Celebrating and Saluting ICPs

Jeanne Pfeiffer, a former president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) once wrote an excellent article defining the role and the future of infection control practitioners. She is quite right when she noted, ICPs are at a pivotal point in the history of their profession, and thus proceeded to identify all of the various ways that ICPs contribute to quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, are involved in risk management, contribute to pandemic and disaster preparedness, and serve as effective guardians against the transmission of infectious agents.

Thats why last year we launched the ICT Conference on Professional Development (www.ictconference.com) to celebrate ICPs and to give you the tools you need to strengthen your skills professionally and personally. If you werent part of the magic in Las Vegas, please dont miss the opportunity in 2008, when we bring our learning and laughter seaside to glorious San Diego. The event, which will be held Jan. 15-18, 2008, brings back some favorite sessions such as the wonderfully educational Gripe Night, and introduces new sessions and activities we know youre going to love.

We understand that getting to conferences takes time and money; if you can spare the time, wed like to help with the money. I am proud to announce the availability of educational scholarships ICT is providing to ICPs wanting to attend the 2008 ICT Conference on Professional Development. We realize that funding for your training and development is limited, since your facilities are asking you to do more with less every day. With that in mind, we are now offering educational scholarships to cover the cost of registration for up to 15 infection prevention professionals who would benefit from this conference, but would not be able to attend without this grant. To be considered, applicants must have at least one year of hands-on experience working in infection prevention and control and/or hospital epidemiology, and intend to work in this field full-time. We will soon have an online application form; please bookmark www.ictconference.com/scholarship.html and check back for more details. Until that form is available, start preparing to apply by updating your professional resume and thinking about what youll say in your 200-word essay on why a scholarship to attend this conference is important to you. An advisory board will review all submissions and make recommendations for scholarship recipients. Criteria for award of an ICT educational scholarship include but are not limited to financial need, infection prevention industry experience, and the applicants intent to continue working in infection control and/or hospital epidemiology.

Its also not too early to start thinking about nominating your favorite infection prevention professional for consideration for two very special recognition programs in ICT. The annual Educator of the Year award honors one individual for his or her top-notch contributions to the field of infection prevention and control education and awareness. And our annual Whos Who in Infection Prevention issue salutes the people who work in all departments, whether its infection control, the operating room, sterile processing, or environmental services, who uphold the principles and practices of proper infection prevention. Winners will be announced in a year-end issue of ICT. To nominate an individual, describe, in 500 words or less, why this person demonstrates professional acumen, and send it to me. The deadline is Friday, Aug. 31, 2007.

If you would like the links to Pfeiffers article as well as an article I wrote about ICPs contributions to the field, please drop me a line at kpyrek@vpico.com. And please dont forget your Whos Who and Educator of the Year nominations!

Until next month, bust those bugs!

Kelly M. Pyrek 
Group Editor, Medical Division