The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. Photo by John Schreiber.
The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood. Photo by John Schreiber.

The University of California’s five medical centers, including those in Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego, were identified by the state Department of Public Health Friday as priority hospitals for the treatment of Ebola cases, if any arise in the state.

“As part of a public university, UC’s medical centers are far along in their preparation activities and are willing to care for conformed Ebola cases,” Dr. John Stobo, UC senior vice president for health sciences and services, said. “Stepping up to a public health crisis is what these medical centers do, and in the past weeks we have been actively readying ourselves for any health eventuality related to Ebola.”

Doctors and staff members at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood took part in an Ebola-preparedness drill last week to ensure they are properly trained to respond to a case of the potentially deadly virus.

The recognition by the state means that the UC medical centers — Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, Davis and San Francisco — are positioned to accept and treat Ebola cases. It does not mean they have been identified as centers to treat patients being transported to the United States by the U.S. State Department. Four hospitals in other parts of the country have been established as treatment centers for those patients.

Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, said the UC hospitals “specialize in complex care” and staff level-one trauma centers.

“The administration will support these hospitals in meeting this public health need in California,” Chapman said. “At the same time, all hospitals and medical providers need to redouble preparedness efforts to ensure that they can effectively assess Ebola risk in their patients, while ensuring workplace safety.”

The state has agreed to help the five UC medical centers obtain personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses and staff if they have difficulty acquiring the equipment.

City News Service

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