South Carolina infection preventionists receive national awards

APIC Palmetto members accept the chapter Strategic Excellence award
Beth Rhoton named a Hero of Infection Prevention

Congratulations to APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control) Palmetto! The chapter is the recipient of the 2012 APIC Chapter Excellence Award in the category of Strategic Alliances.

South Carolina APIC chapter President Cindy Moon said she was honored to accept the award on behalf of her association colleagues, and noted that 2012 also marks a different kind of milestone for the group. “APIC Palmetto is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and what a wonderful statement and recognition for our chapter.” 

APIC is a 14,000 member professional association that works to keep patients safe through the prevention of infection. They collect data, track infection trends, establish prevention practices and educate health care workers and the public about infectious diseases and how to limit their spread. The association honors a number of dedicated professionals each year who significantly advance patient safety and the science of infection prevention.

Past President Cherie Setzler applied for the chapter excellence award this year based on work done in 2011 and prior years. "I have long witnessed APIC Palmetto's absolute dedication to the education and support of its members and to the health and welfare of the people of the state of South Carolina”, said Setzler. “This has been manifested by our members’ continued involvement in legislative, regulatory and private sector initiatives for healthcare improvement.”

APIC Palmetto was recognized for “best demonstrating excellence in developing, promoting and providing meaningful, accessible, and affordable educational products or services, and other information resources for infection prevention and control professionals, healthcare workers, and the general public” during the June 2012 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Janet Frain, APIC Co-Chair of Awards said the chapter’s excellent work will serve as an inspiration to others.

Beth Rhoton was Chair of APIC Palmetto’s Legislative Affairs and Statewide Initiatives Committee in 2011 and worked with Setzler in preparing the chapter’s application. She noted the groups’ commitment to working in concert with other organizations. “APIC Palmetto achieved this award through its long history of collaboration with agencies and organizations within and outside the state to promote the health and safety of all South Carolinians”, Rhoton said.

Rhoton, a nurse at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children’s Hospital, is also a recipient of APIC’s 2012 Heroes of Infection Prevention Award, which recognizes 12 infection preventionists who have served their profession in an outstanding manner. The award recognizes APIC members and groups who have successfully reduced infection, raised awareness, and improved the health and well-being of patients, healthcare personnel, and the public.

Rhoton’s accomplishments at MUSC include the reduction of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates that had remained constant for years. When asked to share her key to success she again stressed the importance of collaborative effort. “Engage the staff”, she said. “You can’t do it by yourself!”

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