President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and United States Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac have dedicated a state-of-the-art 25-bed Ebola field hospital constructed in Charlesville, Margibi County, by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to provide care to healthcare workers, both international and Liberian, who may be infected with the Ebola virusKnown as the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU), the facility would be considered as a safe haven for healthcare workers in the country who are on the frontlines of the fight against Ebola. The construction of the field hospital was financed by the American Government and implemented jointly by the U.S. military and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL).The dedication ceremony of the facility was held in Charlesville, near the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County last Wednesday, November 5, 2015. The MMU, which is primarily for healthcare workers as well as the 4,000 U.S troops expected to be deployed in the country, is in addition to 17 Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) that are under construction across the country as a result of the U.S. intervention in Liberia.The facility is being staffed by a team of specialized officers from the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, which is playing an integral role in the overall US government response. The USPHS Commissioned Corps is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf joined U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac to dedicate the newly constructed 25-bed field hospital to be used solely for the treatment of healthcare workers who may become infected by the Ebola virus disease.Speaking during the ceremony, President Sirleaf said the hospital represents a major contribution in the fight against the virus in Liberia. It also represents a true spirit of partnership between both governments.“This facility represents a major contribution to the country’s fight against the further spread of the deadly Ebola virus disease that has hit our country so hard. This represents a true spirit of partnership and leaves hope for a structure that will enable Liberians fare for themselves when the partners shall have left after Ebola.”She described the US government as a partner who recognizes and responds to the needs of the Liberian people and that the fruit of the partnership reaches out to the people it is meant to benefit.President Sirleaf lauded healthcare workers for their sacrificial services to the country and its people by confronting a disease they knew very little about. She expressed happiness that those healthcare workers who may be infected can now receive quality care and treatment with a high hope of survival.She also lauded the American government and people for coming to the aid of Liberia at a time when international response to the Ebola crisis was at its lowest ebb. She expressed the hope that the country is well on its way to beating back the further spread of the disease.The Liberian leader noted that Liberians themselves are the main force preventing the further spread of the deadly virus, due to their adherence to measures announced by the Government, and for supporting all the measures meant to tackle the further spread of the disease.Ambassador Malac, said the current role of the U.S. Government in Liberia’s fight against Ebola, including the construction of the treatment facility, is a symbol of the strong U.S.-Liberia relations and partnership.“The U.S. is proud to be supporting Liberia and it is expected that our support will go further than the emergency period and interventions. I am glad that healthcare workers who may fall sick to Ebola can now get quality treatment right here in Liberia,” the Ambassador emphasized.She indicated that Liberia had made progress and will continue to make progress in the fight against Ebola until the virus is finally eradicated from the country. She thanked the AFL and Liberians in general for their cooperation with the U.S. and other partners working in Liberia.Since the outbreak of the virus, health workers have been the hardest hit with over 70 falling prey to the disease. These include Medical Doctors, Physician Assistants and Nurses. The construction of this facility, though it may be considered belated, will serve as a ‘safe haven,’ for these health workers who are still on the frontlines and dedicating their lives to the service of humanity.Providing an overview of the facility, the Acting U.S. Deputy Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Scott F. Giberson, noted that the MMU is multifunctional and was reconfigured to meet the mission requirements specific to infectious disease treatment in Liberia.“Although this is a clinical care unit, not usually intended for an infectious pathogen, the DoD and the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps worked in partnership to reconfigure the facility to function as an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU).