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Montefiore in the News

December 17, 2014

State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Montefiore Health System Host Meeting to Provide Key Information About Ebola

Mount Vernon, NY, December 17 – Today, State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson joined representatives from Montefiore Health System, Westchester County DA Janet DiFiore's office and the Mount Vernon City School District at Montefiore Mount Vernon to inform members of the community about Ebola, discourage violence towards the African community and promote actions the community can take to help fight this global health concern.

“The purpose of tonight's meeting is for the residents of Mount Vernon to hear about the Ebola disease from recognized medical experts who specialize in the field of infectious disease control and to clarify any misunderstandings that may have been perpetrated. As a community, we must ensure that the public is properly informed of the modes of transmission, the safety measures being taken and the resources available. This will then reduce the level of fear that accompanies this dreaded disease and foster compassion and understanding of those who are infected,” said Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson. 

The town hall provided residents of Mount Vernon and the surrounding communities with key information about the disease. Additionally, the town hall aimed to empower the community with facts about the disease to combat the strain and stigma that the Ebola crisis has placed on different African communities throughout the state. 

“We are grateful to Senator Hassell-Thompson for hosting tonight’s forum with us to help inform our community about Ebola. As one of 10 sites in New York State designated by Governor Cuomo to handle patients with Ebola, Montefiore has for many months been preparing our facilities and training our employees under the leadership of Steven M. Safyer, M.D., president and CEO, in coordination with our partners at the federal, state and local levels,” said Andrew Racine, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer of Montefiore Medical Center. “Montefiore, with its academic partner, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has nationally-recognized expertise in Ebola research and treating infectious diseases.  We are committed to providing world-class, compassionate care if the need arises, and to protecting the health and well-being of our communities.” 

“Although the risk of an outbreak in the United States is extremely remote, we may see patients returning from West Africa with Ebola infection -- keep in mind, a person is contagious only when they have symptoms of the illness,” said Debra Spicehandler, M.D., infectious disease specialist, Montefiore Mount Vernon.  “If that occurs, we are able to isolate and identify potential patients and will be able to treat a patient with Ebola with the exceptional care that Montefiore is known for.” 

For additional information on Ebola, please visit Montefiore’s website,