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UMass Medical School Sending Team To Fight Ebola In Liberia08:45
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Dr. Rick Sacra, a UMass Medical School faculty member who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia, walks out of a media availability with Chancellor Michael Collins Sept. 4 in Worcester. (Stephan Savoia/AP)
Dr. Rick Sacra, a UMass Medical School faculty member who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia, walks out of a media availability with Chancellor Michael Collins Sept. 4 in Worcester. (Stephan Savoia/AP)
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UMass Medical School this week launches a formal effort to fight Ebola in Liberia.

The school is familiar with the West African nation. It leads a collaborative of institutions, including Boston Children's Hospital, that has been sending faculty and staff to Liberia to train doctors and nurses since 2006. The school recently received a $7.5 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to send doctors and nurses to help care for Ebola patients and reopen health care facilities.

On Thursday, one faculty member from UMass Medical School and a doctor from Boston Children's will head to Liberia to asses what's needed for the months-long effort.

Chancellor Michael Collins says faculty members will be under 21-day voluntary quarantine when they return, but many are signing up for the work.

"Neither I nor anyone else has to tell a health care worker to volunteer. The very essence of what we are brings this out in the spirit of our people," Collins told WBUR. "In medical school, one of the things we teach our students and our residents is to go towards those who are sick. And those countries need entities like ours to go toward them."

WBUR’s Deborah Becker spoke with UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael Collins in detail about the effort. She also spoke with Dr. Rick Sacra, a UMass Medical School faculty member who was working as a missionary doctor in Liberia delivering babies when he contracted Ebola in August. Listen to both conversations in full above.

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Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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Lynn Jolicoeur Twitter Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.

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