As Ebola Tests the World, Dell Teams Step Up with Technology

Our government customers do some very demanding and difficult work, and for the most part they do so unnoticed and unrecognized. This work occurs in both ordinary and extraordinary times.

While Ebola may have moved from the front page of many news organizations, the emergency response underway in West Africa to stem the spread of the deadly virus continues.

When TIME chose the Ebola Fighters as Person of the Year for 2014, they noted it was “a test of the world’s ability to respond to potential pandemics,” and Dell played a part in helping the world face that test.

CDC EIS Officer, Miwako Kobayashi provided training for around 65 staff at CH Rennie Hospital in Kakata, Margibi County.

When most people think of an emergency or disaster response, technology isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind, but it is one of the most important elements of any response plan. The rapid flow of information is a force multiplier, helping those on the ground respond more effectively.

“I know technology can significantly help these efforts. Already, we know mobile data collection is going to save doctors hours per day of routine paperwork.” said Joel Selanikio, M.D. in a special report to WTOP.com from Sierra Leone earlier this month.

Rapidly accessible information also greatly assists those at emergency operations centers to understand needs on the ground so that assets can more effectively be deployed in response to those needs. The technology required for these operations isn’t always complicated but it is essential.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been in the midst of a very challenging set of circumstances as they work to address the dire situation in West Africa during the worst Ebola epidemic in history. As CDC has risen to meet the challenge, the CDC Foundation—an independent nonprofit with a mission to connect CDC to the private sector—turned to Dell to assist them in very quickly deploying some much needed technology resources for CDC’s teams in the field.

Dell’s government team organized, imaged and donated over 100 notebooks to CDC, through the CDC Foundation, in just over two weeks to match the speed of the epidemic.

Ebola team plans for visits to help figure out how CDC can support southern counties in Liberia.

As a Dell employee, it feels good to know that we were able to meet this very challenging need to help CDC fulfill its mission of saving lives and protecting people. It’s especially heartning whenI hear on NPR Morning Edition that Liberia has registered its lowest weekly total of cases since June. Sierra Leone has reported a decline for the second week running, and in Guinea, where the epidemic began, the number of cases has also fallen.

The Dell Federal business team was honored to help CDC professionals, who in many cases were on the front lines fighting the epidemic, to respond in the field with the tools needed to accomplish their mission.

It doesn’t happen often, but when customers like the CDC Foundation reach out for assistance we do all we can to help them.

The credit for this significant undertaking goes to our Dell Federal team that was able to pull all of this together so quickly. We’re here to serve our customers in the federal government every day — but we’re particularly heartened to give just a little bit extra to meet a critical need.

Images via CDC

About the Author

Laura Pevehouse, Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.