Businesses sponsor public forum on Ebola education

WORCESTER _ Bringing important and unbiased information to the region is one of the many objectives of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, which was demonstrated when the organization recently hosted a panel discussion on a time-sensitive and compelling health topic entitled, “Public Health in the News: Central Massachusetts and the Ebola Crisis.”

The forum took place on November 20, 2014 and was held at the DCU Center in Worcester, drawing business and community leaders together to learn about a health scare that was saturating the news media and creating public fear for months.

PENTA Communications, Inc. sponsored this event, along with Commerce Bank, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Unum.

Panelists included: Anthony Esposito, MD, Saint Vincent Group; Moses Makor, Liberian Association of Worcester County, and Richard A. Sacra, MD, UMass Memorial Medical Center. Moderator for the event was Acting Commissioner of Public Health Michael P. Hirsh, MD, City of Worcester.

These notable health experts discussed ways to combat Ebola hysteria along with the facts surrounding the disease. The panelists addressed the science of the disease, as opposed to the fear of the disease, which has been exacerbated through newscast footage of people dying from Ebola in West African countries.

The panelists said the disease is well-understood in the healthcare community; however, the differences between the U.S. healthcare system and its resources versus West African healthcare systems and its lack of resources cannot be ignored.

“This Ebola epidemic – the ripple effects have had aftershocks into society as a whole. We just can’t look at Ebola, we have to look at the entire healthcare system,” said Dr. Sacra.

The discussion can be viewed on the Research Bureau’s website at