"I believe in my talented coworkers.  I am #presbyproud!," said Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola while working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, in a statement released by the hospital Thursday.

Although Pham's statement might be the first time many have seen the hashtag, it's actually part of a small but vocal campaign by hospital employees and its supporters to push back against recent criticism of the facility, which treated the first Ebola case diagnosed in the United States.

The hospital itself is using the hashtag as part of its push against recent criticism:

Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian visiting Dallas, went to the facility five days after he arrived in Texas in late September. Despite his travel history and symptoms consistent with an early Ebola infection  (namely, a fever),  the hospital sent him home -- something the hospital still hasn't fully explained publicly. He came back in an ambulance days later and was admitted into isolated care. Duncan died of Ebola on Oct. 8.

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Pham, 26, and a second health-care worker, Amber Vinson, 29, contracted Ebola while caring for Duncan, raising questions about the safety precautions taken there to stop the disease's transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this week that workers there had to learn how to control the virus on the fly, adjusting their safety procedures as they went.

On Thursday, officials at the Texas hospital apologized for making "mistakes" during the treatment of Duncan, "despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team."

Both nurses who caught Ebola while treating Duncan are being transferred to other facilities to continue their treatment. Pham is headed to a National Institutes of Health facility in Bethesda, Md., while Vinson has been transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

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With all that focus on what happened in the hospital, the #Presbyproud hashtag has become a collection point for the push-back against what many see as unfair criticism of the facility and its staff who were charged with caring for the country's first Ebola diagnosis. Some, but not all, of the posts come from hospital employees or their friends.

"The CDC is actually changing its own protocols in the coming days based on the experience of the front line caregivers at THR-Presby Dallas. Our healthcare workers are doing an amazing and heroic job from our CEO all the way to our housekeeping staff," Ken Adams wrote on Facebook

Another Facebook user who was treated at the facility wrote: "Jackson was born 6 weeks early, nine hours from home, in a city where we didn't know the doctors, the nurses, or even what hospital to use. We were nervous and scared for him and for the level of care that he would need and receive. GOD BLESSED OUR FAMILY with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas." 

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Phyllis Burkett Walker wrote, "After hearing a national news story yesterday about whether Texas Health Presbyterian can survive this incident, I wanted everyone who has enjoyed the high level of care this institution has provided for so many years to display their own ‪#‎PresbyProud‬ statements. I want the White House and the CDC to bear the brunt of this situation."

The hashtag, at least as used in the current context, goes back as far as the day of Duncan's death. "If you were not there you have no right to post negative comments about this situation. I would have loved to see you suit up and risk your life for this man!" wrote Margaret Lauren Eliason, whose Facebook profile identifies her as an employee of the hospital.

Others have accused hospital critics, including the CDC, of "nurse shaming." Similar criticism followed CDC Director Tom Frieden's initial comments that a "breach in protocol" likely led to the transmission of the disease from Duncan to Pham.

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Frieden has since apologized for those remarks during a news conference -- which the hospital highlighted in a press release to reporters. And many public officials, such as Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and President Obama, have emphasized the heroism and courage required of health-care workers on the front lines of caring for Ebola patients.

Meanwhile, everyone from the Texas Hospital Association CEO Ted Shaw to individual nurses are turning to social media to provide their take on how they feel about Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, which found itself unwittingly in the center of a national news story.

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