International Christian mission organization SIM announced today that missionary doctor Rick Sacra, recently infected with the Ebola virus while serving in Liberia, is being flown to The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., for treatment.
Dr. Sacra is expected to arrive in Omaha Friday morning and begin treatment in the hospital’s Biocontainment Patient Care Unit. Sacra will be the third Ebola-infected American to be brought back to the US fro Treatment for the lethal virus.
The Nebraska Medical Center said today The U.S. State Department requested the services of the hospital in the treatment of Dr. Sacra.
Nebraska is one of four places in the US that have the biocontainment facilities and expert staff to handle such patient–the other three being Emory University in Atlanta that is operated by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and the Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana.
“This unit was specifically designed to care for patients of this nature and is staffed with infectious disease experts who have prepared for years for situations like this one,” said Phil Smith, MD, medical director of the Biocontainment Unit. “The unit is sealed, guarded and secure. It’s separate from other patient care areas, and just like the facility at Emory University, which successfully treated two Americans with Ebola last month, we are uniquely prepared to handle infectious diseases here.”
“We want everyone to know that every precaution is being taken in transporting this patient here and caring for them once they arrive,” said Angela Hewlett, MD, associate medical director of the Biocontainment Unit. “This is one of the safest places in the country for this patient to be treated, both for the public and for the medical professionals providing care.”
The president of SIM USA, Bruce Johnson said, “Rick was receiving excellent care from our SIM/ELWA staff in Liberia at our Ebola 2 Care Center. They all love and admire him deeply. However, The Nebraska Medical Center provides advanced monitoring equipment and wider availability of treatment options.
“SIM’s global family from over 50 countries is extremely grateful for the generous cooperation of many agencies and organizations in the U.S. and in Liberia which made it possible for Rick to be brought to Omaha. It took an exceptional effort across many organizations to make this happen. We particularly thank the U.S. Department of State and its many agencies and The Nebraska Medical Center.”