The joint clinical enterprise known publicly as M Health Fairview integrates clinical services provided by Fairview Health Services, University of Minnesota Physicians, and the University of Minnesota Medical School. Under the banner of M Health Fairview, Fairview Health Services owns and operates its flagship hospital: the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC).
UMMC has worked collaboratively with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in special pathogen preparedness and response since 2014, and, as a subgrantee to MDH, has operated the HHS Region V Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Center (RESPTC) since 2015-16. With pass-through federal funding, UMMC remains prepared to accept and care for a patient with a special pathogen or emerging pathogen in its Special Pathogens Unit (SPU): it expanded its SPU unit capacity from one high-level isolation room (2014) to two high-level isolation rooms (2022), and renovated an adjacent hospital unit into a 10-bed intensive care unit (ICU) with each room having airborne isolation with negative pressure airflow.
As one of ten existing RESPTCs in the country, the purpose of this cooperative agreement is for UMMC to act as the leading regional provider of care and treatment for special pathogen patients in the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Region V. Project outcomes and activities are designed:
(1) To sustain and improve health care system preparedness for emerging special pathogens through implementation of the National Special Pathogen System of Care Strategy (NSPS of Care Strategy), and
(2) To expand the regional hospital network serving as part of the NSPS.
As the Region V designated RESPTC the UMMC Special Pathogens Unit (SPU) will continue to be a resource for patient care and clinical operations among the region’s health care organizations, and function to mitigate surges of patients at health care facilities through supporting patient distribution across the region.
Project activities will drive toward achieving the project outcomes below:
• Standards and Guidance: Serve as regional leader in developing, disseminating, and maintaining standards, guidance, and promising practices for high-quality, coordinated special pathogen care and for decision-making during a special pathogen outbreak.
• Building Research Capability and Capacity: Build capacity for the NSPS to accelerate special pathogen research, serving as a regional hub to conduct, participate in, and share insights related to special pathogen and clinical trial research.
• Workforce and Training: Maintain a trained, diverse, and specialized workforce across the region and the NSPS, serve as regional leaders in providing special pathogen trainings, explore innovative and flexible health care workforce solutions, and share resources and promising practice to develop and maintain workforce capability to respond to special pathogen surge events.
• Support for Safe Patient Care Delivery: Enable access to high-quality, equitable care for patients infected by a special pathogen across the region and the NSPS by building effective clinical, load-balancing, and patient movement capabilities that can flex to meet demands in a surge event.
• Communication and Coordination: Build partnerships with a multiplicity of stakeholders to coordinate care delivery, disseminate information, education, resources, and other support across the NSPS, and strengthen communication within the region, the NSPS, and with the public.
• Monitoring and Evaluation: Continuously monitor performance to maintain high-quality and seamless operations, evaluate readiness, and drive informed decision-making within the region and across the NSPS.