The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first in West

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1 Thomas Mattice, Director Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana November 2014 Emergency Preparedness: Ebola Dr. Chowdry Bashir, Chief of Staff, talks to staff during an Ebola Town Hall about the disease and CDC guidance. The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first in West Africa. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is one of numerous viral hemorrhagic fevers. The first Ebola virus species was discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa. It was easy to see this as a problem across the Atlantic until it was introduced into the United States. EVD is often severe in humans, with case fatality rates reaching 50-90% in developing countries. After an incubation period of a few days, symptoms usually begin abruptly. While it is still considered a very remote possibility that the Indianapolis VA Medical Center would encounter a case, it is still of importance to develop plans to ensure that we are prepared and to ensure our staff and Veteran patients experience the highest level of safety. Ebola virus is spread from one person to another through direct contact with Ebola-infected blood or body fluids, such as, but not limited to, urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen. Objects, such as needles, that have been contaminated with infected body fluids can also be a source of transmission. Only symptomatic Ebola-infected patients are able to transmit EVD; patients without symptoms who are infected with Ebola virus are not contagious. In order to be prepared as we would be with any potential emergency, the medical center is developing an EVD response plan, obtaining necessary supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE), and providing information and training to staff. The preparations are being done under the direction of an Incident Management Team (IMT) which includes clinical and administrative representatives as well as our labor partners. The group meets daily and tracks progress on a variety of action items. The IMT is reviewing information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as information from VA Central Office. Preparations include creation of plan and standard operating procedures, identifying and obtaining needed supplies, and developing and starting training of staff. The IMT has seen from activity both at VACO and the CDC side that we need to expect to have to upgrade the plan as needed. Emergency plans need to be fluid so as we receive new information, the plan will be enhanced to ensure it is consistent with latest guidance. To ensure that staff can access all information, we have created an Ebola page on our internal web page. It will be the central place to view Town Halls, see latest reference materials and most importantly, to find our plan. Staff are encouraged to check the page often for the latest information For other stakeholders such as Veterans, volunteers, service organizations and others, we will communicate necessary information, but if interested in finding out more about the outbreak, please visit the CDC website. Our internal plans are following their guidelines. The facility held a tabletop drill to test plans for treating Ebola patients.

2 from the Executive Management Team Thomas Mattice Medical Center Director Small things make all the difference. A smile or a reassuring word makes the difference between an ok patient visit and a really good visit. One extra check to be sure the bed alarm is on makes the difference between safety and a fall. Fifteen seconds to wash hands thoroughly makes the difference between spreading a virus and keeping it away from the next patient. A minute asking about your office mate s sick child makes the difference between a coworker and a teammate. Small things make all the difference. And that s what the sense of Ownership embodied in Indy Excellence is about. Yes, of course, we need to do all the big things right right treatment, right time, right delivery, etc. But that is the minimum, not the maximum. In addition, we each day need to say, do and respond in ways that underscore our commitment to each other and to the Veterans we serve. Small things make all the difference... Fifteen seconds to wash hands thoroughly makes the difference between spreading a virus and keeping it away from the next patient. Some of the daily huddles have adopted a practice of having someone in the huddle set a unit goal for the day. These are usually an area of emphasis for everyone to pay a little more attention to that day, with the hope that repetition will become habit. Let me throw out two challenges to you along those lines. First, if you are part of a huddle, is that a practice your team can adopt? Each time the team meats, randomly select one person to set a goal for the day. Second, whether or not you are part of a huddle, how about setting a personal goal for yourself each day? These should be those small changes, things well within your control, something to work on. I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you see how much difference just one change a day can make. Put a little post-it note on your computer to remind you what s my change today? And if you see someone making that small difference, send a WOW! in their direction. It will reinforce the positive, make their day, and even make you feel a little better. My change for today? Throw that accumulated pile of papers into the recycle bin now. I m on my way. INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 2

3 Submitted by Mary McMullen RN Clinical Faculty Instructor Did you know November is National Diabetes Month? Do you know if you are Diabetic? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 29.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but 27.8% of these people are not aware they are diabetic. That means 8.1 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and don t know it! Diabetes is a disease that can be controlled. That is why it is important to know your status. The National Diabetes Education Program s theme this year is Be Smart about Your Heart - Control the ABCs of Diabetes. Heart disease is a frequent complication of Diabetes. By controlling your ABCs, you can decrease your risk of developing heart disease. People who are not diabetic would also benefit from monitoring their ABCs. A - Know your A1c This is a test that shows if your blood sugar has been running high in the last three months. B - Know your Blood Pressure High Blood Pressure can cause damage to your heart and blood vessels. C - Know your Cholesterol High cholesterol can build up and clog your arteries. S - Stop Smoking Smoking is a preventable cause of Heart Disease. So if you do not get regular exams by your healthcare provider, schedule one today. Your heart will be happy you did! References: Center for Disease Control. (2014, October 16). National Diabetes Statistics Report, Retrieved from Center for Disease Control (CDC): National Diabetes Education Program. (2014, October 21). Retrieved from Department of Health and Human Services: INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 3

