Ebola: What you need to know

TRAVERSE CITY — A panel of medical experts and NPR's global health correspondent will discuss the Ebola epidemic in western Africa and what northern Michigan residents need to know about the disease at a special free International Affairs Forum event Nov. 10 at the Hagerty Center.

UpNorth TV will also broadcast the event live on UpNorthTV, channel 189, and at UpNorthMedia.org, available to viewing areas between Traverse City and Mackinaw City. Moderated by Dr. David Martin, M.D., a specialist in infectious disease at Munson Medical Center since 1978, presenters include:

  • Anders Kelto, correspondent for National Public Radio's Global Health and Development team. A Traverse City native, Kelto's primary focus is on Africa. In September he traveled to and reported on Ebola from Sierra Leone, one of the three west African nations experiencing an outbreak. He will discuss the effort to halt Ebola at its source in western Africa; what is working and what is not, what has been provided in terms of assistance and what is still lacking, African perceptions of the crisis and the international response.
  • Dr. Terrie Taylor, distinguished professor of medicine at Michigan State University and an internationally recognized expert on disease in Africa. Taylor, also a Traverse City native, spends six months out of every year in the southern African nation of Malawi conducting malaria research and treating patients, most of whom are children. Dr. Taylor recently was in Malawi, helping to assess Ebola preparedness there.
  • Dr. Karen Speirs, director of Infection Prevention at Munson Medical Center as well as president of Munson's medical staff. She has specialized in Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine for 14 years and is leading efforts to develop contingency planning for this community in case of any Ebola cases here.
  • Wendy Trute, Health Officer for Grand Traverse County Health Department. In the event of an outbreak of any infectious disease, local health departments play a key role in coordinating local responses, training of first responders, contact tracing with infected individuals and those exposed, communicating risk messages to the public and serving as a liaison to the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control. Trute has spent 19 years in the field of public health as a health officer and epidemiologist.

Speirs and Trute will address community readiness, including detection, isolation and quarantine measures, availability of personal protective equipment, training of nursing staff and doctors, contact tracing and public health risk communication messages.

The presentation begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session. Sponsors include Indigo Health Partners, Munson Healthcare, NMC, Interlochen Public Radio and Up North Media. It will be rebroadcast on Up North Media (channel 189) starting November 13 and available for streaming online at UpNorthMedia.org.

Release date: October 28, 2014

For more information:

Karen Segal
International Affairs Forum co-chair
(231) 715-6064

Dale Killingbeck
Munson Medical Center
(231) 935-3393