University of Minnesota Medical Center is one of nine designated regional Ebola treatment centers in the nation. Last week, we joined the Minnesota Department of Health and federal agencies in an international drill.
Two mock Ebola patients were flown from Sierre Leone in Africa to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, then transferred to the West Bank campus of our hospital in Minneapolis and “treated” with no impact to other patients. The exercise, conducted by the U.S. Department of State in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, was designed to assess the readiness of federal, state, local and private partners to respond to an infectious disease outbreak overseas.
The simulated patients treated at University of Minnesota Medical Center were two of 11 volunteers flown to various hospitals across the nation on Wednesday. The scope of Wednesday’s drill was unprecedented, according to information released by the Minnesota Department of Health.
Our participation in this exercise reflects our deep public health commitment, the nationally recognized skill of our care providers and our desire to make the world a healthier place.
In 2015, University of Minnesota Medical Center was named a regional treatment center for patients with Ebola or other severe, highly infectious diseases under a five-year, $3.25 million grant awarded to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Our Ebola treatment unit is a safe, secure facility isolated from our main hospitals and other patient care areas. As part of the initiative, unit staff received special training and implemented new quarantine procedures to reduce risk. We also updated the treatment unit infrastructure to improve overall safety.