Gov. Rick Snyder: Michigan taking aggressive steps to prepare for potential Ebola case

State agencies are coordinating efforts with hospitals, health care workers

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan is aggressively planning and working with hospitals across the state to protect residents should there be an Ebola virus case in the state, Gov. Rick Snyder said.

Snyder on Wednesday was joined by the state’s two designated leads in the Ebola effort –Michigan Department of Community Health Director Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Matthew Davis – as well as hospital leaders David Seaman, executive vice president of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and Barbara Medvec, senior vice president and chief nursing officer, for Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. as well as Cabinet officials from the Michigan State Police Emergency Management & Homeland Security Division and the departments of Agriculture & Rural Development, Environmental Quality, Military & Veterans Affairs, and Natural Resources to discuss the state’s preparation and coordination efforts.

Across the state, hospitals have confirmed that they are ready to identify and isolate patients with potential Ebola virus infection. MDCH coordinates with hospitals to provide updated information, encourage training, and assess their respective levels of preparedness.

“Our No. 1 priority is protecting Michiganders, their families and the health care workers who care for them. Our state agencies and health care community are working together to respond if a patient who may be at risk for Ebola virus infection is identified in one of our hospitals,” Snyder said. “Coordinated care means anticipating potential gaps and addressing them head on, and that is exactly what Michigan is doing.”

In the rapidly evolving situation concerning Ebola, state agencies maintain active communication with the public health and medical community to protect residents and ensure adequate training, education and equipment for health care workers.

MDCH on Tuesday issued an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to health care workers through the Michigan Health Alert Network.

“The Community Health Department continues its collaboration with hospitals and measuring preparedness levels to protect our residents, and see that potential patients who may present with Ebola virus disease receive the appropriate level of care,” Lyon said. “We recognize all Michigan hospitals for their efforts to conduct drills and prepare healthcare workers statewide.”

The MDCH and its Office of Public Health Preparedness activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center to assist with statewide efforts. That move allows state departments to more closely work together and make sure health care facilities are prepared.

“It is clear from our assessment that hospitals across the state are working very actively with their staffs over the past several days and weeks to implement the very latest set of recommendations from the CDC and ensure that their health care workers are informed, trained, and prepared,” Davis said. “MDCH continues to promote and coordinate hospital readiness along with preparedness of emergency medical services and community-based health care providers.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates its recommendations for hospitals to maintain safe work procedures for doctors, nurses and other workers.

As new information is released, the state agencies partner with hospitals, local health departments and health care providers to protect against any threat the Ebola virus may pose.

“We are committed to the health, safety and well-being of our patients, staff and communities,” said David Seaman, executive vice president of the Michigan Hospital Association. “We will continue to work with the state agencies to ensure we are as prepared as possible to provide care should a case of Ebola develop in Michigan.”

MDCH is urging health care facilities across the state to conduct drills, provide training, and assess their readiness to respond to patients with potential Ebola virus infection, especially as guidance from the CDC is updated.

Residents looking for information and resources in their community should talk to their local health department.

Visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ for information on updated CDC guidelines and protocols.

For more information on Ebola including symptoms, visit the new MDCH webpage at www.michigan.gov/ebola.

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