Contact: Megan McGown
May 15, 2020 – North Platte, NE – Great Plains Health has received an allocation of the antiviral drug remdesivir for treatment of patients with COVID-19.
On May 1, the FDA issued “emergency use approval” for remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients. The manufacturer, Gilead Sciences agreed to donate their current stock to be distributed through state health departments. Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services received an initial supply of 400 vials of remdesivir to distribute as necessary, with the intent that the medication be limited to COVID-19 patients most severely impacted and ventilated.
Today, Great Plains Health received 18 vials, which is enough to treat three patients.
“We are extremely appreciative to receive the remdesivir,” said Barb Petersen, chief quality officer. “We want to be able to provide the COVID-19 patients we are caring for every opportunity to overcome this disease. We appreciate the support that we have received from the state officials and every partner that helped us receive these vials.”
Jason North, Great Plains Health pharmacy director said, “Multiple people have been involved in the process for garnering this allocation for Great Plains Health including GPHealth infectious disease physician Dr. Eduardo Freitas; GPHealth CEO, Mel McNea; GPHealth chief quality officer, Barb Petersen; Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone; GPHealth radiation oncologist and current chairman of the Nebraska Medical Association, Dr. Todd Hlavaty; UNMC infectious diseases pharmacist, Scott Bergman; Nebraska Governor, Pete Ricketts and US Senator Ben Sasse.”
“It is vital to be able to have access to the same medications and resources that are available in other parts of the state and country,” said Mel McNea, chief executive officer. “Our patients deserve that same level of care and we are proud to be able to provide it thanks to everyone working together that made this happen.”
About Great Plains Health
Based in North Platte, Nebraska, Great Plains Health is a fully accredited, 116-bed acute-care regional medical center serving western and central Nebraska, northern Kansas and southern South Dakota. With 90 physicians representing nearly 30 medical specialties, the Great Plains Health system offers advanced healthcare including heart and vascular, cancer and orthopedic surgery services. The system employs approximately 1,087 employees and serves a geographic area spanning approximately 67,832 square miles in 38 counties.
The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is home to an American College of Surgeons accredited cancer center, primary stroke center and level II bariatric surgery program. Great Plains Health was named a Top Rural Hospital in 2019 by The Leapfrog Group, making it the first and only hospital in Nebraska to be named as a top hospital. For more information, visit gphealth.org.