Patient Safety Authority Board of Directors Names Infection Advisory Panel


HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority's board of directors announces it has approved a 13-member panel of infection control experts to help implement Act 52 of 2007. The act was signed into law by Governor Ed Rendell in July to help reduce and eliminate healthcare-associated infections in Pennsylvania's hospitals and nursing homes. The Authority plans to hold the first meeting of the panel in October. "We are fortunate that high caliber infection control experts have agreed to serve on the panel," Dr. Ana Pujols-McKee said, chair of the Patient Safety Authority Board of Directors. "Their dedication and success in combating infections is substantial and we are looking forward to working with them to ensure all Pennsylvania hospitals and nursing homes can reduce and eliminate healthcare-associated infections in their facilities."

At the board meeting the Authority also discussed Act 52 and gave tentative implementation plans regarding reporting for hospitals and nursing homes. The Authority's interim executive director, Mike Doering, stressed that due to the other agencies involved with implementation of Act 52, it is difficult to give specific dates, but the Authority does have some time-frames for the hospitals and nursing homes to keep in mind.

"I anticipate that hospitals will be reporting the new infection data to us by next spring and nursing homes will be reporting to us at the earliest next July," Doering said. "We are working with the other agencies involved to make sure that as soon as the new reporting format is determined, reporting will begin as soon as possible."

In regard to nursing homes, Doering said the method for receiving the infection data from them will need to be determined and he is looking to the new Advisory panel to help with the implementation process.

"Our new Advisory panel will help ensure we are collecting the right information and see that the implementation process goes as smoothly as possible," said Doering. "Their expertise will provide the guidance needed to collect the infection data and then to educate facilities to help reduce and eliminate infections."

The Authority solicited potential nominees from various healthcare organizations and stakeholders including: the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), PA Association of County Affiliated Homes (PACAH), PA Ambulatory Association, PA Association for Not-for-Profit Homes for the Aging, Pennsylvania Medical Society, the Governor's Office of Healthcare Reform (GOHCR), the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council, the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative (PRHI), the Pennsylvania Healthcare Association and the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF).

Following is the list of the Patient Safety Authority's Healthcare-Associated Infection Advisory Panel:

Erick J. Bergquist, MD, PhD

Medical Director for Epidemiology

Indiana Regional Medical Center

Bergquist has been a member of an Infection Control Committee since 1975 and is currently the chairman of the Latrobe Area Hospital Infection Control Committee. He has given numerous lectures and conferences on infectious disease topics while a faculty member at Jefferson Medical College. Bergquist also serves as an infectious disease consultant for several healthcare facilities in the Latrobe area.


Dorothy Borton, RN, BSN, CIC

Infection Control Practitioner

Albert Einstein Healthcare Network

Borton has 25 years of infection control experience. She has served on numerous committees in the Delaware Valley Chapter of APIC where she is the current past president and chair of the education committee. She has served on the PHC4 advisory board.


Patrick J. Brennan, MD

Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President

University of Pennsylvania Health System

Professor of Medicine

Brennan has served as the Chief of Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety at Penn from 2001 to 2005. Brennan oversees medical affairs and has recently developed a Center for Evidence Based practice. Brennan is an infectious disease physician and served as director of infection control for 11 years.  He has also served as director of tuberculosis control for the city of Philadelphia for seven years. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). He will become the president of SHEA in 2008.


Kenneth Brubaker, MD

Director of Geriatric Program

Willow Valley Retirement Community

Brubaker is the medical director of several nursing homes, including Willow Valley Retirement Communities, Conestoga View, Maple Farm, and MasonicVillage.  He is also the director of the geriatric program at LancasterHospital and a Geriatric Consultant to the Office of Aging in LancasterCounty.  He is the current president of the PA Medical Directors Association and has authored articles regarding the rights of long term care residents and the quality of care of nursing home patients. Brubaker has presented lectures on numerous geriatric topics, such as pain management, insomnia, elder abuse, and inappropriate drug use in the elderly.


Susan E. Coffin, MD, MPH

Medical Director, Department of Infection Prevention and Control

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Coffin is an associate scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and a member of the American Board of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.  She is a member of the editorial board for a number of infectious disease publications. Coffin is an attending on the clinical infectious disease service at CHOP and a member of the teaching faculty.  She has published and lectured extensively in the area of pediatric infectious disease.


Daniel Haimowitz, MD, FACP, CMD

Medical Director of Geriatric Program

Attleboro Retirement Campus

Haimowitz is the medical director of several nursing homes, including Attleboro Nursing Campus and Arden Courts Assisted Living Facility. He is also medical director of the Home Care Advisory Committee for Lower Bucks Hospital and has served on its Infection Control Committee. Haimowitz also serves as Medical Director for the Delaware County PACE initiative (Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly). He has lectured extensively on geriatric issues including, end-of-life decisions, Alzheimer 's disease and related dementias, depression, medication use and alcohol abuse. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) and the Pennsylvania Medical Directors Association.


