PeaceHealth, county investigate possible Hepatitis C exposure
Ken Cole, PeaceHealth Southwest
VANCOUVER – PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center and Clark County Public Health are conducting a joint investigation about a possible Hepatitis C exposure involving patients.
The joint investigation has revealed that some patients might have been exposed to the disease through the actions of a former PeaceHealth Southwest employee, who left PeaceHealth Southwest in March 2014.
“Our caregivers work hard every day to heal and help patients,” said Sy Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. “We are all deeply troubled by this discovery.”
PeaceHealth Southwest and Clark County Public Health are expected to complete the investigation by May 20. At that time, certified letters will be mailed to all patients who might have received care from the former employee. Those patients will be urged to receive Hepatitis C testing at the expense of PeaceHealth Southwest.
“Although the likelihood of infection is very low, we are acting with great caution to ensure the well-being of our patients,” Johnson said. “We take this very seriously. I apologize for the anxiety this is certain to cause our patients and their loved ones.”
About PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center
The region’s health care leader and steward for 155 years, PeaceHealth Southwest is a not-for-profit, 450-bed medical institution in Vancouver. Repeatedly recognized nationally as a 100 Top Hospital, PeaceHealth Southwest provides a full range of outpatient and inpatient diagnostic, medical and surgical services for Clark County residents. PeaceHealth Southwest is also one of Clark County’s largest employers with 3,400 employees and 600 active medical staff members who help support dozens of medical specialty services and programs, including cancer, heart, emergency, trauma, neuro-musculoskeletal, family birth and primary care services.
About Clark County Public Health
Clark County Public Health protects the community's health by preventing disease and responding to health threats. We influence conditions that promote health, such as access to healthy and affordable foods, clean water, health care and neighborhoods safe for walking and biking. We minimize the impact of disease outbreaks through vaccination, early detection and swift response.