Michigan receives $5.5 million in funding for preparedness network; Special Pathogen Response Network to coordinate, structure state's emergency response

Contact: Jennifer Smith 517-241-2112

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS) today announced that Michigan has received a total of more than $5.5 million in federal funding to help strengthen its emergency preparedness efforts.  Through MDHHS and its Bureaus of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness (BETP) and Disease Control Prevention and Epidemiology, funds will be distributed to hospitals and identified transport Life Support Agencies statewide to support Michigan’s Special Pathogen Response Network (SPRN).

“For more than a decade, Michigan has had emergency response plans in place to protect our residents against infectious diseases,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “This funding will help promote continued situational awareness and state of readiness among our closest partners in the health and preparedness communities.”

The Special Pathogen Response Network (SPRN) was established in 2014 to strengthen Michigan’s emergency response to any new or emerging threat to public health, such as Ebola virus disease. The network is a collaborative group including: MDHHS, Michigan hospitals, Life Support Agencies, local health departments, and regional healthcare coalitions. All hospitals and identified Life Support Agencies in the SPRN will receive a portion of the funds.

“MDHHS is proud to recognize all Michigan hospitals for their partnership, as well as the training and education undertaken to protect against the spread of infectious diseases,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa serves as a reminder of the importance of having prepared healthcare facilities and partners for quickly responding to new, emerging threats.”

As part of the SPRN, Michigan developed a four-tiered approach for its hospitals to ensure that in the event of an emergent public health issue, potential patients go to the right facility at the right time. Tiers are based on the level of hospital infrastructure available to detect, isolate, notify, and treat or safely transfer patients with suspected or known pathogens, such as Ebola.

Among Michigan’s tiered system, Tier 1 hospitals will back up and support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designated region V center, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, for the treatment of Ebola-positive patients. All Tier 1 hospitals have the capacity to identify, isolate, test and treat Ebola-positive patients, and may receive transfers from both in-network and other facilities. Michigan has identified three Tier 1 hospitals: Detroit Receiving Hospital, Detroit; Spectrum Health – Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids; and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor.

All Michigan hospitals have participated in the robust emergency preparedness and response structure and will be receiving dedicated funding to strengthen the SPRN based on their tiered level. Michigan is working with all remaining hospitals in Michigan to conduct further technical site assessment visits and confirm levels 2, 3 and 4.

Every hospital with an emergency department in Michigan will have a designated tier in the Special Pathogen Response Network. Like Tier 1 facilities, Tier 2 hospitals are also treatment centers but will accept in-network transfers only. As assessment facilities, Tier 3 hospitals are designated to identify, isolate, test and provide care while awaiting test results.  Screening hospitals have a Tier 4 designation and the capacity to identify, isolate and transfer patients for testing.

Michigan received $3.2 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and $2.3 million in funding from ASPR. The $2.3 million in funding from ASPR must support planning over the next five years.

For more information and updates regarding healthcare system preparedness in Michigan, please visit www.michigan.gov/depr.

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