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June 28, 2001

UPMC clinic offers info, health care for international travelers

UPMC Downtown offers a full-service clinic to counsel international travelers on immunizations, antibiotics and health care planning for trips.

The UPMC International Travel Clinic is the only non-governmental facility of its type in western Pennsylvania and is recognized in the National Register of International Travel Clinics. A complete inventory of all recommended vaccines is stocked on-site.

The wrong "bug" at the wrong time can ruin anyone's dream vacation or highly anticipated business trip, according to Lawrence D. Ellis, medical director of UPMC Downtown.

As part of the UPMC Corporate Health Program, Ellis established the clinic seven years ago to service corporate as well as individual clients.

The clinic's database is updated weekly, using information from the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of State and the World Health Organization.

"It is important to understand that each particular country is interested in protecting its people from what diseases you might bring to their country," Ellis said. "We go beyond that and make other recommendations to be sure the patient is protected from diseases that could potentially be contracted in each country. We offer complete patient education."

UPMC's International Travel Clinic is located at the corner of Sixth and Smithfield streets, Downtown. For more information, call 412/560-8765.

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