“In addition, experts from Medecin Sans Frontieres (MSF) were consulted on the reconfiguration, illuminating the multi-sector approach in support of the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia and the United States Agency for International Development Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team, which is overseeing the overall U.S. Ebola response in the region,” he said.Admiral Giberson said seventy officers, with diverse clinical and public health backgrounds, will bring safety and security to the brave men and women who are serving as frontlines heroes, and continue efforts of USAID, DoD, the government of Liberia and international partners to build capacity for additional care in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“These are brands that they love and trust. And when they find them in a Six Flags, it increases their confidence level even further that they’re going to have a terrific day at the park.” Magic Mountain is one of theme park chain Six Flags’ premiere thrill parks. But on top of teenage thrill seekers, the company is hungry to attract families to its Valencia park. The fact that major brands want to partner with Six Flags is not surprising, given that park visitors are a captive audience of consumers. Along with bringing in new concessions, the park is getting a face-lift, cleaning up in hopes of attracting parents with kids and giving them reasons to come back. While teens have long made up the customer base, drawn by the thrill rides, the park wants adults who are likely to spend more on food and concessions. Work on the park includes a complete refurbishing of a 95-year-old Grand Carousel and a resurfacing and striping of the parking lot. Buildings at the Six Flags Plaza are also being painted, and two coasters that fell out of favor with riders and the park’s owners are being dismantled. The nation’s theme park market is growing, with total consumer spending expected to go from $11.2 billion in 2005 to $13.4 billion in 2010, according to a report released last year by PricewaterhouseCoopers. For Six Flags, the cross-branding strategy is new. Before Mark Shapiro became the company’s CEO in December 2005, individual parks handled their own corporate alliance agreements, and the only company-wide deal was with Coca-Cola, Goldberg said. Shapiro created a corporate alliances division to land deals with major brands, and now in addition to Coca Cola Co., Kodak, Cold Stone Creamery, Nintendo and Heinz, Six Flags partners include Home Depot and Papa John’s Pizza. Magic Mountain in Valencia starts daily operation March 17. Visitors will be given a Kodak photo card, which they can hand to photographers tagging along with the park’s Warner Bros. characters. Visitors will access the photos over the Internet when they get home. Cold Stone Creamery will open a shop in the park in early spring, said Sue Carpenter, spokeswoman for Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. Attendance at Magic Mountain was 2.8 million in 2005, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers report. Attendance dropped about 25 percent in the last half of 2006, which Shapiro blamed on uncertainty surrounding a possible sale of the park. Now, the park is no longer for sale, and the company is hoping the cross-branding strategy will increase the park’s profitability. “I think it will probably pay off,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “Because probably people haven’t been to Magic Mountain for a while, so there is always the interest factor. And the economy is good, so they have money to spend.” Kyser called Six Flags’ cross-branding strategy “very savvy marketing,” and said it will help the company. “They can cement a reputation for being a family-friendly place,” he said. In past years, Magic Mountain has held a number of events that attract families. Those have included its Gospel Celebration and Hallelujah Jubilee concerts. It has areas for children, but the park is known more for its 15 heart-pounding rides. The park does plan to expand its offerings for children. Six Flags has capitalized on the kid-friendly appeal of British TV show Thomas & Friends, the Australian band The Wiggles and skateboarder Tony Hawk to build play areas and rides centered around them at its parks. Magic Mountain does not have any of those attractions this year, but it is working on getting some or all of them in the park in the near future, Carpenter said. Six Flags, the world’s largest regional theme park company, was facing $2.1 billion of debt last year. But in January, it announced a sale of seven parks for $312 million, bringing its total number of North American parks to 21. In the meantime, CEO Shapiro and his executive team are continuing to look for brand names to partner with. “This year is really the first year that Mark’s team will be able to have an impact on a full operating season,” Goldberg said. “So this is really the year that you are going to see the family-friendly strategy go into effect.” firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 257-5253 Magic mix Six Flags is entering into a cross-branding strategy with more than just Coca-Cola. New alliances include: Cold Stone Creamery Kodak Heinz Nintendo Wii Home Depot Papa John’s Pizza160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VALENCIA – Families visiting Six Flags California’s Magic Mountain this spring will find plenty of brand-name ice cream and photographers ready to snap their pictures with Bugs Bunny on Kodak cameras as the theme park works to spruce up and reinvent itself. It’s all part of corporate owner Six Flags Inc.’s family-friendly strategy, in place this year for the first full season. Brand names are playing a big part in the new strategy. Cold Stone Creamery will dish out the ice cream, Kodak will do the photos, Heinz will be the official ketchup and the Nintendo Wii will hold the title of official video game console, which means park visitors can play Nintendo’s Wii for free. “When people come to our parks with their families, they want to find products and services that they’re familiar with,” said Wendy Goldberg, spokeswoman for Six Flags.