Thousands of Infection Prevention and Control Professionals throughout the world will participate in week-long activities commemorating International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) from October 16-22 this year, highlighting their daily dedication to the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections.
The annual event, initiated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, is spearheaded by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the nation's largest infection prevention organization comprised of 11,000 members worldwide and headquartered in Washington, D.C.
"Infection prevention and control professionals throughout the world work diligently year-round, striving to prevent deadly infections within their healthcare institutions and as educators within their communities," said APIC CEO Kathy Warye. "While we acknowledge their work every day, this is our opportunity to recognize them and their service within the communities in a special way during this week. They, along with their colleagues, work to save lives daily."
This year's theme-"Infection Prevention-It's In Your Hands!"-will be highlighted at the National Press Club on October 19 in Washington, D.C. Infection Prevention and Control Professionals, congressional staff, dignitaries and media from throughout the country are expected to attend the event. One of the presenters will be Raymond T. Wagner, III of St. Louis, Missouri.
Wagner, now a senior at St. Louis High School, suffered a broken arm in a sledding accident on Christmas Eve, 2002 which eventually developed into a hospital-associated infection necessitating numerous surgeries and physical impairment. His compelling story has served as an example of the devastation healthcare-associated infections can cause.
Also featured at this event is Cheryl Herbert, director of Infection Control at Alleghany General Hospital, who will discuss her success in reducing healthcare-associated infections through innovative partnerships. Dr. John Jernigan will speak on the initiatives the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have put forth to assist healthcare professionals in their fight against healthcare-associated infections.
In addition, APIC will unveil an initiative targeted toward the elimination of the organism methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus commonly referred to as MRSA.
During IIPW, infection prevention and control professionals in every state participate in a variety of presentations and educational programs designed to enlighten both their healthcare colleagues and the public at large to the benefits of practicing infection control in their respective environments.
To date over twenty states have agreed to issue proclamations proclaiming October 16-22 International Infection Prevention Week.