Building resilience in health care supply system

The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota has received a $5.4 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation to address worldwide drug and medical supply shortages. This work will focus on the supply chains and global disruptions for the most critical drugs for life-saving and life-sustaining treatment. 

The team is led by CIDRAP Director Michael T. Osterholm, who is also University of Minnesota Regents Professor and McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, and Amy Kircher, co-director of the U of M's Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC).

“We know, based on our recent experience, that there will be more and more incidents where necessary drugs or medical supplies will be unavailable to those in crisis and, increasingly, the consequences are truly about life and death,” says Osterholm.

According to Osterholm, in the early months of a global catastrophe like a severe influenza pandemic, more people will likely die from the interruption in manufacturing and global distribution of life-saving drugs than from influenza. “We are grateful for the support of the Walton Family Foundation and hope that others will increase their investment in developing strategic global solutions that can mitigate the impact of these incidences and ensure day-to-day medical needs are available to our communities and at-risk communities around the globe,” he says.

Addressing an increasingly complex and urgent threat to global health and national security, the Walton Family Foundation gift will allow experts to develop a roadmap for the public and private sectors to build resilience in the global health care supply system and to improve the availability of critical medical supplies.

Read more about this gift.


(Photo of Michael Osterholm by Scott Streble)

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