In September 2014, the first-ever confirmed case of travel-associated Ebola arrived on U.S. soil. Since that time, emergency planners across the country have been working to prepare our healthcare systems and communities to respond to highly infectious diseases
In the largest Ebola response training to date, a team of planners led by faculty and staff at the University of Georgia hosted a tabletop exercise engaging nearly 45 emergency response coalitions and various state and federal partners across six Southeast states within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Region IV.
Supported by a grant from the Healthcare Preparedness Program at the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Institute for Disaster Management at The University of Georgia College of Public Health facilitated the training in their Emergency Operations Center on June 18th in Athens, Georgia.
“The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate what we call our tier three frontline facilities in Georgia,” said Dr. Curt Harris, director of the Institute for Disaster Management.
“We want to ensure that all providers who encounter a patient with a highly infectious disease knows how to identify and isolate them, and ultimately inform authorities so the patient can get to definitive care and minimize the risk to the public.”
Training frontline facilities to respond quickly and appropriately to a possible Ebola patient is crucial to preventing the spread of the disease and protecting our workforce.
The exercise, which served as a test run for a full-scale exercise taking place in November, will ultimately help federal planners and their local partners inform and update their infectious disease response plan.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 19