California Physician Executive Wins APIC's Healthcare Administrator Award


Anthony Chavis, MD, MMM, vice president of medical affairs at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey, Calif., has been named the recipient of the third annual Healthcare Administrator Award, presented by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

The award, which will be presented at APICs 39th Annual Educational Conference & International Meeting, June 4-6 in San Antonio, is given annually to a member of a healthcare facilitys executive team who has made infection prevention and control a top priority throughout the facility.

We are proud to recognize Dr. Chavis with this honor, says APIC 2012 president Michelle Farber, RN, CIC. He took a hands-on approach and was actively engaged in the infection prevention program, setting aggressive goals, supporting the addition of staff positions and resources, and influencing physician buy-in. He exemplifies the way in which high-level administrative support can accelerate infection prevention efforts.

Chavis has spent the last 10 years promoting the cause of infection prevention at the hospital. In the past few years, his diligent collaboration with the infection prevention and quality departments to reduce healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates has paid off greatly.

In 2007, the hospitals overall surgical site infection (SSI) rate stood at 3.6 percent. SSI reduction programs implemented with Dr. Chaviss backing more than halved that number within a year, and took the rate down to 0.7 percent for the first six months of 2011. 

Chavis said the hospitals SSI initiative is an example where we thought we had a real opportunity to do something of importance. We set an aggressive goal to cut this infection rate by 50 percent within the first year, and we exceeded that goal.

In addition to a reduction in SSI rates, the rate of healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile infections fell to zero at various points in 2010.

Chavis has been involved in many facets of the hospitals infection prevention initiatives, including serving as an active member of the Infection Control Work Group, remodeling its structure to improve effectiveness and accountability, and instituting financial remuneration of physician members to improve attendance at meetings. He also hired a medical director of Infection Control and an infectious diseases specialist to provide education and support for infection prevention staff. Additionally, he advanced the adoption of electronic inpatient medical records, approved the establishment of an Antibiotic Stewardship Work Group, and helped to develop and promote a physician TB skin-testing program.

Chaviss story is featured in the summer issue of APICs quarterly magazine, Prevention Strategist. Chavis and Patti Emmett, MS, RN, CIC, infection prevention coordinator of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, will also talk live about their collaborative experience reducing infection rates and improving patient safety at the APIC 2012 Annual Conference on Monday, June 4 at 4:30 p.m. in San Antonio during a session titled, The C-Suite Infection Preventionist Journey: Impacting Patient Safety, Community Health, and Public Trust.

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