<0> UMF CorporationKen Swoyer 847-424-1256 </0>
is seeking nominations for its fourth annual Hygiene SpecialistExcellence award. The award was established in 2010 to acknowledge and recognize the vital contribution made by Environmental Services (ES) staff, “the first line of defense,” in providing a safe patient environment and reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
ES managers are encouraged to nominate a dedicated staff member to receive the award. Last year’s recipient was Winnie Richards, a member of the ES team at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston, Texas. In his nomination of Richards, UTMB Health ES director Jason Botkin wrote: “Her diligence in helping to prevent infections is exemplary. On several occasions, she has been publicly recognized for her role in helping to achieve zero HAI or nosocomial infection rates.”
Nomination forms are available at . Nominations should be submitted on or before Dec. 31, 2013. The recipient will be announced early in 2014. The Hygiene SpecialistExcellence award includes a week-long, vacation for two to South Beach, FL, including airfare and accommodations.
The award is part of UMF Corporation’s Hygiene Specialist Program, which is focused on training, education and on-going reinforcement of infection prevention “best practices” for ES personnel across all markets.
“Every ES department is the true first line of defense in providing a safe patient environment in reducing HAIs,” said George Clarke, CEO of UMF Corporation, a leading developer of infection prevention products. “With the Hygiene Specialist Excellence award, we want to help ensure that the role of ES in healthcare is recognized for its invaluable contribution to a multi-modal intervention program necessary to reduce HAI.”
Clarke also observed that ES staff members ultimately are invaluable in helping a hospital to raise its Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores and reducing readmissions. “With the recent implementation of financial penalties, the diligence of ES staff – now, and especially over the next three years as these penalties increase – can contribute significantly to increasing revenue. This fact is worth noting in the current pay-for performance era.”
This year’s Hygiene Specialist Excellence award comes as a published in the estimates that HAIs arising in U.S. acute care hospitals cost as much as $147 billion annually. The report, by MedERA and funded by an unrestricted educational grant from UMF Corporation, estimates for the first time the societal cost of HAIs attributed to acute care hospitals.
“There’s never been a stronger and more well-defined need for including ES as the first line of defense in fight against this epidemic,” Clarke said.
Prior to Winnie Richards, previous recipients of the Hygiene Specialist Excellence award are Karren Keitt, a member of the ES team at the Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Orangeburg, SC; and Janet Altman, a hygiene specialist at Benewah Community Hospital in St. Maries, Idaho.
Innovators and specialists in environmental hygiene, UMF Corporation delivers advanced, patented antimicrobial technology with industry-leading PerfectCLEAN® products, education, training, motivation and support. The company, headquartered in the Chicago area, is the only U.S. company that designs, engineers and manufactures high-performance fibers and accessories to help its customers meet tough new challenges in public health and safety. For more information, visit .