Colorado Infection Prevention and Control team receives Heroes of Infection Prevention award

Anaheim, Calif., June 9, 2014 – The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) announced that the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team from the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado is a recipient of the Heroes of Infection Prevention Award, which honors infection preventionists (IPs) who have successfully reduced infection, raised awareness, and improved the health and well-being of patients, healthcare workers, and the public.This award was given to six individuals and groups worldwide. Recipients were recognized during APIC’s 41st Annual Conference, June 7-9 in Anaheim, California.

The IPC team—Michelle Barron, MD; Larissa Pisney, MD; Linda Burton, RN, BSN, CIC; Teresa Hulett, RN, BSN; Tara Janosz, MPH; and Teresa Ruiz—sprang into action in 2012, when two patients were found to be infected with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) carrying New Delhi-metallobetalactamase-1 (NDM-1), a gene which can turn bacteria into superbugs. They immediately helped develop unit-specific guidelines and put into place protocols that would contain the spread of this organism.

These procedures included hand hygiene, strict adherence to contact precautions, enhanced cleaning of equipment, and appropriate transport of isolation patients. Intensive active surveillance culturing was conducted over an extended period of time to monitor intervention results. Additionally, environmental cleaning protocols were strengthened and standardized.

The team, supported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), APIC, and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, successfully contained the NDM-1 CRE outbreak, and there have been no new cases at the University of Colorado Hospital in more than a year. As a result of CDPHE disseminating information of this outbreak to other facilities through the local APIC chapter, Colorado healthcare facilities have since reviewed their policies and procedures related to prevention practices. At the request of CDPHE and members of APIC Mile High Colorado Chapter, the Colorado Board of Health authorized addition of CRE to the Colorado Reportable Disease and Conditions list.

“We are proud to recognize the University of Colorado Hospital Infection Prevention and Control team with this honor,” said APIC 2014 President Jennie L. Mayfield, BSN, MPH, CIC. “Their quick actions to contain the NDM-1 CRE outbreak undoubtedly prevented harm to countless patients. Their collaborative efforts are an excellent example of how healthcare personnel can work together to solve pressing patient safety issues.”
APIC established the Heroes of Infection Prevention Award in 2006 to recognize infection preventionists who have developed and applied innovative infection prevention programs. More than 100 individuals and groups have been recognized to date for their exceptional work in reducing healthcare-associated infections.
The Heroes program is supported by a grant from BD, an APIC Strategic Partner.

APIC Annual Conference 2014, June 7-9 in Anaheim, California, is the most comprehensive infection prevention conference in the world, with more than 100 educational sessions and workshops led by infection prevention experts and attended by nearly 3,000 individuals. The conference aims to provide infection preventionists with tools and strategies that are easily adaptable and can be implemented immediately to improve prevention programs. The Twitter hashtag #APIC2014 is being used for the meeting.

About APIC
APIC’s mission is to create a safer world through prevention of infection. The association’s more than 15,000 members direct infection prevention programs that save lives and improve the bottom line for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. APIC advances its mission through patient safety, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy, and data standardization. Visit APIC online at www.apic.org. Follow APIC on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apic and Facebook: www.facebook.com/APICInfectionPreventionandYou. For information on what patients and families can do, visit APIC’s Infection Prevention and You website at www.apic.org/infectionpreventionandyou.
# # #