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Ebola Fighters: Ribner among those honored as TIME's Person of the Year

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Dr. Bruce Ribner at Emory University Hospital Photography by Jack Kearse

When Time magazine selected the Ebola fighters as its Person of the Year, it did so to honor "the hero's heart," said managing editor Nancy Gibbs.

"Ebola is a war, and a warning. The global health system is nowhere close to strong enough to keep us safe from infectious disease, and 'us' means everyone, not just those in faraway places where this is one threat among many that claim lives every day," she wrote. "The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are TIME's 2014 Person of the Year."

Among the Ebola doctors selected was Bruce Ribner, medical director of Emory University Hospital's Serious Communicable Disease Unit. "In the process of getting our patients better, we are learning a great deal about the virus, which we hope feeds back to our colleagues in Africa, so that perhaps they can no longer have such high fatality rates," said Ribner, in the article. "I am surprised we haven't had more patients. We are prepared for more patients with Ebola, and we're ready for other diseases, too. We really take an all-cause, all-infections approach because we know that whatever comes is likely going to be something we didn't plan for."

Missionary doctor Kent Brantly, the first patient with Ebola treated at Emory (and in the US) was pictured on one of the five alternate covers of the magazine, as well as being recognized as an Ebola fighter. He and Ribner were two of five Ebola doctors selected. "I've had time to reflect on what happened to me," Brantly says, in the Time piece. "I chose a career in medicine because I wanted a tangible skill with which to serve people. And so my role as a physician is my attempt to do that. I'll probably get tired of talking about my experience some day, but I went to Liberia because I long felt it was my vocation to spend my career as medical missionary. Deep in the core of my heart, I still think that's my calling. I don't want to go on with life and forget this."

The issue also included coverage of aid worker Nancy Writebol and Dallas nurse Amber Vinson, who were also successfully treated for the disease at Emory.

Related Resources:

"Emory's Ribner among Ebola fighters named TIME's 'Person of the Year'" (Emory News Center, 12/10/14)

Ebola Stories on Emory News Center

Other Ebola Stories in This Issue:

"Banking Plasma from Ebola Survivors"

"Ebola Updates"

"Into the Fire"

"Ebola Fighters: Ribner among those honored as TIME's Person of the Year"

"Ebola Survivor Nancy Writebol: Giving Back and looking forward"

"The Long, Extraordinary Recovery of Ian Crozier"

"Nurse Amber Vision Grateful"

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