International Infection Prevention Week is Commemorated Across the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Thousands of infection prevention and control professionals throughout the world will participate in week-long activities commemorating International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) being held October 16-22, 2006, highlighting their daily dedication to the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections.

The annual event, initiated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, is spearheaded by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the nations largest infection prevention organization comprised of 11,000 members worldwide and headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Infection prevention and control professionals throughout the world work diligently year-round, striving to prevent deadly infections within their healthcare institutions and as educators within their communities, says APIC chief executive officer Kathy Warye. While we acknowledge their work every day, this is our opportunity to recognize them and their service within the communities in a special way during this week. They, along with their colleagues, work to save lives daily.

This years theme, Infection Prevention: Its In Your Hands, will be highlighted at the National Press Club on Oct. 19, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Infection prevention and control professionals, congressional staff, dignitaries, and media from throughout the country are expected to attend the event. One of the presenters will be Raymond T. Wagner, III of St. Louis. Wagner, now a senior at St. LouisHigh School, suffered a broken arm in a sledding accident on Christmas Eve, 2002 which eventually developed into a hospital-associated infection necessitating numerous surgeries and physical impairment. His compelling story has served as an example of the devastation healthcare-associated infections can cause.

Also featured at this event is Cheryl Herbert, director of infection control at Alleghany General Hospital, who will discuss her success of reducing healthcare-associated infections through innovative partnerships. Dr. John Jernigan will speak on the initiatives the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have put forth to assist healthcare professionals in their fight against healthcare-associated infections. In addition, APIC will unveil a major initiative targeted toward the eradication of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

During IIPW, infection prevention and control professionals in every state participate in a variety of presentations and educational programs designed to enlighten both their healthcare colleagues and the public at large to the benefits of practicing infection control in their respective environments. To date, 20 states have agreed to issue proclamations proclaiming October 16-22, 2006 as International Infection Prevention Week.

Source: APIC