Ebola: Lessons learned
December 22nd, 2016
Among the lessons to be taken from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the value of physician training programs like the Family Medicine Residency at JPS, which makes Tarrant County better prepared for disasters such as the emergence of an unfamiliar disease, Dr. Kent Brantly told fellow JPS physicians.
“When there is a disaster on the other side of the world, we are no more than a plane flight from having that disaster come through our front door,” said Brantly, featured speaker at December’s Research Roundtable. “We are all connected. Those people are our neighbors. What affects our neighbors is going to affect us.”
Some residents in the Family Medicine program at JPS participate in international medical missions, as Brantly did after completing his residency in 2013. He was stricken with Ebola while working in Liberia during that country’s outbreak and was evacuated to the U.S. for treatment at Emory University in Atlanta, becoming this country’s first Ebola patient.
Having physicians involved in global medicine is “a good thing,” Brantly said, “because by engaging in international, global health and being involved in the response to things like Zika and MERS and Ebola, not only are we helping protect our own community by snuffing out those fires far away, we’re also providing the taxpayers of Tarrant County with doctors who are well-equipped and well-informed, who have experience that makes them even better at taking care of our patients right here in the Family Health Center, or Stop Six or the Emergency Room.”
Brantly returned to JPS in 2015. He and his wife, Amber Brantly, wrote a book about their experience (Called for Life) and have done countless interviews. Samaritan’s Purse, the charity that sent Brantly to Africa, has produced a new documentary about Ebola that will be shown in theaters around the country on March 30.
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