Minnesota Hospital Association


October 24, 2014

Minnesota hospitals identify strategy for Ebola care

Coordinated Strategy Focuses on Preparedness, Protection and Patients

St. Paul, MN — The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) announced today that hospitals and health systems from around the state have developed a coordinated strategy to care for Ebola patients in Minnesota. Under the plan, all hospitals in the state will continue to be prepared to detect, isolate and initially care for suspected Ebola patients. Should a case of Ebola be identified, the patient will be treated at one of four designated hospitals: 
  • University of Minnesota Medical Center, West Bank Campus, Minneapolis 
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital – Rochester, Saint Marys Campus 
  • Allina Health’s Unity Hospital in Fridley 
  • Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota - St. Paul campus   

“Hospitals have a responsibility to care for our communities and these hospitals stand ready to take a patient today,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger. “Minnesota’s hospitals have worked in a collaborative fashion to ensure a system is in place to handle anything that could happen and the Minnesota Department of Health will work with them closely.”     

"Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems are approaching Ebola with the same kind of collaborative, coordinated approach that has earned Minnesota’s national reputation for health care leadership and excellence year after year,” said Minnesota Hospital Association President and CEO Lawrence Massa. In particular, Massa pointed to Minnesota hospitals’ collective commitment to implement a plan that “puts the patient’s needs first and then builds our collective response and preparations from there, including using the protocols and precautions necessary to ensure the best outcomes for the patient and the safety of the caregivers who treat the patient.”   

Minnesota’s plan is being implemented in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the state’s health systems and hospitals, emergency transportation providers, and other health care stakeholders to ensure that the statewide referral and transportation plans are coordinated and seamless if a patient with Ebola needs care in Minnesota. The plan provides the best opportunity to treat Ebola patients and ensures the state’s Level I trauma centers can continue to serve the region’s trauma care needs. In addition, the state would be in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about whether a patient should be transferred to one of the four federal biocontainment facilities.   

Ensuring that health care workers are safe and prepared to treat patients with Ebola is a top priority. For many weeks, Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems have been preparing for the possibility of a patient with Ebola in our communities. Preparations have included training and drilling caregivers and staff on how to deliver optimal care safely; communicating and coordinating efforts with MDH, MHA and other health care providers; planning for how a patient would be transported to appropriate and available care settings as needed; evaluating facilities for appropriate isolation space; and ensuring that the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies are available.    

In addition, Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems have closely followed updates to the CDC protocols and adjusted their planning and preparations, including use of PPE and staff training and drills, accordingly. The plan will evolve as necessary to ensure the most efficient use of personnel and resources.   

“I am confident that Minnesota’s hospitals and health systems are ready,” said Massa. “We have trained and prepared for these kinds of situations. We have faced similar situations and responded just as Minnesotans would expect: with compassion and professionalism.”   

MDH/Hospital Media Contacts: 

Michael Schommer 
Minnesota Department of Health 
O: 651.201.4998   

Caroline Marin
University of Minnesota 
O: 612-624-5680 
 C: 651-497-5530   

Bryan Anderson 
Mayo Clinic Public Affairs 

David Kanihan 
Allina Health 
O: 612.262.4986 
C: 612.867.2845   

Katie Heinze 
Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota 
O: 612.813.6615 
C: 651.414.1832