Boston Plans for Triage and Isolation – Review
of Available Portable Isolation Units
Elizabeth Gross, Dana Farber
Cancer Institute, Boston
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) is an Ambulatory Cancer Center,
a major research institute with an associated vivarium, and a hospital
with 27 licensed beds at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH).
DFCI is located in the Longwood Medical Area (LMA), in close proximity
to BWH, Children's Hospital (TCH) and Beth Israel-Deaconess
Medical Center (BIDMC), all of which are Harvard Medical School
Teaching Hospitals. DFCI has joint ventures with both BWH and TCH,
and patients needing hospitalization are admitted to those hospitals.
DFCI has more than 3,000 employees and more than 175,000 adult
and pediatric patient visits annually. It is DFCI's policy
and practice to remain open 7 days a week, despite any local disaster
or severe weather, for both patient emergencies, essential facility
support, and round-the-clock animal care. A pandemic event would
stress any hospital's capacity to care for patients, but,
given that our patients are immunocompromised and thus highly susceptible
to infection, it would be imperative to be able to both care for
patients and keep infectious ones in contained facilities, away
from non-infected ones. It is for this reason that we have begun
to look at portable isolation tents for screening patients and staff
in case of a pandemic flu episode.
DFCI has worked collaboratively with both the LMA and BWH Disaster
Committees to ensure an appropriate level of response, both for
inter-hospital and intra-hospital emergencies. In this presentation,
there will be a discussion of how a decision was made to select
a portable isolation unit suitable for use both as a single unit,
as well as a multiple-hospital use unit, should it be needed. In
addition, there will be a discussion of Boston's overall plans
for pandemic flu preparedness.
Elizabeth Gross has an M.S. degree in industrial
hygiene from the Harvard School of Public Health, an M.A. degree
from the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. degree
from the University of Michigan. Prior to her experiences in industrial
hygiene, she was a registered respiratory therapist at the Brigham
and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Since 1985, Ms. Gross has been Director of Environmental Health
and Safety (EH&S) at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston,
directing a staff of EH&S professionals, who oversee all aspects
of chemical, biological and radiation protection.
Ms. Gross is a Visiting Lecturer both in the Industrial Hygiene
Core program at Harvard School of Public Health and a Laboratory
Safety Consultant for many of the start-up biotechnology companies
in the Boston area.
She has served on boards of several professional organizations,
which include the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH), the
Academy of Industrial Hygiene (AIH), the New England Section of
the AIHA and Harvard's ERC Advisory Board. She is a Certified
Industrial Hygienist (CIH).
Back to Symposia/Workshop Agenda