As infection control continues to be elevated as a global issue facing healthcare institutions around the world, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America has announced its 2013 International Ambassador Program delegation. The new delegation is made of 11 individuals from six continents, with extensive experience in healthcare epidemiology and infection control.
“In our global community, a local infection control concern can quickly escalate into an international concern,” says John Jernigan, MD, MS, president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. “SHEA’s International Ambassadors Program fosters collaboration and education for healthcare professionals, seeking to provide practical knowledge to resource limited providers that can make an enduring impact on their patients, the country and the global fight against infectious diseases.”
Starting in 2009, SHEA has partnered with 3M to launch the International Ambassadors Program, which is dedicated to building collaborative relationships between U.S. and international healthcare professionals with expertise in healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention. Each year, SHEA selects 10 to 12 delegates from around the world to participate in intensive training in healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention in the United States, as well as connect to leading experts in the field worldwide.
As part of the program, ambassadors will have the opportunity to attend events through the year focused on infection control strategies, including:
• SHEA’s Spring Conference on Healthcare Epidemiology
• IDWeek, a joint venture of SHEA with IDSA, HIVMA and PIDS
Ambassadors are also given a one-year membership in the society to foster networking and expose them to SHEA’s journal and other educational opportunities that can promote knowledge exchange.
The 2013 SHEA International Ambassadors include:
Regina Berba, MD, PhD, Philippine General Hospital (Quezon City, Philippines)
Ying Cheng, MD, MBBS, China CDC (Beiing, China)
Angela Dramowski, MD, PhD, Stellenbosch University (Cape Town, South Africa)
Stela Gheorghita, MD, PhD, National Center of Public Health (Chisinau, Republic of Moldova)
Ágnes Hajdu, MPH, MBBS, National Center for Epidemiology (Budapest, Hungary)
Basudha Khanal, MD, MBBS, BP Koirala Institute Of Health Sciences (Dharan, Nepal)
Katerina Mougkou, MD, National Kapodistrian University, Athens School of Medicine (Athens, Greece)
Mohammad Mushtuq Husain, MD, Institute Of Epidemiology, Disease Control & Research (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Chimanjita Phukan, MD, Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (Guwahati, India)
Peter Pindan, National Department of Health (Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea)
Maria Ines Staneloni, MD, PhD, Hospital Italiano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
“Many of our international colleagues face obstacles with lack of supplies, contaminated water, inadequate healthcare infrastructure and even civil strife in addition to mainstream infection control issues like adequate hand hygiene and antimicrobial stewardship,” says Nalini Singh, MD, MPH, chair of SHEA’s External Affairs Committee. “These healthcare professionals represent the best and brightest in dealing with unique circumstances in resource limited settings. We are thrilled to invite them to engage with SHEA and learn from each other as we work together to address healthcare-associated infections at a local, national, and global scale.”
Since its inception, more than 345 applicants have sought to join this elite program. SHEA has welcomed 53 ambassadors representing 30 countries, including Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
SHEA continues its ongoing work with new ambassadors and program alumnae to identify content and partnerships to support individual goals for learning, policy development and the growth of regional networks. Through partnerships and grants, SHEA plans to take the training that has been developed through these and other efforts and deploy it in innovative ways to resource-limited countries and environments.