Physicians and brothers LTC David C. Hostler ’04, M.D. and Christopher J. Hostler ’07, M.D. are both proudly serving on the front lines of the current COVID battle.
David Hostler is a brigade surgeon assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. From March through July, he was “on loan” to Womack Army Medical Center, designing the hospital’s phased and scalable response to COVID and attending in its ICU. Since mid-July, he has been serving as an intensivist with a task force from the 44th Medical Brigade, which was dispatched to South Texas as part of NORTHCOM’s response to an emerging COVID-19 hotspot. “I have trained my entire adult life for a situation like this and have built a skill set that makes me uniquely suited to help the team here in Texas,” says Hostler, who volunteered for the role. “While deployed, I had brief, intense periods of challenging medical care with limited physical resources. In this assignment the limited resource is manpower and there is no downtime; patients are sick and dying 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is, without a doubt, the most challenging medical practice environment of my career to date.”
Chris Hostler is an infectious disease specialist and Chief of the Office of Public Health and Epidemiology at the Durham VA Health Care System (DVAHCS). In this role, he directs a team of approximately 55 people to implement pandemic preparedness and infection prevention practices throughout the 27-county DVAHCS catchment area. Early in the pandemic, he and his team successfully contained an outbreak in a VA-attached Community Living Center and reported the lessons learned to the state, encouraging officials to conduct mandatory testing and improve infection prevention practices in community nursing facilities throughout the state. His team then started evaluating non-VA nursing facilities where veterans resided throughout their catchment area, providing education on best practices in infection prevention.
“I have no doubt that our proactive approach to assessing these external entities saved lives,” he says. Hostler, who had been consulting with the NFL and its Players Association on infection prevention practices since 2014, also co-founded Infection Control Education for Major Sports, LLC, which provides infection control education to professional and college sports teams around the country. “We help advise leagues and conferences on evidence-based best practices and recommendations for risk mitigation, and I believe that this pandemic will also lead to an increased focus on infection prevention practices within athletics longitudinally,” he says. Read more.