Columbus, Ohio infection preventionist named 2014 Hero of Infection Prevention

Anaheim, Calif., June 9, 2014 – The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) announced that Lita Jo Henman, MPH, CIC, infection preventionist (IP) at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is a recipient of the Heroes of Infection Prevention Award, which honors 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 41th Annual Conference, June 7-9 in Anaheim, California.

Henman leads infection prevention and control programs at the 1,000-bed Riverside Methodist Hospital and is the sole practitioner in a nearby 100-bed rural hospital. In 2009, she helped launch a central-line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) reduction initiative that generated and sustained a 90 percent CLABSI rate reduction across all eight OhioHealth hospitals. Riverside’s CLABSI rate now remains well below the national benchmark. Henman applied the same CLABSI reduction process to the ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)/ventilator-associated event reduction initiative at Riverside, earning an “Outstanding Leadership Award for Achievements in Eliminating Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia and Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections” from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Critical Care Societies Collaborative.

In addition, after becoming aware of a patient safety issue at Riverside related to external ventricular drains (EVDs), Henman discovered there is little known about reducing these infections. Using currently available research and her CLABSI/VAP reduction experience, she worked with the neuro-critical staff to create an EVD bundle that has eliminated all EVD-associated infections at Riverside.

Henman extends the benefit of her experience through professional mentorship. She worked with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Kentucky Hospital Association to provide instruction to more than 200 IPs in hospitals and long-term care facilities. “Jo’s learning techniques have helped transform how other infection preventionists teach their own staff,” said Ruth Carrico, PhD, from the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

“Lita Jo Henman’s commitment to patients and staff, leadership, and problem-solving acumen is a shining example of why she was chosen as a Hero of Infection Prevention,” said APIC 2014 President Jennie L. Mayfield, BSN, MPH, CIC. “Her efforts and success in improving patient safety act as an inspiration to others. We are honored to recognize her work and thank her for her dedication and outstanding efforts.”

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 Follow APIC on Twitter: Like APIC on Facebook:

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