(October 22, 2014) — CSMS President Robert Russo, MD and CSMS Legislative Chair David Emmel, MD were among those invited to participate in a roundtable on Ebola hosted by US Representative John Larson (CT-1) at Hartford Healthcare. Rep. Larson was joined by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Chris Murphy, and US Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-2) for the discussion, which was closed to the media. Also in attendance were CSMS Members Rocco Orlando, MD (Chief Medical Officer, Hartford Healthcare) and Jack Ross, MD (Chief of Infectious Diseases, Hartford Hospital), who spoke about preparations at their institution.
The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss the preparedness of hospitals and physicians in dealing with a possible Ebola outbreak. Physicians were joined by representatives from the Connecticut Hospital Association, the Community Health Center Association of CT, and the Hartford Department of Health and Human Services.
It was clear from the discussion that Connecticut physician and hospital leaders are working together to prepare for the potential threat of an Ebola outbreak. However, every CSMS member needs to stay up to date on information (available on the CSMS Ebola Resources page) and prepare their staff.
Another takeaway from the meeting: while frontline healthcare workers need to be alert and prepared, the general public has very little potential of being infected by Ebola. Fear of Ebola should not prevent patients from seeking needed care at their physicians’ offices, from getting a flu shot, or from taking other normal preventive care measures.
The Congressmen and Senators thanked everyone for their efforts, and asked for assistance in developing a list of questions and concerns for CDC and other federal health officials.