UA hospital tapped as Ebola treament center
The University of Arizona Health Network's hospital on the South Side will be home to a biocontainment unit, ready for the treatment of Ebola and other infectious diseases. The UA system was named by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of 55 Ebola treatment centers in the country.
"It's a great honor to be selected and it comes with a lot of hard work by our Highly Infectious Disease Response Planning Team," Dr. Andy Theodorou, UAHN's chief medical officer, said in a news release.
"We consider it part of our mission as an academic medical center to provide cutting-edge medical care, research and leadership in any public health emergency," he said.
The Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix also was tapped as an Ebola treatment center by CDC.
In December, UAHN was named one of two infectious disease centers of excellence by the state Department of Health Services, making it Southern Arizona's hospital for the treatment of Ebola and other highly infectious diseases. Since then, UAHN has conducted two Ebola readiness drills, undergone a site visit by CDC specialists and sent staff members for additional training at the CDC in Atlanta and Emory University, where a number of Ebola patients received treatment, the release said.
While staff at both the University Campus and South Campus (formerly known as Kino Hospital) have received training in treating Ebola, plans are underway at the South Campus facility to convert several isolation rooms into a Southern Arizona Biocontainment Unit.
"Even though the likelihood of us seeing an Ebola patient is remote, we are working every day to be ready for that possibility, and for any other emerging infectious disease emergency," said Dr. said Sean Elliott, UAHN infection prevention director. "Our responsibility for the health and safety of our patients, our health-care workers and the public is uppermost in all our minds."