New Protect Purdue Health Center focused on limiting COVID-19’s spread

Innovative clinic to be staffed with dedicated medical team of doctors, case managers and contact tracers to coordinate individual care and monitor health across Purdue community 

Purdue University is launching the Protect Purdue Health Center as part of its comprehensive effort to respond quickly and effectively to potential cases of or exposure to COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff on the West Lafayette campus.

The Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC) is being developed to provide a dedicated health center for students, faculty and staff to facilitate consistent case management for addressing the health needs across the entire Purdue community.  The PPHC will provide telehealth services and facilitate workflow across the sampling, testing and quarantining operations on campus.  It will be staffed by an expert medical team of doctors, case managers and contact tracers working alongside the University’s established medical advisory and implementation teams.

To launch the center and assist in creating the Protect Purdue Health Center, the University has partnered with One to One Health, an on-site workplace health care provider operated by doctors with more than 80 years of medical expertise across all aspects of health care. One to One Health also is the manager of Purdue’s Center for Healthy Living.

What PPHC does

Operating from a command center located in Purdue West Shopping Plaza, the Protect Purdue Health Center will coordinate the overall workflow associated with case management for individuals. In addition to the command center, several on-campus sampling sites will be established to support COVID-19 testing being done at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Purdue also is setting aside 400 beds as a fully serviced quarantine area.

“In building the Protect Purdue Health Center, we are creating an incredible set of capabilities and processes to coordinate care across the entire University community,” said David Broecker, leader of the Protect Purdue Implementation Team and chief innovation and collaboration officer of the Purdue Research Foundation. “Our ability to rapidly respond based on an integrated approach to sample, test, contact trace, quarantine and treat individuals until they can return to work or the classroom is critically important to protecting our most vulnerable members and limiting spread of the virus.” 

When necessary, the PPHC will work with PUSH, the Center for Healthy Living and outside medical providers to manage the care and treatment of students, faculty and staff for COVID-19-related activities. PUSH and the Center for Healthy Living will continue to provide primary care services for non-COVID-19 health concerns. The PPHC also will work closely with state and local public health officials as well as local hospital systems. 

Walking through the process

It is critically important that all students, faculty and staff monitor and report any COVID-19 related symptoms to the PPHC 24/7 by calling 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043 and pressing option “1.” Individuals will be put in contact with a case manager, who will help determine the course of care, including the need for self-quarantine and testing.

Individuals who test positive will be required to isolate at home or in an isolation space on campus. Case managers will want to determine whether the individual has been in contact with others through a process called contact tracing. These individuals also may be required to quarantine themselves or be tested. The case managers will work with individuals through the entire process to ensure a safe return to work or the classroom.

“The insidious nature of COVID-19 is that an individual can infect others prior to the development of symptoms,” said Dr. Esteban Ramirez, chief medical director for the PPHC. “This is why it is absolutely necessary to respond as quickly as possible to any signs for the virus and self-quarantine to stay away from others. Most likely, we will want to test an individual within 24 hours of reporting symptoms.”

Who to call for help

If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, all Purdue students, faculty members and staff should immediately contact the Protect Purdue Health Center 24/7 at 765-496-INFO (4636) or toll-free at 833-571-1043 and pressing option “1.” A call tree option will be available after hours to connect individuals to the Protect Purdue Health Center case manager as well as the option to leave a voicemail. Individuals experiencing an emergency should always call 911. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a list of symptoms here.