November 11, 2014
Thank you Mr. Mayor.
Thank you Dr. Raju.
I’m Dr. Laura Evans and I’m proud to be part of the medical team here at Bellevue Hospital who helped Dr. Craig Spencer beat the Ebola virus.
Nineteen days ago, I responded to what I thought was another of the many Ebola practice drills we have had over the past several months. But it turned out to be the real thing and we were ready.
At Bellevue hospital we are used to rising to meet any challenge, and this was no different. We take great pride in meeting the healthcare needs of all New Yorkers. Our mission at HHC is to care for all without exception. And we were particularly proud to care for dr. Spencer.
It has been an honor and a privilege for our team here at Bellevue hospital to care for him and get to know him. I’d like to share some important things we learned from him:
He reminded us that the fight against Ebola is not here in New York City, or here at Bellevue. That fight remains in West Africa. And we celebrate and admire the medical professionals like him who are on the front lines of that effort working to control this deadly outbreak.
His courage and dedication in joining the international fight against this devastating disease at its source was inspiring to all of us on his healthcare team.
Dr. Spencer witnessed the suffering and death that Ebola has caused in West Africa, however when faced with his own diagnosis he chose to not to focus on this. He instead played an active part in all his treatment decisions. He is a brave and caring doctor with a great sense of humor which helped enormously in his recovery from Ebola.
I would especially like to recognize all of the nurses, doctors, lab technicians, environmental specialists and other staff at Bellevue whose support and dedication helped get Dr. Spencer back to good health. I am proud to call them all my colleagues.
I’d also like to thank our colleagues from around the United States and the world for sharing their expertise, especially colleagues at the NYC and NYS Health Departments, the CDC, Emory University, and the University of Nebraska. They were always available and their collaboration was invaluable.
On behalf of the whole Bellevue and HHC team we extend our best wishes to Dr. Spencer and his family as he continues to regain his strength and return to normal life.
Bellevue is a member of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) and is America's oldest hospital, established in 1736. Affiliated with the NYU School of Medicine, Bellevue is a major referral center for highly complex cases. The 828-bed hospital has more than 4,000 employees and works closely with interdisciplinary staff throughout the hospital. Its emergency room sees more than 125,000 visits every year. Clinical centers of excellence include: Emergency Medicine and Trauma Care; Cardiovascular Services; Designated Regional Perinatal Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU); Comprehensive Children's Psychiatric Emergency Program; and Cancer Services.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system, the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country, and one of the New York area's largest providers of government-sponsored health insurance, MetroPlus Health Plan, the plan of choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, five skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission's John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc or find us on facebook.com/nycHHC or twitter.com/HHCnyc.
Contact: Bellevue Public Affairs, 212-562-4516