Crowley Discusses Ebola Preparedness with NY Hospital Officials

October 16, 2014
Press Release

(Queens, NY) - Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, held a conference call with New York hospital officials to discuss preparation efforts underway for possible Ebola cases. Joining Crowley for the discussion were representatives from New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center.

“As we respond to the Ebola outbreak, both overseas and here in the U.S., it is critical that we continue remaining vigilant and taking the necessary precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of all Americans. New York has one of the finest health systems in the nation, if not the world, and I was comforted to hear about the high level of coordination throughout New York State and City in working to keep New Yorkers safe should any issues arise,” said Rep. Crowley. “As we navigate this challenge, I will continue to keep the lines of communication open between health officials and federal, state, and local authorities, and my office stands ready to assist my constituents with any concerns.”

The officials updated Crowley on steps the hospitals are taking, such as emergency preparedness drills, patient simulations, and other training exercises. Hospitals also highlighted their isolation techniques, staff education and protection efforts, coordination with first responders, and sharing of best practices with other top hospitals around the country. In addition, the group discussed concerns over ensuring adequate funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as other federal emergency preparedness programs. 

With nearly half of travel from affected West African countries coming through New York, Crowley and the officials discussed the need to continue to focus on Ebola preparedness even if the threat of an outbreak in the U.S. subsides.

“New York, and Queens in particular as the home to two major airports, is a gateway to the world,” said Crowley. “As long as Ebola is a threat to the world, New York must and will be prepared.”

As a follow-up to today’s call, Crowley is working to ensure continued sharing of information between hospital officials and the broader New York Congressional Delegation in the weeks ahead.

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Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.