MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota will help address worldwide medical supply shortages with a $5.4 million gift from the Walton Family Foundation.

The team at the school’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy will focus on researching supply chains and global disruptions for life-saving drugs and treatment. The team hopes the research will improve the health care system’s ability to supply these medicines and treatment globally.

“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,” said Michael T. Osterholm, University of Minnesota regents professor and team co-director.

Supply shortages are often due to manufacturing being disrupted by natural disasters or breakdowns in infrastructure. The research team hopes its analysis will allow them to create a road map for the health care system to improve availability of medical supplies.

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