Association for Professionals in Infection Control and

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Association for Professionals in Infection Control and

    Association for Professionals

    in Infection Control and Epidemiology,

    Chapter 1 New England Newsletter Date Volume 2008, Issue 2

     We are agents of change, we are steadfast and resilient we have reserve President‟s Message and renewed enthusiasm and we have each other. the barn door after the How do you stay ‘Leaders multitask- today’s Embrace The New England horse is out, Prevention connected to the leaders need to be able to Network of Infection thinks ahead and keeps important things in your juggle a dozen conundrums Prevention and Control. the barn door closed so life? Are you frequently at once’. that horse never gets out in overwhelmed and find it the first place. Interesting? hard to keep focused and Leaders deliver- ideas are Individual Highlights You bet. And the current with your great but what counts is conference attendees profession? You are not performance and results’. President‟s Message 1 thought it was right on, a alone. Many of us have JCAHO Flu challenge 1 good title for what we too many obligations on ‘Leaders know they can Chapter member news 2 always knew; we are the our plate, too many make a difference- they canary in the mine, the deadlines or expectations radiate a ‘sense of New England Network 2 indicator that an issue is that we need to fulfill. But mattering’’. Legislation 3 about to occur. you do have a support Newbie ICP 3 system, the members of ‘Leaders give respect. In our preventionist role, we your chapter, your regional Leaders care about Voting for the 2009 BOD 4 are leaders and people APIC group. connecting because it Basic training course 4 look up to us. Leadership is This past June at the moves mountains’. Certification 4 something we aspire to, national conference in something that we are Denver, the Chapter ‘Leaders don’t fall prey to driven to achieve and leaders meeting was their own success-t hey learn to accomplish to inspiring, uplifting and a don’t’ let their organizations enhance the practice of wonderful kickoff for the get complacent’. Our newsletter has infection prevention and conference week. Topics Leaders make mistakes, been electronic and control. of discussion included the recognize them, learn from At the chapter leader‟s will continue to be so. branding of APIC, them, deal with them meeting at the national leadership and what we quickly and move on’. We have recently conference, there were needed to support our changed web masters inspirational leadership chapters and our ‘Leaders create their won and are changing our quotes at each place membership, destinies. There are leaders website. setting and I wrote some at all levels in every Take time at the down to share with you, as An interesting concept that successful organization’. conference to stop by you are all leaders in the was revealed was the the webmaster booth quest to prevent and name change for those Here to support you as the control infections. and introduce yourself who practice infection chapter member you are control and prevention, and the leader you are and let us know what Read through and see how Infection preventionist. A refining everyday, you would like from many you associate with, new title, a new your secure sign on are inspired by or will Mary Ellen Scales RN MSN CIC perspective on who you website ponder as you go. are and what you do. The New England 413-794-4782 Network. Oftentimes, I have thought that control is like closing

     The Joint Commission Resources Flu Vaccination Challenge

    The current national average of health care workers who get the flu vaccine is only 42%. Healthcare workers have been frequently implicated as the source of flu infections in hospitals. In the name of patient safety, JCR is issuing a challenge to all hospitals to do a

    better job of vaccinating doctors, nurses and ancillary workewrs against the flu. Hospitals that achieve a vaccination rate of 43% or more will be recognized for their dedication to keeping employees healthy and protecting patients.

    The Challenge begins September 1, 2008 and continues through the flu season to May 2009.

    Take a few minutes to register just click on:,


     2 TYPE TITLE HERE What is new at APIC National?

    Branding: Have you noticed the new logo and branding for the national chapter?

     APIC National Consulting services:

     a regional consultant to Brenda Grant, a Stamford Heroes in Infection Prevention provide "on-the-spot" Hospital employee, has infection control advice been honored by the Members Two of our New England and training in the event federal Centers for Disease Chapter Members have been in the of an outbreak. Control and Prevention, chosen as Heroes of infection Division of Health Quality news prevention. Grant has been a nurse at Promotion, as one of five Stamford Hospital for 36 national infection Watch for our next newsletter to years. For the last 16 prevention and control hear their stories and contact years, she has been a assistants. Grant will be information. senior nurse called on by the CDC two epidemiologist. She was or three times a year for a Have a story you would like to honored with the one- to two-day share about your successes, Nightingale award for commitment to assess challenges or your practice? nursing excellence and is critical infection prevention Please send it to the BOD for active on hospital, state and control issues, the newsletter. and national committees primarily in the Northeast. Looking for the related to infection right job or prevention, including the Infection prevention and candidate? National Association for control assistants will Take a look on Celebrate the Professionals in Infection deploy into the field to successes right Jobs are listed on Control and Epidemiology. perform rapid infection here in our own the APIC National control assessments to „backyard‟ website- manage help better decide how to your career or for use CDC resources. The the right secondary goal is to act as candidate. The time for New England Network infection preventionists is Heroes: We are working hard on the new additions to our website, APIC national has offered to here. create a secure e-community for us so that we can host our own list serve . Currently we

    have drop down folders for policies, PowerPoint‟s, questions , updates and other

    members news and exclusives all under a secure sign on that will be demonstrated at the

    Fall APIC NE conference. Join us and stop by the booth to meet the webmaster and get

    a sneak preview of the site enhancements . APIC New England, your chapter your input.

    Mary Ellen Scales NR MSN CIC

     APIC NE Legislative Update

    3 Fall 2008

    There is a new website @ that lists and describes the US governmental and

    nongovernmental agencies with functions related to infection control. To find the

    document, go to Click on the “Public Policy” tab at the top, then click on

    “Public Policy Library”. The document is called “US Government Agencies”.

    4/16/08 - A hearing entitled “Healthcare Associated Infections; A Preventable Epidemic”

    was held before the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Oversight

    and Reform on Capitol Hill. The archived video of the hearing can be found at

    8/10/08 - Massachusetts governor signed into law S 2863 requiring healthcare facilities to

    report data about healthcare associated infections and serious reportable events.

    Link - the infection

    control language begins on Line 123.

    5/14/08 - Rhode Island governor signed into law H7962 requiring quarterly reporting of

    data to DPH, made available to the public annually. The Advisory Committee includes an

    Infection Control Professional.


    6/26/08 also Rhode Island governor signed into law S 2382


    4/10/08 - Maine governor signed into law 2297 requiring an annual report of HAI infections

    to the legislature from the Maine Quality Forum


    Connecticut governor signed into law SB 579 requiring each hospital to develop a plan to

    reduce the incidence of MRSA, submitted to the Health Department and be available to

    the public.

    Link http://www.cga/ct/gov/2008/TOB/H/2008HB-05721-ROO-HB.htm

    Also HB5721 a broad healthcare access bill in which Section 14 creates the Connecticut

    Health Quality Partnership to be tasked with collecting and analyzing data from hospitals

    for the purpose of tracking, reporting and reducing infection rates. Link

    Some Observations of a My IC career began 6 or 7 years ago. I expected to be a 90 day wonder. Do you know

    newbie ICP what I mean? Thirty years ago a nurse ended up in a new specialty and she/he immersed Who is now very proud to call themselves into it totally, read everything you can get your hands on, and in about 90 herself an Infection days they function in a reasonably competent manor. When I accepted the job as an

    Preventionist Infection Control Practitioner in a small rural acute care hospital, I figured I already knew

     most of what I would need to know about infection control, I‟m a nurse for gosh sakes, we

     know about infection control don‟t we? How much more would I really need to know? I

     was in for a rude shock. It didn‟t come suddenly like a bolt out of the blue. It came on

     slowly, it kind of settled over me like the green, noxious fog in a B rated horror movie.

     The beginning of the wake-up call was just a whisper in the back of my brain. It

     happened at the first meeting I attended of the Vermont Infection Control Practioners

     Association. Many of the topics discussed were totally foreign to me, I didn‟t have a clue!

     “Uh oh, you have bitten off more than you can chew this time.” Said the voice in the

     back of my brain. Well, if the voice whispered on that day, it shouted at me loud and

     clear, when I had the opportunity to attend my first APIC National Conference. And the

     voice said “Listen up you numbskull, there are no 90 day wonders functioning credibly in

     Infection Control.” “Look what a fine mess you‟ve gotten us into this time, Ollie.” I may

     have been over confident but I wasn‟t stupid. The body of knowledge is HUGE, very

     intimidating, and I was petrified. I was in so far over my head I was sure I would drown.

     So what is a new, scared, intimidated ICP to do?

     I can only tell you some things that helped me begin to gather the information I needed

     #1. Network with other ICPs in your area. Pick up the phone or send an email. If you are

     as fortunate as I was, you will find dedicated and experienced ICPs like Donna Morris of

     Northeastern Vermont Regional Medical Center in St Johnsbury, VT and Jean Holcomb of

     North Country Hospital in Newport, VT. They were willing to share that knowledge and

     expertise with an over confident newbie. The two of them have literally been my saving

     grace. When certain things came up that I was totally unprepared for, they were as

     close as the phone or the next email. They didn‟t always have every answer but with over 4 TYPE TITLE HERE VOTE 2009 40 years of experience between them they didn‟t come up empty very often. I am very sincerely and forever grateful for their help. They took time from their busy days to help a APIC New newbie.

    England BOD

    #2. Attending local meetings, for me this was VICPA, Vermont Association of Professionals in Infection Control. Here is your face to face networking opportunity. VICPA only meets 3 times a year, but we meet for the majority of the day. For some of us it‟s several hours of Ballots will be driving to attend. It has been worth every minute spent. Our Vermont group is small and

    mailed come from varied backgrounds. At these statewide meetings I met ICPs like Sue Page, Wilma Salkin, Sally Hess, Susan Schoenfeld, and Kathi Dages. They have all helped me at shortly. one time or another. No that‟s not completely true; they have actually, each one, saved my neck at one time or another.

    #3. Attend Chapter Conferences. They are your best bang for the buck. New England Chapter 001 never fails to provide us with top notch educational opportunities. Pair that

    with an easily accessible and central location in the Springfield Marriott. Check out the Am-Trak station nearest you, using Am-Trak could really save you some money and the

    Springfield Am-Trak station is only a block from the Hotel.

    #4. Get your certification. Validate yourself if only for your own sake. You will know that you at least have the basic knowledge needed to practice and it will demand that you

    re-validate that every 5 years. It is as good for you personally as it is good for you

    professionally. Last but not least, the certification process helps to give us credibility as a profession.

    #5. Finally, Pay-it forward. Mentor someone yourself when you have developed a certain level of experience. Participate locally or regionally as an officer or Board Member, write an article to share in your newsletter. Contribute something of yourself.

     I thought back to those days as I attended the National in Denver Colorado this past June. My registration was paid for by Chapter 001 New England The New England

    Chapter held a drawing for the members who had volunteered to run for and Chapter Office. I was the winner of the drawing and also found myself as the new Communications director Elect for Chapter 001 APIC New England. WOW Talk about a

    learning experience. Thank you APIC New England.

    Infection control is a rewarding and challenging field. It is finally beginning to receive the recognition it has so long deserved. I still consider myself a relative newbie, not as naïve,

    perhaps, but with still so much still to be learned. New information is coming at us on a daily basis. We are certainly being asked to do more and more with little or no increase in FTEs but on the up-side it is such an exciting field in which to work. Challenge yourself to

    be available to someone new to the field it‟s bound to be a gratifying experience. We need everyone to rise to the challenges ahead of us. Looking for a basic training course? We are working with APIC national to bring the EPI Celebrate certification! courses to the New England area. One of the suggestions Basic Course for Principles of Infection Control made at the national

    chapter leaders meeting

    Description: Designed to prepare the new ICP or person responsible for Infection Control to is that each chapter

    perform the duties required in various healthcare settings. celebrate and support Sponsoring Organization: Northeastern Infection Control Educators (NICE). Providing certification by Infection Control Education since 1990. recognizing members Location: Center for Health Affairs, Princeton, NJ who are certified as well Dates: October 20-24, 2008 as supporting members Cost: $425.00 if registered before September 26, 2008; $480.00 for late registration by studying for the October 3, 2008. certification exam. CEU’s: Continuing education credits will be awarded through NJ State Nurses Association. Watch our tables at our This course does not provide infection control certification. conferences to Contact Person: Christine Armenti, Nurse Consultant recognize and support NJ Dept. of Health and Senior Services, (609) 588-7512 certification !

     Kathy Roye-Horn, Infection Control Coordinator Hunterdon Medical Center, (908) 788-6169

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