The Health Emergency Response Office (HERO) is responsible for the development of campus-level plans and procedures that address a variety of health incident and emergency scenarios. Our personnel also participate in broader campus planning efforts representing public health emergency response expertise and resources. Current activities on campus include the following.
Health incident/health emergency response
HERO develops and maintains written plans and procedures for a coordinated response to real or perceived health incidents and emergencies. Plans and procedures are designed to enable the University to continue operation, to protect the public’s health, to prevent the occurrence and transmission of disease, and to provide accurate and timely information to the campus community and the public. Examples of health incidents or emergencies include infectious disease outbreaks; incidents of biological, chemical, or radiological terrorism; or other natural or man-made disasters. Planning and response efforts are closely coordinated with other University departments including Department of Emergency Management, Department of Environmental Health and Safety, Office of Occupational Health and Safety, and Boynton Health.
Campus disaster assistance plan
HERO personnel coordinate the development and implementation of a plan designed to support the physical and emotional needs of those impacted by a mass fatality incident or other large disaster on campus.
Pandemic influenza response
HERO personnel provide leadership and coordination for designated campus and department level plans and procedures related to pandemic influenza response.A comprehensive written plan was developed and added as an annex to the University’s Emergency Operations Plan (Annex R).
BSL-3 Laboratory emergency response and communications
HERO personnel work closely with colleagues in the BSL-3 Program and partners in University Health and Safety to develop and test specific plans and procedures for dealing with emergency incidents occurring in campus BSL-3 laboratory facilities.
Regional and campus point of dispensing sites
The Minneapolis campus serves as one of nine designated locations in Hennepin County for rapid distribution of medications from the Strategic National Stockpile during a citywide or regional public health emergency. When activated, this site will serve the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Campus as well as the neighborhoods surrounding the Minneapolis campus. Detailed operational plans for the site are maintained by HERO. Other departments have significant roles in those plans including Facilities Management (site preparations and support), Parking and Transportation (parking and busing operations, delivery of site supplies), UMPD (delivery of pharmaceuticals, site security and traffic management), Department of Environmental Health and Safety, URelations (public information), and Department of Emergency Management (general support).
The Health Emergency Response Office Director and staff provide academic public health expertise as members of most local, regional, and state-level planning committees, task forces, and advisory groups established to address public health and health system preparedness and response including the following past and current groups.
- Hennepin County Public Health and Hospital Workgroup
- Medical Reserve Corps Coordinators
- Minnesota Department of Health Crisis Standards of Care Steering Workgroup
- Metropolitan Hospital Compact Advisory Group
- Metro Health & Medical Preparedness Coalition
- Minnesota Department of Health Strengthening Public Health Workgroup
- Super Bowl 52 and NCAA Health and Medical Planning Group