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Cuomo designates Upstate University Hospital, seven others to treat potential Ebola patients

By Eric Reinhardt


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has designated Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse as one of eight medical facilities that could treat potential patients with Ebola.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate University Hospital is among eight hospitals statewide that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has designated to treat potential patients with Ebola.

Cuomo on Thursday convened state-agency leadership, along with regional hospital and health-care representatives, to outline New York’s plans for Ebola preparedness.

His office provided details in a news release distributed Thursday afternoon.

Additionally, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a commissioner’s order to all hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, and ambulance services. It requires that they follow protocols for identification, isolation, and medical evaluation of patients requiring care.

Dr. Howard Zucker is the acting commissioner of health for New York.

Besides Upstate University Hospital, the University of Rochester Medical Center is the only other upstate New York medical facility designated. The remaining five are in the New York City and Long Island area.

All eight hospitals have agreed to the designation and are creating isolation units to accept patients, Cuomo’s office said.

The state has also scheduled an education session for health-care workers in New York City on Tuesday “to ensure that New York is continuously prepared to safely treat anyone who is exposed to or contracts Ebola.”

The state Health Department will join representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Greater New York Hospital Association, the union 1199 SEIU, and the Partnership for Quality Care for an Ebola education session for health-care workers.

The event will include national and New York City-area infection control experts, and a hands-on demonstration of wearing and removing equipment.

The training is set for next Tuesday Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Javits Center in New York City, Cuomo’s office said.

Ebola is a “serious concern” for every hospital in New York, Dennis Whalen, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, said in the governor’s news release.

“Each institution is training staff and workers in proper procedures; ensuring appropriate protocols and plans for patient assessment and care are developed, in place, and drilled; and making certain that adequate supplies of recommended personal-protective equipment are available for staff,” said Whalen.

The Healthcare Association is “working closely” with the state Health Department and its efforts will continue as new information becomes available from CDC and DOH.

“We will work with our hospitals to ensure compliance with the commissioner’s order that reinforces the actions hospitals already have underway. Hospitals in New York state are institutions that are always ready to respond to threats of disease, disaster, and illness, and they are making every preparation to safely care for patients with Ebola, should the need arise,” Whalen said.

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