Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue established the Special Pathogens Program during the 2014 to 2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It is 1 of 10 regional Ebola and other special pathogens treatment centers in the United States.
The Special Pathogens Program includes a team of dedicated clinicians and support staff who care for patients who have high-consequence infectious diseases. These diseases, which have the potential to cause a high mortality rate among otherwise healthy people, include Ebola, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, highly pathogenic avian influenza, and pneumonic plague. The Special Pathogens Program team cares for these patients in a specialized biocontainment unit while also managing Category A waste and assuring the safety of healthcare personnel.
The program is a partnership among the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine; the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology; and the infection control and nursing units, and collaborates widely with local, state, and federal partners to establish a regional network for patients with suspected or confirmed viral hemorrhagic fevers and other high-consequence infections.
Since Bellevue was one of four institutions in the United States to treat a patient who had Ebola, it has collaborated with Emory University, the University of Nebraska, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish the National Ebola Training and Education Center as part of the Special Pathogens Program. The center’s mission is to enhance the level of preparedness across U.S. health systems for patients who have high-consequence infectious diseases, through assessments of individual healthcare facilities; live exercises, online resources, and training tools; technical assistance; and development of a research infrastructure around Ebola and other select agents, to prepare for clinical trials.