Sharon Medcalf, PhD, discussing UNMC's involvement in GOARN



Sharon Medcalf, PhD, discussing UNMC's involvement in GOARN


12 July 2022


Sharon Medcalf: [C]redit to Dr. Khan and his connections with the WHO—and this is a small division of the WHO called GOARN, G-O-A-R-N, Global Outbreak Response and Alert Network. So, this group's been around since 2000 and he was involved with them when he was at CDC before he came here. So as that group grew—and the premise behind GOARN is that they have partners across the globe, and I think they're up to about 200 or 250 partners. A partner is an organization or an institution. So we, as UNMC, are one of 250 partners in this global outbreak network. And then what happens is when there is an outbreak around the globe, regardless of how large the outbreak is, they put out a call to all these partners to say we need people with epidemiology experience, infection prevention, and they'll list it and they'll give the criteria. And then what we try to do is find people who can fit the bill and propose that they deploy. As an institution and as a partner with GOARN, we have committed to allowing deployees the time and the resources to do that deployment. WHO pays for the deployment, but we give them the time off. So, our dean has gone multiple times. We've had a couple of faculty in the college that have gone on deployments, but as this partnership has grown and as GOARN has grown—they formed in about 2016 or ‘17, a training subcommittee. What they did is they recruited people from the partner institutions who had expertise in training and workforce development, so we became—we got involved with that in 2017. And the first meeting was in London, and they've moved the meetings around, because again, these are partners around the globe, so they try to move these meetings around the globe so that no one person is traveling literally around the world to get to a meeting. So, they've been in London. They've been in Geneva. We had one in Vancouver. There's one coming up in August in Singapore, and what this group is doing—and we're part of this group—is building the training for all these people that deploy to these outbreaks around the globe. And so, what we feel like we're bringing to the table, we as in UNMC, is that vision for using state of the art simulation.


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