Brooklyn Ebola and Enterovirus town hall set for Wednesday

October 20, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn town hall on Ebola and enterovirus. AP Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection, by Melissa Maraj
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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is sponsoring a town hall on Ebola and Enterovirus D68 on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. in the courtroom of Brooklyn Borough Hall. 

The two viruses have caused fear nationwide in recent weeks, with at least one confirmed death related to each disease.

Panelists at the town hall, which will be moderated by Professor Mordecai Goldfeder, senior health and medical planner at the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM), will include experts from the Brooklyn Hospital Center, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Doctors Council SEIU, New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.

“I want Brooklynites to be aware and prepared for any emergency or disaster,” BP Adams said in a community advisory. He said the town hall would help to prevent “an unnecessary mass panic.”

Community members have expressed concern with Brooklyn’s ability to handle epidemics or natural disasters in the wake of the closure of Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Cobble Hill, and the current overcrowding of local ERs.

“The four hospitals now in the extended-Downtown area serve 1.5 million Brooklynites and see 350,000 patients in their ERs. These four ERs are today stressed and failing,” said Dr. Jon Berall, who is pressing a legal battle to keep LICH open.

On other fronts, the GNYHA/1199SEIU Healthcare Education Project and the Partnership for Quality Care will co-host an Ebola educational session for thousands of hospital and other healthcare workers.

The session takes place Tuesday, October 21, at 10 a.m. at the Javits Center in Manhattan. It will include national and NYC-area infection control experts, a hands-on demonstration of wearing and removing personal protective equipment, and interviews with healthcare workers, hospital labor and management, and clinicians.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was set to deliver remarks Monday afternoon at a Committee of the Whole infectious disease panel at City Hall.

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