U.S. Air Force, UNMC, Nebraska Medicine collaborate on C-STARS Omaha

UNMC, Nebraska Medicine, and the Air Force Research Laboratory have partnered together to establish the Center for Sustainment of Trauma Readiness Skills (C-STARS) Omaha. C-STARS Omaha focuses on advancing the readiness skills and competency of U.S. Air Force (USAF) medical personnel who provide safe and effective care for patients who have contracted or may have been exposed to highly hazardous infectious diseases, such as the Ebola virus.

“Through this collaboration, we will train USAF health care professionals by leveraging UNMC expertise and best practices on infection prevention and control procedures for biocontainment care,” said Maj. Elizabeth Schnaubelt, M.D., medical director of the C-STARS Omaha unit.

The training program includes didactic lectures, simulation experiences, and hands-on skills training modeled after the well-respected Nebraska Medicine Biocontainment Unit team. The program also will incorporate a train-the-trainer model so that USAF teams who have completed the CSTARS Omaha training can instruct other military medical professionals on biocontainment care when they are deployed to provide care outside of the United States.

“The focus is on infectious diseases, those highly hazardous and contagious illnesses that troops might encounter,” Dr. Schnaubelt said. The 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak highlighted the need for such training when the Department of Defense deployed service members to support the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola crisis. Since then the development of a C-STARS unit that focused on infectious diseases became a priority.

The Omaha C-STARS unit is one of five, others are located in Cincinnati, Ohio, Baltimore, MD., St. Louis, MO., and Las Vegas, NV., each with a different specialty focus.

“This collaboration is based upon a strong underlying partnership with the U.S. Air Force, and a recognition of the potential synergy in working together to develop and deliver training,” said Chris Kratochvil, M.D., associate vice chancellor for clinical research at UNMC.

The USAF has assigned four members to the C-STARS Omaha team. The team includes an active duty infectious diseases physician, a clinical nurse, a public health technician and an administrator.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the U.S. Air Force to partner with UNMC and Nebraska Medicine, world-renowned for their expertise in biocontainment care, innovative research, and exceptional commitment to advancing quality health care and education. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this important project to enhance the preparedness of U.S. Air Force medical personnel,” Dr. Schnaubelt said.

1 comment

  1. Diane Wagner says:

    Great! Thanks for the advancing of collaboration of folks that are already involved in hazardous materials and keeping folks safe! Good Call….Keep up the good work! Diane Wagner

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