ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A team of military medical doctors and nurses are now helping care for COVID patients at UNM Hospital. The 20-person team which includes pulmonary, respiratory, and critical care specialists began working in UNMH’s emergency room and intensive care units on Monday.

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The hospital is currently operating at 150% capacity and has been under crisis standards of care since November. The team is expected to stay and UNMH for 30 days but could be around longer if necessary.

“We are normally serving other countries, but now we’re serving our own. You know, taking care of our own people, taking care of our own families. giving back to our country. that’s what we all signed up for,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Judy Hanhila, clinical care specialist.

A 20-person team from the Department of Defense will also lend a hand to the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock. Last year, a similar team was dispatched to the San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington.