Penn Doctor Heads To Liberia To Help With Ebola Crisis

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An ER doctor from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is headed to Liberia to help on frontlines of the Ebola epidemic.

Dr. Patricia Henwood is packing her bags. On Thursday, she’ll board a plane bound for Liberia. Once there, she’ll spend four weeks doing clinical work in Bong County, a section of the country hit hardest by Ebola.

“It seems like if there’s a need, and I’m willing to go, that idea that, ‘If not me, then who?’ That’s pretty much my motivation,” Dr. Henwood says.

The 34-year-old grew up in Bala Cynwyd and has spent the past decade working in Africa. She joined HUP as their Director of Global Health Initiatives this summer and runs PURE – a non-profit that gets ultrasound technology to developing countries.

She says she almost feels “called” to help stop Ebola.

“I’ve always seen the world as a very small place…and I have a lot of personal relationships and friends and family in Africa, so for me, it’s not such a foreign land.”

As for friends and family at home, Henwood says they’re concerned.

“Obviously, there’s more risk than the average situation, but they’re supportive.”

Henwood says she’ll take all precautions to stay healthy, and she’ll be tweeting from the frontlines from @Pure_Updates.

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