Uniformed Services University leadership tours UNMC

Jonathan Woodson, MD, president of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Jonathan Woodson, MD, president of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

UNMC recently welcomed leaders of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to the Omaha campus for a look at the med center’s biopreparedness capabilities and its federal collaborations.

USU is the nation’s federal health professions academy, with military readiness as its top priority.

Among the guests were Jonathan Woodson, MD, USU president; Mark Kortepeter, MD, USU’s vice president for research and a former epidemiology professor at the UNMC College of Public Health; Jeffrey Freeman, PhD, director of the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health at USU; and Capt. Clemia “CJ” Anderson III, director of the National Disaster Medical System Pilot Program.

The USU leaders met with UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, and leadership from the UNMC Global Center for Health Security, who showcased the med center’s biopreparedness expertise.

The discussions included an overview of the Clinical Innovation Design Unit in development at Nebraska Medicine and a presentation on med center collaborations with federal health agencies and the U.S. Department of Defense.

USU leaders also toured the Training, Simulation and Quarantine Center – a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response and UNMC.

UNMC’s James Lawler, MD, associate director of international programs and innovation for the Global Center for Health Security, led the tour. He highlighted the med center’s quarantine capacity, which was tested at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Lawler also showcased the med center’s ISTARI portable negative pressure system, which is being developed for response scenarios involving patients with highly infectious diseases.

Dr. Woodson said the USU’s National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health is responsible for writing a report to Congress on how to enhance disaster preparedness, including pandemic preparedness.

USU leaders, he said, were looking at the “extraordinarily great work that the University of Nebraska has done in terms of biocontainment to understand what the cutting-edge procedures should look like for future pandemics.”

Dr. Woodson said the leadership heard excellent talks about the med center’s collaborations and how the Global Center for Health Security gained situational awareness about emerging infectious diseases.

“We look forward to a strong collaboration with the University of Nebraska to better prepare the nation for what might be around the corner.”

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