge capacity to hospitals around the country, to fill critical gaps in patient care, nursing, and infection prevention and control. In addition, it is training existing hospital staff on preparedness, response and mental health needs as needed, and providing online training through its COVID-19 Learning Series.

International Medical Corps emergency team members will set up the field units outside the hospital at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 20. Experts from International Medical Corps will be available to answer questions from the media about the deployment, and about the steps being taken by the organizations to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.



AbbVie, a partner of International Medical Corps since the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa, is helping meet the need for expanded healthcare capacity for hospitals on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is funding the procurement of the tents, equipment, supplies and all operating expenses for deployments at 20 US hospitals through the end of 2020, as part of an overall $35 million commitment to support COVID-19 relief efforts around the world.

FedEx, as part of its long-time collaboration with International Medical Corps, is providing extensive logistical support, delivering the shelters and supplies as part of its FedEx Cares “Delivering for Good” initiative. The company uses its global network and logistics expertise to help organizations with mission-critical needs in times of disaster and for special shipments.

International Medical Corps is working globally with international health bodies, local and national governments, ministries of health, local health facilities and community-based organizations to provide expertise, equipment, training, and triage and treatment services in response to the pandemic. Its response prioritizes areas where the disease has already spread or where healthcare systems—and, thus, populations—are particularly vulnerable.

For more information about International Medical Corps’ global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://internationalmedicalcorps.org.uk/covid19.

For more information about UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial, please visit:

For questions about the emergency medical field units or any other aspects of International Medical Corps’ response, please write to media@internationalmedicalcorps.org.