Local hospitals prepare for papal visit

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Local hospitals have been preparing for months for Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia in September. (WPVI)

Officials announced some major details Wednesday about road closures and restrictions in and around Philadelphia during Pope Francis' visit and in the meantime, local hospitals are also making plans.

The Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania says they started working on preparations ever since they learned it was a possibility the Pope would visit several months ago.

Action News spoke with Mark Ross, the regional manager for emergency preparedness for the Association.

He says they train every month for large scale events and emergencies.

Ross says Amtrak's train derailment in May was an example of city and healthcare systems working together.

As millions of people come to the parkway for Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia, Ross says plans are underway to make sure things run smoothly.

"We're going to take care of our patients, staff and visitors like we do every day of the year. But we are also looking at making sure we have enough supplies, enough staffing for days in case access becomes an issue at any of our facilities. This way we're there to take care of patients that present to our hospitals," he said.

Some hospitals may bring in staff before the weekend so they're in place and won't need to travel through the crowds to get into work.

Many hospitals are also not scheduling elective surgeries around that weekend.

Mark Ross says they also work closely with emergency medical crews.

Related Topics:
religionpope francisworld meeting of families 2015philly newshospitalshealthcheckhealthpope us visitCenter City Philadelphia
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