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Patient Safety Authority Board of Directors Names Infection Advisory Panel

Group represents healthcare professionals from across Pennsylvania with

substantial experience in infection control management and practice

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority's Board of Directors today 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. Members of the panel had to meet certain criteria to be considered for appointment.

"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 timeframes 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 names of the 13 members and their brief biographies are attached along with the responsibilities of the panel and criteria used in selecting candidates.

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 Nor-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 HealthSystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative (PRHI), the Pennsylvania Healthcare Association and the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF).

For more information on the Patient Safety Authority and the Healthcare- Associated Infection Advisory Panel, go to

-- EDITOR'S NOTE: Attached is the list of the Patient Safety Authority's Healthcare-Associated Infection Advisory Panel with the responsibilities of the panel and criteria used in selecting candidates.

Erick J. Bergquist, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Director for Epidemiology

Indiana Regional Medical Center

-- Dr. 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. Dr. Bergquist also serves as an Infectious

Disease consultant for several healthcare facilities in the Latrobe


-- Dr. Bergquist was nominated as a Rural Hospital Representative.

Dorothy Borton, RN, BSN, CIC

Infection Control Practitioner

Albert Einstein Healthcare Network

-- Ms. 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.

-- Ms. Borton was nominated as a Non-rural Hospital Representative.

Patrick J. Brennan, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President

University of Pennsylvania Health System

Professor of Medicine

-- Dr. Brennan has served as the Chief of Healthcare Quality and Patient

Safety at Penn from 2001 to 2005. Dr. Brennan oversees Medical Affairs

and has recently developed a Center for Evidence Based practice. Dr.

Brennan is an infectious disease physician and served as Director of

Infection Control for eleven 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.

-- Dr. Brennan was nominated as a Non-rural Hospital Representative.

Kenneth Brubaker, M.D

Director of Geriatric Program

Willow Valley Retirement Community

-- Dr. Brubaker is the Medical Director of several Nursing Homes,

including Willow Valley Retirement Communities, Conestoga View, Maple

Farm, and Masonic Village. He is also the Director of the Geriatric

Program at Lancaster Hospital and a Geriatric Consultant to the Office

of Aging in Lancaster County. 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. Dr. Brubaker has presented lectures on numerous

geriatric topics, such as pain management, insomnia, elder abuse, and

inappropriate drug use in the elderly.

-- Dr. Brubaker was nominated as a representative of Not-for-profit

Nursing Homes.

Susan E. Coffin, MD, MPH

Medical Director, Department of Infection Prevention and Control

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

-- Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

-- Dr. Coffin was nominated as a Non-rural Hospital Representative

Daniel Haimowitz, MD, FACP, CMD

Medical Director of Geriatric Program

Attleboro Retirement Campus

-- Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

-- Dr. Haimowitz was nominated as a representative of For-profit Nursing


Sharon L. Jacobs, RN, MS, CIC

Manager, Infection Prevention and Control

St. Clair Memorial Hospital

President, APIC-Three Rivers/Pittsburgh Chapter

-- Ms. 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.

-- Ms. Jacobs was nominated as a Non-rural Hospital Representative.

Emily McCracken, MPH

Hospital Epidemiologist and Director of Infection Control

Hamot Health System

-- Ms. 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 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.

-- Ms. McCracken was nominated as a Rural Hospital Representative.

S. Candy Mulholland, RN, MSN

Infection Control Coordinator

Kane Nursing Homes

-- Ms. 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.

-- Ms. Mulholland was nominated as a representative of County Nursing


Carlene A. Muto, M.D., M.S.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Medical Director Department of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control

-- Dr. 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. Dr. Muto's research interests include the epidemiology of

MRSA and vancomycin-resistant enterococci and identifying ways to halt

the nosocomial transmission of resistant organisms.

-- Dr. Muto was nominated as a Non-rural Hospital Representative.

Stephen Ostroff, MD

Bureau Director

Bureau of Epidemiology

Pennsylvania Department of Health

-- Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

-- Dr. Ostroff was nominated as a representative of the PA Department of


Abby Weand, RN

HAI Project Leader

Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4)

-- Ms. 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.

-- Ms. Weand was nominated as a representative of the Pennsylvania

Healthcare Cost Containment Council (PHC4).

Linda Winston, MSN, CIC

Infection Control Officer

Altoona Regional Health System

-- Ms. 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

Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA).

-- Ms. Winston was nominated as a Rural Hospital Representative.

Responsibilities of the Advisory Panel

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


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

-- Educational needs for various types of facilities and healthcare


-- Reviewing infection-related Advisory content

-- Methods for calculating statewide and national HAI rates

-- Reasonable goals for HAI reduction

-- Others as identified over time

The Authority anticipates that membership on the Advisory Panel will entail quarterly meetings as well as participation in periodic conference calls.

Criteria Used in Selecting Advisory Panel Candidates

Individuals selected for participation on the Healthcare Associated Infection Control Advisory Panel shall have one of the following qualifications:

1. Primary occupation or profession in the practice and management of

infection control.

2. Primary occupation or profession in the application of epidemiology to

the study of infectious disease.

3. Currently a member of a Hospital, Nursing Home or Ambulatory Surgical

Facility staff with experience and training in infection control, to

include at least one of the following;

-- The planning, implementation and evaluation of infection prevention

and control measures.

-- The education of staff about infection risk, prevention and control.

-- The development and revision of infection control policies and


-- The management of infection prevention and control activities.

-- Provision of consultative services on infection risk assessment,

prevention and control strategies.

-- Membership on an Infection Control Committee.

-- Has published research in the area of infection control and/or

infectious disease epidemiology.

Act 52 of 2007 requires that the Advisory Panel include at least one representative from the following:

-- A Not-for Profit Nursing Home

-- A For-Profit Nursing Home

-- A County Nursing Home


-- At least two representatives of a Hospital, one of which must be from a

Rural Hospital

SOURCE Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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