At a place on the globe almost directly opposite Greenwich, England, approximately halfway between Asia and North America, about 1,300 miles northwest of Honolulu, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean’s deep turquoise waters, lies three small islands encircled by a barrier reef, the whole of which is known as Midway Atoll. This remote location, famous for being a World War II battle site and a U.S. wildlife refuge, is like no other place where Medcor provides special operations.
The atoll’s naval airfield was an asset that helped the United States win the WW II Battle of Midway, a decisive victory that turned the tide of the War in the Pacific. Today, Midway’s Henderson Field serves as an FAA emergency landing site for trans-Pacific flights.
Planes are not the only flying things that can take refuge at Midway. Midway Atoll is the nesting place for millions of seabirds, such as frigates, boobies, terns, petrels, and a few varieties of endangered albatross. The atoll is also a refuge for endangered monk seals and threatened green sea turtles.
Medcor Clinic’s Mission
While Midway is closed to the public and no tourists are allowed, a small population of atoll caretakers lives there and receives medical care at a clinic operated by Medcor. A Medcor provider (PA or NP) is stationed on Sand Island, the largest of the three islands, to see to workers’ health needs.
Since the nearest urban center—and hospital—is more than a thousand miles away, the sole provider at the atoll is always on call. Because Midway serves as an emergency landing site, unexpected arrivals by air, in addition to those by sea, are always possible. This means that Medcor must be ready for anything—including the slim possibility of a mass-injury event.
From emergency situations to acute episodic care to routine health physicals, Medcor’s clinic must be stocked for, and the provider must be prepared to respond to, the atoll’s health demands. This level of preparedness requires a lot of forethought and a great deal of carefully-timed logistics.
Flights are chartered to the atoll only every two weeks. Flying from Hawaii, these flights bring food, supplies, mail, atoll employees and the occasional volunteer group—or a new Medcor provider.
Providers stay on the island for a limited period before rotating out. This rotation helps providers stay fresh and regain important contact with friends and family. While at Midway, occupants use land telephone lines and satellite internet to stay connected.
Not Your Typical Getaway
Midway is not a vacation spot, but it offers those who work there a rare opportunity: The chance to live on a private Pacific island. In January, its average high is 70° F, and its white sandy beaches may be for some a welcome sight over mounds of snow. As for Medcor, we welcome the unique challenge of providing onsite health services at this historical and scenic treasure.
Learn more about how Medcor’s clinics are tailored to the unique needs of each client.