Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg in Bethlehem, Pa., have been designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the CDC as official Ebola treatment centers in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Michael Wolf announced Jan. 6.
The hospitals join the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which were announced as treatment centers Dec. 2 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to a news release.
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, Wolf said in the release. 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 healthcare 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 U.S. Each facility is assessed on-site by a CDC rapid Ebola preparedness team.
The department is continuing to work with CDC and other hospitals in Pennsylvania to 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, Wolf said in the release. 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 Ebola patients. The department continues to provide training information, personal protective equipment, and information regarding processes and protocols for transport, testing and treatment to partners, according to the release.
For a complete list of Ebola treatment centers in the U.S., as well as other information pertaining to Ebola, visit www.cdc.gov. The department also has information available at www.health.pa.gov.
As of Jan. 6, no Ebola cases were confirmed in Pennsylvania.