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Nellis Air Force Base hospital expands treatment to non-military patients

A military medical officer wearing a stethoscope around her neck places a pulse oxygen monitor on a patient who is also wearing a blood pressure cuff.
Senior Airman Haley Stevens
U.S. Air Force
A U.S. Air Force nurse performs a routine vitals check on a patient.

The hospital at Nellis Air Force Base is the first in the Air Force to open its doors to non-military patients.

The Mike O’ Callaghan Military Medical Center expanded this month to include critical care for patients in Las Vegas’ northeast region. They’re providing services like interventional radiology and a 24/7 cardiac catheter lab where access to medical care is limited.

The hospital has also applied to be added as a fourth trauma center in the Southern Nevada Trauma System. John Hammond is the Southern Nevada Health District EMS and Trauma Systems manager, and he says the new expansion is welcomed.

“At least from the EMS standpoint, it’s kind of difficult to get to an acute care setting from that area,” Hammond explained. “Having another facility there to accept some more patients would be a fantastic addition to the community.”

If Mike O' Callaghan Military Medical Center receives its designation as a trauma center early next year, community members will have local access to a trauma surgeon, and Air Force medics will be able to build their skill set to support their worldwide mission.

“Our mission is twofold,” said Maj. Stephanie Streit, the trauma medical director at Nellis. “We are caring for our community here, but we are also deploying across the globe. As we’ve built up our capabilities, we’ve built them up specifically with our community’s needs in mind.”

Civilian ambulance services and non-military patients can access the hospital beyond Nellis’ gates. Patients requiring a higher level of care are being transported to trauma centers in surrounding areas.

Lucretia is a part-time journalist based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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