NETEC Helps Develop Strategy For National Special Pathogen System Of Care

The National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) – a consortium of three teaching hospitals that successfully treated patients with Ebola in 2014.

Together they will help create and implement a nationwide plan from Harlem to Hawaii to care for patients in future pandemics.

NETEC was tapped by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed serious gaps in the nation’s health care system. More than half a million Americans have died from COVID.

To tackle the problem, NETEC has established a National Special Pathogen System (NSPS) of Care to help create a coordinated and standardized model of care across the country. The work builds on the expertise NETEC developed in treating Ebola.

NETEC is a consortium of the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Nebraska Medicine; Emory University; and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. It is funded by ASPR and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“It’s clear that we need NSPS, as COVID-19 has exposed gaps in the national health care system that must be addressed to combat future pandemics,” says John Lowe, PhD, NETEC principal investigator and assistant vice chancellor for health security training and education at UNMC.

“In an environment riddled with fragmented approaches, siloed health care systems and an inability to respond efficiently, the coordinated response network of the NSPS will pave a path toward better care for patients affected by emerging special pathogens.”

Lowe said NETEC has convened an impressive group of leaders focused on innovative solutions for better healthcare system pandemic response. NETEC looks to gain support from key leaders in the health care and public health arenas, for whom the NSPS will be a valuable resource.

Already, NETEC leverages its unique expertise, resources, and experience to assess healthcare facility readiness, train providers, provide technical assistance and build a rapid research infrastructure to combat emerging special pathogens in the U.S.

“The group represents the entire spectrum of health care delivery,” says Vikramjit Mukherjee, MD, NETEC principal investigator, director of the medical ICU at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “This is critical to addressing healthcare inequities, plugging gaps in care and providing equitable, comprehensive treatment for all patients and communities.”

NETEC will work with: organizations including federal government agencies like the CDC and Veterans Health Administration (VA) as well as experts in public health policy, payer insurance, health care management and delivery.

Key leaders in professional societies and associations, academic institutions and medical centers, and emergency response services will also be involved in the effort.

Each member will work to enable core capabilities of the NSPS system of care, which include: collaboration agreements, investment, operations, data and technology, and workforce.

NETEC expects to have a strategy and implementation plan for the NSPS in summer 2021.

Bruce S. Ribner, MD, M.P.H., NETEC principal investigator and professor of medicine in the Emory School of Medicine, says the establishment of the NSPS will lead to a sustained national network to address preparedness for responding to patients with serious communicable diseases.

“Over the past two decades, funding for bio preparedness in the United States has been like a roller coaster ride, with long periods of inadequate funding punctuated by short periods of large infusions of emergent funding,” says Ribner, who also is the medical director of the Emory University Hospital Serious Communicable Disease Unit. “Formulating the NSPS should stabilize that funding.”

The mission of the NSPS is to provide a coordinated and standardized healthcare network to care for patients infected by (or suspected to have been infected by) a special pathogen, such as the Ebola virus, in the United States.

Also:  Health Department Partners With Walgreens And Duane Reade For Flu Vouchers For The Under-Insured

The vision of the NSPS is to sustain a special pathogen healthcare system with agile, high-quality, holistic health care that enables care continuum administrators and healthcare personnel to both provide exceptional special pathogen care and achieve the organizational mission and sustainability goals.

The goals of the NSPS include:

  1. demonstrating effective use of healthcare resources through a sustainable and centralized coordinating body to improve the delivery of care for a patient infected with a special pathogen;
  2. developing a patient-centered special pathogen system of care to improve clinical outcomes; and
  3. coordinating and communicating best-in-class resources and data, such as clinical guidelines and operational processes, for special pathogen care and management.

NETEC, established in 2015 and funded by ASPR and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a consortium of Emory University, the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.

NETEC leverages unique expertise, resources, and experience to assess healthcare facility readiness, train providers, provide technical assistance, and build a rapid research infrastructure to combat emerging special pathogens in the United States.

NETEC leverages unique expertise, resources, and experience to assess healthcare facility readiness, train providers, provide technical assistance, and build a rapid research infrastructure to combat emerging special pathogens in the United States.

Combined with strong partnerships with federal agencies, NETEC ultimately strengthens national healthcare system response to COVID-19 and preparations for future emerging infectious disease threats. NETEC and the ten U.S. Regional Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Centers (RESPTCs) play pivotal roles in the COVID-19 response through isolating the first patients with COVID-19, rapidly conducting clinical research of COVID-19 therapeutics, and translating emerging science for rapid optimization of patient care and healthcare worker safety strategies.

NETEC’s mission is to set the gold standard for special pathogen preparedness and response across healthcare delivery systems, with the goals of driving best practices, closing knowledge gaps, and developing innovative resources.

This vision aligns with that of the NSPS, allowing the initiative to build upon the foundation that NETEC has established in the past six years.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, NETEC has created valuable e-learning resources for the nation’s healthcare workers, covering topics such as clinical best practices and innovations learned from on-the-ground care and developing a free web-app that shares PPE strategies for protection and conservation.

The core faculty of NETEC are subject matter experts in their fields. Approximately 29% of the patients enrolled in the ACTI trial which established remdesivir (a broad-spectrum antiviral medication) as a valuable COVID-19 treatment agent were enrolled by members of NETEC’s Special Pathogen Research Network (SPRN), providing expedited research and development of therapies for COVID-19.

The core faculty of NETEC are subject matter experts in their fields. Approximately 29% of the patients enrolled in the ACTI trial which established remdesivir (a broad-spectrum antiviral medication) as a valuable COVID-19 treatment agent were enrolled by members of NETEC’s Special Pathogen Research Network (SPRN), providing expedited research and development of therapies for COVID-19.

Building on NETEC’s experience and proven successes, NSPS will bridge our nation’s identified needs for a dynamic and coordinated infrastructure with the ability to cover the breadth of issues requiring real-time development of knowledge and solutions, and execution of measures to eliminate or mitigate the spread of a novel infectious disease.

More information on NETEC and NSPS can be found at netec.org and nsps.org.


About Harlem World Magazine

Harlem World Magazine is about living your best life and style around the block and around the world of Harlem.

Leave a Reply

Get The Editor's Picks Newsletter From Our Editor's!