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SSH’s Carothers part of MSHA team trained to react to pandemics

Members of the Mountain States Health Alliance's infection prevention team who completed training in Alabama were Shannon Tipton, Tracey Rhodes, Jamie Swift, Eryn Carothers and Patty Ryder.

Members of the Mountain States Health Alliance’s infection prevention team who completed training in Alabama were Shannon Tipton, Tracey Rhodes, Jamie Swift, Eryn Carothers and Patty Ryder.

Everyone has seen one of those movie “blockbusters” where the world’s end is threatened by a pandemic.
But it’s a threat that’s real, and health care providers have to take a “just in case” approach to preparing for widespread, contagious diseases.
That’s why Sycamore Shoals Hospitals’ Eryn Carothers and four other members of Mountain States Health Alliance’s infection prevention team traveled to Anniston, Ala., for high-level training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness.
“We live in a time when there’s more worldwide travel than ever, with people going to remote areas of the world, and they can be exposed to things people never used be exposed to,” said Jamie Swift, MSHA’s corporate director for infection prevention. “It would be foolish to think we’ll never have another pandemic. So we want to be sure whenever something comes up, we’re ready.”
Diseases like MERS – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome– novel influenzas and other emerging diseases are real threats, and preparation is the key.
Members of the infection prevention team who have completed the intensive training were Elizabethton’s Carothers and Swift, Tracey Rhodes, Patty Rider and Shannon Tipton from Johnson City Medical Center. The rest of the team is scheduled to attend soon.
The training trip was paid for by the Department of Homeland Security.
“We already have a good pandemic plan in place at Mountain States, and we had a director look at it during the training session in Alabama, and he said it was a very good plan,” Swift said. “But this was a chance to refine it and just make sure we can carry it out. It’s truly about the planning process and about taking a look at your plan.”