Listen to the entire program here.
Sponsored by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and the Texas Nurses Association (TNA) — the state’s two largest health care professional organizations — the Tele-Town Hall Meeting on the Ebola virus included updates from Texas Department of State Health Services physicians and a lengthy question-and-answer session with public health experts.
“We come together tonight both as citizens of this great state and as professionals charged with protecting the health of our fellow Texans,” TMA President Austin King, MD, said as he opened the event. “As parents, friends, and neighbors, we were understandably concerned by the news from Dallas over the past several weeks. But as doctors and nurses, it is our job to know and stay up to date on the science surrounding Ebola, and it is our job to impart that information to our patients. It is our job to make sure that we … and they … are aware and prepared, but not paralyzed by fear.
“Tonight, it is our job — the job of TMA and TNA — to empower you with the information that you need.”
Using the Tele-Town Hall technology, more than 22,000 TMA member physicians and 8,000 TNA member nurses were called simultaneously and invited to join the conference.
“Every day, Texans rely on a health care team to care for them,” Dr. King added. “[Last night], the key members of that health care team came together to remain vigilant in educating and informing our members of the most current information in responding to Ebola and infectious disease.”
Since Thomas Duncan’s Ebola diagnosis was confirmed on Sept. 29, TMA has worked closely with Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS) leaders and public health experts to educate physicians statewide about Ebola and to provide accurate information about the virus to the public. Those activities included:
- Don’t Close Schools Because of Ebola Fears — a science-based letter of guidance and reassurance that DCMS sent to North Texas school officials and that TMA is working to distribute to schools statewide.
- Protect Yourself From the Ebola Virus — an easy-to-understand patient flyer, in English and in Spanish.
- What If Someone Walks Into My Office With Ebola? — science-based guidelines to prepare physicians’ practices and protect staff and patients if someone presents with Ebola symptoms.
- “Facts, Not Fear” — an outstanding town hall meeting that DCMS hosted with WFAA-TV. Watch the replay.
“We will work with elected officials and our designated public health authorities to control the immediate disease threat of Ebola,” Dr. King said. “And we will continue to advocate on Texans’ behalf at the state and federal level for policies that improve our public health system and abilities.”