4 All you ever wanted to know about Bed Bugs Bed bugs are considered to be an ectoparasite as are other pests such as scabies, fleas, lice, etc. Ectoparasite are insects that reside outside the host s body. Bed bugs were essentially eradicated from the US in the 1940s after the widespread use of pesticides. But increased travel and reduced use of DDT (pesticide) are causing a resurgence of bed bugs. Adult bugs are ¼ inch long, with flat, oval, wingless, reddish-brown bodies. Bed bugs feed only on blood and their main source for meals is humans. Bed bugs are nocturnal and usually feed at night, and hide during the day. The bites often occur on the arms, shoulders, neck, and legs. An adult bed bug can survive 12 months between feedings. Bed bugs are not known to transmit any diseases, but are a clear nuisance. There is no specific medical treatment for bed bugs. If the home is infested, showering and changing into clean clothes will help minimize the risk of bringing bed bugs to other areas. Bed bugs typically leave the host once feeding is complete. One will not generally see bed bugs on the person when the environment is infested. When there is a bad infestation in the home there is a chance of the bed bugs remaining on the host. When a patient is suspected of being infested with bed bugs please follow the staff guidance located on the V Drive. V:\Bed Bugs\Staff Guidanc. In this medical center, Environmental Management Service has responsibility for oversight of the pest management program. The service has a bed bug oven and holds the pest management contract. Briefly discuss the concern with patients to verify any issues with bed bugs or any other insects and notify EMS. If possible, efforts to contain an insect specimen in a sealable container should be made. Patient s belongings should be double bagged and sealed tight to prevent insect escape. EMS and pest control will conduct an inspection and determine any intervention if necessary. EMS is responsible for providing oversight of pest management activities. INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 4

5 VISN 11 Network Director Visit on 9/25 Mr. Bockelman from Ann Arbor, Michigan Paul Bockleman, FACHE, Network Director, VISN 11 (bottom row photos on the right) visited the medical center recently. During his visit, he was able to tour many areas and to hear of our systems redesign successes. INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 5

6 Lilly Hands and Hearts E li Lilly and Company s Hands and Hearts of Lilly volunteers spent the day at Indianapolis VA Medical Center undertaking a major landscaping project on the main campus. As part of their Global Day of Service, Lilly employees also filled over 130 large planters around the medical center. Over 131,800 pounds of material, gravel and mulch were used for this project. The volunteers finished their beautification project in less than 8 hours, a monumental and much appreciated task. Are you interested in volunteering at the medical center? Whether it s a one-time event or a life of service, we need you. Go to to see how you can get involved. INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 6

7 239th U.S. Navy Birthday Celebration The 239th U.S. Navy Birthday was celebrated on Thursday, October 9 at noon in the auditorium. America s Naval Service began during the American Revolution in INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 7

8 Flu message for employees Submitted by Mary Rearick, Nurse, Occupational Health, VHA The return of cool weather and fall season means it s time again for Seasonal Influenza. Typically the seasonal flu peaks in the U.S. between December and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. So, Occupational Health would like to extend the opportunity to receive the flu vaccine to all employees and volunteers. The vaccine is the most effective way of preventing the flu, and is recommended for all health care workers. The Occupational Health staff have started and are in the process of coming to a location near you. You can check with you supervisor for the date and location. If you wish to receive the vaccine prior to the Occupational Health s arrival, it is also being offered in the Occupational Health clinic, Monday Friday, 6 a.m. 4 p.m. There is no cost for the vaccine, and it can be obtained without an appointment. Veterans Voices Letters and s from our Veteran patients and their families Veterans House is an amazing warm, comforting home very thoughtfully prepared for Veterans and their families. At a time of crisis, I found in these beautiful walls and grounds a place of love, hope, help, peace, laughter, sharing and immense blessing. May God richly bless all staff, volunteers, drivers, and board members Way to go Kimberly Few, Carol Stafford, Tammy Folaron, the Goodwill Housekeeping team and volunteers! Shoutout from Veteran s mother in Texas INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 8

