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Developing now: Providence Memorial Hospital tuberculosis action plan released

Update as of 6:07 p.m. Sept. 30: ABC-7 just received a copy of the action plan. It is a 30-page document. Reporter Ashlie Rodriguez will have much more on ABC-7 at 9 on the CW and 10.

Providence Memorial Hospital’s CEO Eric Evans promised a tuberculosis (TB) action plan a week ago.

ABC-7’s search for truth continues in the tuberculosis exposure story, despite a tightly controlled flow of information from official sources. Providence Memorial Hospital and El Paso’s Department of Public Health have declined to answer many of the station’s questions. They told ABC-7 they’re only answering questions at news conferences, and they haven’t had one since Saturday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed there are two epidemiologists in El Paso assisting with the TB investigation. A public health advisor will arrive in town Monday, Oct. 6, and stay for two weeks.

ABC-7 has received numerous viewer comments and questions regarding the nursery patient care tech. The station has gone to the Providence Hospital spokeswoman and department of public health. The hospital spokeswoman declined to comment, and the health department hasn’t responded.

Last week, ABC-7 and other media outlets were told answers were coming soon in a Providence action plan.

“We have submitted a robust action plan today. We will make that public as soon as it’s accepted by CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services). We expect that to be relatively quickly,” Providence Hospital CEO Eric Evans said last Tuesday, Sept. 23. “You’ll see exactly what they found and what they said. We did know of some symptoms in July that we should have done more with.”

The action plan is required because federal funding for Providence Hospital is at risk due to the tuberculosis potential exposure situation.

CMS is in charge of accepting that action plan. One week ago that organization told us they anticipated it accepting it and making it public the following day. That still hasn’t happened. They will only say that unspecified questions remain to be answered. Latest numbers show more than 850 babies were potentially exposed to the infectious disease.

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