Ebola virus disease training collaboration wins CDC award

April 20, 2016

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Aneesh Mehta, MD; Sharon Vanairsdale, APRN; Bruce Ribner, MD; Sonia Bell and Amy Bradford accept the NETEC award from the CDC for Emory University.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) with the "Excellence in Partnering – Domestic" award for its collaboration among Emory University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (Bellevue Hospital) to train health care providers and facilities on strategies to manage Ebola virus disease and other emerging infectious diseases.

NETEC won the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Award for Excellence in Partnering – Domestic for its training consortium, which began its efforts in June 2015. The award recognizes a program’s initiatives and effectiveness by establishing and sustaining a strategic partnership with government, private sector, volunteer or nonprofit organizations.

"The focus of NETEC is 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. "The partnership among Emory, Nebraska and Bellevue has been successful and productive, and we are honored to receive this award from the CDC."

Since the program began, NETEC partners have visited eight Regional Ebola Treatment Centers and numerous facilities designated as Ebola treatment or assessment facilities across multiple states. The NETEC partners conduct site surveys of the hospitals’ recently created isolation units, while also providing direct training, peer review and technical consultation to assist them in Ebola preparedness efforts. Among those hospitals, approximately 350 health care workers have been trained by NETEC to care for patients diagnosed with Ebola virus disease or other highly infectious diseases. Those who are trained consist of direct clinical care workers, health care administration, EMS, other frontline staff and public health professionals.

In 2014, Emory University Hospital's Serious Communicable Diseases Unit successfully treated four patients with Ebola virus disease.

The Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the CDC together fund NETEC through a $12 million grant over five years.

In May, NETEC will hold its first Regional Ebola Treatment Center Summit in Atlanta, bringing together all 10 Regional Ebola Treatment Centers. The purpose of the summit is to foster a collaborative national infrastructure, prepared to respond quickly and effectively to emerging serious communicable diseases.