9 Woo Hoo Cookies for You!!! Each month, a service is acknowledged with fresh-baked cookies, nutritious snacks, and much fanfare. This program is sponsored by the Recognition Committee. Look for the Woo Hoo squad to come to your area. Your team might be next! Congratulations 8 South Team! Congratulations Hem/onc clinic Team! INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 9

10 Upcoming Events Save the Dates National Mental Illness Awareness Week show: Nobody Needs to Know Thursday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m., Auditorium Employee Open Season Health Benefits Fair Friday, Nov. 7, 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., C-1202 Prosthetic Day Friday, Nov. 7, Noon - 4:30 p.m. A-wing, 2nd Floor U.S. Marine Corps 239th Birthday Celebr. Monday, Nov. 10, 10 a.m., Auditorium Employee Town Hall Thursday, Nov. 13, 7:30 a.m., Noon, 3:30 p.m., Auditorium Caregiver Month: Care Comes Home Tai Chi, Watercolor, Aromatherapy Wednesday, Nov. 12, 1-4 p.m., C-1202 Clinical Staff Diabetes Awareness Fair Wednesday, Nov. 19, 8 a.m.. 6 p.m., A-8095 Black Emphasis Committee 2014 Veterans Thanksgiving Food Drive Baskets Thursday, Nov. 20 Drop-off a.m. Distribution: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (until supplies last) Native American Heritage Month Celebr. Tuesday, Nov. 25, 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., C-1202 Bereavement It is with deep regret that we inform you of David Graves passing. David Graves worked at the VA as a volunteer. He is the brother of VA employee Kaye Edwards, who works in Release of Information. Congratulations Janean Gray, outpatient pharmacy technician, is the awardee of the CREW Pharmacy Technician of the Quarter Award. Janean was recognized by her peers for her Civility, Respect, and Engagement in the Workplace. Thanks to all who submitted nominations. Retirement Doris Loudermilk, RN Ms. Doris Loudermilk, RN, (center) from the Purple Team, retired after 36 years of service. Ambulatory Care hosted a retirement tea for her on October 28. Doris attended school at Methodist Hospital in She began her career at a nursing home as an administrator for ten years in the private sector before joining the St. Cloud VA where she was head nurse for six years. Doris transferred to Indianapolis VA to work in ICU as head nurse. She has also worked as head nurse on 5 south and 6 south, both inpatient wards. She joined the Ambulatory Care Team and has worked on Red, Blue, and Purple Teams. Doris is looking forward to spending time with her family and loved ones in retirement. Submitted by Stacy Van Noy INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 10

11 The 2014 POW-MIA Recognition Day Ceremony was held outside the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis at noon on September 19. Keynote speaker was LTJG Joseph E. Kernan, U.S. Navy Former Prisoner of War. INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 11

12 Welcome New Employees Domiciliary Costume and Pumpkin Carving Contest Donna Amonette Christine Bednarek Rodney Meeks Xu Miao Jennifer Branch April Neher Annectrice Copeland Sean Parsons Jacob Cox Latonya Pippens Larry Dean Christina Rhinehart Jeffrey Doan Tawanda Roberts Samantha Doan Mallory Robertson Katherine Edwards Suzanne Rogers Donna Emmons Sandy Rolland June Fleming Latoya Ford Kristen Garvey David Garza April Savory Jay Sciortino Ami Shah Mark Shelton 1. Quintin Stephens (left) and Justin Jones (right) are one set of winners for the Domiciliary Pumpkin Carving Contest David Hancock Denise Henderson Benjamin Hermann Kerry Simpson Xavier Skinner Megan Templin 2. Larnel Sanders is the other winner for the Domiciliary Pumpkin Carving Contest. Nancy Huynh Jeffrey Mason Howard Masuoka Kathleen Mathews-Lawrence Christopher Velikan Debra Washmuth Geneva York Antonie Young 3. Judy Betterton (Clown) is the winner of the Cutest Costume. 4. David Naessens (Gamer) is the winner of the Most Original Costume. INDY INSIGHT is a monthly newsletter for employees, volunteers, patients and friends of Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center. It is produced by the Office of Communications and Medical Media. Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center is not responsible for the content or accuracy of third party posting, nor assumes any legal obligation or liability associated with such posting. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the medical center. While INDY INSIGHT encourages submissions for future editions, we cannot guarantee publication, and reserve the right to edit all copy so it conforms to editorial policy and guidelines. Send announcements and information via to INDY INSIGHT is posted at INDY INSIGHT NOVEMBER Page 12

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