Updates & Alerts

International Medical Corps and Vista Medical Center East 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 Vista Medical Center East. The hospital is part of Vista Health System, which has served Lake County since 1891, and now finds itself managing the challenges associated with 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.

Vista Medical Center East will use its fully equipped emergency medical field units to expand triage capabilities, improve patient flow and keep COVID-19 patients separated from other patients. The clinical volunteers that International Medical Corps is sending to the hospital will help to augment Vista’s staff and alleviate potential workforce strain due to increased demands and patient volumes. Vista Medical Center East is the first hospital in the Chicago area to be provided with the field units by International Medical Corps. UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial, in Harvey, IL, will be the second.

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, Cleveland, 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 noon on Friday, April 17. Experts from both International Medical Corps and Vista Medical Center East 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 InternationalMedicalCorps.org/covid19. For questions about the emergency medical field units or any other aspects of International Medical Corps’ response, please write to media@internationalmedicalcorps.org.

For more information about Vista Medical Center East, please visit www.VistaHealth.com. For any media inquiries related to Vista Medical Center East, please contact Stephanie Vera at Stephanie_Vera@Quorumhealth.com or 847-360-4354.



Since its inception more than 35 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by natural disaster, war and disease by delivering vital healthcare services and by focusing on training. This approach of helping people, and then helping people to help themselves, is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org or visit our social channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Medium and YouTube.


Vista Health System is a network that includes Vista Medical Center East, a hospital in Waukegan; the Vista Lindenhurst campus, which includes the Vista Ambulatory Care Center, Lindenhurst Surgery Center LLC, the Vista Freestanding Emergency Center and the Vista Medical Office Building; and several locations for imaging and physician practices.