Facts About Ebola For Our Community

Victoria, Texas (October 10, 2014)

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a rare and deadly viral disease that has reached epidemic proportions in several African countries. Ebola was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

How is Ebola spread?

Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids of a person who is sick or through needles or other objects that have been contaminated with the virus.

Who is most at risk of Ebola?

Anyone caring for Ebola patients and family members and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at highest risk if they come in direct contact with the blood or body fluids of sick individuals. A person with the Ebola virus cannot transmit it to others unless he or she is sick with symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Ebola?

• fever
• severe headache
• muscle or joint pain
• stomach pain
• vomiting
• diarrhea
• bleeding and bruising

Symptoms of Ebola appear from 2 to 21 days after being exposed. The most common time frame is 8 to 10 days. A person infected with Ebola is not infectious until symptoms appear.

What is the treatment for Ebola?

No specific vaccine or medicine has been proven to cure Ebola. Patients receive supportive care and treatment for symptoms.Early recognition of Ebola is important for providing appropriate care and preventing the spread of infection.

What are the Golden Crescent Regional Hospitals doing to prepare for possible Ebola patients?

At the Golden Crescent Regional Hospitals, the health and safety of our patients, our staff, our visitors and our community is our top priority. We are ready to implement the precautions and protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the event that a patient would arrive with symptoms of Ebola.

Our preparations include being alert to rapidly identify patients with symptoms consistent with Ebola, especially if they have traveled from parts of Africa where many cases have occurred. We have procedures in place to triage, isolate and evaluate any patient who appears to have Ebola symptoms.

We routinely care for patients with a variety of infectious diseases using universal protocols and continually reinforce our infection control and prevention measures with our staff. We are dedicated to the health and well being of everyone in our care, their families, our staff and the community.

Ebola Press Release

Emergency_Management_Logo

205 North Bridge Street, Suite B101
Post Office Box 1758 Victoria, Texas 77902-1758
Phone: (361) 580-5770 ● Fax: (361) 580-5779

October 9, 2014

In the recent wake of information surrounding the Ebola incidents, your Victoria Office of Emergency Management, Golden Crescent Regional Advisory Council, and Victoria City – County Health Department, want to assure the public we have been diligent in planning with our community partners and are prepared to respond to a threat such as Ebola. Through our planning efforts, preparedness practices, and ongoing disease prevention measures we are prepared as a community. We are currently working with, and ensuring, all the healthcare practitioners have the tools necessary to effectively respond.

These practices include, but are not limited to:

• Guidance for 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points.
• Guidance for EMS Systems & EMS Preparedness Checklist.
• Guidance for First Responders.
• Hospital checklist for Ebola Preparedness.
• Hospital testing of suspected Ebola virus.
• Hospital Infection Prevention & Control Recommendations.

Ebola is a rare, but severe and scary disease; early symptoms of Ebola are similar to flu symptoms, such as a sudden fever, fatigue, and headache. Ebola symptoms usually appear within 2 to 21 days of exposure. Ebola is a contagious virus after symptoms appear, and the Center for Disease Control recommends that individuals protect themselves by doing the following activities:

• Avoid direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person.
• Avoid direct contact with contaminated objects, such as needles, soiled clothes, or soiled linens of an infected person.
• Avoid direct contact, or eating raw meats from bats, and nonhuman primates infected with Ebola.

With the impending flu season, the following are proactive measures a person can follow to help protect against communicable diseases:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after use.
• If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
• Call your HealthCare Practitioner for further guidance.

Useful Links:
http://www.cdc.gov/
https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/
http://www.who.int/en/
http://www.strac.org/index.php/ebola

Richard L McBrayer
Interim Emergency Management Coordinator
Victoria Office of Emergency Management
205 N Bridge St B101
Victoria TX, 77901
361-580-5770 Office
361-580-5779 Fax
361-649-8366 Cell
rmcbrayer@victoriatxoem.org

Citizens Medical Center Recognized as one of Healthgrades 2014 Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award Recipients

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Victoria, Texas (July 15, 2014) – Citizens Medical Center announced today that it has achieved the Healthgrades 2014 Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award™ according to Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. The recognition distinguishes Citizens as a top performing hospital in bariatric surgery.

