URBANDALE, Iowa — Even though Iowa has no Ebola cases, heath professionals have received the message: be prepared. Iowa’s Department of Public Health Director spoke before the Westside Conservative Club to give an update on what is happening in Iowa with Ebola.
Gerd Clabaugh told the group that he gets daily briefings on the latest information. “In Iowa we feel very confident in our capabilities to deal with this particular challenge,” said Clabaugh. “We’re also in preparations to make sure that our health care delivery system is well-positioned to do that.”
Clabaugh took questions from the group. He said that what happened at the Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas served as a wake-up call to hospitals in Iowa, in terms of preparation and training to deal with that type of disease.
“I signed up for a task when the Governor appointed me to this job,” said Clabaugh. “Now I’m spending some sleepless nights worrying about this on your behalf,” Clabaugh talked about how Iowa hospitals are all talking, planning and training to be ready should any health crisis arise. “We’re pushing out information from the CDC to hospitals in Iowa,” said Clabaugh. “Yesterday we had a conference call, 500 points of contact, we’re communicating aggressively with everyone around the state who will listen.”
The Iowa Dept. of Public Health is also helping hospitals obtain safety equipment, and providing some grant funds to make the purchases. “We’re working with the Iowa Hospital Association talking about webinars, conference calls,” said Clabugh. “We’re hearing from hospitals that are already training their staff.”