HARRISBURG – Secretary of Health Michael Wolf has announced that Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg have been designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as official Ebola treatment centers in Pennsylvania.
The hospitals join the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), which were announced as treatment centers onDec. 2, 2014 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Ebola treatment centers are equipped to provide long-term care to an Ebola patient based on assessments conducted by the state and CDC that demonstrate they have the appropriate staff, equipment, capabilities, training and resources to provide the necessary complex treatment,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. “Penn State Hershey and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg join an elite list of hospitals that can provide this level of care while minimizing risk to health care workers and the public.”
CDC is working collaboratively to provide guidance and to help state health departments, local health authorities and hospital administration to select and officially designate treatment centers across the United States. Each facility is assessed on-site by a CDC rapid Ebola preparedness team.
As of Dec. 31, 2014, 46 hospitals in the United States are supplementing the three national bio containment facilities at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will continue to play a major role in the overall national treatment strategy, particularly for patients who are medically evacuated from overseas. Facilities are continuing to be added in other states to further broaden geographic reach.
“The department is continuing to work with CDC and other hospitals in Pennsylvaniato ensure that in addition to the four facilities already designated, additional centers are assessed and selected to help ensure regionalized, long-term care is available,” Secretary Wolf said. “As new hospitals complete all facets of the process, the department will notify the public of additional designations.”
The department also remains focused on ensuring that public health partners in the state, including every hospital, are prepared to isolate and treat an Ebola patient. The department continues to provide training information, personal protective equipment (PPE) and information regarding processes and protocols for transport, testing and treatment to partners.
For the current, complete list of Ebola treatment centers in the United States, as well as other information pertaining to Ebola, visit www.cdc.gov. The department also has information available at www.health.pa.gov.
At this time, there are no confirmed Ebola cases in Pennsylvania.