Healthgrades evaluated 22 bariatric surgery practices in the state of Texas. Out of the 22, half received the Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award. Citizens Medical Center is the only hospital in the state of Texas to receive this honor 9 years in a row.

According to a Healthgrades report, patients having bariatric surgery at hospitals with 5-star performance in bariatric surgery as a group are 70.2% less likely to experience in-hospital complications than patients at hospitals with 1-star as a group and 45.5% less likely at hospitals with 3-stars as a group. If all hospitals from 2010 through 2012 had performed at the same level as Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award™ hospitals, 4,349 patients could have potentially avoided experiencing a major in-hospital complication.

“Recent data shows the obesity rate in the United States is at the highest annual rate ever measured with nearly two-thirds of Americans rating as overweight or obese. Consumers who may be considering bariatric surgery can utilize the Healthgrades report to better understand the various treatment options and the importance of selecting the right hospital,” said Evan Marks, Chief Strategy Officer, Healthgrades. “The Healthgrades 2014 Bariatric Surgery Award recipients have demonstrated exceptional performance and a dedicated approach when it comes to delivering bariatric care.”

For the report, Healthgrades analyzed clinical outcomes of 199,926 bariatric surgery discharges from 705 hospitals across 19 states where data was publicly available during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe.* Healthgrades measured hospital performance based on risk-adjusted in-hospital complications—preventable problems patients had during their hospital stay.

Pictured above Citizens Bariatric Team members: Certified Bariatric Nurses’ Sandra Hauboldt, Maribel Gomez, and Cynthia Rivas Lerma; Chief Nursing Officer Madonna Coughenhour; Dietitian Linda Crisp; Bariatric Coordinator Nanette Berger; Healthgrades Representative Allison Robb; Chief Quality Officer Cherie Brzozowski; Radiology Director Nancy Kopecky; and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Thames.
Pictured above Citizens Bariatric Team members: Certified Bariatric Nurses’ Sandra Hauboldt, Maribel Gomez, and Cynthia Rivas Lerma; Chief Nursing Officer Madonna Coughenhour; Dietitian Linda Crisp; Bariatric Coordinator Nanette Berger; Healthgrades Representative Allison Robb; Chief Quality Officer Cherie Brzozowski; Radiology Director Nancy Kopecky; and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Thames.

*To see the complete Healthgrades 2014 Bariatric Surgery Report, including full methodology, please visit: www.healthgrades.com/quality.

Citizens Medical Center Receives Award from United Way

Pictured from left to right: Dan Easton, 2013 United Way Campaign Chairman, Stephanie Dempsey, Citizens’ co-chair, Glenda Gibbs, Citizens’ co-chair, Stephen Thames, Citizens’ CEO, Connie Murray, Citizen’s co-chair, and Jennifer Yancey, Chair, Victoria County United Way Board of Directors.
Pictured from left to right: Dan Easton, 2013 United Way Campaign Chairman, Stephanie Dempsey, Citizens’ co-chair, Glenda Gibbs, Citizens’ co-chair, Stephen Thames, Citizens’ CEO, Connie Murray, Citizen’s co-chair, and Jennifer Yancey, Chair, Victoria County United Way Board of Directors.

Citizens Medical Center received the “Spirit of Texas Award” at the Victoria County United Way’s Celebration Philanthropy Awards Reception held at the Museum of the Coastal Bend on Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

The ”Spirit of Texas”, one of United Way’s top awards, recognizes a company and their employees who demonstrate campaign excellence and community commitment. Organizations and companies are chosen for this award based upon leadership giving, volunteerism, employee participation and giving levels, year-round education, corporate support, incentive programs, and campaign rallies.

Citizens Medical Center employees committed themselves to becoming one of the top fundraising teams during the 2013 giving campaign. They raised a total of $42,594 through several hospital-wide fundraising events and pledge card donations; $14,228 more than the 2012 campaign.