SHEAs Annual Scientific Meeting Assembled Industry Professionals to Discuss Mandatory Reporting, Disaster Response and Preparedness

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) held its annual scientific meeting March 18-21, 2006 in Chicago, bringing together physicians and healthcare professionals from around the world involved in research, patient care, and education in the field of healthcare epidemiology. It promotes multidisciplinary dialogue and collaboration among those involved in infection control and prevention, and healthcare epidemiology.

SHEA 2006 opened with the provocative plenary session, How Can We Do Better? which addressed mandatory reporting of healthcare-associated infections by bringing together perspectives from the patient, individuals involved in driving legislation, federal regulators, and healthcare professionals.

The conference was densely packed with sessions speaking to current topics, new approaches, and ongoing controversies in the field. The topics of drug resistance and antimicrobial management drove several sessions and discussions. SHEA compared U.S. and international perspectives on the management of bloodborne pathogens in healthcare workers, healthcare associated infections, and resistant organisms. SHEAs speakers tackled the issue of bloodstream infections, emphasizing SHEAs message of seeking zero tolerance. The conference looked to partnering groups to continue to stress the vital role of hand hygiene in preventing and controlling the infections.

The conference concluded with two timely and widely attended plenary sessions. Infection Control Issues in Large Scale Disasters dealt with infection control in cases of evacuation, establishment of shelters, re-occupancy of facilities, and emergency operations after a disaster. The session attended to general preparedness for disaster situations, and provided a forum to discuss the public health response following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 

Infection Control at the Edge looked at viral hemorrhagic fever in light of social and economic conditions and the spread of disease, and concentrated on improvement of infection control measures in developing countries. Speakers addressed avian influenza, preparedness for a pandemic, and efforts toward development of an avian flu vaccine.

SHEAs annual meeting also triggers the submission of many top abstracts, which are presented at the conference in oral and poster presentation format. Several noted abstracts include a paper by Kathryn B. Kirkland, MD, et al, which indicates that one dose of flu vaccine could protect up to five people, a study by Rebecca H. Sunenshine, MD, et al, of lipotourism and surgical site infections, and a report by Kenzie Cameron, MD, et al, of African-American seniors and misconceptions about flu vaccination.

Each year, SHEA selects top abstract submissions by exceptional candidates working or studying in the field for several awards. SHEAs 2006 award recipients include:

-- Investigator Award: Erika DAgata, MD, MPH

-- Trainee Award: Kenneth M. Wener, MD

-- Scholarship Award: Deverick J. Anderson, MD

-- Travel Awards: Sheryn M. Angelis, MD, Steven J. Drews, MSc, PhD, Jessica S. Kagen, BA, Mini Kamboj, MD, Claire Magauran, MD, Ulrich Seybold, MD, Nimalie D. Stone, MD, Lisa M. Young, MD

-- Barry Farr Award: Oliver Lesens, MD

SHEAs next annual scientific meeting will be held April 14-17, 2007 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, Md.

Source: SHEA

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