Keynote Speaker: Dr. Jay Varkey
Dr. Jay Varkey
Terra Dotta is very pleased to welcome Dr. Jay Varkey as our plenary speaker at TDU Global 2019 in Atlanta. If Dr. Varkey’s name is not familiar to you, you might consider that a good thing. But once you hear his inspiring words, it will be a name you won’t soon forget.
Dr. Varkey gained nationwide, if not worldwide, attention in August 2014 when a patient, infected with the Ebola virus, was admitted to the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) at Emory University Hospital. This was the first of two patients with Ebola to be treated in the U.S. Dr. Varkey, now Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases with Emory University’s School of Medicine, was one of five infectious diseases physicians who treated four patients over the next three months. If you recall that event, you will remember there being considerable angst expressed over treating patients infected with such a deadly viral disease in the U.S., far from the disease’s epicenter.
What Dr. Varkey and his colleagues tried to impress upon the public was that they were ready for this crisis. For years, the SCDU had been holding regular drills exactly for this reason – to be prepared when such a crisis occurred. His words, therefore, will have particular significance for those of us involved with student mobility. We may be challenged over seeking support for crisis response; however, we also know that on any day, we are always just one phone call or email away from an unexpected emergency. What can we learn from the experiences of Dr. Varkey and the SCDU in both preparing for, and responding to, a crisis?