The University of Michigan Emergency Critical Care Center (EC3)

Michigan Medicine physicians, like MCIRCC researchers, are constantly working to meet the growing demand for emergency critical care, which has risen more than 24 percent in the last five years. The contributions and generosity of the Joyce and Don Massey Family Foundation coupled with a dedicated Emergency Critical Care unit within the emergency department, provides a unique and ideal setting to study contemporary critical care and perform cutting edge research. Designed with research in mind, the EC3 makes it easier for teams to test new diagnostics, devices, monitoring equipment and treatment strategies. Many of these ideas come to the EC3 through MCIRCC members.

Overall, the EC3 care model has proven to be successful in reducing ICU admissions from the ED. In its first four years of operation, the EC3 has treated over 11,000 patients.

EM Resident Critical Care Boot Camp

EM Resident Critical Care Boot Camp

The EC3 opened its doors on February 16, 2015. The 7800–square foot unit consists of 5 resuscitation or trauma bays and 9 patient rooms that are immediately adjacent to the main Emergency Department. The multidisciplinary EC3 team consists of emergency medicine (EM) physicians (with or without critical care fellowship training), house staff (primarily EM residents and critical care fellows), physician assistants (with critical care training), ED nurses (with additional ICU training), respiratory therapists, and pharmacists.

The EC3 unit was the first and largest Emergency Department based ICU in the country and was created to improve access to timely, high-quality critical care. 92% of EC3 patients are enrolled in evidenced-based pathways in collaboration with our inpatient ICU units, to provide delivery of ICU-level care in the ED, as well as a seamless continuity of care for patients who are crossing out of our unit and into the inpatient environment.

For additional information, please see the following publication:
Association of an Emergency Department-Based Intensive Care Unit With Survival and Inpatient Intensive Care Unit Admissions

Major Initiatives


TBI research, fueled by a generous gift from the Massey Family Foundation, and in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Defense, is bringing together collaborative expertise and innovation focused on the early diagnosis and treatment of TBI during the first 48 “golden” hours post injury. The EC3 provides a highly specialized bed-side environment to support the TBI research initiative.


The EC3 provides the environment and culture to accelerate efforts to improve the lives of patients through multidisciplinary research that ensures the skilled delivery of acute care at every stage. The EC3 plays an integral part in NIH, MCIRCC, and other sponsored trials. The EC3 also develops its own investigator-initiated trials and participates and leads large multi-center trial networks.

International research is part of the EC3’s mission to benefit communities worldwide by advancing research in global health. Currently the EC3 partners with the Joint Institute for Translational and Clinical Research, which is a collaboration between Michigan Medicine and the Peking University Health Science Center (Beijing, China).


The EC3 facility, the eight EM-Critical Care dual boarded faculty members and the highly trained integrative care teams serve as the cornerstone of acute critical care education. Highlights:

  • The EC3 has two Emergency Critical Care training fellowships in partnership with both Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology.

  • An intense, annual, 5-hour EM Resident Critical Care Boot Camp is held for residents from the intern level up through 4th year senior residents to simulate a wide range of skills and knowledge required to care for the most severely sick and injured patients they will see in the ED and EC3.

  • Extracorporeal Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (ECPR) Simulations are hosted quarterly in the EC3. Faculty, nursing, respiratory therapy, social work, and the Michigan Medicine ECMO Office in the EC3 clinical setting gather for a large-scale team simulation.


As the first ED based ICU in the US, the EC3 actively shares their experience and EC3 care model with institutions across the US and across the world. They are particularly proud of their partnership with the Joint Institute to provide a platform for visiting scholars to receive training that will improve critical care for patients globally.


With a generous donation from the Joyce and Don Massey Family Foundation, the Massey Family Support Center was opened early in 2018, with a focus on the well-being of our patient’s families and loved ones during their stay in the EC3.


For more information contact:
Stephanie L. Laurinec
Division of Critical Care, Manager & Administrator
Emergency Critical Care Center (EC3), Administrator


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