Sharon L. Jacobs, RN, MS, CIC

Manager, Infection Prevention and Control

St. Clair Memorial Hospital

President, APIC-Three Rivers/Pittsburgh Chapter

Jacobs is a certified infection control prevention and control professional with thirty years of experience.  She is the current president of the APIC-Three Rivers/Pittsburgh Chapter and a member of the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative.  She has participated in the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network and in the beta testing of the MRSA module of NHSN.  She has participated in research projects in the fields of MRSA and legionella.


Emily McCracken, MPH

Hospital Epidemiologist and Director of Infection Control

Hamot Health System

McCracken has worked for the Minnesota Department of Health in the division of acute disease investigation and control, where her main focuses were ongoing foodborne illness surveillance, associated outbreak investigations and a variety of MDH and CDC FoodNet studies. At Hamot Medical Center, where she is the director of infection control and is a hospital epidemiologist, she has implemented strategies to make process changes to increase patient safety and quality of care, including implementing an automated infection surveillance system. She has been invited to speak at numerous national engagements regarding public reporting of healthcare-associated infection and best practices in infection control.


S. Candy Mulholland, RN, MSN

Infection Control Coordinator

Kane Nursing Homes

Mulholland has 30 years of experience in long-term care facilities, including 10 years of experience in infection control. She is currently the infection control coordinator for the four Allegheny County-run Kane Nursing Homes and is a member of APIC.  She has extensive experience in the surveillance of infections in long term care facilities and the use of the McGeer criteria used in the identification of LTC infections.


Carlene A. Muto, MD, MS

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Medical Director Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control

Muto has been a member of the University of Pittsburgh Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Research Unit since 1999. She is board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease. She chairs the Antibiotic Resistance Task Force of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and is co-chair of the Clostridium Difficile Outbreak Committee. Muto's research interests include the epidemiology of MRSA and vancomycin-resistant enterococci and identifying ways to halt the nosocomial transmission of resistant organisms.


Stephen Ostroff, MD

Bureau Director

Bureau of Epidemiology

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Ostroff has served as the associate director for Epidemiologic Sciences in the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He temporarily served as CDC's deputy director for science and public health.  He has assisted in coordinating emerging infectious disease programs, including bioterrorism, food safety, and antimicrobial resistance. Ostroff completed CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) training while assigned to the Washington State Department of Health from 1986-1988. He has authored/co-authored more than 50 scientific publications and book chapters. He has co-chaired the surveillance and response subcommittee of the Emerging Infections Working Group of the Council on International Science, Engineering, and Technology (CISET), NSTC, and is on the scientific advisory board of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and chairs the Disease Control Subcommittee of the Armed Forces Epidemiology Board. He is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America and a member of the American Society for Microbiology, American Epidemiological Society, and International Society for Travel Medicine.


Abby Weand, RN

HAI Project Leader

Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4)

Weand is a registered nurse researcher and a member of the Health Policy Research Department of PHC4.  She participated in the advisory panel of infection control professionals who developed the criteria and guidelines by which facilities submit healthcare acquired infection data to PHC4.  She is responsible for interfacing with facilities regarding HCAI related questions and provides guidance and interpretation of the HAI collection manual.  She has participated in education sessions throughout Pennsylvania during the implementation of the PHC4-HAI collection initiative.


Linda Winston, MSN, CIC

Infection Control Officer

Altoona Regional Health System

Winston has seven years of experience in infection control, is a member of APIC, and maintains certification in infection control (CIC). She is currently the infection control officer for a 300-bed healthcare system where she developed a total house surveillance system.  She has developed infection control screening and educational programs and successfully implemented the IHI infection control bundles in her institution. She recently conducted a seminar on active surveillance of MRSA.

The role of the Advisory Panel will be to provide advice and guidance to the Authority in the implementation of the Healthcare-Associated Infection legislation (Act 52 of 2007). The role of the Advisory Panel includes providing guidance to the Authority and other state agencies on:

-- HAI reporting requirements for various healthcare settings

-- Plans for analyzing infection-related data from covered healthcare settings

-- Evidence-based practices in the control and prevention of HAIs

-- Educational needs for various types of facilities and healthcare workers

-- Reviewing infection-related Advisory content

-- Methods for calculating statewide and national HAI rates

-- Reasonable goals for HAI reduction

-- Others as identified over time

Source: Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority


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