IP Director Susan Thomas opened the day’s events with her quarterly summary of Greater Philadelphia Healthcare Partnership activities and achievements. To date, the Partnership has completed 258 trainings, and is on pace for another banner year as a leading provider of low-cost, high-quality training solutions for the Greater Philadelphia region’s frontline healthcare workers and managers.
The Partnership also announced that it had officially kicked off work on its new, $4 million On-the-Job Training (OJT) grant from the US Department of Labor, with a number of Community Health Worker placements already agreed to by participating employers. Also introduced was Lacey Dickinson, the Partnership’s new Employer Liaison. Lacey moved into her current role from another local industry partnership, the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, where she served as Membership Manager. Lacey can be contacted at email@example.com, or 215-568-2220, x5103.
Traveling up from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Lieutenant Commander Dr. Mary J. Choi spoke about preparing American and International healthcare workers to respond safely to patients with Ebola virus. Dr. Choi led a demonstration showing the personal protective equipment (PPE) and procedures needed to put on (don) and take off (doff) Ebola gear safely. Stacy Faison and Shawna Murphy, two District 1199C Training Fund Practical Nursing students, and Denise Bowles, Industrial Hygienist from AFSCME, acted out the parts of Responding Nurse, Skilled Observer, and Supervisor in order to illustrate new methods of using PPE and alcohol-based hand sanitizer when removing protective gear for Ebola.
Other featured panelists representatives from OSHA, who spoke about existing laws and regulations that enforce worker protection for healthcare employees dealing with highly infectious diseases, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Neil Fishman and Temple Hospital Emergency Management Manager Wes Light, Elayne Phillips from the University of Virginia International Safety Center, and Mark Catlin, Director of Safety from SEIU. The day closed with a panel discussion of ‘Lessons Learned’ that highlighted the bravery of Dallas healthcare workers responding to Ebola before the disease had been fully identified, and stressed how the screening policies and safe work procedures now in place around the country arose as a direct result of the experiences of healthcare workers in Dallas, as well as those of medical personnel from Doctors Without Borders in Africa. Dr. Choi has served overseas, in Dallas and in New York, prepping healthcare workers to respond to the Ebola virus, and the panel was enriched by her stories of workers and their supporters tirelessly providing care.
The symposium was conceived, organized and moderated by Ellie Barbarash, Project Coordinator of the Health Workers Working Healthy Project and the Healthcare Occupational Safety Center of District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, in cooperation with IP Director Susan Thomas.
The Greater Philadelphia Healthcare Partnership’s next IP meeting will take place on April 16th, with featured speaker Dmitry Tuchinsky—a healthcare lawyer with Duane Morris, LLP. If you or your organization are interested, the Greater Philadelphia Healthcare Partnership welcomes healthcare employers, academics, public sector partners and workforce development professionals to its quarterly meetings and other special events. For additional details, news and events, and other updates, please visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/GreaterPhilaHealthcare), contact IP Director Susan Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow us on Twitter @PhilaHCPartners.