- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The University of Nebraska Medical Center has been awarded nearly $20 million in federal funds to develop a new training, simulation and quarantine center for highly infectious diseases, such as Ebola.

The Omaha medical center announced the $19.8 award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday.

The training center will have its own floor in UNMC’s already-planned $102 million Global Center for Advanced Interprofessional Learning, the Omaha World-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/2ePu2TW ) Saturday. Construction of the 183,742-square-foot facility will begin soon and be completed by September 2018.

The new training center will occupy the building’s ground floor and include advanced simulation capabilities and an area dedicated to biocontainment patient care.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the competition for the funding in August, saying that only U.S. hospitals that had successfully cared for Ebola patients would be considered eligible.

UNMC’s partner, the Nebraska Medical Center, was among a small number of U.S. hospitals that cared for Ebola patients during an outbreak in 2014 and 2015.

“In 2014, when the world needed us, Nebraska Medicine was here,” Nebraska Medicine CEO Daniel DeBehnke said Friday in a news release. “We saw during that crisis the importance of preparation. This grant helps us prepare for what’s next, so Nebraska will again be ready not only to help, but to lead the way in teaching others how to help.”

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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