Winnie Richards Named Winner of UMF Corporation's Hygiene Specialist Excellence Award

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Winnie Richards, a member of the Sodexo Environmental Services (ES) team working at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston, Texas, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Hygiene Specialist® Excellence award sponsored by UMF Corporation.

The award, in collaboration with IEHA and in its third year, was established to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of ES – the first line of defense – in providing a safe patient environment and reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). ES managers nominate the housekeeper of their choice to receive the award.

“Winnie Richards works in the UTMB Health Burn Unit and her diligence in helping to prevent infections is exemplary,” says UTMB Health ES director Jason Botkin in nominating Richards. “On several occasions, she has been publicly recognized for her role in helping to achieve zero HAI or nosocomial infection rates. Having Winnie receive the Hygiene Specialist Excellence award honors a dedicated individual who every day makes the extra effort in the name of patient safety. We’re very proud to have her as part of our team.”

The Hygiene Specialist Excellence award includes an all-expense-paid vacation for two to South Beach, Fla., including airfare and beachfront accommodations. A committee of industry leaders selected the recipient after a review of nominees.

Commenting about the award, UMF Corporation CEO George Clarke says, “We have long believed that one of the most effective ways to truly effect change in reducing pHAIs is to recognize the indispensable role that ES plays in mitigating their risk.”

Clarke says including ES as part of an enterprise-wide multimodal intervention team and plan is the only way to reduce HAIs. “It is the Hygiene Specialist in particular who plays a critical and far-reaching role – from making sure hospital surfaces are diligently cleaned and disinfected, to playing an important role in helping to reduce the number of days a patient remains in a hospital, to thoroughly processing a room prior to using new technologies that ultimately reduces readmissions, and to contributing to improved HCAHP’s scores,” he adds. “Winnie Richards and all the other dedicated ES individuals just like her need to be recognized as the ‘first line of defense’ and for their invaluable contribution to ensuring a safe patient environment.”

Source: UMF Corporation

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