DeLauro talks Ebola and funding with CT hospital reps: 'A trying time'

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who represents part of Shelton, met with representatives of Connecticut hospitals today to discuss what the hospitals might need from Congress to properly respond to — and be prepared for — infectious diseases, such as Ebola.

They also talked about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated guidance on personal protective equipment.

The meeting took place a day after a New York City doctor was diagnosed with Ebola. The doctor had just returned from West Africa, where the Ebola epidemic is centered, treating patients with the Doctors Without Borders medical charity.

‘A trying time’

“This is a trying time for our hospital preparedness system, which is at the center of the effort to control the spread of Ebola,” DeLauro said. “But federal support has been moving in the wrong direction. The deep cuts we have seen over the last four years are a danger to the public health.

“Congress has a responsibility to provide the federal funding public health agencies need to properly respond to, and be prepared for, whatever emergencies may arise,” said DeLauro, who is the senior Democrat on the U.S. House subcommittee responsible for funding the CDC and other federal healthcare agencies.

Wants subcommittee to meet

DeLauro has called for an immediate meeting of the House Labor-Health and Human Services’ Education Appropriations Subcommittee to discuss the impact of funding reductions to the public health infrastructure.

During the meeting today, she was joined by representatives of Yale-New Haven Health System, Yale-New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response, Milford Hospital, Waterbury Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital (Waterbury), Danbury Hospital, John Dempsy Hospital, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Gaylord Hospital, Hartford Hospital, The Hospital at Hebrew Health Care, Johnson Memorial Hospital, New Milford Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, and the Connecticut Hospital Association.

DeLauro is in her 12th term representing the Third Congressional District, which includes a part of Shelton and most of the greater New Haven region.