University to test distribution of emergency medical supplies

URBANA, Ill. – In its continuing effort to prepare the campus for any kind of emergency, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Wednesday will test its ability to deliver medicine and medical supplies to a large number of campus community members.

The “point of distribution” exercise, as it’s called, will happen between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday at State Farm Center.

The exercise is designed to test the procedures in place for campus officials to receive, distribute and administer medication and other supplies during a public health emergency. Essentially, Wednesday’s test will be a mock run of that kind of public health emergency.

Dozens of university staff members have volunteered to act as recipients of medication and will be run through distribution lines at State Farm Center. Campus units participating in Wednesday’s exercise include the University of Illinois Police Department, McKinley Health Center, i-card Programs, Illini EMS, State Farm Center and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

In a real public health emergency – perhaps a particularly potent bacterial or viral outbreak – anyone with an i-card would be directed to State Farm Center to receive medication.

“This is another one of those situations that we plan for, but we hope the day never comes,” said U. of I. Police Lt. Todd Short, who heads the Office of Campus Emergency Management. “If it does, we want to be in a position where we can act quickly and minimize the health risk to our campus community members and their loved ones.”

A distribution plan has been in place for quite some time. However, the plan and procedures were revised in response to the renovations at State Farm Center. Now that the renovated arena is open, public safety officials are able to test the new plan.

Anyone can volunteer to participate in Wednesday’s exercise by RSVPing on the U. of I. Police website.

Members of the news media are also welcome to attend. Please call or email the University of Illinois Police communications director at 217-265-0028 or in advance of the event to receive access.