TONASKET – With the arrival of Ebola Viral Disease to the United States, North Valley Hospital District is responding quickly with a mandatory education and training session for our nearly 230 member staff. Although the chance of Ebola reaching Okanogan County is unlikely, we feel that it’s very important to circumvent the problems that the Texas hospital incurred with staff being unprepared to handle patients with Ebola and want to mitigate any risk there may be to our staff and community.
North Valley Hospital is in constant contact with the Okanogan County Public Health Department who have been in regular communication with and receiving updates from the CDC. While this situation requires extensive preparation, there is no reason to believe that there will be widespread Ebola transmission in the United States.
Here are some of the ways that NVHD is preparing for the Ebola Viral Disease:
- Coordination and regular communication with the County Public Health Department and ongoing preparations
- Coordination with local primary care physicians
- Training with our intake staff on triage and screening to ensure any individual presenting with symptoms that are similar to Ebola are properly screened
- Staff training of the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- We have an on-site Infection Preventionist Nurse (Marcia Naillon, RN) who is knowledgeable and dedicated to ensuring the safety of our staff and community
- We have a committee comprised of our CEO, Lab Manager, Director of Nursing, Infection Preventionist and Safety Officer meeting frequently to ensure our facility is prepared.
Ebola is not being spread from person to person in the United States and it is not likely in the future. The strong infrastructure of our Public Health and Health Care System in the U.S. is highly qualified to stop the transmission of Ebola, just as it stops the transmission of many other communicable diseases. We are absolutely confident that Ebola will not spread as it has in West Africa because of our sophisticated health care system and we want our community to know that we are working closely with our regional health care system to be prepared.