The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today announced that Richard P. Wenzel, MD, MSc, of Richmond, Va., is the 2011 recipient of the Elaine Larson Lectureship Award. Presented annually by APICs Board of Directors, the award honors the individual best able to present a lecture on the state of the science of infection prevention and control and/or healthcare epidemiology in the area for which he or she has been a major contributor over a lifetime of pursuit.
Wenzel is one of the leading infectious diseases and healthcare epidemiologists in the world, having established his reputation in the field of infection prevention and control in hospitals. His research work has focused on the epidemiology of healthcare-associated infections, especially prevention and treatment of bloodstream infections, sepsis, surgical site infections and prevention of cross transmission by hand hygiene. Wenzel is also a nationally recognized expert on antibiotic resistance and its impact.
He served as chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. from 1995-2009. He was also president of the Medical College of Virginia Physicians, the clinical practice plan for more than 600 physicians, from 2003 to 2008. In 2001, the National Institutes of Health named Wenzel one of the 10 "Great Teachers" in the category of Clinical Medicine Service. He is also the founding editor of two journals: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and Clinical Performance and Quality Health Care. Having served on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine from 1992 to 2000, he was named the journals first editor-at-large in 2001.
"APIC is proud to honor Dr. Wenzel with this special award to recognize not only his important contribution to the field of infection control and epidemiology, but also his superb leadership and teaching," says APIC 2011 president Russell Olmsted, MPH, CIC, epidemiologist in infection prevention and control services at St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Through his remarkable achievements and mentorship of others, he has had a significant and lasting impact on improving the safety and quality of patient care. Dr. Wenzels invaluable scientific contributions to our field reflect well on the namesake for this lectureship and are in perfect alignment with the theme of APICs 2011 Annual Conference, Translating ScienceSustainable Solutions."
A former president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and a former councilor of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Wenzel is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and a charter member of the Surgical Infections Society.
Wenzel has trained more than 50 fellows and hundreds of visitors to his institution. The author of more than 500 scientific publications, six textbooks, and a popular book of essays in medicine, he has just published his first novel called "Labyrinth of Terror," a medical thriller focusing on bioterror.
Elaine Larson Lectureship Award candidates must be recognized experts who have created, delivered or promoted an infection control and epidemiology service that has influenced public perception, attitudes and awareness. Candidates must also show evidence of outstanding and significant contribution and demonstrate excellence toward the science of infection control and epidemiology research, education, administration or clinical practice.