The Academic Health Center Office of Emergency Response (AHC-OER) is responsible for the development of campus-level plans and procedures that address a variety of health emergency scenarios. Our personnel also participate in broader campus planning efforts representing public health emergency response expertise and resources. Current activities on campus include the following.
Emergency Management Policy Committee
The Emergency Management Policy Committee is charged by the President with providing overall strategic direction to emergency planning and communication activities. The AHC-OER Director represents the AHC on this committee with the Vice President for Health Sciences.
Health emergency response
AHC-OER develops and maintains written plans and procedures for a coordinated response to real or perceived health emergencies designed to enable the University to continue operation, to protect the public’s health, to prevent the occurrence and transmission of disease, and to provide accurate and timely information to the campus community and the public. Examples of health emergencies include infectious disease outbreaks; incidents of biological, chemical, or radiological terrorism; or other natural or man-made disasters. Planning and response efforts are closely coordinated with other University departments including Department of Emergency Management (DEM), Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS), Office of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), and Boynton Health Service.
Campus disaster assistance plan
AHC-OER personnel coordinate the development and implementation of a plan designed to support the physical and emotional needs of those impacted by a mass fatality incident on campus.
Pandemic influenza response
AHC-OER personnel provide leadership and coordination for designated campus and department level plans and procedures related to pandemic influenza response.A comprehensive written plan was developed and added as an annex to the University’s Emergency Operations Plan (Annex R).
BSL-3 Laboratory emergency response and communications
AHC-OER personnel work closely with colleagues in the BSL-3 Program, DEHS, and OHS to develop and test specific plans and procedures for dealing with emergency incidents occurring in campus BSL-3 laboratory facilities.
Regional point of dispensing site
The Minneapolis campus serves as one of nine designated locations in Hennepin County for rapid distribution of medications from the Strategic National Stockpile during a citywide or regional public health emergency. When activated, this site will serve the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Campus as well as the neighborhoods surrounding the Minneapolis campus. Detailed operational plans for the site are maintained by AHC-OER. Other departments have significant roles in those plans including Facilities Management (site preparations and support), DEM (delivery of pharmaceuticals and site supplies, general support), Parking and Transportation (parking and busing operations), UMPD (site security and traffic management), and URelations (public information).
Campus radiological emergency response
AHC-OER developed and hosted a seminar and tabletop exercise on radiological emergencies in 2008. A “dirty bomb” scenario was discussed and a number of important gaps in the region’s current plans and systems were identified. A regional task force, with members from AHC-OER and DEHS, has been formed to address some of these issues. Once regional roles and responsibilities are determined, the University will develop a detailed campus level plan for response to radiological emergencies.
AHC operational continuity
AHC-OER provides coordination and technical assistance to AHC departments related to the creation of operational continuity plans and procedures.
AHC-OER personnel work with Housing and Dining Services and DEM to develop plans for congregate care that meet the health needs of our community, and also clearly delineate the response roles of internal and external partners (such as the American Red Cross).
The Academic Health Center Office of Emergency Response (AHC-OER) Director and staff provide academic public health expertise as members of most local, regional, and state-level planning committees, task forces, and advisory groups established to address public health and health system preparedness and response including the following past and current groups.
- Metropolitan Hospital Compact Committee
- Metropolitan Hospital Compact Offsite Care Facility Subcommittee
- Metro Mass Dispensing Workgroup
- Metro Mass Dispensing Supplies Subcommittee
- Hennepin County Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee
- Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Coordinators
- MRC Training Workgroup
- Metro Public Information Officers Coordination Committee
- Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS)
- MMRS Radiological Emergency Response Subcommittee
- Minnesota Department of Health Senior Advisory Committee for the Hospital Preparedness Program and the Public Health Preparedness Program