LOS ANGELES, Nov. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Frontline health care workers gathered this morning for the largest Ebola safety educational session on the West Coast.
Health care workers, hospital management and clinicians poured into The Proud Bird Ballroom, where participants learned how to safely handle patients infected with the disease. Experts demonstrated the "donning and doffing" of personal protective equipment (PPE) and learned about the newest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols and guidelines for handling Ebola patients. Thousands more tuned in via live telecast.
Today's session was co-hosted by Kaiser Permanente, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, the Partnership for Quality Care, United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West, Service Employees International Union Local 721 and Los Angeles County Department of Health. Speakers and presenters included:
Arjun Srinivasan, MD, associate director for health care associated infection prevention programs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president & CMO, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan
Phyllis Silver, executive director, Partnership for Quality Care
Ingela Dahlgren, RN, executive director, Service Employees International Union/Nurse Alliance of
Ken Deitz, RN, president, United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals
Other speakers included: Denise Duncan, RN, executive vice president, United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals; Dave Regan, president, Service Employees International Union - United Healthcare Workers West; Bob Schoonover, president, Service Employees International Union Local 721; and Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH, senior vice president and COO for clinical operations, Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
"Treating patients with Ebola is a challenge, but we know from experience that we can care for these patients safely and effectively," said Arjun Srinivasan, MD, Associate Director for Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Programs with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The best thing we can do is arm health care workers with the best information, tools and training to make that happen."
"It's important that hospital workers like me were included in this event," said Arletta Thomas, EVS, with Kaiser Permanente in Downey, Calif. "Sometimes people think that only nurses need to be prepared to deal with someone who might have Ebola, but it's important for all hospital staff to be trained and ready for an emergency, and we all learned a lot at today's session."
"This education session is just one more example of what employers and employees can do when we work together to pursue common goals," said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-UHW. "Our partnership has enabled us to make things safer for patients, healthcare workers, and the general public."
"I appreciate the collaboration between the CDC, the Partnership for Quality Care (PQC) and labor to present this important Ebola educational program," said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente and chairman of the board of PQC. "The lessons learned from today's educational session will help front line health care workers deliver high-quality care for patients while also taking the appropriate steps to protect their health and the health of their co-workers and communities."
"It is imperative that we, as a nation, help make sure our health care professionals are able to treat anyone infected with the Ebola virus in the safest way possible," said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc. "That means having the right protective gear, and knowing how to use it. Today's educational session is one of the many steps we are taking to achieve that goal."
"Today's training was useful. But there's still work to be done," said Gianna Valenzuela, RN with Kaiser Permanente in West Los Angeles. "As a leader in my union, I know we've committed to ensuring that all front line workers who could encounter an Ebola patient get this information. We must also ensure workers are trained on proper screening and isolation procedures and have necessary protective gear."
About the Partnership for Quality Care
The Partnership for Quality Care is a national labor-management coalition committed to ensuring quality, affordable healthcare for everyone in America. It includes public, private, religious, teaching, and non-profit hospitals nationwide and integrated health systems, and the nation's largest healthcare union, SEIU, with more than one million nurses, doctors and healthcare workers. Our members care for more than 50 million patients annually.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente