Yes: Having a Robust Hand Hygiene Program is Still Important (March 12, 2024, 12:00pm CT)

Hand hygiene has been the cornerstone of a strong infection prevention program for years. However, creating a robust hand hygiene program is not as simple as it sounds. This presentation will explain why every healthcare facility needs a hand hygiene program and identify the key elements that are needed. We will review what should be included in the audit, who should perform the audits, how to educate the auditors and what you can do with the results of the audits. We will explore some auditing tools and resources available. Finally, we will discuss some innovative ways to engage staff in the hand hygiene program. This webinar is presented by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control and is cosponsored by the Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety and the Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC).

The Deep South Center for OH&S is an approved provider of continuing education units for nurses by the AL Board of Nursing (Provider ABNP0420 Expiration Date 12/22/2025) and has awarded this program 1.2 ABN CEUs. All other professionals awarded .1 CEUs, SW awarded 1.0 CEUs

Mary M. Duncan

Senior Director of Infection Prevention· University of Alabama-Birmingham Health System.

Mary Duncan is an experienced, certified Infection Preventionist who has spent the last 18 years implementing best practices at various facilities to prevent infections in patients. She is currently the Senior Director of Infection Prevention at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Health System. This is an 1100+ bed Level 1 trauma center in the city of Birmingham, AL.  Through her passion and innovative approaches, she strives to decrease infections by working with front-line staff to make sure they are educated on best practices and have access to the tools they need to do the right thing. Mary is skilled in the ability to listen and identify issues or problem areas and form innovative solutions that increase the safety for both patients and staff.


Understanding Multidrug-Resistant Organisms (February 7, 2024, 12pm CST)

In this webinar, Kate Draper, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellow with the Infectious Diseases & Outbreaks Division at the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), will provide an overview of Multidrug-Resistant Organism (MDROs), their impact, causes, and potential solutions. Also, She will discuss MDROs and causal factors for rapid spread, describe surveillance, colonization screenings, and laboratory testing methods, review infection prevention and control strategies and highlight state, national, and international initiatives to combat MDROs. This webinar is presented by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control and cosponsored by the Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety, the Alabama Public Health Training Network at the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC).

The Deep South Center for OH&S is an approved provider of continuing education units for nurses by the AL Board of Nursing (Provider ABNP0420 Expiration Date 12/22/2025) and has awarded this program 1.2 ABN CEUs. All other professionals awarded .1 CEUs, SW awarded 1.0 CEUs.

Kate Draper

Kate Draper is currently a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellow with the Infectious Diseases & Outbreaks Division at the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). She received a Bachelors of Science in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in 2019 and a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology in 2022 from the University of Nevada at Reno. In her current position, she assists with outbreak activities related to foodborne diseases and healthcare acquired infections (HAI) as well as pursues projects related to health equity in HAI and shadows other ADPH departments for a holistic understanding of public health.

Fighting Malaria, Saving Lives!

On June 26, 2023, the CDC issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) health advisory to share information and notify clinicians, public health authorities and the public about Plasmodium vivax malaria cases acquired in Florida and Texas. Although no evidence suggests that cases in the two states are related, active surveillance for additional cases is ongoing.

Malaria is the number one killer of all the parasitic disease known to man. In 2020, an estimated 200+ million cases occurred worldwide and over 600,000 deaths were recorded (WHO,2005). More than 80% of deaths worldwide occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Most cases in the U.S are due to travelers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria is endemic (sub-Saharan African and South Asia).

Four species of Plasmodium causes malaria in humans. One of the species, Plasmodium falciparum, is the most pathogenic of all. Transmission to humans is by the blood-sucking bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. The parasite multiplies in the red blood cell of humans. Incubation period is between 9-30 days. Symptoms include fever, flu-like symptoms, headache and muscle aches. Malaria control and prevention includes the elimination of mosquito breeding sites like stagnant water and bushes, use of PPE against mosquitoes (ex. screen and pyrethrin treated nets) and use of anti-malaria medications.

Below are recommended resources on malaria:

General information on malaria by the CDC

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/malaria/index.html

WHO information on Malaria

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malaria

Malaria and Travelers for U.S. Residents

https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/index.html

Genetically modified mosquitoes cut the insect number by 96 percent

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2344811-genetically-modified-mosquitoes-cut-the-insects-number-by-96-per-cent/

Cheaper Malaria Vaccine recommended by WHO.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2395634-cheaper-malaria-vaccine-recommended-by-the-who/

Recommended vaccine Malaria Vaccine for children at risk

https://www.who.int/news/item/06-10-2021-who-recommends-groundbreaking-malaria-vaccine-for-children-at-risk

WHO Malaria Toolkit App

https://www.who.int/teams/global-malaria-programme/malaria-toolkit-app

Other Recommendations:

Review of malaria diagnosis and treatment in the United States

First US malaria cases diagnosed in decades in Florida and Texas

Why Mosquitoes are good at smelling you.

The battle against Malaria (A New York Times editorial)

Pandemics, Infodemics and Information Overload: How consistent, clear communication can help in future outbreaks (November 7, 2023, 12pm CT)

In this webinar, Dr. Wallace, Epidemiologist and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, will discuss about infodemics and how they occur, talk through misinformation vs correct information and how they both can contribute to infodemics, and will review the problem of infodemics, and how we can reduce information overload and confusion by prioritizing consistent and clear scientific communication to mitigate public confusion and information fatigue. This webinar is presented by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control and cosponsored by the Region IV Public Health Training Center.

Dr. Katrine Wallace, Ph.D.

Dr. Wallace holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and has 15+ years of professional research experience in epidemiology, research design, pharmacoepidemiology, health economics, outcomes research, and biostatistics. She is currently an epidemiologist and  adjunct assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health. She is also known as “Dr Kat” on her popular social media channels where she educates on epidemiology, vaccines, and the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been an invited speaker in the US and internationally, and has presented research at over 20 scientific congresses. A vaccine advocate, she serves as a member of “Team Halo” (United Nations Verified Initiative), Project FIDES (World Health Organization) and was chosen as a “vaccine luminary” for the 2021 G7 Vaccine Confidence Summit. Dr. Wallace has also been featured as an opinion contributor for The Hill, and has been interviewed or profiled in several mainstream media outlets such as; BBC World News, The  Washington Post, Good Morning America, Bloomberg, CBS News, and National Public Radio.

This webinar is presented by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control Training and Technical Assistance and cosponsored by the Region IV Public Health Training Center.

Antimicrobial Resistance and Multi-Drug Resistant Organism in Hospitals and Long-Term Care Facilities

Antimicrobial resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Resistant infections can be difficult, and sometimes impossible to treat. Multidrug-resistant organisms are bacteria’s that have become resistant to certain antibiotics, and these antibiotics can no longer be used to control or kill the bacteria. Antibiotics are important medicines. They help fight infections that are caused by bacteria. Bacteria that resist treatment with more than one antibiotic are called multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs for short), (ct.gov,2023).

Examples of (MDROs), includes methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and certain gram-negative bacilli (GNB) which have important infection control implications that either have not been addressed or received only limited consideration (CDC,2015).

Below are recommended resources for hospitals and long-term care facilities on MDROs:

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
The Changing Landscape of Antimicrobial Resistance Following the COVID-19 Pandemic
MULTI DRUG-RESISTANT ORGANISMS (MDROs)
General Recommendations for Routine Prevention and Control of MDROs in Healthcare Settings
Preventing the Spread of Novel or Targeted Multidrug-resistant Organisms (MDROs)
Infection Prevention of MDROs in Long-Term Care Settings

Candida auris: A multi-drug resistant pathogen

Candida auris is an emerging pathogen that results in nosocomial infections and is considered a serious global health problem. It was first observed as a novel  Candida species in 2009 and has been isolated in 35 countries.

C. auris may cause invasive infections associated with high mortality. It is considered a multi-drug resistant species, having variable resistance patterns to many typical antifungal agents used to treat other Candida infections.

The CDC is concerned about C. auris for three main reasons:

  1. It is often multidrug-resistant, meaning that it is resistant to multiple antifungal drugs commonly used to treat Candida infections. Some strains are resistant to all three available classes of antifungals.
  2. It is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods, and it can be misidentified in labs without specific technology. Misidentification may lead to inappropriate management.
  3. It has caused outbreaks in healthcare settings. For this reason, it is important to quickly identify C. auris in a hospitalized patient so that healthcare facilities can take special precautions to stop its spread.

Candida Auris: What is it? Can we stop it? | ARC IPC

Resources for Candida auris:

General Information:
Infection Prevention:
For Healthcare Providers:
Webinars

The Changing Landscape of Antimicrobial Resistance Following the COVID-19 Pandemic (February 8, 2023, 11am CST)

This webinar is presented by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control Training and Technical Assistance. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the largest health threats to healthcare systems and the COVID-19 pandemic has identified weaknesses that have allowed for transmission within hospitals. In this talk, Dr. Rachael Lee, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and healthcare epidemiologist for the UAB Health System will provide a summary of the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in a pandemic era. This webinar is co-sponsored by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control, Region IV Public Health Training Center, and Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety.  

The Deep South Center for OH&S is an approved provider of continuing education units for nurses by the AL Board of Nursing (Provider ABNP0420 Expiration Date 12/22/2025) and has awarded this program 1.0 CEUs.

                                         

Protect and Preserve: Priorities of Antimicrobial Stewardship (November 1, 2022 12pm CST)

This webinar is presented by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control Training and Technical Assistance. Antimicrobials are essential for modern medicine; however, they become less effective over time. In addition, adverse effects and other negative consequences of antimicrobial use are not uncommon. This presentation, Dr. Matthew Brown will provide an overview of antimicrobial stewardship and how it can help protect patients and preserve the utility of these important medications. This webinar was co-sponsored by the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control, Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety, and the Region IV Public Health Training Center.

The Deep South Center for OH&S is an approved provider of continuing education units for nurses by the AL Board of Nursing (Provider ABNP0420 Expiration Date 12/22/2025) and has awarded this program 1.0 CEUs.

Dr. Matthew Brown, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCIDP is the supervising pharmacist for antimicrobial stewardship and the director of the PGY2 infectious diseases pharmacy residency program at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, AL.