Healthcare Leadership Degree

In the past week the country has faced a major public health scare. The arrival, and unfortunate death, of the gentleman from Liberia presents many questions and challenges. I would encourage you to follow these events closely. As healthcare leaders, think about how you would respond to these events. Could we as a country have been better prepared for this inevitable arrival of a person carrying an infectious disease? Or is this just part of the process, the trigger event from which we become prepared? Many medical, psychological, ethical and legal facets are present in this situation. Each of you, regardless of your concentration in our program, could have had a role in this dilemma. For the MHIT students, what went wrong with E.H.R. system? This is lack of interoperability/communication at its worse. Not only was a major health threat put into play, but this gentleman’s chance of survival may have been severely compromised. For the SLHO students, what if you were the CEO of the hospital, what would you be doing now? For the MLIH students, what are the legal and ethical ramifications of this dilemma? For the HPRL students, if you were the commissioner of public health for the Dallas region, what would YOU be doing right now? As you can see there are many levels of healthcare leaders now being called to task and challenged in unique ways.

We as a nation have responded to the Ebola situation in western Africa in many ways, most of which do not make the media. As we know from the healthcare workers who became infected and came home, survival is possible with adequate care, although not guaranteed as we now know in Dallas. Providing adequate care, in less than desirable conditions, is very challenging. I would like to spotlight one US-based endeavor that is trying to address the poor facilities  and lack of personnel in the affected regions of Africa. AmeriCares (http://www.americares.org/) is a non-profit aid organization. They have posted a call for staff to create and staff adequate medical facilities in western Africa. Please share this information AmeriCares – Call for Ebola Treatment Unit Staff. These salaried opportunities obviously carry major personal risk, but there are those who will be called in their hearts to respond. I would ask you to assist in this call by getting this information out to colleagues and friends. Thank you.

—Irene Frederick, MD, Director, Healthcare Leadership

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