An international nonprofit's global response to the COVID-19 outbreak is providing a local benefit.

Emergency field units, personal protective equipment and volunteer clinicians from the International Medical Corps arrived Friday at Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan.

The offering will enable the hospital to expand its triage and treatment space, improve patient flow and keep COVID-19 patients separated from other patients.

International Medical Corp has provided emergency disaster relief in response to natural disasters such as Hurricane Dorian and is involved in lifesaving work in war-torn Syria and Yemen.

"This organization has been all over the world for various needs," said hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Vera.

Vista Medical Center East is the first hospital in the Chicago area to be provided with the field units by International Medical Corps. UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial in South suburban Harvey will be the second.

The field units, equipment and supplies are funded by North Chicago-based AbbVie.

Assembly on Vista's field unit began about 10 a.m. Friday. It consists of a tent with three structures built in an 'L' shape around a central hub and will replace the smaller tents at the hospital.

"It can be a self-contained little hospital unit," Vera said.

Vera said anyone coming to the ER for COVID-related matters will be tested in the new tent, which can fit up to 20 beds and will have water, power and heat.

"It will give us a lot of added capacity and space to do our triages," she saidd.

She wouldn't say how many COVID patients are at Vista East but said the hospital started with 16 intensive care unit beds and increased that to 49 by delaying elective surgeries. "We still have capacity" in the hospital, she said.

• Daily Herald staff writer Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.