And the CCRT Program is Born 

If you’ve been following pandemic news, you’ve noticed that COVID-19 is hitting some communities harder than others – especially Tribal nations. While our regular healthcare staff treat many patients with COVID-19, we wanted to help create a clinical program that would continue to help communities after we were gone. So we’re happy to announce our new Critical Care Response Team (CCRT) deployment program, which sends faculty from top medical schools to Indian Health Service (IHS) and federal healthcare facilities to train their staff in critical care protocols.

Here’s why this matters. Many of the facilities we serve are located in isolated areas, where it can be difficult for staff to find accessible instruction in the advanced protocols and procedures required to care for patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Yet traveling hours to obtain training means leaving a facility short-handed.

Our teams are deployed in 24-48 hours, bringing critical care physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists to train IHS staff through side by side instruction.

“By providing elbow-to-elbow training and support, we have a positive impact on not only the facilities but the overall patient care experience,” said Sean Friel, a respiratory therapist who has provided instruction in multiple CCRT deployments. “When the right resources aren’t there, patients are transferred. This plays out every day and the consequence is a lack of community faith in their local hospital. As instructors, our goal is to teach advanced care protocols that build stronger community relationships and drive transformation long after our team departs.”

Dr. Ruth Spector, a leading critical care physician, added, “We want all patients that arrive at the facility’s door to feel they are well cared for. We want the facilities to feel empowered and improved after we leave, but to know we will always be there for them after we are physically gone.”

Demand is currently so great that some facilities are requesting two teams at a time. The result: so far the CCRT program has helped boost COVID-19 survival rates, reduce patient transfers, and permanently transform facility performance.

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