Emory to lead National Ebola Training and Education Center

By Janet Christenbury | Woodruff Health Sciences Center | July 2, 2015

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The US Department of Health & Human Services announced today that Emory University will serve as lead coordinating center of the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (Bellevue Hospital).

With the collective effort between HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the three academic institutions, the program will support further training of health care providers and facilities on strategies to manage Ebola virus disease and other emerging infectious diseases. The program will be funded for $12 million over the next five years. 

"The goal of the NETEC will be to educate and improve processes to safely identify, isolate, transport and treat patients with emerging threats such as Ebola virus disease, while minimizing risks to health care workers," says Bruce Ribner, MD, medical director of Emory University Hospital's Serious Communicable Disease Unit and principal investigator of the National Ebola Training and Education Center. "Based on the knowledge we have gained from caring for patients with Ebola virus disease, Emory, Nebraska and Bellevue will develop and teach best practices to other health care workers who could be faced with caring for similar patients in the future."

The objectives of the National Ebola Training and Education Center are to:

  • develop metrics to measure facility and health care worker readiness to care for Ebola patients;
  • conduct assessments of regional and state Ebola Treatment Centers;
  • create and maintain educational materials related to care of patients with possible Ebola and other special pathogens;
  • support public health departments and health care facilities through training and technical assistance.

 Emory University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center have been working with CDC since December 2014 to train more than 460 health care workers from 87 health care systems, including 37 designated Ebola treatment centers, on all aspects of infection control and patient care for individuals with Ebola. The two institutions are offering additional training opportunities this summer for up to 400 staff from Ebola assessment hospitals.

"We are excited that Emory will be a part of the newly created National Ebola Training and Education Center," says Monica Farley, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. "By sharing our clinical expertise and hands-on knowledge, we hope to provide valuable resources to health care facilities and their employees across the nation as they ready themselves for future infectious threats."

HHS recently announced nine regional Ebola treatment centers, which includes Emory University Hospital, that are part of a national network of 55 Ebola treatment centers. These nine centers have enhanced capabilities to treat a patient with confirmed Ebola virus disease or other highly infectious diseases.

Ebola treatment centers are staffed, equipped and have been assessed to have current capabilities, training and resources to provide the complex treatment necessary to care for a patient with Ebola virus disease, while providing the necessary protection to health care workers.