All the hospital systems and facilities in the Knoxville area have joined with the Knox County Health Department to sponsor an unprecedented community forum to educate the public about Ebola and address any questions and concerns about the disease, a press release said.
The East Tennessee Health Forum on Ebola is open to the public and will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 21, in the auditorium on the lower level of the Knoxville Convention Center. Parking will be available in the Poplar Street parking lot across Cumberland Avenue from the center and free in city garages, including nearby Locust Street Garage.
Medical experts from the Knox County Health Department, Blount Memorial Hospital, Covenant Health, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, TeamHealth, Tennova Health System, and the University of Tennessee Medical Center will discuss the disease, its treatment, and the measures being taken to protect the public.
The Knoxville Academy of Medicine, Summit Medical Group, the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, MEDIC Regional Blood Bank, and county health departments from Anderson, Blount, Loudon, Roane, and Sevier are being invited to participate. Hallerin Hilton Hill of Newstalk 98.7 WOKI-FM will moderate the discussion. The Knoxville News Sentinel is the media sponsor.
Covenant Health CEO Tony Spezia said the forum would meet a need for more information about how hospitals and other health care professionals are effectively preparing to treat the disease, protect staff and the public, and adjust as circumstances evolve.
The press release said the forum is intended to provide accurate and timely information to address any community concerns and ensure the preparedness of the region’s medical organizations.
“It is gratifying that every hospital system, physicians, health departments, and emergency workers are working together to assure that our region is prepared to deliver the best possible response,” Spezia said. “Everyone is committed to cooperatively making this region as safe as possible, and all parties readily agreed to join together in this unprecedented forum to educate the public.”
Each hospital will provide an expert to discuss the disease and its treatment at the forum. Other health care organizations will be available to answer questions as well. An email address has been created for the public to send questions in advance: [email protected].
The public is urged to continue to get flu shots and take care of health needs during this period, the press release said.
The Knoxville Convention Center is providing free space for the forum.
See more about the Ebola outbreak on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The CDC said its response to Ebola is the largest international outbreak response in its history.
See an Ebola fact sheet here.