Field Hospital Opens at Columbia's Baker Athletics Complex

April 10, 2020

A field hospital for patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms will open next week at Columbia’s Baker Athletics Complex at 218th Street in northern Manhattan adjacent to the NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian, in partnership with Columbia University and city and state officials, have converted a heated dome at the complex into a field hospital capable of treating as many as 280 patients.

Ryan Larkin Field Hospital at Columbia's Baker Athletic Complex
Ryan Larkin Field Hospital at Columbia University's Baker Atheletic Complex. Image: Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Medical treatment will begin early next week. The field hospital will not conduct testing, nor is it available to walk-in patients.

The additional capacity will help alleviate demand on other hospitals in the NewYork-Presbyterian system.

The Ryan Larkin Field Hospital is named for a Navy SEAL who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and died in April 2017. It will be staffed by military veterans, including physicians, advanced practice providers, registered nurses, and elite-level Special Operations medics. Additional staffing will be provided by civilian paramedics and emergency medicine technicians, care technicians, and mental health specialists.

Retired Col. Melissa Givens, MD, MPH, will serve as medical director of the facility. Givens has over 20 years of experience in emergency and special operations/disaster medicine. Kate Kemplin, PhD, an Army-trained nurse specialist in trauma and emergency medicine, will serve as chief of nursing. 

In normal times the heated dome at the athletic complex (called the Bubble) is used by Columbia’s varsity sports teams as an indoor winter-practice facility. 

inside the bubble at Columbia's Baker Athletic Complex
Inside view of the Bubble at Columbia University's Baker Athletic Complex before transformation into a field hospital for COVID-19 patients. Image: Columbia University.