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Main Line Health Chief of infectious diseases speaks about Zika virus outbreak to local students headed to Central America

March 4, 2016 News Releases

Prior to embarking on a humanitarian trip to Costa Rica, Villa Maria Academy High School juniors, seniors and their parents received advice from Main Line Health’s Chief of Infectious Diseases, who helped separate fact from fiction regarding the Zika virus epidemic.

“Traveling to areas affected by the Zika Virus, such as Central America, does pose a risk” said Dr. Mark Ingerman, Main Line Health Chief of Infectious Diseases. “The overall risk for this group is small, particularly if appropriate preventive measures are taken.”

Two Main Line Health physicians and parent chaperones for the trip, Gregory W Higbee, Bryn Mawr Hospital Emergency Department, and Helen M Kuroki, Riddle Hospital OB/GYN and Vice President of Medical Affairs, invited Dr. Mark Ingerman to speak about the virus and the potential risks associated with their upcoming trip.

“As a chaperone and a parent of a student going on the trip, I am relieved that Dr. Ingerman came to Villa Maria to dispel myths about the Zika virus,” said Helen Kuroki, MD. “Dr. Ingerman also evaluated the risk for our group and I was comforted by his assessment of our low risk factor.”

Dr. Ingerman encouraged the use of insect repellant on their skin and permethrin insecticide to be applied to their clothing. He also encouraged the students to keep their skin covered, particularly when the mosquitoes are most prevalent, during dusk and dawn. Because the risk of contracting the virus is relatively low for this group, Dr. Ingerman encouraged each family to make their own informed decisions about whether or not to travel.

Approximately 40 parents and students were in attendance at the Zika virus presentation. Pictured from left to right are: (back row) Grace Funchion, Dena Hartel, Kelly McBride, Bryn Mawr Hospital Emergency Medicine physician, Dr. Higbee; Riddle Hospital OB/GYN and Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Kuroki; Sister Regina Ryan, IHM, Principal of Villa Maria Academy High School. (Front row) Grace Kuroki, Jill Bowie, Katie Gosselin, Rachel Bokar. Villa Maria trip leader, service learning coordinator and faculty English teacher, Mrs. Kara Bielli, was also in attendance but not pictured.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Main Line Health system also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award, and recognition as among the nation’s best employers by Forbes magazine. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.


Bridget Therriault
Director, Communications
Office: 484.580.1025
Cell: 484.222.9154