We're honored that we were able to host U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at our Coronavirus Testing Center located at Charlotte Motor Speedway

News, Coronavirus Updates | 2 years ago

U.S. Secretary of Health Visits Atrium Health COVID-19 Testing Site to Discuss North Carolina's Response

We're honored that we were able to host U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at our Coronavirus Testing Center located at Charlotte Motor Speedway. During his visit, Secretary Azar was able to tour our COVID-19 testing site, preview Atrium Health's brand new MED-1 mobile hospital and participate in a roundtable with Atrium Health leaders to discuss North Carolina's response to the virus.

Atrium Health had the eyes and ears of the nation’s top healthcare official on Thursday. Atrium Health welcomed U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to Charlotte Motor Speedway — home to one of Atrium Health's many COVID-19 testing sites in our surrounding communities. This testing site was opened in partnership with the Charlotte Motor Speedway in late March, making it the first professional sports venue in the country to serve the community in this way. Used as a valued resource for those who might be experiencing symptoms, Atrium Health’s Coronavirus Testing Centers have tested over 35,000 residents with over 2,500 confirmed cases in the Charlotte region to-date, as it continues to safely provide accessible testing to the community.

Secretary Azar’s visit comes ahead of the 2020 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race, a historic Memorial Day Weekend tradition held each year at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sunday’s event is the first of four over a four-day period, with live competition racing scheduled each day, Sunday through Wednesday. As some of the year's first sporting events to return after a lengthy delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the races will look a quite different. Due to social distancing directives limiting the size of crowds, no spectators will be in the stands. Atrium Health will deploy members of its Sports & Events Medicine team to provide screening for fevers and symptoms of COVID-19 for drivers, crew, employees, broadcasters and others working the events. The process is designed to help prevent someone who is contagious from entering the facility.

In addition to touring the grounds and learning about the plans set in place for the upcoming race, Secretary Azar was able to meet with Atrium Health President and CEO Eugene A. Woods, along with several other Atrium Health executives and local members of Congress. In these conversations, the Secretary was able to learn about our COVID-Safe approach toward patient care, discuss Atrium Health’s achievements in coronavirus testing outreach to underserved and minority communities, and was able to personally thank our hardworking teammates who have been on the frontlines showing their unwavering commitment to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing — for all.

As a special treat, Secretary Azar was also able to tour Atrium Health’s brand new MED-1, the second in its arsenal of these unique mobile hospital units.

A complete emergency department on wheels, both MED-1 mobile hospitals consist of up to 14 acute care beds, a 2-bed operating room, digital X-rays, ultrasounds, an on-site lab, a pharmacy and other essential emergency department necessities. Since inception, MED-1 has been the only first-class mobile emergency department in the region, providing on-the-ground emergency care to sick or injured patients following large-scale crises. MED-1 is fully staffed by Atrium Health teammates including physicians, nurses, medical technicians and support staff to provide expert patient care at a level that is expected in any emergency department.

As Secretary Azar heads back to Washington D.C., we want to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation to him for taking time to come visit us at our Coronavirus Testing Center in North Carolina. We are honored to be recognized as a leader and innovator in our industry and proudly represent the state of North Carolina. We remain committed to serving the needs of our community – providing a COVID-Safe environment for health care – as we move into the next phase of our state’s economy beginning to reopen.

For more, visit AtriumHealth.org/Safe