By Dr. Greg McAuliffe

Chief Medical Officer, San Luis Valley Health

During times of medical need and emergency, hospitals are often the first places that the public turns to for help.  Hospitals have the capacity in terms of personnel, resources and expertise to provide the highest level of care to patients during their greatest time of need.  Therefore, hospitals and those individuals who comprise their staffs have a tremendous responsibility to those communities that they serve.  San Luis Valley Health holds the trust that the public places in us with the utmost care and understands the responsibility we bear in serving our community.

As you have likely heard, the Ebola Virus has infected a few individuals in the country.  Though the possibility of a local resident becoming infected with this virus is extraordinarily rare, we would like to assure the community we serve that we are prepared to handle such an occurrence.

We have spent the past several weeks preparing our physicians and nurses on recommended guidelines established by reputable healthcare groups.  We have worked in conjunction with Alamosa County Public Health, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Education (CDPHE), the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to make sure our staff is well prepared.  Our leadership team and staff have participated in webinars, conference calls, and trainings to follow the recommended guidelines established by these groups.

San Luis Valley Health is also appropriately screening patients coming in with a fever and asking about their recent travel histories.

For more information about the Ebola Virus, we encourage you to visit the Center for Disease Control’s Website at www.cdc.gov.  This is a source for reputable information, as is your primary care physician.  Thank you for your time and for allowing us to be Your Trusted Partner in Health.

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