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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Theresa Lampkins, RN, CIC and Linda Feola, RN, BSN, MS, CIC, infection prevention and control practitioners (ICPs) at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals in Henderson, Nev., are among the 2006 Heroes of Infection Prevention named by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and Tyco Healthcare/Kendall.
The Heroes program recognizes APIC members who are contributing significantly to the reduction of infection and who are impacting the health, safety, and well-being of patients, healthcare workers and the public.
A little over a year ago, Lampkins and Feola introduced Target Zero, as part of a Catholic Healthcare West campaign to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in intensive care units (ICUs) at both campuses of St. Rose Dominican.
The ICU staff has been very vigilant in following the protocols and we continue to be VAP-free facilities, said Lampkins. We will keep our fingers crossed and keep up the good care in our effort to remain VAP Busters.
Im at the Rose de Lima campusthe smaller of the two with 10 ICU beds and 10 critical care overflow bedswhere I do most of the surveillance myself, Feola added. Feola is hesitant to speculate beyond the initial thirteen months of the Target Zero campaign for fear of jinxing it.
Lampkins has been a registered nurse since 1973 and manager of infection control programs since 1999. Feola openly admits to loving every minute of being an ICP. She has been a registered nurse for 24 years, most of that time dealing with some aspect of infection control.
Both agree the profession is well-positioned to address emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.
When bioterrorism came along, ICPs gained a lot of experience in formulating plans to contain purposefully spread diseases, Lampkins said. When patient safety issues became the hot topic and hand-hygiene was identified as a patient safety goal, ICPs across the country rejoiced.
Recognition of the value of the profession is growing according to Feola: The fact that we have a national exam, which allows us to become certified, elevates the profession giving it more credibility than it had 20 years ago.
What about public perception?
I dont think the majority of the public understands what we do, Feola said. But, with increased concern about infections, the role of the ICP is becoming more visible.
We are responsible for putting in place infection prevention and control programs in our facilities, Lampkins added. It is important that the public knows there are professionals in this role.
Both Feola and Lampkins are also recipients of the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year in Infection Control in Nevada. Feola received the award in 2005; Lampkins received it in 2004.
We congratulate Theresa and Linda and all the infection prevention and control professionals featured in this, our inaugural calendar of heroes and applaud their dedication to infection prevention best practices, said APIC executive director Kathy L. Warye. This program will become an annual endeavor to bring attention to the important role of infection prevention in saving lives and reducing the cost of care.
The selection of "Heroes" is based on a number of criteria, including the sustainability of a program, the process or activity; and quantitative proof of success of the program.
Award recipients are featured in a 2006 calendar, which includes a photo of the winner and a brief description of his/her program. Each winner also receives a free registration to APICs 33rd Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting, which will be held June 11-15, 2006 in Tampa, Fla.
For more information on the "Heroes" program, go to: