Over the summer, the BCU team and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) developed a statewide training and education program aimed at supporting and providing resources to frontline and assessment hospitals throughout the state. As a part of this program, the BCU team will travel to each of the five Special Pathogen Assessment Hospitals (SPAH) in the state to understand each facility’s unique successes and challenges in regard to preparedness for patients with high consequence pathogens. The first of these SPAH visits took place on Wednesday, October 17 at Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH). A team of seven subject matter experts from the BCU observed and evaluated FMH’s annual drill. This drill focused on the identification, transportation and admission of a person under investigation (PUI) from the greater Frederick community. We appreciated the hospitality and enthusiasm by the isolation team at FMH and are excited to work with them as the program continues to grow.
In addition to the work mentioned above, the Maryland Training and Education Program will also provide opportunities for students at the Bloomberg School of Public Health to contribute to overall education of the state in regard to high consequence pathogen preparedness. Through a practicum created and led by Noreen Hynes, associate director of the BCU, Master of Public Health students will develop pathogen-specific learning materials that can be distributed to all hospitals in the state.