Mark Kehrberg, MD, MS, chief medical officer of Ministry Health Care and Affinity Health System in Menasha, Wisconsin, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Healthcare Administrator Award, presented by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
The award, which was presented at APIC’s 41st Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, is given annually to a member of a healthcare facility’s executive team who has made infection prevention and control a top priority throughout the facility.
“We are proud to recognize Dr. Kehrberg with this honor,” says APIC 2014 president Jennie L. Mayfield, BSN, MPH, CIC. “His dedication to infection prevention best practices and initiatives has improved patient, visitor, and employee safety at the hospitals he oversees.”
As chief medical officer, Kehrberg manages 15 hospitals and 45 clinics in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where he established an organizational culture that enables and supports infection prevention efforts. He has supported and encouraged the use of best practices that have been adopted by the 14 other facilities, including policies for central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), surgical site infections, and vaccination compliance. These system-wide quality control structures supported by Kehrberg ensure Ministry Health Care hospitals and clinics meet their performance goals.
Under his leadership, Ministry Health Care has developed and implemented new practices that raised the employee influenza vaccination compliance rates from 70 percent in the 2011-12 influenza season to 89 percent in 2012-13 and 94 percent in 2013-2014. Meeting individually with concerned employees to explain the importance that vaccination plays in patient safety, Kehrberg was able to successfully raise the compliance rate without making vaccinations mandatory.
Additionally, Kehrberg’s role as an administrative champion has helped reduce healthcare-associated infections. Through his active involvement in the central line team and unwavering support of best prevention practices, Affinity’s St. Elizabeth intensive care unit has not experienced a CLABSI in 15 months. Kehrberg has supported the investment in the purchase, deployment, and implementation of surveillance software that has helped to transition the hospital’s policy of infection control to that of infection prevention.