A Notable Honor for Ebola Response Team as it Planned and Prepared for the Ebola Virus

October 16, 2015

District of Columbia Hospital Association Presents Team the 2015 Patient Safety Award

Washington, D.C., October 16, 2015 – MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Ebola Response Team has been honored with the 2015 Patient Safety Award from the District of Columbia Hospital Association (DCHA). The award recognizes the team’s outstanding efforts in its Ebola-related plans and training to care for potential or confirmed patients with the Ebola virus.

The team, also known as the Biocontainment Unit among hospital personnel, handled all aspects of planning, education and training. These Hospital Center experts in infectious diseases, infection control, emergency medicine and emergency preparedness organized drills, handled on-site surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the D.C. Department of Health and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and integrated the feedback from the drills and the surveys to modify the plans for even greater effectiveness. They also led the response to two real-life situations involving patients whose symptoms indicated possible Ebola—and did so efficiently, safely and with compassion for both patients.

"The Biocontainment unit team is a unique blend of people all working to accomplish one goal– to provide safe, high quality and compassionate care to people who become seriously ill from an infectious disease,” said Craig DeAtley, PA-C, director of Emergency Management at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “The award recognizes the importance of teamwork as the planning, practice and commitment must all come together in order to achieve the desired results.” 

The DCHA Patient Safety Award recognizes individuals or teams who demonstrate exceptional commitment to improving the culture of safety in an institution, patient safety, quality of care, as well as the reduction of errors in medicine. More than 80 professionals were part of the team.

The Hospital Center was designated nationally to serve as one of the original 35 Ebola Treatment Centers in the U.S., and was designated by the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia as well.

In June, the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) recognized the Hospital Center’s Ebola caregivers with the Distinguished Service Award, which is the MHA’s highest honor.

DCHA Annual Awards Dinner at the Washington Hilton. Washington D




In photo L to R: Dr. Lauren Wiesner, Physician Director for Emergency Preparedness, Craig DeAtley, Director of Emergency Management, Janet Thorne, RN, Director, Nurse Responder Team, Nancy Donegan, RN, Past Director, Infection Control, Dr. Glenn Wortmann, Director, Infectious Diseases, Robert Malson, President, DCHA at the 2015 Annual Awards Banquet.


MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a 926-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases. U.S.News & World Report consistently ranks the hospital’s cardiology and heart surgery program as one of the nation’s best. It also is a respected top facility in the areas of cancer, diabetes & endocrinology, Ear, Nose & Throat, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, pulmonology and urology. It operates MedSTAR, a nationally-verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.

Media Contacts

Sylvia Ballinger
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So Young Pak
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