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“So, they don’t need us to tell them how to build or convert the facility,” she said. “We simply provided them with all the things they needed to think about when they were conducting a site assessment.” A lot of the site assessment team’s questions centered on some sort of medical unique aspect. “We would take that question, deliberate, and write out our response,” Pommerenck said. “We would try to work that response into our planning document and provide them with more information so that we could better inform the next team doing a site assessment. “I get having plans for a conventional hospital or medical facility, but there are no real plans for an arena,” she explained. “You had to be adaptive – I mean it’s a hospital – treating COVID, non-COVID patients – what kind of facility does the community need to address?” Pommerenck added that these considerations had to be taken into account and worked through authorities on the ground (i.e., the fire department of Miami had different rules and regulations than the fire department in Chicago). “You’re dealing with different codes at different facilities, different populations of patients,” she said. “It’s a lot of work for the district, so what we were trying to do was get them off to a good start and provide them with guidelines for a solid foundation. “Travia and his team from the Medical Center of Expertise conducted the site assessments and could reach out to us to answer any construction and/or contract administration questions. “So about 40 people, between the MX, our construction and contract administration division, and a few from the Architecture Branch comprised the response team,” Pommerenck said. “It was a big group, and we did a good job of delineating everyone’s role. “As of now, we’ve conducted over 1,155 site assessments and have helped Corps districts construct 38 alternate care facilities,” she said. Pommerenck added that though things are tapering down, the team is prepared for any kind of resurgence of the virus. “We made a final update to the binder where we took all the requests for information, the lessons learned – what we’re calling a playbook – that will be posted onto the Corps’ website,” she said. “So, if we should have a resurgence in the fall, it’s not necessarily going to be the same folks in leadership; so we wanted to have a short-and-sweet document that says this is how or what we consider an alternate care facility. Here are the other agencies involved – [the Department of] Health and Human Services, FEMA, health facilities, planning agencies, etc. “This is the down-and-dirty playbook where all the documents can be found, points of contact, and lessons learned,” she added. Mission aside, Pommerenck admits that throughout the whole ordeal, there were times she felt overwhelmed. “It was such a negative event – the sickness. I have a doctor friend in Chicago, who, in the midst of all this, would share some of the horrible things that were happening to her patients,” she said. “And I found myself getting emotional about how important this mission was, how proud I was of the team, and how at a minute’s notice, we all just helped each other. I felt proud to be part of the solution – all the lives that we affected and perhaps saved.” n

BY THE NUMBERS Through partnership with Defense Department agencies, private industry, and global stakeholders, Huntsville Center delivers leading-edge engineering solutions in support of national interests around the globe. $3.78 billion in FY 18 annual obligations PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS • 5 lines of effort • 43 programs • 4,500-5,000 ongoing projects • 8 Mandatory Centers of Expertise • 6 Technical Centers of Expertise Huntsville Center’s workforce of professional, highly skilled technical experts is committed to providing innovative engineering solutions to unique, complex, global missions to meet the needs of stakeholders and the nation. 1,113 employees in three locations: Huntsville, Alabama; Omaha, Nebraska; and Alexandria, Virginia PROFESSIONALS: • 115 professional engineers • 51 project management professions • 20 Ph.D.s • 17 registered architects • 10 LEED-certified professionals • 24 registered interior designers • 660 acquisition workforce personnel • 11 certified energy managers • 6 cybersecurity professionals

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