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ECMC Thanks Military Medical Team for Clinical Support

BUFFALO, NEW YORK As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on staffing and operations at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), an approximately 20-member clinical Department of Defense (DoD) Military Medical Team (MMT) was deployed in early January to the healthcare institution to provide clinical support to the institution’s frontline caregivers. The MMT’s two-month mission concludes today. Their support was primarily centered in ECMC’s Emergency Department and Critical Care units. Governor Kathy Hochul announced the MMT coming to ECMC on December 31st when the Governor unveiled the state’s Winter Surge Plan 2.0.

Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., PhD, President and CEO of Erie County Medical Center Corporation said,We are grateful to Governor Hochul, FEMA, and the Department of Defense for helping to coordinate the Military Medical Team mission at ECMC. The clinical members of the MMT have been tremendously helpful to our frontline caregivers and have provided excellent care to our patients. We appreciate greatly their sacrifice to provide much needed assistance to ECMC during a particularly challenging phase of the pandemic and we wish them continued safety in their service to our nation.

Congressman Brian Higgins said, “Time and again, members of the United States military answer the call when our country and our people are in need. Frontline healthcare workers here at ECMC and throughout the nation have given up their time, extended great compassion and risked their own health to serve others.  We are deeply grateful to the Military Medical Team for the expertise and support they provided during this national health emergency.”

Senator Tim Kennedy said, “As COVID-19 variants reignited surges in cases across our region over these last few months, the Department of Defense’s Military Medical Team played a pivotal role at ECMC, both for frontline workers and for quality of care. We’re truly grateful for the compassion these incredible individuals have shown, and for their willingness to provide critical relief in stressful and often overwhelming circumstances.”

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “Largely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Erie County Medical Center became one of the most capacity strained hospitals in the state. However, through the strong and tenacious response of the Military Medical Team, our frontline caregivers were given critical help to combat the pandemic. I applaud Governor Hochul, the Department of Defense, ECMC, FEMA, all the service members and frontline medical workers, whose leadership made this mission a success.”

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, “We extend the gratitude of our entire community to the MMT for their critical support during the recent virus spike, which is now thankfully receding. Together we worked through the surge and today we say thank you on behalf of the residents of Erie County.” 

Mayor Byron W. Brown said, I want to thank President Biden, Governor Hochul, and the Department of Defense for making these critically needed Human Resources available to ECMC when Buffalo’s COVID patient numbers were rising during the omicron surge. The Military Medical Team members sent to assist us were vital in maintaining a resilient public health system when resources were extremely strained. Their dedication, willingness to serve, and professionalism were an inspiration to everyone they encountered and their work at ECMC deepened my respect for the individuals who volunteer to serve their country through military service.

Buffalo DoD MMT Timeline

1/7/2022          Arrived in Western New York

1/8&9/2022     MMT Orientation for ECMC Operations

1/10/2022        MMT Shadowed ECMC Clinical Staff

1/11/2022        Full operation

1/29/22            ECMC Requested Extension of MMT Mission

3/11/22            MMT Mission Concludes

This MMT, all active-duty members of the U.S. Navy, was the first to be deployed by the DoD in support of civilian hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic; it was previously deployed for similar support missions in:

  • Lafayette, Louisiana from August 17 to October 21, 2021
  • Missoula, Montana from November 21 to December 24, 2021
  • DoD Support to Civilian Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As of March 1, 2022, the Department of Defense, through U.S. Northern Command and its joint force land component command U.S. Army North, has more than 575 military medical personnel deployed to 18 states in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • This is a joint effort, with medical professionals from the Air Force, Army, Navy all contributing to the whole-of-government mission.
  • The DoDs Title 10 (also known as active duty) support comes at the request of FEMA, who works with each state to determine their requirements for support.
  • Since March 2020 to present, military medical personnel have provided support to at least 128 hospitals in 102 cities in 31 states and the Navajo Nation.
This support was provided by more than 5,800 military medical personnel, broken into separate teams for each hospital and has included doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, behavioral health specialists, and other specialties as needed.
The military medical teams vary in size, dependent on the need of the hospital being supported. Current team numbers range from approximately 15 to 40 members in size.

For additional information, contact ARNORTH Public Affairs office at 210-845-9693 or

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About Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation: The ECMC Corporation was established as a New York State Public Benefit Corporation and since 2004 has included an advanced academic medical center with 573 inpatient beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and Terrace View, a 390-bed long-term care facility. ECMC is Western New York’s only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, as well as a regional center for burn care, behavioral health services, transplantation, medical oncology and head & neck cancer care, rehabilitation and a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and patient experiences – the difference between healthcare and true care.

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