Globally Minded Infection Preventionist Receives Highest Honor From APIC

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) today honored Georgia (Gigi) Dash, RN, MS, CIC, director of infection prevention, Cape Cod Healthcare, with the 2016 Carole DeMille Achievement Award for her global contributions to the field of infection prevention.

The award, presented during the opening session at APIC’s 43rd Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C., is given annually to an infection preventionist (IP) who best exemplifies the ideals of Carole DeMille, a pioneer in the field.

“Gigi has dedicated decades to making healthcare safer for patients around the world and we are truly honored to recognize her leadership with this award,” said APIC 2016 president Susan Dolan, RN, MS, CIC. “She is an innovator, a seasoned advisor, and an advocate, focusing her efforts on furthering several generations of IPs and the entire field of infection prevention."

As an active APIC member for more than 40 years, Dash played a fundamental role in advancing APIC’s mission. She served on the Board of Directors in 1998–1999 and was APIC President in 2002. During her presidency she helped to lead the first Patient Safety Symposium co-hosted by APIC, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She played a critical role providing guidance and recommendations to the CDC related to public reporting of healthcare-associated infections and worked on many other advisory panels including those for The Joint Commission and the state of Pennsylvania. 

Reflecting her global mindset, she served as Chair of the Scientific Committee for the Global Consensus Conference on Infection Control Issues Related to Antimicrobial Resistance. As president of the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology in 1990, Dash worked to make the organization more inclusive of international partners. She also served as an infection control advisor for the West Dorset District Health Authority in England in 1991 and as a lecturer in Japan for the U.S. State Department. She continues her international service as a reviewer of Japanese hospital infection prevention standards.
On the product innovation front, Dash and a colleague hold the patent for a shield to protect healthcare workers from blood and other bodily fluid splatter during endoscopies. This technology was ultimately licensed to a manufacturer of surgical drapes for use during microscopic surgery.

The late Carole DeMille was among the founders of APIC who later became an internationally recognized authority in the developing field of hospital infection control. She was known for her vision and optimistic approach to present-day infection prevention methods. The award was established in her honor in 1979, following her death.

APIC 2016 Annual Conference, June 11-13 in Charlotte, N.C., is the most comprehensive infection prevention conference in the world, with more than 60 educational sessions and workshops led by experts from across the globe and attended by nearly 4,000 professionals. The conference aims to provide infection preventionists, physicians, researchers, epidemiologists, educators, administrators, and medical technologists with strategies that can be implemented immediately to improve prevention programs and make healthcare safer. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #APIC2016.

APIC’s mission is to create a safer world through prevention of infection. The association’s more than 15,000 members direct infection prevention programs that save lives and improve the bottom line for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. APIC advances its mission through patient safety, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy, and data standardization. Visit APIC online at Follow APIC on Twitter and Facebook. For consumer information, visit APIC’s Infection Prevention and You website.