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Michigan to get help for Ebola readiness

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s effort to prepare for threats like Ebola is getting a boost from the federal government.

Michigan’s Special Pathogen Response Networkis getting a $5.5 million dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control and another federal agency. 

The network is made up of state agencies and Michigan hospitals.

State health department spokeswoman Jennifer Smith says part of the grant money will pay for equipment.  

“It’s the role that each of us plays to work together to make sure that we get the right patient to the right facility at the right time,” says Smith. “The time to prepare is before an emergency happens.”

Texas authorities were caught unprepared to treat Ebola patients last year.     

A man traveled back to the U.S. from West Africa where a major Ebola outbreak was underway. Hospital officials were slow to diagnose his disease and limit the exposure to the medical staff. The man died and several hospital workers were placed in isolation.

A hospital in Minnesota has been designated as the prime facility for future Ebola cases in the region. 

But three hospitals will serve as tier-1 facilities in suspected cases of Ebola in Michigan.    

Detroit Receiving Hospital in Detroit, Spectrum Health-Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, and Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor have the capacity to identify, isolate, test, and treat Ebola-positive patients.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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