The month of February saw many exciting accomplishments and opportunities for the BCU team. On February 4, The Hill published an op’ed written by BCU Medical Director, Dr. Brian Garibaldi, and BCU Executive Director, Dr. Lisa Maragakis, on the importance of maintaining pandemic preparedness infrastructure as well as strengthening national preparedness for emerging infectious diseases. After three weeks, the article has been shared almost 350 times. You can read the piece here: https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/428383-ebola-outbreak-reminds-us-that-we-need-pandemic-preparedness.
Following the release of the op’ed, Johns Hopkins BCU leadership, in coordination with NETEC and other regional BCUs, spent multiple days in Washington, D.C. to advocate for long-term sustainable funding to support the JHH BCU and its nine national Biocontainment Units. During the multiple visits to Capitol Hill, the Johns Hopkins BCU team met with congressional offices from all the state partners the Johns Hopkins BCU supports including Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. Specific to Maryland, the BCU team had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Congressman Andy Harris and Dutch Ruppersberger regarding the value of long-term federal funding to strengthen preparedness against Ebola and other high consequence pathogens. You can view some highlights from these visits on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Twitter account.
Johns Hopkins Medicine also highlighted our most recent drill in coordination with our Emergency Department and laboratory partners, both within Hopkins and at the state laboratory. This drill occurred during our annual NETEC site assessment, which gave us the opportunity to demonstrate our advancements and innovations over the past year. The drill tested our capabilities to care for patients with Ebola. In this exercise our care providers practiced a variety of skills such as laboratory specimen collection and handling, management of waste and ensuring infection prevention best practices within the ED space.