Show Me the Money: Marketing Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship to the C-suite


Discover strategies for advocating infection prevention programs to the C-suite, ensuring resources, leadership support, and impactful outcomes.

Sometimes, communicating the needs of infection prevention programs to top-level executives is not straightforward. How can we ensure that these programs receive adequate resources and support from high-level decision-makers

Susan Casey Bleasdale, MD, an infectious disease specialist now a chief quality officer, understands the strategies for advocating infection prevention programs to the C-suite and securing effective resource allocation and support.

In the field of infectious disease, you are not limited to 1 organ system. You're looking at the whole patient.

Bleasdale, MD, is the chief quality officer, assistant vice chancellor of quality and patient safety, and medical director of infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System (UIH). She will present “Creating a Business Plan for Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship” at the Society of Epidemiology of America in Houston, Texas, held from April 16 to 19, 2024.

“The lead into the topic is ‘show me the money.’ It's also about how teams in infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship can market their programs before the appropriate support and resources are available. And I'm going to market it to the C suite. And I think that this talk, in particular, I'm giving as someone who's been in both rounds. I have been in infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship, but I sit now in the C suite myself…I understand what the things that you need to look at when you're looking at dedicating resources and support to a program for your health system or your hospital are to be able to improve quality in some way. And so, the talk is about how you build the resources. And how do you how do you give your pitch to the C suite?”

ICT then asked Bleasdale how she went from being a doctor to sitting in the C-suite. “I would say because I'm starting in infectious disease, I have an impact on trying to improve the quality of care of my patients. I've been doing infection prevention since I was in training and stewardship…. I've been involved in the work of improving outcomes and the quality of care. [My path] just made sense to expand to be a chief quality officer; there are several infectious disease physicians who are chief quality officers as well because, again, we have an impact. I think the other thing is that in the field of infectious disease, you are not limited to 1 organ system. You're looking at the whole patient.”

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