On January 9th, the University’s Public Health program and the Montgomery County Health Department co-hosted a Salus Time Speakers Series event titled: “Ebola and Infectious Diseases: Community Preparedness.” A panel of experts shared information and updates about the ebola virus and other infectious diseases with an audience of local health and social work professionals as well as Salus faculty, staff and students.

Representing the University were Dr. Michael H. Mittelman, president, Dr. Anthony F. Di Stefano, MPH program director, John Gaal, MHA, FACHE, vice president of Clinical Operations and Ms. Lili Liang ’16OD/MPH. Officials from the Montgomery County Health Department were Dr. Joseph DiMino, director of health/medical director, C. Michael Baysinger, MPH, deputy director, Personal Health Services, and Ms. Julie Paoline, MA, division director, Communicable Diseases. Mark Ross, southeastern regional representative for the Hospital Association of America, was the final expert on the panel. 

With a recurring theme of “facts, not fear,” the experts explained what preparations the county’s health department and area hospitals have completed and how staff is trained in the event of an ebola patient’s presence in the region. Many in the audience were surprised to learn that Pennsylvania receives 70% of all US arrivals from West Africa. Within Pennsylvania, 80% of those arrivals go to Philadelphia and Delaware counties. On the day of the seminar Montgomery County was monitoring 17 arrivals from West Africa for the required 21 days and there were 165 people being monitored in the state.

Ms. Liang, who spent several months in Liberia in 2012 while on a research mission on malaria, was able to give the audience a more personal view of the physical conditions and cultural practices that have contributed to the spread of ebola in that country.

This event was the fourth in a series of expert speakers on various topics. “Salus Time” was created to bring the University community together for scholarly functions, providing a forum for the discussion of timely topics. Some Salus Time Speakers Series events are open to the public, while others are for internal audiences. In late December, a representative from the FBI gave a presentation to Salus faculty, students and staff about cyber-security, its current dangers and best preventative measures.

Pictured above: front, L to R: Dr. Di Stefano, Mr.Ross, Dr. DiMino, Dr. Mittelman. Back, L to R: Mr. Baysinger, Ms.Paoline, Mr. Gaal. Missing: Ms. Liang).

If you missed this informative panel, you can watch the YouTube video.