Agrace HospiceCare: Infection control preventionist receives national award for local efforts
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Contact: Contact: Liz Kopling, Public Affairs Manager
Office: (608) 327-7219 Cell: (608) 772-9653
MADSION, Wis. – DeAnn Richards, RN, infection control preventionist for Agrace HospiceCare, has been named a winner of the 2012 APIC Heroes of Infection Prevention Award, given by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC). Since joining Agrace HospiceCare in September 2010, Richards has demonstrated outstanding process improvement, which has led to superior infection prevention and education of Agrace staff and many staff at Agrace’s partner facilities.
“As an infection control preventionist in a hospice setting, my job is to ensure that patients’ remaining days are focused on their loved ones and quality of life, not spent battling unnecessary illness,” said Richards. “When I first arrived at Agrace, I spent a lot of time listening and learning about the unique challenges faced by our more than 550 staff members who serve patients at Agrace, in their homes and at long-term care facilities.”
APIC established the Heroes of Infection Prevention Award in 2005 to recognize infection preventionists who have served their profession in an outstanding manner. APIC recognized Richards based on three specific achievements. Within her first year of employment at Agrace, she improved the overall effectiveness of the infection control program by 54 percent. Her improvement of staff education in one program, using a self-produced video, led to increased retention of information by clinical staff and a systemic change to clinical orientation.
And finally, because of the rapport she had built with Agrace’s partners at long-term care facilities (LTCs), they consulted her when gastrointestinal illness broke out in their facilities. As a result, she was able to help prevent further transmission of the illness in 14 of 84 outbreaks reported statewide in Wisconsin LTCs. Richards’ achievement will be recognized at APIC’s Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, June 4 – 6. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., APIC is the leading professional association for infection preventionists with more than 14,000 members. Their mission is to create a safer world through the prevention of infection.
Agrace HospiceCare has been providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to patients and families dealing with life-limiting conditions for more than 30 years. Formerly known as HospiceCare Inc., Agrace HospiceCare is a nonprofit, community-based hospice that took on its new name in 2011. With offices in Madison and Janesville, Agrace HospiceCare serves residents in Dane, Green, Jefferson, Rock and Walworth counties.