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Vail Valley Medical Center Is Prepared For Ebola

Emily Tamberino

VAIL CO —While the initial panic over an Ebola outbreak in the United States has begun to subside Vail Valley Medical Center is prepared.

VVMC has partnered with Colorado Mountain Medical Eagle County Paramedics Services and Eagle County Public Health Department to provide education and formalize policies and procedures to handle the disease should it make its way to Vail.

“While the risk of an Ebola outbreak in Vail is extremely low preparedness is essential” says Doris Kirchner VVMC's president and CEO.

Over the past several weeks Vail Valley Medical Center's infection control team has led the effort to educate the front line and healthcare staff through lectures trainings and educational posters that are displayed in staff areas throughout the hospital and urgent cares. VVMC has upgraded personal protective equipment to meet the requirements of the CDC and isolation rooms have been designated.

“Education is key” says Jason Moore PhD PA vice president of quality and clinical epidemiology at Vail Valley Medical Center. “While the threat of Ebola to our Valley community is low our goals are to properly educate appropriately prepare and remove fear.” 

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Ebola is not spread through air water or food but rather through direct contact with Ebola infected blood and body fluids. VVMC is acting proactively and responsibly with patient screenings.

Moore explains “All patients that exhibit a fever headache muscle pain weakness diarrhea vomiting stomach pain or unexplained hemorrhage are questioned about their travel and exposure history to determine if Ebola could be the cause.”

VVMC is in constant communication with the CDC and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to receive timely accurate and credible information related to emergency preparedness and public health threats before during and after a public health emergency.

As the days pass with less emphasis on U.S. Ebola patients or related deaths it seems the worst-case scenario of a U.S. outbreak may be diminishing. Moore adds “We have reached a level of preparedness and we have the appropriate equipment and facilities to escalate or de-escalate as needed.”

About Vail Valley Medical Center
From modest beginnings in 1965 VVMC has grown into one of the world's most advanced mountain hospitals providing Olympic-quality sports medicine leading evidence-based research modern cancer care and extensive cardiology services – all top-quality services with exceptional outcomes. An independent nonprofit medical center VVMC keeps hundreds of jobs and resources local better serving our community and visitors. Providing superior health services with compassion and exceptional outcomes VVMC offers expanding services low infection rates free community services and top-rated patient satisfaction scores. For more information please visit