Wisconsin Scientists Research Earns Her Prestigious Rutala Award

WASHINGTON, D.C.--A University of Wisconsin PhD has been named the recipient of the prestigious William A. Rutala Research Award for her study on the sterile quality of protective sheaths used during endoscopic procedures.

Carla J. Alvarado, PhD, CIC, a research scientist in human factors engineering, will be honored by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) at its annual meeting being held in San Jose this week.

Alvarados research of nasendoscopes, the tube used during endoscopies, and the protective sheath used around the tube during endoscopic procedures, resulted in the discovery that the scopes need not undergo high-level disinfection following use, due to the quality of the sterile sheath surrounding them.

Her abstract, The Evaluation of Nasendoscope Sheaths Used as Protective Barriers, was co-authored by Drs. Ashley Anderson and Dennis Maki, also of the University of Wisconsin, and involved 100 samples used to answer the question does the sheath really provide a sterile instrument?

Her findings have earned her APICs William A. Rutala Research Award, which will be presented during the associations annual meeting. The award is given for the best abstract on the subject of disinfection sterilization, or antisepsis, when an abstract reflects original research or supplements existing data, and is of major importance to the field of disinfection, sterilization and antisepsis.

Alvarado, a member of APIC for nearly 30 years and a former board member who, in 1996, was named APICs first research scholar, is also an expert in patient safety research. Prior to her present position as a human factors engineer she spent 19 years as an infection control professional at the University of Wisconsin Clinics.

Alvarado has previously been honored by APIC when she received the Carol DeMille Award a few years ago and earlier this year received the Elaine Larson Award. The awards are named after those who have made major contributions to the field of infection prevention and control. Alvarado is the only individual to have thus far been named the recipient of all three of these awards.

Source: APIC