President Obama to meet with Emory Healthcare team during Ebola visit

By Laura Douglas-Brown | Emory Report | Sept. 15, 2014

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As part of Tuesday’s visit to the CDC, President Barack Obama is set to meet with physicians and others involved with Emory University Hospital’s treatment of Ebola patients. White House photo by Pete Souza.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Ebola experts from Emory as part of his Sept. 16 visit to Atlanta.

The president will visit the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for an update on the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and the U.S. response to it.

During Tuesday’s visit, Obama will meet with Emory University Hospital physicians as well as other healthcare workers involved with the treatment of Ebola patients here.

“Just when we thought our time in the spotlight had reached a crescendo, we are now being acknowledged with a special visit by President Barack Obama,” John Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare, said in statement to Emory Healthcare employees on Monday afternoon.

Obama will visit the CDC “to thank the CDC and our Emory Healthcare team for their efforts in assisting the international Ebola crisis,” Fox said, praising the “heroic work” of Emory Healthcare staff on behalf of all patients.

Last month, Emory University Hospital became the first hospital in the United States to treat patients with Ebola virus disease. The two patients, both American citizens who became infected with the virus while providing humanitarian aid in West Africa, were cared for in a special isolation unit created in collaboration with the CDC to house CDC scientists and others exposed to infectious diseases while traveling abroad.

Dr. Kent Brantly, who arrived at Emory on Aug. 2 after being transported by air ambulance from Liberia, left Emory University Hospital on Aug. 21. Nancy Writebol arrived at Emory from Liberia on Aug. 5; she was discharged Aug. 19. The two were able to leave the hospital after Emory physicians determined, in collaboration with the CDC and state health departments, that they had recovered from Ebola virus infection and posed no public health concerns.

A third patient with Ebola arrived at Emory from West Africa on Sept. 9 and is being treated in the same isolation unit.

“While our decision to care for the American medical volunteers who contracted Ebola was made years ago as part of our Care Transformation Model, it was met with a mix of emotions — some fear, admiration, pride and respect,” Fox said. “As we rode the public reaction waves, one thing was for certain: We do not waver on our mission to care for those in need. These patients needed our help, and we were committed to helping them, together.”

The CDC is located on Clifton Road, adjacent to the Emory campus and on the same street as Emory University Hospital. The president’s visit is expected to impact traffic in the Clifton corridor and surrounding areas for several hours, beginning at about 2 p.m. Members of the Emory community and others are advised to seek alternative routes and avoid the area if possible.

Emory’s shuttle service is also likely to be affected. For information on shuttle delays, visit emory.transloc.com.

For photos from President Obama’s visit, please follow social media posts from @EmoryUniversity (Facebook, Twitter) and @EmoryHealthcare (Facebook, Twitter).