Of course, Valley Medical Center was here and cared for the injured—my neighbor Judy, for instance, who owes her life in part to VMC. The role of a comprehensive health and hospital system like ours is central in a disaster. With a top-level trauma center, burn center, brain and spinal cord injury center and so many other specialties, VMC was ready on October 17, 1989.
And here we are, a quarter-century later, facing another potential disaster: Ebola. The similarities are these: It may be coming, but we don’t know when. A big quake and Ebola are things for which we can drill, practice, and prepare. That’s what VMC is doing now, and what VMC has always done.
The differences are critically important: A virus is much smarter than an earthquake. We can’t be sure the Ebola today will act like the Ebola of tomorrow, or a year from now. Quake-related injuries look nothing like hemorrhagic fever, and broken bones aren’t contagious. VMC’s world-class doctors and nurses heal wounds every day…but Ebola, in Silicon Valley, is new.
So new, in fact, that it’s not here—and maybe, hopefully, will never be. But I am proud and sleep better at night knowing that Valley Medical Center is preparing, drilling and asking as many hard questions as we can think of. VMC is here for all of us, as it was for Judy 25 years ago, as it is in times of crisis or disaster. Count on it.