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Mayor Schmidt discusses Coordinated Plan with Hospitals regarding Ebola Virus

October 20, 2014 09:33 AM

I am sure most of you have been following for months the news out of Africa regarding the Ebola virus outbreak.  And most of you probably have heard that the virus has been discovered in at least three people, one who travelled to Texas and subsequently died, and two health care workers who treated the original victim.


And most of you have probably heard the "reassurance" coming out of Washington that there is nothing to worry about.  Towards the end of last week, I decided that assurances out of Washington were not enough, so I made contact with our two local hospitals to make sure that they had established protocols to detect and handle individuals who were suspected of being infected with the virus to ensure that the general community was protected.


With the assistance of Paula Besler, a Park Ridge resident and Director of Community Relations at Lutheran General Hospital, I convened a conference call on Monday afternoon which included Ms. Besler, the Hospital's Chairman of the Infectious Diseases Department, the Medical Director and others on the hospital side, and personnel from the City's Fire, Police and Community Preservation and Development Department which is responsible for health issues in town.  During the 25-minute conference, we learned that the hospital has, in fact, established stringent protocols for handling any suspected infected individuals, and that our staff has been briefed on procedures for ensuring their own safety and the safety of other members of our community, especially our paramedics who are far more likely than the rest of us to be at risk of exposure.  Although I am just a layman and must place my trust in these individuals, I was satisfied that we at least have a coordinated plan for addressing any issue that arises.


Later that afternoon, I had a brief exchange with Ms. Besler's counterpart at Resurrection Medical Center on Talcott.  I heard details of actions by Resurrection which are similar to those being implemented by Lutheran General. I have asked our City Manager to ensure that his staff has a conversation with the staff at Resurrection to make sure we are coordinated with them as well.


The City will continue to provide any new and relevant information as it becomes available.

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